Research shows that one out of every six marketing emails never reach the inbox because it is mistakenly blocked by a spam filter. But did you know that it's usually the sender - not the email service provider (ESP) that influences email deliverability?
Even though your email solution provider might have an impeccable reputation, your emails may not reach your customers' inbox because of an outdated mailing list or issues with content.
Below are our tips for your to implement to maximise email deliverability. Once you've implemented these changes to your email, compare your results to previous emails and you should see a positive effect.
1. Guard your reputation
Build a positive history of your IP and domain. Email providers like Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo rate you as an email sender based on the reputation of your domain and Internet protocol (IP) address, so to ensure high deliverability, build a positive history by sending only solicited, relevant emails.
If you are sending too many emails which are frequently left unopened, Internet service providers (ISPs) may block your emails.
Make you sure you also use a professional ESP (such as fastrack email) to minimise your risk of being blocked.
2. Keep your marketing list clean
Use only your in-house permission-based database list. Purchasing lists can ruin your email deliverability. People respond well only to permission-based emails (ie emails that they have given permission to receive). Email campaigns sent to purchased lists could damage your reputation, which could lead to domain blocking. In most cases, that purchases lists have inactive email addresses or emails that no longer exist.
3. Keep your content clean
Make sure your content is relevant and take the following into account.
- High frequency of potential spam words, such as free, or bonus
- Reputation of links in your email - do the links work, do they lead to a webpage that is relevant to your email.
- Image-to-text ratio - ensure that your email is not all image or not all text.
- Size of your email - if it's too big, it will take a long time to download
- Reputation of image-hosting service
4. Choose your 'From' field carefully
Stick to an easily recognised 'from' field name, for example, during our tests, we noted different results for the same emails sent using email@example.com versus firstname.lastname@example.org.
Try tweaking the "from" field address and testing the same content to find out whether a tainted "from" field may be causing your email going to the spam folder.
5. Ask recipients to 'whitelist' you
Ask your subscribers to whitelist you in their address books to ensure your email always gets delivered into their inbox.
6. Avoid gimmicks!
ISPs are wary of senders who use tricks to get email delivered and they will block the following gimmicks:
- Hashbusting: Randomly adding certain characters in the subject line or content to fool spam filters (e.g., "F.ree. p.r!z.e")
- Deceptive subject lines: Starting the email message with "Re:" or "Fwd:" to imply a previous communication initiated by the sender
- Misleading claims: Using subject lines that state the recipient has won a prize, though the copy lists conditions required to claim it
- Image text: Cloaking a text message as an image to fool spam filters
8. Monitor your SpamScore Check
Rely on SpamScore Check to test your email and ensure that your email is not seen as spam.
- Risky keywords
- Blacklisted URLs
- Text-to-image ratio
- Many others, updated often as algorithms evolve
Analyze the issues detected by SpamScore Check, and optimize your newsletters to keep email deliverability high and safeguard your sender reputation.
9. Monitor your deliverability
Do you want to know an easy way to monitor deliverability that costs you nothing? Simply add a list of "seed" email addresses using ISPs your customers use most often (for example, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and Hotmail).
Create those seed email addresses by setting up five or so mailboxes at each provider, and include those email addresses in your mailing list. After each newsletter is sent, log in to each seed account and verify whether the email was delivered successfully by that provider. Very useful!
10. Keep in regular contact
Maintain a regular mailing pattern to your database list. For example, on a monthly, quarterly, or fortnightly basis and stick to it. If it's not regular, your customers might forget about you and delete your messages, or worse, they will mark your email as spam.
To get started in email marketing, or if you would like more tips on how to ensure email deliverability, speak to one of the marketing consultants at TA Fastrack today on 1300 659 289.