Email Deliverability: 10 Tips To Always Hit The Inbox
Sure, the money’s in the list. But only if your ‘list‘ actually opens your emails. And only if they don’t report you for spam or complain about your business practices. You’ve probably spent quite a bit of time and energy creating that email list. These 10 tips will help ensure your marketing emails are deliverable and that they always hit the Inbox. They’ll also help ensure your emails get read!
You’ve probably seen it yourself – someone you know and trust has sent you an email and it’s nowhere to be seen. Until, that is, you remember to check your Spam folder. And, whoops, there it is! Your marketing emails really have to make it past 2 filters – the email service provider’s automatic Spam filters, and your reader’s personal Spam filter.
Passing the ESP filters:
Use a reputable ESP: Mailbox providers like Yahoo and Google evaluate email service providers based on the reputation of their IP address. If an ESP is known for sending spammy emails or unsolicited emails YOUR emails can be blocked just because you’re using a questionable provider.
Use a consistent ‘From‘ address: Mailbox providers also look at the ‘From‘ address on your emails so it helps if you’re consistent. You should also use From Addresses that sound trustworthy. Instead of using gamelover1234@ somemail.com, use your own name, or a name or word, that sounds professional, like jsmith@ or contact@ or newsletter@.
Send consistently: ESPs don’t care how many emails you send as long as you’re consistent. Spammers don’t care about consistency at all so if you send your emails at the same time every day then the ESPs see as you someone who’s responsible and dedicated to good business practices.
Send smaller batches: If you’ve managed to amass a list of 10 or 20,000 names, that’s great. But spammers have lists like that, too, and that’s one of the things that ESPs and mailbox providers look for. Instead of sending one big blast out to all of your followers, break it up into smaller groups and you’ll have a much greater chance of hitting those inboxes instead of landing in the spam folders.
Clean up your list: Your ESP doesn’t like to see emails bounce back or huge numbers of unopened emails every time you broadcast. I know, you’re going to hate cutting those names from your list but look at it this way – with a lot of ESPs your monthly fee is based on your number of subscribers. If half of your list is unresponsive then get rid of them and save yourself some money.
Use Double Opt-In: Most reliable ESPs won’t even allow you to create a list without using a double opt-in to ensure that the people on your list really do want to receive your emails. Every time one of your targets reports you for spam it looks bad for the provider, too.
Passing the reader’s filter:
Send regularly: The best thing you can do to make sure your emails always hit the Inbox is to send them out regularly. Whether it’s daily, bi-weekly, or weekly. Wait too long and your readers might forget who you are and when they see your email finally pop up again they might just delete it.
Don’t deliberately mislead: The big thing these days seems to be sending an email with “re: your message” or “Thank you for subscribing” in the message box to make people think there’s some reason they should be expecting your email. I can’t tell you how many of those emails I’ve reported for spam lately – without even reading the message. They may have had a really great offer but if you’re not going to be honest with me, then I’m going to report you for spam. A lot of your readers probably feel the same way.
Be relevant: Think of your email as if it were an article. The content should deliver whatever it is you promise with the title – the subject line. This goes along with the previous topic about being misleading. It doesn’t take many spam reports to get yourself blacklisted.
Include an Unsubscribe link: Make sure you include a visible Unsubscribe Link. Don’t kid yourself. Hiding that link just means your readers will report you for spam instead of just unsubscribing. The sneakier you are about everything associated with email marketing the more you increase your chances of ending up in the Spam folder.