This playbook’s objectives are to learn how VTO works, how it fits into your process, and how to create your VTO strategy.
- VTO is an add-on service to Everest and is not available for all service plans.
- If you are a new Everest customer with no prior relationship with Validity, complete onboarding to ensure you are familiar with navigating and using Everest.
- If you were a Return Path or 250ok customer and are moving to Everest, complete your migration process.
- Ensure you have completed the Basic Everest Set Up Guide.
Important! Be sure you know the number of credits available based on your subscription tier. You can find your subscription information by navigating to: My Everest>In-Flight >View Time Optimization.
- VTO terminology
- Common campaign performance challenges VTO helps solve
- Important metrics related to VTO
- How VTO fits into your process
- Things to know about VTO
- How to create your VTO strategy
- What to do next
- View Time Optimization (VTO): VTO is an email service created by Yahoo to help senders improve incremental and life-time subscriber value. It delivers a specific sender's marketing email when the subscriber opens their mailbox, and ensures the email appears in one of the top slots in the subscriber's message list.
- Open rate: The percentage of email opened by your subscribers.
- Click rate: The percentage of subscribers that clicked on a link or call-to-action.
Common sender challenges associated with campaign performance at Yahoo domains are:
- We have a high delivery rate consistently above 98% at Yahoo, but our open and click rates are flat or declining.
- We implemented Send Time Optimization (STO) at our ESP, but the results are not as good as expected.
- We are sending more holiday email this year, but it is having minimal impact to our revenue.
By using Everest’s VTO feature, senders see improvements in:
- Open rate
- Click rate
Competition for the inbox is fierce, especially during the holidays. In order to make a sale, a subscriber must first open the email and click through to your website. VTO data is delivered directly into Everest by Yahoo, so it’s the best data available to give you insights into campaign performance.
- Open rate
- Click rate
A traditional email marketing process consists of three phases: Pre-Send, In-Flight, and Monitoring. Deciding when to use your VTO credits takes planning based on your company’s business objectives and how you perform against the competition.
- Inform your email campaign strategy with Everest’s Competitive Intelligence
- Plan campaign
- Identify target subscriber list
- Identify VTO subscriber list
- Design campaign
- Validate subscriber list using Everest’s List Validation.
- Test campaign design using Everest’s Design & Content
- Submit VTO campaign details in Everest so Yahoo recognizes your campaign.
- Send campaign to subscribers and the Everest seed list
- View your VTO campaign’s inbox placement, spam, and missing results using Everest’s Inbox Placement
- View your VTO campaign’s performance in Everest
- Monitor engagement metrics using Everest’s Engagement feature, your ESP, or internal sending platform.
- Monitor sending reputation metrics to understand the deliverability impact.
- Monitor DMARC compliance to identify unauthorized use of your domain and brand using Everest’s Infrastructure feature.
An important step in getting the most value out of VTO is understanding how it works and what it does for your email program.
How does it work?
- Identify the campaign you want to use VTO credits for in Everest and send the campaign from your ESP or sending platform like normal. Yahoo identifies your campaign and delivers email destined for the inbox to one of the top positions in an active subscriber’s mailbox.
- When an email is delivered to a subscriber’s inbox, you use up one of your VTO credits. You are not charged a credit for emails placed in the spam folder or blocked by Yahoo.
What else should you know?
- VTO does not guarantee inbox placement. Yahoo spam filters are applied to all incoming email, so good sending practices and deliverability are important to get the most value from VTO.
- You can send a VTO campaign to any number of subscribers, but the VTO data as reported by Yahoo in Everest only displays when you send to more than 1000 subscribers.
- VTO benefits are applied by Yahoo regardless of your send volume.
- VTO campaigns are set up in Everest on a campaign-by-campaign basis to allow flexibility with managing your VTO credits.
To get the most value out of VTO, it’s important to plan for and manage your credit allotment along with your campaign schedule.
Check your available credits
Navigate to: My Everest>In-Flight>View Time Optimization.
You don’t want to use all your credits too soon, but you can purchase additional credits directly within Everest if needed. The more you use VTO, the better you will understand which campaigns give you the greatest return on your VTO credit investment.
It is a good idea to check available credits regularly to help determine when credits are needed for important campaigns.
When should you use VTO?
Use the following guidelines when deciding when to use VTO:
- Identify the times of year that provide the most revenue or that you depend on to meet revenue targets.
- B2C companies typically get the most revenue from specific holidays and shopping seasons.
- Each business is different, so identify the times of year most important to you.
- Sort your list to those that generate the most revenue at the top and the least revenue at the bottom. Those at the top of the list are better targets for using VTO.
When prioritizing VTO credits, candidates to exclude from VTO are times of year or campaigns that typically bring in the least revenue or you consider less important to achieving revenue goals.
Validity also recommends sending to subscribers that are more engaged with your email program because email sent to engaged subscribers is most likely to reach the inbox and result in a sale. Sending a VTO campaign to a large list of both engaged and unengaged subscribers may not give you the best results.
Continue reading our other Everest playbooks to help take your email marketing program to the next level.