A Guide To Improve Your Email Deliverability
Email deliverability is very important when it comes to understanding how your email campaigns are performing. You can think of it as a series of factors that affects your email performance and will help you to create better email campaigns that bring you better results and keep your customers happy.
So what is deliverability? Email deliverability is the ability to deliver an email into the intended recipient’s inbox. There are a number of factors that are used to determine deliverability such as email bounces (hard and soft), the emails sent to the spam folder, or any other reason why emails didn’t make it to the inbox.
To give you an idea of good deliverability, different Email Service Providers will boast about a 95%, 96% or even a 99% deliverability rate. While this definitely helps you out, a big part of deliverability is in your hands as the one creating the email and maintaining the contact list. This means YOU have a lot control.
So What Affects Deliverability?
Spam Filters You always want to look out for spam. There are all sorts of things that people include in their emails that you wouldn’t think is considered “Spammy”, but can get their newsletters flagged as spam quickly. Plus, spam filters get smarter each year as programmers develop more complex programs to identify spam. Once some of your email campaigns start getting delivered to the spam folder, it can be very difficult to get back to the inbox.
>> Read “100 Words to Never Use in an Email Subject line”
Keep Your Lists Clean The best contacts are the ones who opt-in, or choose, to receive your emails. This may be accomplished through sign-up forms, surveys and other methods of data collection, all of which create high-quality lists. The rule of thumb here is the higher the quality, the better your chance of making it into the inbox. Whatever you do, do not buy email lists from third parties. Those recipients did not opt-in to your list directly, so an email from you will be seen as spam. Lastly, clean out bad addresses and bounces if you are not using a service that automatically does so for you.
>> Read “How Can Surveys & Forms Benefit My Business”
Know What Type of Emails Work
The type of email you send can definitely affect how your contacts react. Emails sent to the contact as a result of an action they took, such as filling out a form or clicking a promotion, will have the highest deliverability because they are expecting it and have opted in.
Newsletters also tend to have high engagement. Contacts in an organization are expecting some kind of monthly or weekly email, and will actually work to get that email in their inbox. As long as you send valuable content, like articles and events, your contacts will appreciate staying informed and your emails will be opened or saved.
Use a Program Like eMerge
It’s a good idea to use an Email Service Provider (ESP) for your marketing emails. Any good ESP will help you target your audience, build and maintain email lists, and automatically process bounces and unsubscribes. They will also have a larger email infrastructure than what you can maintain on your own. Because they send out emails every day, their email servers will have a lot of emails on which to base their reputation, and a good reputation will definitely help you.
As you send more and more emails to your list, your contacts will get to know you. After a while, they will be able to spot an email you sent from across the room or just by glancing at their phone. By being respectful and consistent, you will build trust with your audience. When you drastically switch email templates, it can be jarring for your contacts. It will take them longer to identify you as the same people that they have been receiving emails from for years. Introduce major changes slowly and keep your contacts in the loop.
So What Can I Expect?
Sadly, you can’t expect 100% deliverability, no matter what you do. There will always be times where the recipient’s email server will not be available, an email addresses change, or something random in your email triggers a spam filter. By following these guidelines, creating properly crafted emails and good email lists, you should expect anywhere from 95% to 99% deliverability. Please note that ‘deliverability’ rates are different from ‘open’ rates.
With close to 80% of users preferring to engage with businesses through email, deliverability is a big priority for anyone that uses email as part of their marketing efforts. By focusing on good email lists and providing emails with good content, you should see an improvement to your deliverability.
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