What is Managed Inbox Optimization for email marketing?

August 24, 2019 by Lauren Donovan


Rethinking your email strategy requires combining the elements of deliverability and optimizing for subscriber engagement.

This post, the third installment in our series on marketing to the managed inbox, was written by Jennifer Cannon and originally appeared on MarTech Today.Reaching the managed inbox is a multi-layered process that involves a growing number of marketing resources and is more challenging than ever before. Thanks to the rise of malicious email practices, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have doubled-down on email security practices.It is critical to improve our reputations with ISPs through establishing trust with our subscribers. To do that, we need Managed Inbox Optimization (MIO). Managed Inbox Optimization is the practice of proactively managing deliverability, optimizing email content for subscriber engagement and analyzing results to maintain and improve your standing with subscribers and ISPs to ensure inbox placement.

ISPs and other services are managing your subscribers’ inboxes

ISPs are adapting to new spammer tactics and threats to protect their networks, and ever-changing methods will continue to challenge marketers. Ever-evolving algorithms flag images and keywords as malicious content and block emails from reaching the targeted inbox.Third-party applications allow users to automate how they prioritize their inboxes. And while new standards and practices — like Brand Indicators for Messaging Identification (BIMI) — are in development to help email users, marketers need to be more involved than ever to ensure their messaging reaches subscribers.

MIO delivers positive email marketing results

For marketers, Managed Inbox Optimization is the only named strategy that incorporates all of the elements of engaging email and technicalities of deliverability to ensure inbox placement. “In today’s deliverability landscape these things go hand in hand – increase your positive engagement and increase your inbox placement rates. If you’re reactively trying to fix problems you’re already in second place. To win the race, you need to proactively be measuring and improving your email marketing to increase results,” said Kate Barrett, owner and director of e-Focus Marketing and author of E-telligence: Email marketing isn’t dead, the way you’re using it is.“Without a managed inbox approach to your email marketing, all the time and effort you’ve spent on creating an email and actually getting it out the door is wasted. Your subscribers won’t see it!” said Barrett “Getting your emails to the inbox and therefore giving them the best chance of being seen and acted upon by your subscribers is crucial.”

Marketers need to know the state of their email programs

To get started with Managed Inbox Optimization, take a comprehensive look at your email marketing program. Evaluate your email metrics, subscriber lists and segmentation practices. Looking at your metrics will help you understand where you have room for improvement, particularly when it comes to relationships with ISPs.“Actually understanding the situation you’re currently in when it comes to your IPR (inbox placement rates) and the factors that are positively and negatively affecting this is key,” said Barrett. “Without a view of where you are right now, you’re flying blind in terms of pinpointing the areas that need your attention going forward.”I’ll be presenting on Managed Inbox Optimization during two sessions at MarTech East in Boston, September 16-18. I hope to see you there!

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