Ask an Expert: Understanding your prospect's inbox behavior

Businesses primarily resort to emails for their marketing. While strategizing, it's important that they understand their prospects' inbox behavior. This helps them track how their prospects use email, as well as their likes and dislikes. In turn, this will help businesses create the most relevant and engaging email campaigns for their audience.

In addition to marketing, analyzing inbox behavior also helps carry out various other business functions. 

To gain insights on email behaviors and how businesses can leverage this, we spoke to Liviu Tanase, founder and CEO of ZeroBounce, to answer our questions. 

What actions best describe a prospect's inbox behavior, and how can businesses use this information to craft the perfect email campaign?

Businesses can benefit significantly from analyzing their email marketing metrics regularly. This data paints a clear picture of prospects’ interests and how companies can best serve them. Here are a few aspects business owners and email marketers should pay attention to:

  • Click rates: These indicate the level of engagement among recipients as clicks drive critical actions such as visiting a page and making a purchase. You can improve click rates by segmenting your audience and targeting each group with highly personalized campaigns. 

  • Conversion rates: These show how effective an email campaign is in convincing prospects to complete a desired action. Boosting conversions gets easier when you segment and personalize your email campaigns.

  • Forward and reply rates: These convey valuable feedback on an email campaign’s relevance. This type of engagement is quite important, and it shows how much your audience resonates with your emails. 

  •  Unsubscribe rates: Every email prompts people to unsubscribe, but you must pause and reassess your strategy when this metric is high. In many instances, it’s a matter of find your content's niche and adjusting your sending schedule.

  • Bounce rates: Indicating the number of emails that don’t get delivered, bounce rates play a role in email deliverability. When this metric exceeds 2%, emails may land in spam, so senders must validate their email lists and remove obsolete contacts. 

Businesses that see consistent email marketing ROI pay attention to all these metrics and use them to improve their campaigns. Each action they take will impact their overall performance – and the more they focus on fixing a certain metric, the better the result.

According to you, what insights does one gain from analyzing prospects' inbox behavior?

Analyzing how people behave in their inboxes – whether in response to your emails or just in general – gives you a tremendous opportunity to improve your campaigns. For instance, a survey we conducted at ZeroBounce recently showed us that 66% of people prefer short emails. That has shaped the way we craft our newsletters and campaigns – now my team is more mindful of the length of emails. Another important fact from the ZeroBounce Email Statistics Report is that 40% of consumers check their inboxes hoping they’ll find brand discounts. So, while your prospects may appreciate an educational nurturing campaign, they also respond well to special offers – in fact, they’re actually seeking them. Finally, an eye-opening statistic for me and my team was that 47% of people don’t judge an email based on its subject line. Instead, they click to open it if that sender has consistently sent them useful emails. Email marketers have been notoriously obsessing over subject lines. While important, this study shows they aren’t the main driver of open rates.

What is the most common reason people unsubscribe from email lists?

Most people unsubscribe from an email list because they get too many emails from that sender. It’s a practice of which many businesses are guilty, especially during promotional campaigns. Reaching out to your audience regularly fosters trust and good email deliverability. However, if a prospect signed up for your weekly newsletter and they got a deluge of sales emails instead, you’ve lost their trust. The best way to determine the right sending schedule is to allow your subscribers to choose preferences. If the technology you use doesn’t allow you to do this, keep a close eye on unsubscribe rates and spam complaint rates. When irritated, some subscribers will skip the unsubscribe process and just report your emails as spam. Spam reports have a terrible impact on your sender-reputation and can cause mailbox providers to direct your emails to spam.

What measures can be implemented to ensure emails are delivered promptly to recipients' inboxes, given that some individuals rarely check their spam folders?

Everything you do as a sender determines your email deliverability, which describes an email reaching a recipient in the inbox. However, some actions matter more than others. Here are a few good habits every email marketer can develop:

  • Build an opt-in email list: Purchasing email contacts may be tempting, but engagement rates will be low. Emailing prospects who’ve never heard of you will also cause a spike in spam complaint rates. That will send your email straight to the junk folder. Build your own list instead and get permission before adding any new contacts.

