What is email deliverability and why does it matter to collections?

By on April 16th, 2020 in Product and Technology

Without the ability to successfully deliver your collection emails to a consumer’s inbox, email cannot be a successful collection method for your agency.  Email deliverability is the measure of the ability to successfully deliver an email to a user’s inbox. It is perhaps the most relevant KPI in an email-first digital collection strategy.  Several factors can influence whether or not your emails even reach people including spam filters, sending times and volume, and even the content of the message itself.

Want to learn more about building a scalable email strategy? Check out these tips from our team of deliverability experts!

A high deliverability rate then means that you are creating the right content, sharing it at the right time, and engaging your consumers. By measuring engagement through clicks, you can combine these statistics with an online payment portal to create an easily-tracked customer journey to payment without ever picking up the phone. 

Pivoting to tracking deliverability rates, clicks, online payment totals, and payment plans created creates a full digital ecosystem of KPIs with better engagement than traditional call-to-collect models. Here are a few tips for making email an effective part of your collections strategy.

Borrow email metrics from marketing experts

Our own email deliverability experts have years of experience working in the digital marketing space. KPIs like open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates aren’t just for marketing teams working on generating leads, they can offer insight into the effectiveness of your collections efforts and help you understand whether or not you’re actually reaching your consumers. 

Tracking deliverability rates, clicks, online payment totals, and payment plans created creates a full digital ecosystem of KPIs with better engagement than traditional call-to-collect models. This is a lot of data to keep track of, and digital debt collection tools can provide some assistance in tracking digital and other tracking performance data

Emails also don’t depend on urgency in the same way that phone calls do. Customers appreciate the convenience of managing their finances on their own time (25% of our customers access their accounts outside of the call hours designated of 8am-9pm by the TCPA). Analyzing open rates for different send times provides a deeper understanding of when your consumers like to be reached.

Email marketing metrics not only accomplish the same goals as more traditional call-based KPIs, but you also have an even clearer vision of your collections performance.

Authenticate and build domain reputation 

Email authentication allows ISPs (Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, etc.) to properly identify an email’s sender. Any time an email is sent to and reaches a consumer, you are representing your company’s brand and reputation with that email. The actual process of email authentication requires the implementation of several authentication standards:

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

This allows the owner of a domain to determine which servers their emails are sent from.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)

DKIM is an encryption system that allows the email sender to claim responsibility for a message. That encrypted information can then be verified by the ISP. 

Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)

This standard (and policy-making organization) further expands on these and adds linkage to the author (“From:”) domain name to improve and monitor the protection of the domain from fraudulent email. The DMARC organization continues to update policies related to domain security.

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI)

BIMI helps users to identify brands based on images included alongside their emails. Consider them an email preview profile picture to help users immediately recognize the email’s sender.*

*In order to integrate BIMI, you must have the other three standards mentioned here established first.

Interested in learning more about these standards? The Validity blog has a great series on SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for you to read here

An authenticated domain helps to boost your domain reputation. If your send domain (the part of an email address after the @ sign) has a poor reputation, it is more likely to be relegated to a user’s spam inbox. Taking the proper steps to build authentication standards can secure your reputation against a massive hurdle that you’ll encounter otherwise. 

Validate and increase RPC rates

Email validation is the process of ensuring that the emails you are sending to are valid and deliverable. Where authentication focuses on establishing your own email domains, validation verifies whether or not the consumer email addresses that you have on file are valid emails. 

Sending an email to a non-existent email address will cause the email to bounce; you will receive a notice that the email could not successfully be delivered. A high bounce rate from emailing too many invalid users will be perceived by ISPs as poor list management—a common practice of batch email scammers—and your sender reputation will be damaged and your deliverability will drop.

In the digital collections world, sending to valid email addresses is also directly related to your right party contact rate. By validating your email lists, you can quickly identify which of your consumers have valid contact information in your system. With this information on hand, you can directly reach out to those that do, build your domain reputation, and learn which of your customers you’ll have to reach out to for updated information.

Not every traditional debt collection agency is using email extensively, but it is an invaluable tool in the age of digital communication. Understanding the technical aspects of email deliverability and the challenges that come with properly scaling your digital communications will help you overcome contact hurdles that are more challenging now than ever before.

Are you ready to build a future-proofed digital collections strategy? Get in touch with our team to learn what we can do to help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *