9 Ways to Increase Your Email Deliverability
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Email is a vital channel for communicating with customers, but if your emails, and all the great content they contain, aren’t reaching your customers, it’s a huge waste of time, effort, and money. More importantly, failing to engage with your customers because of undelivered emails could hurt your business and your customer retention in the long run.
There are plenty of tips and tricks to follow to make your emails more compelling, but they’re all useless if you’re falling short when it comes to email deliverability.
What is email deliverability?
Email deliverability is the term used to describe how effective your emails are in reaching their desired inbox. It determines whether they reach and wow your customers or whether they wind up in some forgotten junk folder.
Three core pillars determine email deliverability:
- Identification – are you who you say you are?
- Reputation – are you a trustworthy source?
- Content – is what you’re sharing within your email relevant to the recipient?
For good deliverability, you need to put a check in the box for all of the above.
How to achieve a good email deliverability rate
A good delivery rate – 95% or higher, according to the majority of email providers – tells you that you are positively identified, your reputation is trustworthy and your content is of value.
In turn, this will mean that your emails have avoided the spam folder and landed where they should (though you can’t know for certain as gateway servers won’t let you, the sender, know if your email has bounced).
That being the case, you can still focus on adhering to key factors that will help you strive for a good email deliverability rate.
How to improve email deliverability: Key factors
When creating emails for your customers, there are five important questions to consider to give you the best shot at improving your email deliverability.
- Is your IP address trustworthy? Your emails carry your IP address, the credibility, and reputation of which will affect the deliverability of your email.
- Are you sending too many emails? If you’re sending too many emails – frequently and inconsistently – your sender’s inbox will smell trouble and stop your emails from coming through.
- Are people complaining about what you send? If your last email caused people to mark your message as spam, or hit that unsubscribe button, you’re doing something wrong. Ideally, you want no more than 0.1% of recipients to complain about what you’re sending. Any higher mailbox providers will start blacklisting you.
- Are the metrics telling you anything? As per the above, your metrics might be trying to tell you something. If high bounce rates, high complaint rates, or other negative metrics are more common than high open or click rates, you should re-evaluate what you’re doing wrong.
- Are you sharing content that’s relevant and readable? It’s not just the content you share that will be scrutinized – how it’s packaged can also hurt your email deliverability rates. If you have good, well-designed content, it’s far more likely to engage your reader, which will mean more opens and clicks.
9 tips for getting your email deliverability into shape
To maximize your email deliverability and ensure you are reaching your customers’ inboxes, there are nine steps you can start following today.
Work on your domain reputation
A lot hinges on your domain’s reputation, and having a good or bad reputation can be the difference between whether your click rate or your bounce rate is on the rise.
To improve your email deliverability, take the time to spot and fix any issues that may be plaguing your domain, be it fixing your email content, resolving your authentication status, or improving your IP address monitoring. Doing so will do wonders for your customer communications.
Opt for clean text-free images
Images with loads of text are likely to be picked up by anti-spam tools, which will identify them as fraudulent and likely block them.
To avoid this scenario, you’ll want to choose clean, text-lite images over those containing the entire works of Shakespeare in JPEG format. In fact, it’s wise to limit your use of images altogether, as too many images or images that are too large can also be seen as suspicious. As a general rule of thumb, you want images to take up no more than 30% of an email’s available space.
Use a professional domain name
While it’s certainly easier to set up a free domain from the likes of Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo, it pays to put in the extra effort to create a domain name that includes the name of your business’s website.
That’s because generic email addresses, often associated with individuals rather than organizations, are far more likely to be considered suspicious by spam filters when sending out emails en masse.
Get personal with your content
The more you read your data, the more you can segment it, and the more you can begin to know your customers on a personal level. Personalization is a cornerstone of communication in the digital age, improving your chances of your customers sitting up and listening to what you have to say.
If your customer receives an email that’s highly customized to their unique wants and needs, they’re undoubtedly going to derive a lot of value from it – and will be more likely to engage with your content in the future.
Tend to your email lists
It’s a known fact that lists decay at around 2% per month, which is why it’s important to regularly update and clean them. By investing the time to keep your list full of customers who are engaged with your content, you’ll avoid bouncebacks, spam blocks, and other responses from old, disengaged contacts that could hurt your email deliverability.
Choose quality over quantity
When building your email lists, it’s better to filter your audience down to those who are specifically interested in what you’re sending out and are therefore more likely to engage with it. If you’re constantly bombarding people who simply aren’t interested, it’s going to reflect poorly in your metrics.
By taking a filtered approach, and not accumulating an audience from scraped or purchased lists, your email deliverability rate will be far healthier.
Avoid human error with real-time email verification
It’s a shame to have new, interested customers sign up for your emails only for their details to be wrongly entered when manually updating your database.
Including a real-time email verification option on your subscription forms will prevent this, ensuring that the correct details are logged every time.
Avoid spammy words, too many uppercase letters, and using exclamation marks
There is abundant guidance on the kinds of words that tend to trigger spam filters like ‘free’, ‘cash’, and ‘winner’. Using these in context is fine; just do so only when necessary as overuse will probably see your message get snagged.
While certainly attention-grabbing, including too many uppercase letters or exclamation marks in your message will have a negative impact on its email deliverability. We’ve all seen emails in our spam folders asking for URGENT BANK DETAILS so we can receive $4 million!!!! from a long-lost relative.
To make sure your emails don’t receive the same treatment, make sure to write in clear, professional language that’s fit for purpose.
Don’t try to trick people into action
Double opt-in, a method for asking new email subscribers to confirm via a follow-up email if they’re happy to be added to your mailing list, is the way to go when it comes to trust and transparency.
Many businesses ignore this and instead try to railroad people into subscribing to a newsletter in order to get them on their mailing list, which only serves to annoy new subscribers and have a negative impact on the success of your future emails. Avoid doing this, and make sure to have a clear, accessible unsubscribe button, to stay in your customers’ favor.
By following the above steps, you’ll quickly see your email deliverability rate rise. From there, you’ll be far more likely to reach the right customers with the right content, and reap the rewards that come with doing so.
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