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DNS for Email Marketing Software

November 15, 2021
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Heather Oliver is a Technical Writer for Constellix and DNS Made Easy, subsidiaries of Tiggee LLC. She’s fascinated by technology and loves adding a little spark to complex topics. Want to connect? Find her on LinkedIn.

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Email has been a pillar of marketing strategies since the inception of the technology that made it possible. Even with the advent of social media, SMS marketing, SEO, and everything in between, email marketing is still going strong and shows no signs of slowing down. With such a large volume of businesses that now depend on the internet to communicate with their customers as well as to market and sell their products and services, it’s never been more important to provide the fastest, most reliable platform available.

The truth is, businesses count on email marketing software—and you count on them. Without a reliable email marketing service, businesses suffer and vice versa. In the immortal words of Mufasa, we’re “all connected in the great circle of life.”

Hakuna Matata!

In this blog, you’ll find tips and DNS strategies that will help give your service a competitive edge.

How Is Email Used Most in Business?

While many companies now incorporate instant messaging platforms like Slack, Google Chat, and Microsoft Teams to communicate internally, email is still frequently used for internal communication. But where email really shines is in marketing. It is used to build brand awareness, acquire and nurture leads, and convert leads into customers. Emails are also an effective way for organizations to market to current customers, for client retention, and to keep their audience informed and engaged with their products and services.

Fun Fact: With the rapid rise of social media and texting, it’s easy to think that email usage by individuals, especially teens and young adults, is losing its appeal. But according to Statista, 90% of internet users 15-24 and 93.6% of users 25-44 still regularly used email as of November 2019.

Email is a Major Player Global Business

Any business with an online presence should be concerned about the domain name system (DNS). The truth is, not much is going to happen without it. Still, many people only focus on DNS as it applies to their website, and for organizations that provide email marketing services, this would be a huge mistake.

Just over 300 billion emails are sent per day. That’s a lot of emails. And despite what some might think, email isn’t dying. It’s alive and well—booming, in fact. According to Constant Contact, an impressive 60% of customers claim to have made purchases based on an email they received. Furthermore, return of investment (ROI) on email marketing averages $36 for each dollar spent

That’s nothing to sneeze at.

And it would explain why 85% of B2B organizations use email marketing software as part of their overall content marketing strategy. In fact, email marketing is one of the most effective and trusted forms of online communication even as we approach 2022. 

Industries and Applications Most Reliant on Email and Other Online Communication

Almost every business (if not all) uses email in one capacity or another, but some industries are more reliant on it than others. In truth, if email services weren’t functioning for some organizations, it could cause as much if not more of a problem as a full-blown cloud or DNS outage.

  1. Finance - 21.56% average open rate
  2. Government - 28.77% average open rate
  3. Healthcare - 21.72% average open rate
  4. Insurance - 21.36% average open rate
  5. Media and Publishing - 22.15% average open rate  
  6. Education - 23.42% average open rate

An analysis performed by Mailchimp revealed an average open rate for emails of 21.33% across industries as a whole. As you can see above, the industries they included in their study, which are also known to use emails heavily, all surpass this average rate.

The Importance of DNS Speed and Performance

While DNS speed doesn’t directly affect email delivery that much, you still want the fastest page load times for your domain. Faster load times equate to better user experiences, and with the stiff competition in the Email and CRM market, you can’t afford slow DNS. A consistently fast DNS provider can definitely help with domain latency. Don’t just stop at overall speed, though. Make sure your provider has a strong performance in the areas where users are located. A helpful tool for this is PerfOps

Let’s take a look at some comparisons:

For this example, I’ll be comparing Akamai, AWS/Route53, Cloudflare, Constellix, and NS1. If most of your customer base does business predominantly in North America, you compare speeds just for that region (see below).

North America DNS Speed Benchmark Test - Cloudflare, Constellix, NS1, Route 53 and Akamai are top 5 providers

What this graph shows you is speeds for each provider in North America based on the last 30 days

North America DNS Speed Test:

  1. Cloudflare: 6.73 ms
  2. Constellix: 9.17 ms
  3. NS1: 10.76
  4. AWS/Route 53: 18.58 ms
  5. Akamai: 59.82 ms

As you can see, there is a large variation between providers, and of course, less is better in this instance—but with some caveats, which I’ll go into a little later in this article. 

If you calculate based on percentage, you can get a better picture of how a provider stacks up against another in regions that are important to you and your users. For instance, in North America, Constellix is 68% faster than Route53 and 147% faster than Akamai, while Cloudflare is 31% faster than Constellix during this time period.

But what if a lot of your customers do a large portion of their business in Oceania, Africa, or Europe? North American numbers may not be as relevant, so let’s take a look at these different regions.

Africa DNS Speed test - Europe and Oceania

Oceania DNS Speed Test:

  1. Constellix: 15.89 ms
  2. Cloudflare: 16.43 ms
  3. NS1: 38.25 ms
  4. AWS/Route 42.45 ms
  5. Akamai: 131.29 ms

Africa DNS Speed Test:

  1. Constellix: 22.38 ms
  2. Cloudflare: 22.87 ms
  3. NS1: 53.86 ms
  4. AWS/Route 95.65 ms
  5. Akamai: 168.91 ms

Europe DNS Speed Test:

  1. Cloudflare: 7.49 ms
  2. Constellix: 18.82 ms
  3. NS1: 19.25 ms
  4. AWS/Route 19.73 ms
  5. Akamai: 59.95 ms

As you can see, provider performance can vary significantly depending on a specific region, so it’s critical that you know where your audience and the audience of your customers are at—every millisecond counts when it comes to the internet.