  • Validate your email database: On average, about a quarter of your email list becomes invalid and obsolete every year. Poor-quality data results in high bounce rates – and that causes your future campaigns to land in the spam folder. Use an email verification service to weed out obsolete contacts.

  • Authenticate your emails: It’s been a recommended practice for years, but recently, Google and Yahoo made email authentication mandatory. Protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC ensure your domain is protected and your emails can get past spam filters. 

  • Send relevant, engaging content: The more prospects resonate with your emails, the more likely your emails are to land in the inbox. Your click rates are an indication of relevance, and mailbox providers reward relevant senders by allowing them to be seen. Email deliverability is something you earn through consistent effort and treating your customers and prospects like you’d want to be treated. 

How can businesses ensure they have the right prospects in hand for email marketing?

The best prospects are potential buyers businesses manage to attract, usually through inbound marketing initiatives. Those prospects are already interested in the solutions you offer to their problems and appreciate the education they may get from your channels. Capturing those prospects’ email addresses is the most reliable way to ensure you can stay in touch. However, poor-quality customer data is so prevalent that you need to check every entry into your email list and CRM system. Validating your entire database once a quarter helps identify and remove contacts that have gone bad. A more proactive approach is to verify every contact before adding it to your list and block fake or invalid email addresses. Doing this at the point of capture prevents poor-quality data from infecting your database. 

If you’re a Zoho CRM user, you have an advantage as you can use the ZeroBounce email validator right into your CRM account. It checks every email instantly, avoiding bounces and maintaining healthy email deliverability rates. 

Besides marketing, what business function does ZeroBounce support for Zoho users?

ZeroBounce’s core product is its email verification service, which helps businesses ensure their marketing email lists are clean and accurate. However, besides marketing, ZeroBounce can support Zoho users by improving overall data management. Data quality is paramount for various business functions:

  • Transactional messages: Before they even begin using email for marketing purposes, businesses must ensure that critical transactional messages reach their customers. By keeping invalid data away, ZeroBounce helps users get their most important emails to their inbox. 

  • Lead generation: Companies invest time and effort into lead generation, and need to be sure the leads they gather are valid and real. Users of Zoho’s lead generation tools can capture new prospects from any platform and use ZeroBounce to verify them. 

  • Sales: Sales teams communicate more effectively with prospects and customers when they use valid email addresses. ZeroBounce’s email validator keeps CRM data up-to-date and helps professionals connect with genuine customers.

  • Customer service. To provide timely customer support, teams need to operate with healthy data. ZeroBounce ensures the integrity of email data, thus reducing missed opportunities and boosting customer satisfaction. 

Overall, ZeroBounce’s email validation service supports various business functions within Zoho. Beyond marketing, it ensures data accuracy, helps users communicate better and enhances business operations.

What distinguishes ZeroBounce from its competitors?

Three key differentiators have always distinguished ZeroBounce from its competitors.

  • Email validation accuracy. Our software is 99% accurate, and we stand by that promise with a money-back guarantee. The quality of our email validator has been a huge driver of word-of-mouth and has helped us gain the trust of more than 300,000 customers.

  • Data security. It’s a priority at ZeroBounce. We’ve taken significant steps to ensure compliance with all relevant privacy laws such as GDPR, SOC 2 Type 2, ISO 27001, and even HIPAA. 

  • Customer support. ZeroBounce has always offered 24/7 live customer support. Our team across the U.S. and Europe is available day and night to answer any questions and guide our customers on the platform. 

Throughout the years, we’ve added a few extra perks to our pillar differentiators. To help our customers save time and money on their email marketing, we’ve added additional features to the platform. Some of them include an email blacklist checker, email authentication tools, and an email finder. This variety of features helps us stand out in the marketplace and continue to offer our customers the quality service they deserve. 

About ZeroBounce

ZeroBounce is an email verification, deliverability, and email-finding platform helping 300,000+ customers achieve email success. Its accurate email validation service removes obsolete and risky email addresses to help senders prevent bounces and maintain a good reputation.

ZeroBounce integrates with Zoho CRM to help users validate existing emails in Zoho CRM. Users can seamlessly get rid of bounces, complaints, and spam caused by invalid or fraudulent email addresses.

Check out ZeroBounce Email Validator for Zoho CRM


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