& J.Crew on Deliverability Best Practices to Get Into Inboxes

When consumers were originally approached with daily emails from their favorite deal providers, such as Gilt or Groupon advertising 20% off of luxury doggie day care or two-for-one cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery, there were few deliverability issues.

But, as emails like those multiplied, customers started to avoid messages that appeared to be selling them something.
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Even more frustrating to companies like J.Crew and, was that email servers like Gmail have started to separate a customer’s regular correspondence from those emails that are advertising certain deals.

How do retailers go about getting noticed among a sea of other emails attempting to woo customers? Even more importantly, how do retailers avoid getting blacklisted by certain email providers?

Pinny Gniwisch, Founder of the online jewelry store, and a speaker at the email marketing pre-conference summit at eTail East, advises companies to test several different tag-lines targeting different segments of consumers. By testing which tagline works best for which group of people, there is a higher chance of getting emails read by someone who will be actively interested in what you are trying to provide them with. He also explained that at, he and his team try to organize their segments based on the calendar year as well as around a consumers’ needs. For example, male consumers are targeted with emails about Valentine’s Day deals before the holiday, to remind them to buy a present for a significant other or a family member. This allows for a deeper level of email personalization, thus consumers are more likely to open the email.

Nicole Delma, formerly on the email marketing team at J.Crew, and also a speaker at the email pre-conference summit, suggests that companies space out the frequency of their emails based on consumer habits. Rather than having consumers pick the frequency of emails, the emails sent to them should be based on how they respond to the emails that they have already received from your company. If a certain consumer doesn’t respond to 10 of your emails in a row, or even open any of them, then you are at risk of being blacklisted by their email provider as spam content. Thus, rather than sending out blanket emails to all lists of contacts that you have acquired, which may end up getting you blocked from certain inboxes, it is better to tailor the emails you send based on each type of consumer, and their email opening habits, in order to increase deliverability.