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The first part of this year has flown by, and being that we are in June already I thought it was a good time to provide an update on a few things that are top of mind at present. In this blog I will touch on the Institute of Directors conference I recently attended, as well as current digital communications tools and deliverability trends. Lastly I’ve even run a few numbers to show you what you can save if you refuse to accept that hundreds or thousands of emails simply go “missing”.

IOD Conference

At the beginning of May, I attended the annual Institute of Directors Leadership Conference in Auckland. The theme of the conference was “Shaping the Future”.

The caliber of speakers was exceptional. They all addressed an element of what the future might bring, and a core premise that shone through was the ever-increasing pace of change, thanks in large to advances in technology.

I found this premise was broad and perhaps could have been explored a little more. Having said that, this was a conference for Directors who need to be focused on governance, not technical details! I’ve pulled together a few observations both from my experience at the conference, as well as our experience within Cumulo9.

At Cumulo9, digital technology is our core driver (and the advancement of digital communications our key point of difference). Amongst the team, we have seen the pace of change increasing for many years and having a massive economic impact.

Technology in the current climate

We have seen an unprecedented number of successful companies whose business models have been forged based on blending these new technologies and applications. These companies offer convenience, compliance, and ease of use. Standout examples include Amazon, Xero, Airbnb, and Uber. These new and emerging businesses have clear strategies, strong focused management and at their core, they harness new technologies and promote themselves via well-oiled sales teams.

Of course, the flip-side is when the essential elements are not seamlessly integrated, and then there is the danger that billions of dollars are invested into unprofitable entities that endure a painful and public demise. Who remembers drugstore.com, Quirky, Webvan Group, Kozmo.com, Theranos or Rdio – each of which raised more than US$100million.


The digital communications environment

Another key element for success is a clear communications strategy and today, digital integration is essential for all communications strategies. There are literally hundreds of software products being marketed today to “solve” your digital communications. Everything from Hubspot to Salesforce and massive Oracle or SAP ERP/CRM solutions are being touted as the Cumulo9 digital environmentultimate solution to your customer acquisition and retention challenges.

While these solutions offer glossy user interfaces and scalable database architectures, they all use some elements of third party software to drive their solutions. The most common third-party software in all of these solutions is the Mail Transfer Agent (MTA). This piece of software executes the necessary communications to allow email to be passed from one computer to another using SMTP. These third-party MTAs are responsible for processing more than 90% of the world’s email and they are invariably tuned by their licensees for speed.

Deliverability trends and reporting

At Cumulo9, our focus is on digital precision and providing the best possible deliverability. With our focus on desktop and essential email, it is imperative that any communication trusted to us is delivered and if for some reason, it is not, then robust reporting tools and alternate delivery mechanisms are automatically executed. We’re proud of what we have achieved and here’s why.

With over 200 billion emails being sent every day, there are a number of highly regarded businesses focused on measuring deliverability. Two of the key players are Return Path and Radicati. Return Path’s latest Deliverability Report indicates that globally, 18% of emails went “missing” in Q2 2016. In the industry, these are called “soft bounces”. We know which emails failed to deliver (hard bounces) because the parties involved in the transaction invariably use SMTP correctly to provide a result that can be clearly interpreted.

Obviously, some countries are far better than others and in Australia for Q2 2016, 8% of email went “missing (was soft bounced). We know historically from when Return Path used to report on Australasia, that New Zealand statistics are similar.

So, 8% of Australasian email goes missing!

If you are emailing contracts, invoices, payslips, invoices or statements – what the market terms “Essential Email” – are you happy if one in twelve go “missing”?

Deliverability at Cumulo9

Cumulo9’s deliverability is audited by New Zealand Post. We constantly deliver more than 99.5% of the email entrusted to us and for those 0.5% that are not delivered, we have implemented automated, fail proof procedures that provide for their printing and delivery via traditional post.

This means that for every 10,000 essential emails that you send, Cumulo9 will deliver 750 more than the vast majority of alternative providers.

Using Deliverability to improve cashflow

Assuming a monthly cycle, that’s over 9,000 more per year. If we conservatively estimate the combined cost of printing, folding, stuffing and lodging plus a stamp is $0.70, then you will spend $6,300 on “missing” email. That equates to $0.0525 for every single email you send.

So, when someone tells you that you can get email for less than a penny an email – think again. Even if the cost is $0.0001 per email the minimum real cost is $0.05251 per email.

So there are a few thoughts. We’re always happy to have a discussion and welcome any questions or inquiries. If you would like information on any of our digital communications tools, please contact us: Phone +64 9 377 8885 or email support@cumulo9.com.

Chris Hogg
Chris has 20 years experience in Europe and North America working with payment and billing systems. He has held roles ranging from sales support through to managing international operations for US multinationals. Along the way Chris has worked with most major banks and telephone companies in Europe and America as well as their regulatory bodies. He has worked on National EftPos schemes in Europe, implementing Telephone number portability (LNP) throughout North America and setting up one of the first revenue assurance practices in Europe. Chris returned to New Zealand in 2002 and has focused on working with early stage companies looking to make an impact on the international stage.
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