In order to obtain contact information from an individual, and therefore create an Audience Profile, you must have their consent. This consent must be freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous; meaning that when individuals provide you with their information they must do so being aware of its purpose. That being said, it is especially important that you, as an APSIS One user, have a comprehensive policy for your Profiles and keep track of their consent in your Audience. The most efficient way to gain consent is through double opt-in, which ensures that Profiles confirm their consent to receive your Email tool activities.
Audience in APSIS One serves as your consent management platform, where you can keep track of Profile data stored in Consent lists and Topics. Profile data acquired with consent can be imported into your Audience manually with the File Import Wizard and the help of the APSIS One APIs. With the Website tool, you can automate your consent management process by creating Signup bars, Forms, Cookie banners, etc. However, there are a few things you must take care of when handling Profile data that are particularly relevant when it comes to email deliverability.
In this article
Consent and Deliverability
Since your deliverability rates reflect how successful you are at reaching your Profile's inboxes, it is important that you have a comprehensive overview of the Profiles that you are sending communications to. The factors associated with consent that may affect your deliverability are Profile engagement and Consent list hygiene. The most effective way to make sure that your Profiles have given their explicit consent to your communications is by enabling Double Opt-In.
In APSIS One, consent is most easily managed when Profiles confirm their subscription through Double Opt-In. Double Opt-In is a type of opt-in which ensures explicit consent to communicate with your Profiles. Once a registration form is filled out by the Profile, a confirmation email is sent. After the Profile confirms their subscription, they gain a new type of consent: Confirmed Opt-In. Read more about consent here.
It is recommended that you use Double Opt-In in your Section to maintain good consent list hygiene. Double opt-in also allows you to build a list of Profiles who are really interested in engaging with your brand and are more likely to respond positively to your communications.
Promoting Profile merge also means that through Double Opt-In, you can enhance your Audience with rich Profile data that lets you know exactly how Profiles are interacting with your website.
Looking to enable Double Opt-in?
Haven't enabled Double Opt-In in your Section yet? Head over here to find out how.
Afterwards, you can enable Double Opt-in in a Signup bar's Messaging step, or in a Form's Terms & Conditions or Consent Element.
How often do you send email communications? Do you create relevant, tailored content? How's your website traffic?
By keeping a steady schedule of email communications that are attractive to your Profiles, you ensure that you make the required effort to keep Profiles opening and reading your emails. Your website plays a big part on this process as well, since it must be kept relevant to your brand and remain attractive to your Profiles. This sort of engagement (website interactions and response data) is crucial to identifying active Profiles.
Active Profiles are those who are actively engaging with your brand. They open and perhaps even click your emails, browse your website every now and then and overall are a part of your Email Reports.
Inactive Profiles, on the other hand, can be tricky to identify. This is due to the fact that different businesses may have different definitions of what constitutes an inactive Profile. It is important that you are able to differentiate between a historically and a periodically inactive Profile.
Periodically inactive Profiles are those who may spend a significant amount of time without interacting directly with your brand, whether it comes to your website or email communications. These Profiles may engage with you every now and then, whether it is to complete a purchase that they only do every so often, or happened to check their email after an attractive campaign. They may, as well, not engage with your brand in any way for a specific period of time, for whatever reason, but are likely to interact with your brand again in the near to mid-term future.
Historically inactive Profiles have been inactive either since the moment that they first opted-in to your communications, or for a long period of time. There is a very low likelihood that these Profiles will engage with your brand in the mid-term future, and by sending email communications to them you may end up hurting your deliverability rate. Historically inactive Profiles are more likely to report your emails as spam, especially if they have a hard time locating your unsubscribe links.
Why are Profiles inactive?
Here are a few possible reasons why your otherwise active Profiles may be engaging less and less with your brand.
Are you sending emails too seldom? By sending emails with a steady schedule, you give Profiles enough opportunities to remain engaged with your brand.
What sort of emails are you sending? You must focus on creating value for your Profiles, creating personalised and tailored content that will spark their interest; avoid sending only promotional emails.
Are you sending the right emails to the right Profiles? With a comprehensive Consent list and Topic setup, you can keep track of which Profiles have expressed their interest in your brand and why. Use Audience segments both for your email sendouts and filtered content to appeal to what they find interesting about your brand. If your content doesn't resonate with the Profiles, it is unlikely that they will continue to engage.
How many emails is too many emails? If you send emails too frequently, they may not feel as inclined to opening them. Also, sometimes Profiles can receive too many emails from different businesses, and if your emails don't stand out from the crowd they can easily go unnoticed.
Consent List Hygiene
The number of Profiles in your Audience doesn't always determine the success of your email campaigns. Sending to more addresses will not necessarily improve your marketing efforts compared to sending to the right addresses, but may actually result in harming your deliverability rates and your sender reputation.
Maintaining good consent list hygiene is an important step for all marketers: not only will it ensure that your carefully designed Emails are reaching the correct Profiles and those more likely to interact with your brand, but will dramatically decrease the likelihood that Profiles will ignore your Emails, or report them as Spam.
Enabling Double Opt-In is the most effective way to maintain consent list hygiene. Confirmed Opt-In will be achieved when Profiles subscribe to your Email activities through a Sign-up bar or Form, and your Consent Lists and Topics will be protected from spammers and spambots.
Here's what you can do:
Clean up inactive Profiles.
Identify inactive Profiles and unsubscribe or delete them. You can also create segments for these Profiles and exclude them from receiving your emails. Profiles that match a segment can also be exported in order to unsubscribe or delete them via the File Import Wizard.
Re-engage your inactive Profiles.
You can do different things to re-engage a Profile. For example, you can create a Marketing Automation flow to re-engage your inactive Profiles. If they don't respond positively, you can confidently exclude or remove them from your Audience.
Ask your Profiles to whitelist you.
You may include a message in your Welcome emails, especially to address the cases in which the email may wrongfully land in the spam folder.
Keep track of bounces and spam complaints.
And do not send to Profiles who bounced, unsubscribed or reported your emails as spam.
Use the File Import Wizard sensibly.
Make sure that all addresses are real and provided with consent.
Do not resubscribe Profiles that have unsubscribed unless you've received explicit, informed consent.
Beware of spam traps.
These are email addresses created to identify spam. Since they don't belong to a real individual, sending to a spam trap email address reflects that you obtained the address without consent. There are three types of spam traps:
Do not import files with email addresses or any contact information that was provided by a third party.
Under any circumstance, do not harvest email addresses from websites, buy or rent email lists. It is very difficult if not impossible for you to prove that the individuals provided their consent to email communications, and even more so specifically to your brand's communications. Also, it goes against APSIS' terms of service since it will result in serious consequences including APSIS' servers being blacklisted and hurting its sender reputation (whether a sender can be trusted or not).
Build Segments that target Profiles who have Confirmed Opt-In status.
Building Segments in the Audience tool is a great way to target specific Profiles who have given their consent. While you can't build a Segment specifically based on those Profiles who have given consent, you can for example build them based on Profiles who have clicked on the return message CTA of the Sign-up bar they clicked. Read more about building a Segment here.