Email Marketing Deliverability – Seven Mistakes to Avoid

When it comes to email marketing deliverability, you have to understand that times have changed. Long gone are the days where you didn’t have to study and understand deliverability. You could just focus on the size of your list, avoid being an outright spammer, and that was enough.

Consider the following though. Email filters have become much more advanced in the last couple of years. Even if you compare them to just a couple of years ago, things have changed massively.

Email filters today analyze the behavior of your recipients. They recognize how often your subscribers open your emails and how long they read them for.

Email filters even analyze the degree of interaction with the content (e.g. what kind of content do they prefer to open the most). Thus, it’s easier than ever for your email to be categorized as non-relevant to the receiver. If you’re boring your subscribers and they keep archiving your emails, this can have consequences in the long run.

You always need to focus on building a warm relationship with your subscribers

But here’s the good news. Focusing on these things is not just about deliverability. Even if you only care about conversion, that too will improve when you focus on the relationship with the reader. The good news here is that there’s a big overlap between the two areas. The factors that most help with deliverability are also the factors most important for “building relationships”. 

Improving email deliverability is mainly about building relationships with the readers. That's actually great news.Click To Tweet

I’ll now go into some of the seven most common mistakes when it comes to email deliverability. If you’re astute, you’ll notice that most of these are also about the relationship you have with the subscriber.

Mistake 1) You prefer single opt-in

There are two main ways to get people subscribed on your list: single and double opt-in. With a single opt-in, if a person fills in their email address in one of your forms, you automatically consider them a subscriber. With a double opt-in, you make them take an extra step to confirm their interest. This is typically handled by your ESP sending an email to the tune of “Do you really want to receive emails from this list, click this link to confirm”.

Single opt-in will get you many more email addresses from the same traffic. But it will also guarantee a much lower deliverability. This is because a single opt-in mechanism guarantees that you get a lot more bad email addresses and bad data. In time, the quality of your list will degrade and with it, your deliverability will drop as well.

A more appropriate option would be the double opt-in. Even though it requires an extra step for sign-up, double opt-in guarantees that subscribers want to hear from you. This results in higher engagement rates and a lower rate of spam reports. It’s just a better option in the long haul.

A double opt-in process will make sure that you only get subscribers who want to hear from you

Mistake 2) Forgetting to ease the reader into it

A surefire way to immediately stamp yourself as a “snake oil salesman” or a spammer is to immediately start bombarding people with offers, having skipped the relationship building stage. The very first “welcome email” is the most important in this “relationship building stage”. 

You can go overboard with the welcome email though. Beware of sounding over-eager. It’s off putting to your subscribers and might even get them to not open your emails in the future. Treat that welcome email like a charming introduction from a fun new acquaintance. 

In this welcome email, you also want to accomplish several goals that are important for both the relationship and deliverability. Let people know what they can expect in the coming weeks and months. Help them understand that there’s no pressure and that they can unsubscribe at any time.

The relationship building stage isn’t completed with the welcome email though!

Those first emails after they subscribe are the “getting to know each other” stage. Imagine building a warm relationship with a new interesting friend. You don’t act like you’re close friends with someone the next day after meeting them. It doesn’t matter how well you hit it off. It still takes time.

You keep in touch regularly, but are aware when you’re pushing too hard to impress him or her. Treat the relationship you build with your subscribers with the same courtesy.

Also, just simply accept that some people will just not be interested in what you’re trying to sell or promote. Accept this as a reality, and you’ll be better off in the future.

Mistake 3) Bombarding the subscriber’s inbox

It’s always a good rule of thumb to try to hit the sweet spot with the amount of emails that you send to subscribers. Try not to send more than one email per day. More than this and you’re risking harming your reputation and deliverability.

If you send a slew of emails in one day, for example, you could provoke a chain reaction of negative events. First, subscribers will be annoyed and will avoid future interaction with your content. Moreover, email filters may detect a spike in emails sent from your side, and label you as a spammer. Both of these scenarios are harmful to your reputation and business.

