Do you need to improve your email delivery? Does your mail tend to land in your subscriber’s spam folder? If it looks like spam and smells like spam it must be spam. Stands to reason, right? If you are using tactics that make you look like a spammer, ISPs are going to slap a spam label on your mail.
So what can you do to look more appetizing? There is never any magic bullet, but there are three things that help improve your email delivery: Hygiene, Engagement, and Content.
Hygiene: Make sure your list is clean. I know, an email verification vendor telling you to verify your emails, but seriously it is important to avoid bad data. If you have a high bounce and complaint rate, you are clearly not following best email practices and are likely going to be marked as spam.
Real-time verification services can prevent bad emails from even entering your list, and convert potentially missed subscribers. As with all things, as data ages it succumbs to entropy. You probably know to remove bounces as you go, but we recommend that you clean your list at least once per quarter. Especially clean your list before a big email drop.
Engagement: Remove addresses that do not open your messages. Yes, yes. You worked hard to get your subscribers and they haven’t unsubscribed from your mailing list. But if they aren’t even looking at your mail, then you are spending money and hurting your email delivery for no return. You should also segment your email lists by who opens and clicks your mail more often versus those who open and click less frequently. Consider sending less mail to people who engage infrequently.
Content: Probably one of the most talked about aspect of email delivery, yet still worth talking about. Pay attention to what you are saying to your subscribers. In the early days of email people were playing fast and loose with their email messages. So now there is a sort of etiquette to follow in your messages. There are filters that take a look at your email and will block you for using certain phrases, like “free offer,” “Be your own boss,” and “All Natural.” There are many of these phrases to avoid, and some ESPs will warn you if your content might be marked as spam. But the most important thing is to be honest with your subscribers, and to send them mail that they actually signed up for and want to receive.
There is quite a bit that goes into email deliverability. It really is quite complex. But you know what they say: “When you’re building a house, start with the foundation.” And the foundation for deliverability is having a valid list of subscribers, focusing on the ones who engage with your mail, and keeping an eye on your content etiquette.
For more information about email deliverability, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866.903.9164