Tip: To learn more about how DNSPerf can help you choose a provider, check out the article: Have You Checked Your DNS Performance Lately

Redundancy is Key to Preventing Provider Outages

Speed and performance is a vital aspect for CRMs and email marketing platforms, but perhaps the most important thing is reliability. If your DNS provider has an outage, your domain is also down. But this doesn’t just affect you—it affects your customers too as they are also unable to create or send emails without your service. 

Just a single hour of downtime costs an average of $300,000! This could be exceedingly more for organizations whose core strategy is built around emails. While your customers may not be experiencing downtime, they aren’t able to conduct business as normal and lose out on revenue from unsent or late campaigns, as well as lost productivity, which is difficult to quantify. Not only that but for some industries, being unable to send out emails can be detrimental in emergencies or time-sensitive situations.

This brings me to my next point:

Not checking or ignoring a provider’s outage history could be catastrophic for you and the customers who depend on your services.

Major Internet Outages in 2020 and 2021

Here is a list of provider outages that occurred in 2020-2021, most of which were avoidable. Many of these cloud and DNS providers also have a history of outages, dating back as far as 2011 or earlier. 

1. Akamai

June 2021, July 2021

2. Amazon Web Service

November 2020

3. Fastly

June 2021

4. Microsoft/Azure

February, March (2), May, June, September (2), October, November,  April 2021

5. Cloudflare

June 2021, Aug 2020, Jul 2020, Apr 2020, Jul 2019

6. Network Solutions

March, May 2021

7. Neustar UltraDNS

May 2021

8. Dyn/Oracle

2021

9. Google

January, March, April, June, August 2020, April 2021

10. GoDaddy

Nov 2020, Mar 2017, Sept 2012 

This is by no means an exhaustive list of outages in the last two years, but you get the gist. In most cases, DNS and cloud provider outages can be avoided just by having redundancy.

9 Popular Email Marketing Software and CRMs

While we’re on the topic of outages, let’s take a peek at some popular email marketing software and CRMs and their use of redundancy: 

  1. ActiveCompaign
    Users: 25,411+ companies
    Redundant DNS: No 
  2. Constant Contact
    Users: 81,992+ companies
    Redundant DNS: No
  3. GetResponse
    Users: 350,000+
    Redundant DNS: No 
  4. Hubspot
    Users: 113,000+ companies
    Redundant DNS: No: (Cloudflare for main, us for some but not their main??)
  5. Mailchimp
    Users: 612,522 companies
    Redundant DNS: No 
  6. Salesforce
    Users: 150,000+ companies
    Redundant DNS: No
  7. SendGrid
    Users: 131,466 companies
    Redundant DNS: No  
  8. Sendinblue
    Users: 80,000+
    Redundant DNS: No  
  1. Twilio
    Users: 150,000+ companies
    Redundant DNS: Yes  

While there are many more services, this list shows the lack of redundancy used by CRMS and Email Marketing Software. Only one company out of nine uses secondary or primary/primary DNS. Considering how important these types of services are to the customers that use them and how affordable implementing a secondary provider can be, this should be best practice for any company.

Constellix, which runs on the same network as sister company DNS Made Easy, has never had an outage in its 9 years of existence. DNS Made Easy has the longest-running outage-free history in the industry—going on 12 years! That said, we still recommend having redundancy at every point of failure.

Advanced GeoIP DNS Services Every Email Marketing Software Should Have

Next up to bat, we have features. The configuration options offered by a provider can make a drastic difference in your domain’s overall performance. One key thing to look for is the ability to create redundancy and to optimize your DNS based on location with GeoIP services. For example, along with Primary/Primary support, DNS Failover, and traditional and weighted Round Robin, Constellix provides a full gamut of advanced GeoDNS services that allow you to configure creative workflows and customize your DNS to the max, such as:

Email Marketing software strategies
  • Global Traffic Director
  • Geo IP Filters
  • Global Load Balancing
  • Multi-CDN management
  • Geo Proximity Routing

DNS Hack: Use DNS Analytics to Identify Anomalies, Misconfigurations, and Monitor the Success of Email Campaigns

I know we’ve covered a lot of ground, but hang in there. This part is super cool! There is one glaringly overlooked feature when it comes to choosing a provider:

DNS analytics.

It’s okay if you don’t know much about it. Most DNS providers don’t even offer it, or at least anything comprehensive. 

That’s one of the stand-out features at Constellix and one we’re most proud of. With our Real-time Logs and Query Reports, you’ll never look at DNS the same. You can use your domain’s data to troubleshoot, quickly identify your most queried DNS records, spot misconfigurations, and analyze query counts over specified periods. And because emails generate a DNS lookup, these queries are included in your data. This is a unique way to monitor marketing campaigns as you can see peaks and dips in query traffic, and whether or not they correlate with an email blast. Because you can see historical and real-time data, it’s also easier to see potential issues and threats. 

Told you that would be cool.

Tip: Watch out for vendor lock-in, which can lead to higher costs in the long term. Your DNS provider should allow you to scale without penalty and give you the flexibility to add Secondary or Primary/Primary DNS.

Best DNS Practices and Strategies For Email Marketing Companies

Every online action requires DNS. Email is no exception. This means your DNS decisions should be a priority, especially if your business provides email marketing and CRM services for your customers. Who you choose for your provider is a crucial step in your strategy. Major factors to consider are overall performance and regional speeds, uptime/outage history, and the types of services offered. Keep these things in mind when choosing a provider and it’s a win-win for you and your customers.

Schedule a customized demo and see the power of Constellix for yourself. Our DNS experts will craft a presentation tailored specifically for the unique needs of your organization. 

Related Topics:
What is a Mail Server?

Common Email Bouncebacks

Reverse DNS: The Secret Behind Email Marketing Deliverability

Mail Delivery and Spam Prevention with DNS

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