The current crisis has put strains on marketing teams in a number of different ways. In fact, marketing teams have ranked the act of simply shifting priorities and strategies as a key challenge during this time. And rightly so. As the conditions around us evolve, so must we.

However, when it comes to marketing operations teams in particular, the increased focus on customer communications (read: high-volume email demands) translates to additional requests to already full workloads.  Add in the fact that 82% of organizations have stopped or paused hiring in the wake of COVID-19 (The Revenue Collective, April 2020) and this means that teams are managing an increased workload without any additional help for this high-volume email time.

As organizations shift to new initiatives, the focus on email communication likely isn’t going to die down anytime soon— and MOPS teams will surely feel the squeeze. But, this is also where marketing operations can add immense value, ensuring your brand message reaches the inbox and doesn’t harm your sender reputation.

Protecting Your Sender Reputation

As you look at an increase in email send volume, it’s important to consider how you’re grouping within Marketo in order to safeguard your sender reputation. Between shared groups, trusted groups, and dedicated IPs, each has a purpose and function that should be kept in mind in order to avoid damaging your sender reputation as a result of increased volume. Just what are the differences?

“In a shared group model, you’re relying on the overall reputation of the senders in the group. This is where you can leverage existing platforms and behaviors to have positive deliverability, especially for new clients,” remarked Oz Platero, Perkuto Consultant. “Still, it doesn’t mean that you can operate fast and loose.”

Alternatively, if you’re using trusted groups to help boost deliverability rates, the caveat is that you’re responsible for being diligent to avoid blacklisting and spam traps. Take added caution here: if you do hit a spam trap, Marketo may temporarily move you to a penalty box.

Different still, when it comes to sending on a dedicated IP, you’re solely responsible for the patterns and behaviors on that IP.

“Typically you want to work with an experienced consultant to come up with a game plan when operating on a dedicated IP,” Oz said. “At a high level, you’ll focus on establishing all authentication prior to sending any emails and establish a warm-up plan for sending out emails in predetermined volumes. Next, you’ll slowly ramp up the volume of sending activity, spanning the sends across several days, taking care to examine recipient domains to be careful not to overwhelm any particular email service provider.”

Leveraging Segmentation to Localize Your Message

When stay-at-home orders begin to lift and some businesses reopen, remember that this will still likely be a long process, heavily dependent upon location. Use segmentation to get granular during these inevitably murky times, as the messaging appropriate for one geographic area may be insensitive to another.

Use segmentation to get granular during these inevitably murky times, as the messaging appropriate for one geographic area may be insensitive to another. Click To Tweet

Use caution, too, with direct references to “COVID-19.” Unfortunately, there are some people out there who are trying to take advantage of this situation. In fact, right now there are more than 240 million daily spam emails launched at Gmail users, attempting to capitalize on the crisis. 18 million of those emails are blocked. That said, subject lines that directly call out “COVID-19” and “coronavirus” are on high alert, and have a higher incidence of being booted to spam.

Monitoring Inactives

Keep in mind: everyone is going through an immensely complicated time right now. If you’re noticing that customers who are regularly active with your content are not engaging currently, it may not be a true read of inactivity. Hold off on marking them inactive or pushing people to win-back campaigns right now; they may warm back up naturally as time goes on.

Don’t worry: win-back campaigns will still have their place. While a straightforward campaign timeline may be suspended right now, these will be more appropriate as life begins to transition back to a more normal state. As things open back up and people are able to return to work, win-back campaigns can be re-introduced to your strategy.

Win-back campaigns will still have their place. While a straightforward campaign timeline may be suspended right now, these will be more appropriate as life begins to transition back to a more normal state. Click To Tweet

As the environment of the world continues to evolve over the next months, don’t be afraid to act as a gatekeeper to protect your sender reputation during a high-volume email time. The same goes for shifting traditional methods of evaluating message effectiveness  – adapting to be more perceptive of your database will serve you well both now and in the future.

If your marketing operations team is feeling the squeeze during this pandemic period, talk to us— we have a number of resources to help. From our Jeto offer to automate campaign execution in Marketo to providing run and operate services, Perkuto is here to support you. Start the conversation to discuss your specific situation— let us ease your stress!