Answers to the Email Deliverability Quiz 2013

By December 3, 2013 No Comments

Edit on 2013/12/12: We’ve closed the contest – thanks to everyone who participated. The winner, chosen from our pool of 10 top scorers, will be announced Tuesday, December 17th, 2013. Cheers!

What’s the most defining factor that determines today’s deliverability?

Correct Answer: Engagement

“The major email providers are already using, or plan to use, a broad set of engagement metrics to determine inbox placement, not just clicks and opens as has been widely reported, to determine the level of user engagement for different senders.”
Tom Sathers, How Engagement Metrics Influence Deliverability.

What’s the approximate percentage of emails today that are opened on mobile devices?

Correct Answer: 40% or higher

“Mobile opens hit a plateau from May through July, but August saw a 3% leap and mobile opens now represent 47% of market share—a new record high, and nearly a 24% change since a year ago.”
Justine Jordan, Mobile Opens Hit Record High of 47%

After it becomes invalid, what is the shortest time frame for an email address be recycled into a spam trap?

Correct Answer: 6 months

“…the estimated time that an ISP waits to recycle an email address is approximately 6 months.” – Return Path, Best Practice Guide for Marketers: Spam Traps

While the exact time each ISP recycles these addresses has never been made public, we have seen evidence that this happens in as little as 3 months, so it’s very important to keep your list clean by removing people that have not opened/clicked on an on-going basis.

How important is authentication?

Correct answer: Important

“As a legitimate business, authentication is not optional; rather it is essential to securing your brand and online reputation…It’s important to note that email authentication like SPF and DKIM will not solve your deliverability problems.”
Return Path, Best Practice Guide for Marketers: Email Authentication

Ideally, my open rate should be…

Correct Answer: Over 20%

“When fellow newsletter creators hear that the open rates of Quibb’s daily digest email hover between 50% and 70%… People are curious to hear what has worked to keep the open rate so high.”
Sandi MacPherson, How Quibb Keeps Daily Email Open Rates between 50% and 70%

The article includes tips such as testing subject format, using double-opt in to get people to sign up, and “keep[ing your list] clean in order to maximize open rates [by placing contacts who haven’t opened an email recently] into an “inactive” state and are no longer sent the daily digest.”

Which of the following won’t hurt your deliverability?

Correct answer: 1 % Unsubscribe rate

“When people become disinterested by the emails you send them, they’ll either flag you as spam or click unsubscribe. The first will hurt an organization in the long run, but “when someone leaves your program by clicking [an unsubscribe] link, they are leaving your program on mutual terms.”
Andre Kordek, Embracing The Unsubscribe Link Location

Is it okay to use to my list if  I haven’t sent to it in the past 12 months?

Correct answer: No.

Remember how emails can become spam traps in 6 months? (It was Question 3!) For that reason, you should also avoid using lists that are older than 6 months. If you must contact them, first go through the process of a reconfirmation campaign.

HTML Emails should be coded the same way websites are coded

Correct answer: False

“For all of these clients, the concept of “HTML support” does not mean that they can process the full range of HTML that a web browser can handle.”
Wikipedia, Comparison of email clients > Features > General features

Under Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), express consent never expires

Correct answer: True

An express consent never expires, and is valid until the individual withdrawals consent.
Email Experience Council, Consent Matters:What the Canadian Privacy Legislations (CASL) Mean to Email Marketers

I need a physical address at the bottom of my email.

Correct Answer: True

To be compliant with CAN-SPAM and CASL legislation, as well as the terms of use of most email marketing service providers, you must provide a physical address in your email, whether you are based in or outside the US and Canada – emails that are delivered by or to emails in those nations are subject to their respective legislation. We even wrote a blog post about it a while back.

Under Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), which of the following is an example of “express” consent?

Correct answer: Express consent is permission given by writing out an email address or checking a box

“[E]xpress consent requires a positive or explicit indication of consent, express consent can be obtained through opt-in consent mechanisms.”
Compliance and Enforcement Information Bulletin CRTC 2012-549

Note: The first example is “implied” consent.

Under Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL), how long do I have to turn “implied” consent resulting from a purchase into “express” consent?

Correct Answer: 24 months

“Implied consent expires…in two years if an existing client doesn’t buy something new or doesn’t renew their subscription, loan, account or contract.”

Deloitte, Managing the Message: Canada’s new anti-spam law sets a higher bar.

If I’ve been blacklisted, the easiest way to deal with the issue is to change providers or change my Domain Name

Correct Answer: False

You need to understand what caused the problem at it’s root, and not shift the issue so it comes back to bite you in the keister later on. In case you need help, here’s a quick list of things to do.

All double opt-in does is add an extra step for nothing

Correct answer: False

A double opt-in method ensures that only the true owner of the email address can sign up and confirm their subscription – therefore generating very few complaints, if any. It also prevents you from adding any incorrectly typed, role-based or spam trap addresses to your list as they will never complete the confirmation process. See all the differenced between opt-in or opt-out methods, with the pros and cons for each.

All I need to land the inbox is to be CAN-SPAM compliant

Correct answer: False

CAN SPAM compliance is inherently important, but won’t singlehandedly ensure you land in the Inbox. Trust for the brand, sender reputation and domain authentication are other key factors in hitting the inbox.

The number of people who unsubscribe won’t affect whether or not I get blacklisted

Correct Answer: True

You’ll get blacklisted for a variety of reasons, including high levels of SPAM complaints, non-adherence to CAN-SPAM legislation and having purchased your list. You won’t be punished if you make it easy, quick and painless for people to tell you they want to unsubscribe.

It’s better to have an open rate of 10% on 5,000 emails sent than 50% on 1,000 emails sent.

Correct answer:  False

You’re far better off having a higher open rate on a smaller list than continually emailing people that don’t open your emails. This directly impacts your engagement rate and ISPs look at this when deciding whether to deliver your emails to the Inbox.

Segmenting my list is likely to improve deliverability of my email campaigns.

Correct answer: True

“Sending relevant content will keep your readers engaged, and engaged readers look forward to your newsletter and share it with friends.”

Kate Kiefer Lee, 15 Email Marketing Tips for Small Businesses, Forbes

By avoiding words like  “FREE”  I make sure my email campaign lands in the Inbox.

Correct answer: False

Using “spam triggers” ad nauseum certainly won’t help your email getting delivered, but a lot has changed since the days were SPAM filters were limited to trigger words. Engagement, being whitelisted (marked as a contact or safe sender) by your recipients is far more important.

Engagement is just a ring or words used in Star Trek. It has nothing to do with email Marketing

Correct answer: False

We’re hitting this one pretty hard, aren’t we? Engagement (a measure of the number of people who open your email, click on links versus the total number of people to whom the email was sent) is going to carry the most weight in the coming months. Engage!

BONUS QUESTION: The CakeMail Deliverability Team rocks?

If you answered False to this question… you will be getting billed for an iPad Air. 😉 In all seriousness, we’d love to hear what you have to say about us! Leave a comment or get in touch.


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Author Kevin Huxham

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