Ken has an article today about how Pro Flowers managed to get their mail out of the bulk folder at Gmail by asking their recipients for help.
This year, ProFlowers apparently took into account Gmail’s use of sender reputation and user engagement in its spam filtering rules by using subject lines, such as: “Gmail Customer Notice: Open if you missed yesterday’s special discount!” and “Help Teach Gmail to Like ProFlowers. Give us a Star.”
The data presented by Ken, with the help of eDataSource, shows that this strategy helped ProFlowers go from a less than 25% inbox rate on February 14th to a near perfect inbox rate by March 15th. This is a much faster rebuild of their reputation this year than in previous years.
Engaging with the recipient, and asking them for help, can and does affect reputation. In this case, Pro Flowers rebuilt their reputation and inbox delivery by asking the recipients to engage with them. ISPs want to deliver mail that their users want and interact with. Encouraging recipients to interact with mail, even in a non sender trackable fashion like “starring” in gmail, does improve delivery.