3 Steps to Turn a Vicious Email Program Victorious


It happens. Before you can say “Sender Reputation,” your email program that ran like clockwork falls off the tracks. Suddenly, you’ve fallen into a vicious email marketing cycle.

You don’t know what happened, but you recognize the symptoms:

  • Your ROI is decreasing or nonexistent
  • You have inbox delivery issues, with Gmail being a serial offender
  • You aren’t tightly targeting your audience based on digital behavior
  • You can’t extract more transactions and loyalty from top responders
  • You aren’t getting inbox delivery boosts from your biggest fans
  • You find your team looking for answers and strategic leadership in data marketing
  • You aren’t getting enough capability and assistance from your current ESP

Your next steps? Become a detective. The good news is that with a little investigative insight, you can break the cycle and turn your email program around. Following these 3 steps will help you WIN better delivery and consistent ROI from your biggest asset – your data.


  1. Discover root causes of delivery and ROI issues
  2. Solve those root causes using insights from performance data
  3. Engage your audience with methodical proven messaging dialogues

Of course that’s easier said than done. But, by rolling up your sleeves, diving into the data and methodically plotting what works and doesn’t, you’ll be rewarded by a victorious program.


Win – Increased Open Rates
Win – Increased Purchases
Win – Reduced Bulk Email Cost


Ready to get started?

1) Discover – Create, gather and plot performance data


The first step is to generate and track performance data across email, websites and display ads to feed insight. The data will set the baseline, and identify unique strengths and systemic liabilities.
With all the information to sift through, this can be a tedious, but it is the key to finding solutions to your email conundrum. Make sure you track the good, along with the bad. These successful tactics will be the cornerstones to rebuilding your program.


2) Solve – Plot and analyze data to develop action plan

From the data you have analyzed, two key actions take place in this step:

  • Identify a set of positives that will drive transformation.
  • Eliminate negative practices that drain results.


Identify the positive by asking…

Do we have loyal brand fans to develop and leverage?
What messages and offers drove high response?
How do we utilize high response messages to build reputation and recapture inactives?
What are the high velocity product interest segments? Are they profitable?
What is the volume of interest-based messages that we can send?

(or turn around) any of these negative practices you recognize . . .

Confirm if “spray-and-pray” is driving a vicious cycle
Questionable reputation status of ESP, Domain and ISPs
Inadequate tracking of online behaviors
Inadequate performance reporting
Poor dialogue marketing plan
Business model not conducive to data marketing

At the end of this phase you will have an understanding of what was working for you, and what was dragging your program down. With this knowledge, you will be prepared to develop a plan and take actions that produce successful ROI.


3) Engage – Complete your transformation through positive action
You have done the hard work and eliminated negative practices and sends to non-active audiences to stop your negative ROI spiral. Now it’s time to use your winning combination of data marketing and tactics to transition to reputation building and process repair.


Implement high engagement marketing campaigns that will:

A.) Retain current active audience
B.) Drive high volume traffic to drive behavior to drive segmentation

  • Focus on responders.
  • Use behavior triggers.
  • Reinforce brand to clickers and openers through display ads.
  • Use contests & surveys to increase engagement.
  • Develop cross sell and product lifecycle drips.

Once you have your program back on track, you can incorporate these tactics for increased engagement and ROI:

  • “Single burst” dialogue triggers based on website activity
  • Automatically send “add us to Gmail Premium folder’ incentives
  • “Interest-based” message streams
  • Lifecycle marketing streams – product based
  • Life Event Triggers – birthdays, anniversaries, customer anniversary
  • Gamification and loyalty system
  • Frequency settings that protect your brand reputation and relationships

Remember, successful email marketing is a dynamic process. Once you have turned your program around, you cannot rest. Keep analyzing data and making adjustments. By eliminating what doesn’t work and focusing on what is driving engagement, you will be rewarded with measureable benefits and ROI.

Increased Open Rates
Increased Purchases
Reduced Bulk Email Cost