Occasionally, you can break this rule if circumstances allow it. You could have an important announcement to make to subscribers, such as a product launch. If so, indulge yourself and send the additional email.

More often than not you’d only make this exception for segments that have shown they’re interested in more engagement. People who have purchased something, signed up for a webinar or just the segment of people who engage with your emails a lot.

Don't bombard your subscribers' inbox, as it will annoy them

Mistake 4) Ignoring inbox engagement metrics

Email filters and providers track how subscribers interact with your email data and content. Therefore, the way subscribers consume your content impacts your email deliverability.

The number of reads and opens, replies and forwards all affect your reputation. In the past, it was enough that your email wasn’t moved to the spam/junk folder. But with today’s filters, if the person deletes your email without even reading it, that’s also quite a negative sign.

If you aren't tracking how people engage with your emails, you're doing email marketing blindfolded.Click To Tweet

Tracking these indicators would do wonders for your deliverability. Fortunately, Emercury has excellent reporting features that will help you delve into your subscriber relationships.

Mistake 5) Ignoring your subscribers altogether

Regular communication without going overboard is crucial to a healthy relationship with subscribers. But, going silent for long periods of time is just as harmful as being annoying with too many emails.

Many people start an email list and engage regularly for a certain period, but they then disappear for months at a time. Don’t expect subscribers to jump at what you offer if that offer comes after a 5-month hiatus. If you do discover a gap in one of your segments, you don’t have to give up on them. Try to re-engage them slowly. Treat them like they are new subscribers for a while, so as to “warm them back up”. 

A tip you might want to apply is preparing emails for future use, in advance. Thus, when you notice that you haven’t got any original content to promote or product to sell, you can pull out one of those emails. Subscribers won’t forget you exist and will be more likely to consume your content.

Ignoring your subscribers will affect your Email Marketing Deliverability negatively

Mistake 6) Forgetting to think about the email format

Your readers consume those emails on a variety of devices. You have to make sure that you have a format that caters to all of them. The most important thing is to make sure that you have both a plain text and an HTML version.

Or to be more precise, always have at least a plain text version. Consider the fancy graphical version as a “bonus” option that some of your readers will get to enjoy. But treat that plain text version as the base version. 

If you do include an HTML version, be sure that it’s mobile ready. If your fancy HTML template looks stunning on laptops but breaks on smartphones, you’re losing money. It’s that simple. Most readers won’t bother to switch devices, they’ll just delete your email.

Fortunately, Emercury is mobile ready in every way. We have plenty of amazing mobile-ready templates as well as several mobile-specific features.

Mistake 7) Purchasing email lists

Purchasing an email list is a costly mistake that could destroy your deliverability. Purchased lists are full of bad email addresses that will leave a negative mark on your sender reputation. You’re basically importing honey traps into your list. That’s literally like paying to sabotage yourself.

Buying one is easy, but it’s simply not worth it. It’s never worth it. When you buy an email list you’re not aware of the amount of bad addresses included in it. Furthermore, you cannot know the volume of spam traps that are lurking inside.

Email providers don’t need a bigger excuse than a suspect email list to suspend your account or give you a negative sender score. Moreover, since the list is not tailored for your business, it will come with a larger amount of reports and unsubscribes. You’d be better off to steer clear from buying one.

Mistake 8) Using an email provider that doesn’t care about deliverability

With email deliverability being so important to the bottom-line, you’d think most email providers would care more about it. Unfortunately, most of them treat it as some sort of a “luxury” only reserved for enterprise plans. Some of them make you pay an outrageous sum to add deliverability management to your account.

Emercury is different. We include deliverability management and list-hygiene with every paid account. You might say we’re kind of “obsessed with deliverability”, but that’s a good thing. This is why so many big list owners come to us. For them, the additional deliverability means a massive difference in profits.

To experience what Emercury can do for you, feel free to get yourself a 100% forever-free account. It includes most features so you can get used to how it works. You might even say we have the most valuable free plan out there. It includes even the most advanced features, now including advanced email automation. So give it a risk-free try today.

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