It’s a sad fact that Covid-19 has brought about an abrupt halt to people’s livelihoods. Individuals are being furloughed-and in some cases-even losing their jobs.
With that in mind, the construction marketer needs to be aware that people just aren’t as contactable as they once were, and this means that you may have to adjust your strategy in order to reach out to the right people.
From an email marketing perspective, those who have sadly lost their jobs will have inevitably had their email accounts switched off, meaning that your email campaigns will not achieve the level of engagement you’re aiming for, causing your bounce rate to soar.
We want to avoid this at every possible opportunity as a consistently high bounce rate will cause you to get penalised by your service provider-affecting your ability to send future campaigns. And of course, you want people to actually read your emails.
This blog sets out to give you some useful tips and tricks to reduce your email bounce rate, ensuring the right people read your emails.
What is email bounce rate?
When an email gets “bounced” back to you, it means that the email cannot reach the intended recipient and, therefore, must be returned to the sender with a notification of its bounced status.
It’s the same way that physical mail works: if there’s something wrong with the address, the letter gets redirected to the return address.
A bounce “rate” measures the percentage of how often your emails get bounced back to you. Ideally, you want to keep this figure as low as possible so as not to incur any future repercussions which will tarnish your deliverability in the future.
A “bounce” is classified as a “hard” or “soft” bounce, with the latter being the less severe of the two. We have a detailed blog which explores hard and soft bounces further. Click here to read more.
In short, a hard bounce is a permanent delivery failure. This could be as a result of an invalid, erroneous address, an outdated domain, or an address that has fallen out of use. We recommend that you remove hard bounces from your mailing list. Normally, software should do this automatically, but if it doesn't, then keep your records up to date manually to prevent your bounce rate from deteriorating further.
A soft bounce is a temporary delivery failure that can occur if there’s an issue with the receiving server, the recipient’s mailbox is full or the receiving server may have identified the email as too large.
The key to a low bounce rate is to keep your CRM carefully maintained and ensuring your data is sourced with opt-in permission.
What does Covid-19 have to do with it?
As mentioned before, email accounts that have been closed (due to lost jobs or furloughed staff) will affect your email deliverability and thus increase your bounce rate.
Your bounce rate should be a joint responsibility for sales and marketing
During this unusual state of furlough and job loss, it’s critical that marketers share bounce data with the sales team. This will ensure that they update the CRM with alternate contacts.
For example, if you receive a bounce back auto-response that says something along the lines of:
Due to Coronavirus Covid-19 I am currently a furloughed employee of X company.
Arrangements have however been made for cover of my projects in my absence. I would be grateful if you could therefore please liaise with our Design Director, X X until my return:
- XXXXX XXX XXX [phone number]
Thank you and I look forward to working with you in the future.
… This should be forwarded to a member of your sales team so that the contact can be updated immediately.
The idea of updating a contact based on their organisation leads me to my next topic of ‘Account-Based Marketing’, or ABM as it is commonly known.
Taking an ABM approach
For those of you actively communicating with your target audience during this time, you’ll notice that there are many architectural practices, for example, who have had to resort to furlough, which is why an ABM program is a good way to acquire new contacts at the companies where you are seeing ‘bounces’ from.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with ABM, it’s essentially a strategy that directs marketing resources to engaging a specific set of target accounts.
In the example above, you will have noticed that the auto-response provided further details of another member of the team, giving the sales team a new contact to add to their CRM.
Another approach may be to explore the companies that you’re receiving bounce backs from and look them up on LinkedIn. By searching for an organisation, you have the ability to identify the people that work there.
This gives the sales rep the opportunity to target more than one person within the organisation.
It’s important to acknowledge that a small number of bounces is to be expected, but preventing a large number of bounces is something that is in your control.
Aligning your sales and marketing activities to ensure that the right message gets sent to the right person is a crucial step in addressing your email bounce rate during Covid-19.
If email marketing is a strategy that you feel needs further development, get in touch today. As experts in digital marketing strategy within the building products and construction industry, Insynth works closely alongside you to deliver campaigns that help educate your audience of architects and specifiers, building trusting professional relationships.
As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website design, SEO, content marketing, email marketing, sales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.