Inherent Links Among Reputation, Email Deliverability And ROI

Companies today spend millions of dollars to build trust with their customers. Why invest so much? Simply put: because if customers don't have a basic trust in a company, a marketer won't keep their interest for very long. Trust is developed from a combination of reputation and direct experience.

A company's overall reputation has been built carefully over time through various channels. And now, with the influx of social media, customers have significantly more power to affect a company's reputation. Through social networks, blogs and other user-generated content, customers can share information and opinions about a company at the speed of light. In this age of social media, it is more critical than ever for a company to proactively manage its online reputation.

So how does email and deliverability fit into all this talk of reputation and trust? Each day, email marketers play an important part in building (or degrading) a company's reputation. For example, if email marketers spam or send irrelevant content, this has a negative impact on a company's reputation. And email deliverability affects ROI.



Simultaneously a company's reputation can significantly affect an email reaching the inbox. A company's overall reputation has been built over time through an organization's own efforts, but also by the public at large. Let's say a customer calls a company with an issue about a product. If the company's customer service team handles this issue poorly, the customer has the ability to tell colleagues about the negative experience, post negative comments on numerous online forums and so on. These comments can circulate to thousands of people. The next time this company sends out an email campaign, recipients be¬lieve that this company isn't reputable. They'll mark an email as spam and put it behind bars, affecting how ISPs filter future emails. A strong, positive overall reputation is the bedrock upon which an online reputation and email deliverability are built.

In an evolving online world where a single customer blog post or Twitter comment can travel the globe within a few minutes, using best practices to manage reputation is absolutely critical to create the invaluable customer trust that can launch a company past its competition. If not managed properly, a company's reputation can have far-reaching, negative effects that can be difficult and costly to rebuild. Damages to brand integrity can diminish the effects of marketing efforts and cost a company lost sales opportunities.

A strong reputation is inextricably linked to email deliverability and is a significant area in which email marketers can have a direct impact on their companies' bottom line. Overlooking reputation and deliverability best practices can damage a company's reputation, affect email ROI, and impact people's trust in an organization.

2 comments about "Inherent Links Among Reputation, Email Deliverability And ROI".
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  1. Kurt Johansen from Johansen International, March 29, 2010 at 5:07 p.m.

    Hi David, I believe you are on the money here. Email Marketing is about 1. The List 2. The Relationship with the list and 3. The offer you are making. All three need to be congruent. Cheers Kurt - Email Mastery

  2. Tami Forman from Return Path, March 31, 2010 at 10:05 p.m.

    David -- Great column. Of course marketers live and die by numbers. If you can't measure it then it doesn't count. That's why we encourage marketers to check their Sender Score ( and then monitor if their Score changes over time. By assigning a number to email reputation we give marketers something they can measure against ... we find our clients feel that reputation becomes more grounded and easier to manage.

    Tami M. Forman
    Return Path

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