You’ve launched your online business, found the perfect email service provider, and you’re ready to nurture some leads. The only problem? You’re not sure whether your messages are actually hitting your customer’s inbox or not.
Though email remains one of the best ways to connect with your audience in any situation, it isn’t enough to simply write up an email and send it to your list. You need to think about how you can ensure that your messages reach your customers.
That’s where email deliverability comes in.
Today, we’re going to be looking at some of the best ways for you to improve your email deliverability quickly and maximize the ROI of your campaigns.
What is Email Deliverability?
Let’s start with the basics. Email deliverability refers to the rate that emails reach your subscribers. If your messages are populating the spam folder or falling victim to ISP blocking, then you’re in trouble.
The sad truth is that around 48.16% of all emails are blocked by the ISP or marked as junk mail. If your messages never reach your audience, then you can’t expect to earn more conversions or connect with your customers on a deeper level.
So, what can you do to improve your email deliverability?
Well, there are a few components that you’ll need to think about, from the authenticity of your email domain to the content that you share.
Let’s examine some of the most significant factors.
1. Authenticate your Domain Name
Let’s begin with improving your sender reputation.
If you want to improve deliverability, you need to ensure that the email providers around the globe trust your IP and believe you’re a reputable source.
One of the ways that email companies judge an email, is to look at the IP address the message is coming from. If you haven’t authenticated your IP, then you could risk not reaching the inbox at all.
A great way to avoid this problem is to use a process called IP warming. You use this technique to send a small batch of high-quality emails to the users that you know are engaged with your brand. When these initial subscribers interact with your emails, this shows that you’re not just sending spam. This allows you to send emails to a broader volume of customers. You might even start by sending an offer, like a big sale announcement to get people engaged:
2. Examine Email Stats
If you want to improve your email deliverability and increase the performance of your messages in other ways too, then pay attention to your delivery reports. Your email service provider will provide these for you.
Most email marketers focus aggressively on things like open rates; however if you want to ensure that your deliverability is on point, it’s more important to examine complaints and bounces. If too many emails bounce, then your sender reputation will begin to suffer.
Make sure that you pay attention to complaints too. This refers to instances where your customers mark your emails as spam.
Each email service provider has a different way of finding complaints, bounce rate, and other issues. Check out your email company’s “how to” pages for guidance.
3. Only Connect with Willing Subscribers
When you’re sending your emails, they should only be going to people who have clicked on your lead magnet and agreed to receive your email.
Buying subscribers or trying to force your content on people goes against privacy regulations and can get you into a lot of trouble. Using double opt-in strategies that ask your customers to confirm that they want to hear from you can improve your send reputation significantly.
Another way you can ensure that you’re not bothering your customers is to allow them to manage their own preferences. 43% of people mark emails as spam because they don’t think they’re getting the right content or want to unsubscribe.
Include a link in each email that allows customers to decide what kind of content they want to receive. You can also allow your leads to determine how often they want to get your email. SendGrid’s research discovered that using an email preference center was enough to reduce the risk of unsubscribes by up to 20%.
The more control you give your customers over the content that they receive, the better off you’re going to be.
4. Send the Right Quality of Emails
Learning how to improve email deliverability is about more than sending the right number of emails at the right times. You also need to ensure that your content is up to par too.
While the concept of things like spam words has largely been left in the past by the email world, you still need to make sure that you’re not indicating that you’re spammy to customers and programs. For instance, using terms like “apply now” or “limited time offer” might lose you some respect.
Rather than trying to trick customers into opening your emails with words like “free,” think about how you can deliver real value to your messages. For instance, if you want to engage your audience, you could consider adding a question to your title. Look at this email from 8×8. It asks a question that convinces the audience to find out more.
5. Check for Blacklisting Issues
The web is full of fantastic tools that can help you to check with your email server is operating as it should be. In some cases, if your reputation drops below a certain level, you could end up being blacklisted. This happens if your email provider thinks you’re sending out a lot of spam.
There are a few ways that you can reduce your risk of being blacklisted. For instance, using an email marketing service that has a great reputation can improve deliverability.
If you’re sending emails from your own server, then you’ll need to ensure that you’ve authenticated a few things, like:
- Sender policy framework: SPF tries to detect whether an email coming from a domain has been sent by the right IP on that domain.
- DKIM: Domain Keys Identified Mail is like a digital signature for your email, intended to allow the email sender to link their domain with the right email messages.
- DMARC: Domain-based message authentication, reporting, and conformance is a tool that helps senders to stop their domains from being used for phishing and spoofing scams. You’ll need to use a tool like Mail-Tester to examine issues with this kind of protocol.
6. Send the Content Your Customers Want
One of our top tips for improving the success of your email campaigns in any environment, is to make sure that you’re sending the right kind of content.
Growing your email list isn’t just about building a captive audience that you can send your marketing messages too. Just as you would share a combination of different kinds of content on your website, you need to do the same with your emails.
Start by segmenting your customers into different groups based on the backgrounds and interests. Once you’ve done that, think about how you can deliver value in the form of:
- Newsletters and updates about your business: Keep your customers in the loop and let them know what your company is doing.
- Roundups of your best content: Rounding up links of your best content from the last week or month is an excellent way to capture attention and send people back to your site.
- Sharing valuable information: This can come in the form of curated content from around the web, or infographics, videos, and podcasts from your brand.
For instance, during the COVID-19 outbreak, Photobox sent this email advising subscribers on how to stay connected with their loved ones:
7. Regularly Clean Your List
Finally, as business owners, marketers, and email experts, we all want to have the biggest, most engaged list we can create. However, it’s important not to be afraid of the “unsubscribe” button. While it’s always painful to see people dropping off your email list, losing customers is better than being sent to the spam inbox because people don’t want to hear from you anymore.
One of the fundamental rules of email marketing is that if you want to succeed, you need to maintain a healthy mailing list. Allowing people to opt-out if they’re not interested anymore is much better than keeping dead weight.
Notice that Apple keeps an option to unsubscribe on the footer of all emails:
You can also clean your list and improve your deliverability by using your email marketing tools. Check to find which customers haven’t interacted with, or even opened your emails for a while. You can send a handful of re-engagement emails to try and win them back. However, if that doesn’t work, it might be best to just remove them from your list.
Improving Deliverability Rates
There are a lot of metrics involved in achieving excellent email marketing results. Open rates, engagement, and so much more can make a significant impact on your chances of success. However, without a good deliverability rate, you might never reach your audience to provide customers with the content that they need.
Check your deliverability rates regularly. If you see them dropping, ask yourself what you can do to improve your chances of connecting with customers again.