There are many reasons why you should try to improve your email deliverability. The most important one is – it will immediately boost your profits. Even if the size of your list doesn’t change, when your deliverability improves, you actually send more emails. That means more opens, more clicks, and more sales.
Email deliverability matters
Email deliverability ensures your emails can be opened, read and acted upon. That’s why deliverability is an important consideration for any organization. But for businesses that rely on sending mass emails for marketing purposes, good deliverability is crucial.Email filters don't just filter out the bad guys. They can filter you out no matter how legitimate you are.Click To Tweet
Remember that inbox placement is never guaranteed. Just because your company is one of the “good ones” doesn’t mean your message will get to that inbox. A lot of things can go wrong. Even the most legitimate marketers sometimes get filtered out.
Why does this happen? Mailbox providers make great efforts to protect their users from unwanted, explicit or malicious content. These providers use various sets of filtering criteria to pluck the weeds from the wheat.
These include user engagement rates such as opens, reads, forwards, replies and complaints. Mailbox providers also monitor sender reputation by tracking spam trap hits, bounces, whitelistings, and blacklistings.
As a result, good messages go to the inbox. Bad messages go to the junk folder or get rejected. However, sometimes good messages end up in the junk folder, too. This is because mailbox providers generally err on the side of caution. They would rather have a couple of legitimate senders end up in the wrong folder than have any malicious emails in the inbox.
Signs that it’s time to improve your email deliverability
So, how do you know that your messages face trouble reaching the inbox? With a quality ESP like eMercury, this is easy. Your ESP should provide you with the tools to track and measure your deliverability.
Make sure to regularly check out your engagement metrics. Are your open rates and clicks dropping? Are you experiencing high bounce and complaint rates?
All of this could indicate placement issues. High bounce rates from your regular lists could mean your emails are getting rejected. This will affect your sender reputation, leading to more rejections affecting your reputation. The vicious cycle will perpetuate itself.
But don’t wait until it’s too late and your deliverability hits rock bottom. Be proactive and take the steps to monitor and work on your deliverability starting today. The more you put it off, the more work you will have to do later on.
That being said, let’s take a look at some useful tips to help you maximize your inbox placement.
Avoid getting on any blacklists
Blacklists are public, real-time databases of IP addresses and domains suspected of sending spam. Providers use them to decide if your messages should reach the inbox.
There are over 300 blacklists available. These come from both big companies and independent small list creators. Logically, not all of them will affect your deliverability to the same extent. Providers decide which blacklists will help them fight spam the best. Many use a combination of public and in-house blacklists for more accurate filtering.
Blacklists can be IP and domain-based. The IP-based blacklists contain IPs that are known spammers or known to allow spammers to use their infrastructure. Domain-based blacklists check the URLs within the message body for spammy domains. The redirect links (that the initial link redirects to) are also checked.
If you end up on a blacklist, make sure to fix whatever issue they listed as the cause of blacklisting. Do this before you submit a delisting request. Otherwise, you’ll just get blacklisted over and over again. Eventually, your delisting requests will be denied.
Don’t trick people into subscribing
Asking people to give you an address so they can receive a freebie is a great list-builder. But, make sure that you’re clear whether it also entails getting onto your regular mailing list. Don’t just say they’re getting a freebie and hide the fact they’re also opting into a list. You want to make things clear.
People want free offers, but not necessarily the subscription that comes with them. As a result, they’ll likely mark your future content as spam or fail to engage. Or, they’ll provide an invalid address to avoid subscription.When you 'trick people into subscribing' for your email list, you're only tricking your future self.Click To Tweet
Although these email addresses increase your subscriber count, you can’t count on them for engagement. They are unlikely to become qualified leads. You’ll just be spending your time and marketing budget on the wrong people. To avoid this, always let people decide if they want to subscribe when they give you their email address.
It’s also a good idea to let them choose the content they like to receive and the frequency of mailings. Many people prefer less frequent emails. They may avoid opening your emails not because they dislike them, but because you’re simply sending too many. They would love to read and engage with your emails if you only send them less frequently.
Pay attention to subscriber engagement
Spam filters use various sets of metrics to track user engagement. If people read, forward, reply to your emails or mark them as “non-spam”, it shows they like your content. The same applies if they whitelist you or move your mail to other folders for easier access.
