Tom Sather

Tom Sather is Return Path’s senior director of email research. Tom uses his knowledge of ISPs, spam filters and deliverability rules to advise marketers on how to get their email delivered to the inbox. He began his Return Path career as an email deliverability consultant working with top-brand clients like eBay, MySpace, IBM and Twitter.

Performance

6 Things To Watch For Better Gmail Deliverability

For most email marketers, reaching the inbox at Gmail is difficult, and trying to discover why emails aren’t reaching the inbox is downright confusing, if not nearly impossible. (Though Google is reportedly piloting a feedback loop program for email service providers (ESPs) that might help address this.) For now, Gmail’s Bulk Sender Guidelines offer general […]

Performance

How Gmail Improved Security & Email Analytics by Caching Images

Google officially announced that images in Gmail would be enabled for all webmail users on December 12th (with iOS and Android Gmail apps following suit sometime in January), regardless of whether or not the recipient clicked “display images below.” This change should prove to be a boon for email marketers, but not without some tradeoffs. […]

Data

4 Data-Fueled Insights On How People Are Using Gmail’s Tabbed Inbox This Holiday Season

The Christmas shopping season is officially upon us. Inboxes are stuffed with special email promotions that will hopefully result in stuffed stockings on Christmas day. Maybe not Gmail inboxes, though. Will Gmail’s new tabs be the Grinch that stole Christmas from email marketers this year? Some businesses have publicly speculated and decried the new interface, […]

Data

Lies, Damned Lies & Email Best Practices

It isn’t often that one challenges best practices. They are called best practices because they are apparently the best. In 2008, Return Path conducted a subscriber experience study to see which businesses were following the best practices at the time, like personalizing messages and honoring unsubscribe requests within a reasonable timeframe. Flash forward five years, […]

Data

Gmail’s Tabbed Inbox: The Good News & The Bad News

Reactions to Google’s new tabbed inbox in Gmail are reminiscent of past changes to some of our favorite inboxes. A quick Google search shows dozens of articles on how to survive major inbox overhauls like Google Wave, Gmail Priority Inbox, and Hotmail’s Sweep. These changes to the inbox pale in comparison to the threat that […]

Data

Measuring Brand Perception & Strength With “This Is Not Spam”

Measuring the strength of one’s brand is an important part of marketing, albeit somewhat difficult and sometimes expensive as it traditionally relies on tactics like surveys. However, marketers now have everything they need to measure brand perception using email marketing analytics. Specifically the rate that users indicate “this is spam” (TIS) or “this is not […]

Data

Analyzing Subscriber Complaints For Better Inbox Placement & Response

It’s summertime, which means marketers are starting to think about and plan for Christmas email campaigns. As most marketers realize, subscriber reach — specifically inbox placement — can truly make or break an email campaign. To avoid the spam folder this holiday season and beyond, marketers should analyze subscriber complaints. A subscriber complaint is marked […]

Data

2 Ways To Use Competitive Intelligence On Email Subscriber Lists

If you’re like most email marketers, the size of your email list is an important metric to measure. The problem is that there’s no perfect size for an email list. It varies based on industry, audience and business. However, most marketers can, and do, measure the monthly rate of growth using their own numbers as […]

Data

3 New Ways To Measure Email Campaign Effectiveness

Almost 70% of all messages in people’s inboxes are non-personal, meaning they are marketing offers, social updates, receipts and more. This is both good news and bad news for marketers. The good news is the inbox is now more of a marketing channel than ever before. The bad news is there is more competition, and […]

Data

How Mobile Is Making Us Rethink Email Marketing

Thanks to smartphones and tablets, email marketing has fundamentally changed. Best practices surrounding design and when to send are seeing some of the first major shifts since webmail clients were the dominant email platform. The good news for marketers is that people consume more email now. The bad news is that without the right analytics, […]