If you are a small business owner, email marketing probably isn't the only thing on your mind. You know it drives more ROI than any other digital marketing channel, but you certainly don’t have all day to think about your email strategy. What matters most to you is communicating with your audience in the fastest most efficient way so you can get back to the rest of your business.
For email senders, one of the biggest hurdles with email marketing is running into deliverability issues. There are so many moving pieces to deliverability it can be hard to understand why your mail isn’t reaching the inbox. For email service providers, it is challenging to educate senders on deliverability best practices before problems arise. If you’ve ever experienced delivery problems, you know that there is no "fix it fast and forever" button. Rather than work through the problems, some email senders resign to give up their email program all together when they run into deliverability issues.
"By removing the onus from the user of having to clean their list manually we can improve the experience they have with Flashissue and better retain customers." Phil Hill, CEO
An ESP with a different approach
When we first spoke to Flashissue, we were impressed with its approach as an email service provider, particularly how it addressed the needs of small business owners. Flashissue is an ESP that prides itself on making newsletters fast. It removed many barriers to entry by enabling marketing campaigns to be created, designed, and deployed in a matter of minutes. Phil Hill, CEO of Flashissue, explained to us that for many SMBs, problems with email list hygiene can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
One of his business goals was to be able to offer Flashissue services to senders who have experienced deliverability trouble in the past, but it couldn’t be at the sake of all other Flashissue users. For an email service provider, one sender with a bad email list (i.e. a list that has a high number of undeliverable email addresses) can destroy deliverability for all other users. Meaning, if an ESP has ONE user who deploys mail to a dirty list, the ISPs (like Gmail, AOL, Yahoo) most likely will not accept incoming mail from any other users on that ESP’s platform.
In order to be able to allow any marketer to use its platform and uphold a good sender reputation, one of the biggest hurdles Flashissue had to overcome was email list hygiene. The most friction was occurring during the onboarding process, when a user uploaded an email list for the first time. Knowing whether an email list will bounce before a user sends email is a significant challenge for ESPs, because once it's deployed, the damage is done. To prevent this from happening, Flashissue asks senders flagged with high bounce rates to clean their email list with DataValidation. While this may seem like a hassle, it protects Flashissue's sender reputation from spammers and bad senders who try to pump and dump bad data through the platform.
How Flashissue uses DataValidation's API
Flashissue approached DataValidation with 3 goals in mind:
- Find a way to optimize the onboarding process and accept legitimate senders.
- Pinpoint bad data prior to sending to keep lists from going stale.
- Provide a more positive experience for users around email list hygiene.
By using DataValidation’s API, Flashissue is able to scan the quality of email lists as they are uploaded, helping it identify which senders to accept on the platform. In addition to screening users pre-send for low-quality lists, it needed a way to keep these lists from going bad over time. The DataValidation API can automate the list cleaning process during onboarding, as well as prevent email lists that have been in the system from going stale and causing deliverability problems. Phil explained that while email lists are the holy grail to marketers, they can turn without warning and wreak havoc on deliverability.
"Many of our small business customers are genuinely unaware their mailing list goes stale. If we can relieve some of the hassle of keeping their list current then it frees up time for them." Phil Hill, CEO
Flashissue will soon be able to alert users when list quality diminishes, give actionable and timely feedback to its users, and offer a seamless list cleaning solution. Having a way to remove the friction point between maintaining a good list and all of the other things required for email marketing will not only improve their service and deliverability, but will make a huge impact on the marketers using Flashissue.