To foster engagement, state clearly what people can expect from you. Specify what content they’ll receive, how often and when, etc. Make sure that the only contacts on your list are those who explicitly agree to receive the type of content you’re sending.
Make it easy to consume your content
Always deliver attractive, engaging emails, both in appearance and content. You want to make it easy for people to consume your content. This means you will need to work on your writing skills so that the content flows better. Ideally, the reader should be intrigued from the moment they see your subject line and keep reading to the very end.
Aside from a good flow, it also helps if you use a well-designed template. eMercury provides many of these. Additionally, you want to make sure that the email displays well on all popular devices.
You can have the best-written content, but if the template breaks on a certain device, it’s all in vain. The reader will just think “Oh I’ll open this email later from the PC” and most likely never get around to it.
Basically, you want to hook the person’s attention from the first moment and never lose it. To achieve this feat, you have to remove every obstacle that pops up. It might sound like a lot of work, but it’s well worth it. Thinking like this will produce much higher engagement and ultimately lead to higher profits.
Segment your contact base to drive up engagement
Not all your subscribers have the same interests. Some will prefer it when you write on topic A, others when you write on topic B. Some of them will engage with one kind of emails, while others will engage more with another kind of emails.
This is why at Emercury, we’ve worked very hard to provide all the tools you need to track engagement. You want to follow how subscribers engage with your emails. This includes checking the open rates, clicks, deletions, and much more. And then, you can utilize this knowledge to segment subscribers out.
|Emercury makes it easy to identify and segment out people based on their behavior. There are two ways to accomplish this:|
1) Simply use the reporting feature to identify people who meet certain criteria or conditions, and then segment them out.
2) Use our automation feature to build an automation that works for you. For example, set a condition “If people open this email”, “then move them to list x”.
Inactive users are a liability. But before you remove them, try to re-engage them
Don’t use the “one size fits all” approach. People become inactive for various reasons, so tailor your strategy for each category. Consider special offers, access to new or exclusive content, or an invitation to opt-out.
If they fail to re-engage after several attempts, remove them from the list. Any subsequent email you send their way will do more harm than good and damage your deliverability.
Maintain list quality
The quality of your mailing lists is a key factor in deliverability. Practice good list hygiene to avoid spam filters. Manage spam trap hits, complainers, unknowns, and inactive users.
Unknown users are invalid recipients. These include nonexistent addresses, those terminated by the ISP or addresses abandoned by users. Remove all unknown users from your mailing lists to avoid deliverability issues.
Spam traps are “bait” addresses that aren’t in active use. Providers use these to detect spammers and senders with poor mailing practices. If you hit a spam trap, the provider may decide to block your emails, either temporarily or permanently. These decisions extend to partner providers and filtering companies. As a result, such a thing can severely affect your inbox placement.
Remove users that haven’t shown any engagement in a while. Keeping them will affect your campaign response rates and sender reputation.
The same goes for complainers. Providers make every effort to protect users from unwanted content. If people mark your messages as spam, it will indicate they aren’t inbox-worthy. Ideally, you should only send content to people that like your brand and want to engage.
Consider switching to an email provider that cares about deliverability
Emercury is an awesome, user-friendly email marketing suite. It will help you obtain killer deliverability and maintain perfect list hygiene. You can try our split-testing feature to test your campaigns and see what works best. Or you can use our marketing stats tool to gauge campaign efficiency.
We understand at a core level that deliverability can make or break your campaigns. That’s why Emercury works so hard on helping you improve deliverability. In fact, some people say we’re the one ESP that truly cares about making sure you get the most out of your lists.
This is easily evidenced by the fact that every single one of our paid plans includes a deliverability manager and all the deliverability tools you will ever need. Most ESPs reserve these features only for their highest-tier enterprise plans. Some even ask you to pay extra for deliverability features. Not us, we believe every email list owner deserves good deliverability.
And this philosophy extends to our free plan as well. You might say we have the best free plan in the industry. That’s because we hold nothing back. Almost every single advanced feature is available to you from day one, even if you start with a “forever free plan“.
The deliverability manager, account manager, and a handful other features are unavailable in the free plan. However, all the advanced list management and list-hygiene tools and features are there for you to make use of. This is unheard of for a free plan. So sign up today and start experiencing the improved deliverability that you deserve.