There’s a lot of shiny stuff going on in marketing right now, from the potential of wearable technology to in-app advertising to the Internet of Things (IoT). But two decidedly not shiny principles continue to stand as pillars of email marketing: email deliverability and email analytics.

I say this because it’s true, but I say it now because of Andrew Bonar’s recent summation of the movers and shakers in the email industry. (Admittedly it’s not that recent, but we were so busy prepping for and being at MarketingSherpa Summit 2016 that this is my first chance to react to Andrew’s post!)

In his post, 2015 Year in Review: Movers and Shakers, Andrew says:

What was confirmed as a result of the exercise, and quite clearly highlighted is the burgeoning size of the Deliverability, Email Intelligence & Analytics sector within the industry. The number of individuals moving to roles in that sector and some of the commercial deals being struck that reconfirm this.

The first email marketing basic: email deliverability
With all of the new and innovative ways to reach and sell to consumers we have now, including marketing automation and cross-channel marketing, you might wonder why I’m pushing something as basic and elementary as email deliverability. After all, it’s 2016. Haven’t we evolved into much more sophisticated marketers with all kinds of whiz bang technology at our fingertips?

To answer that question, I’m going to change the topic. Let’s talk about learning a foreign language instead. Most—if not all—of us have studied a foreign language in school. Language is complicated! Whether you’re learning Italian or Mandarin, you are going to learn the basics first. You can’t just jump right in and start speaking it right away. You tackle basic vocabulary and pronunciation and grammar, then eventually move on to pronoun usage, subject/verb agreement, conjugation, sentence structure and more, learning the building blocks. And the better the foundation you lay with these building blocks, the faster you’ll reach fluency in the new language.

So it is with email. You have building blocks to master and put into place before you move on to the sophisticated shiny stuff. Email deliverability is one of those building blocks. You can’t learn a language without learning vocabulary just like you can’t succeed at email if you don’t get into inboxes.

All the countless hours you’ve spent on email design, calls to action, subject lines…does any of it matter if your email never reaches the inbox? Nope.

You have countless resources available to you to help you improve email deliverability. Use them. Get that foundation laid. Then move on to the shiny stuff.

The other email marketing basic: email analytics
After getting our emails delivered, we need to see how they performed. A 100% email deliverability rate means nothing if no one opens, clicks on or buys from the messages, right? And the only way to know what is or isn’t working is to use email analytics.

Let’s go back to the foreign language analogy. You know if you’re mastering it when you get what you want. For example, if you’re traveling to a country where the language is spoken and you can find your hotel, an affordable restaurant and the nearest public restroom, you’re doing okay. If, however, you can’t get anyone to understand you, your use of the language might be more of a mystery than a mastery.

Similarly with email marketing, you can gauge your effectiveness by reviewing your email analytics. It doesn’t matter how shiny or fancy your marketing technology if you can’t measure the results, get insight into what’s happening, and react.

As with deliverability, you have plenty of resources to turn to in order to learn more about email analytics, and even some caveats to help you see the big picture when looking for insights. Take some time to get to know what options are out there and how to use them, then put them to use.

Email deliverability and analytics are also similar to the building blocks of language—like grammar and vocabulary—because they will (or should) be with you always. These two foundational principles of email marketing should always be high priorities within your email marketing program, no matter how complex your program becomes or how sophisticated the technology you adapt.

Keep on evolving your digital and email marketing efforts and don’t ever stop looking for ways to get ever more targeted, segmented, relevant and real time. But don’t ever forget to keep your deliverability and analytics rock solid all the time too.

And when you need help with the basic or the complex, call on ClickMail.

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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