Adaptive delivery a boon for marketers

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For years, deliverability has been the bogeyman of e-mail marketing. Warding off its negative consequences has been a black art practiced by deliverability specialists, shrouded in the mystery of their technical talismans. While the complex nature of deliverability can't be denied, the fundamentals are simply good marketing practices predicated on a respect for customer preferences. It's time to put the 'ability' back in deliverability.

Many of deliverability's complications are really the by-product of outdated technologies. For example, it's critical to do a post-mortem on your e-mail marketing campaigns to determine what's happened to your delivery and to apply those insights to future mailings. Unfortunately, this is time and resource intensive and out-of-sync with the real time nature of the medium. Even today's best deliverability reporting systems are inherently retrospective — looking at the past, not the present or future. It doesn't have to be this way.

Messaging technology has evolved far beyond a commodity product that simply sends and receives e-mail and reports on the results. Today's message management platforms feature a rules engine that can serve as the central integration and processing hub for all forms of digital messaging. For e-mail marketers, this technology affords the opportunity to constantly monitor the customers' preferences and update strategy accordingly. While this makes the fundamentals of good deliverability easier to achieve, it also changes the whole dynamic of deliverability management.

Next generation message management platforms offer the promise of 'adaptive delivery' — the process of proactively looking at your delivery results and adjusting your sending parameters in real time to maximize the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and safeguard your reputation and brand.

With adaptive delivery, actions today occur in real time as part of a smart sending platform. Based on instant feedback on the reasons for e-mail disposition (delivered, bounced, blocked), the speed at which messages are sent, frequency of retries and other delivery parameters are automatically adjusted. E-mail marketers can proactively intervene and resolve problems.

As a multi-tenant, networked utility, adaptive delivery can be a boon for enterprises and ESPs alike. They can better manage their delivery risks by segregating mail streams by class of mail or sender and by isolating problems associated with a single list or mailing.

Of course, if your marketing practices are amiss, no technology can save you. But adaptive deliverability can be a powerful proactive tool. It's time to retire the bogeyman so e-mail marketers can focus on their essential tasks of building customer loyalty and generating revenue, rather than the mechanics of managing deliverability.

Dave Lewis is CMO of Message Systems. Reach him at


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