How to Improve Email Deliverability in 2016

March 3, 2016

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You’ve spent hours developing a watertight email marketing strategy and crafting the perfect content and design for your campaign, but all this effort could be wasted if your emails simply aren’t getting through. According to Web Marketing Today, a worrying one in six emails never makes it to the intended recipient’s inbox.

If you don’t want your emails to fall into a deliverability black hole, it’s time to take action. So, before you start perfecting your calls to action and tweaking your images, you need to first focus on the basics of getting your emails delivered. Here’s what you need to do:

Bolster your opt-in process. Many brands only use the single opt-in process, where simply entering an email address on a website adds a new subscriber. If you add an extra level, where users have to click a link in a confirmation email you send them, this has been proven (according to Web Marketing today) to vastly improve deliverability. It also reduces unsubscribe rates, as a user who goes through the process is more likely to be engaged with the brand and really want to receive its emails.

Adjust email frequency. If you send a lot of emails, this is very likely to be the reason why many subscribers have either opted out of the list or marked you as a spammer. Keep sending so many emails and you could end up being blacklisted by service providers.

Maintain your email list. If you keep getting what are known as ‘hard bounces’, where the email address has been shut down or doesn’t exist, take these addresses off your list. ISPs keep a note of these bounces, and it could have negative consequences if you consistently have too many.

Use a recognised and branded ‘from’ address. Not only does this help to build up trust with recipients, but it also makes it more likely that your emails will end up in an inbox rather than trapped in a spam filter.

Calm down with the punctuation. There are certain triggers that, when used in subject line or email, ring alarm bells with ISP spam filters. Overuse of capital letters and exclamation marks are definite no-nos, but there are many words and phrases that not all emailers realise that they should be careful with. There are lots on the list, but Econsultancy has a great and comprehensive guide to make it clearer for email marketers.

Only send bulk emails from your own domain. Sending a lot of emails from a free email account such as Hotmail or Gmail is a sure-fire way to get yourself blacklisted, so only send from your own domain or use a service like MailChimp to send bulk emails safely.

Be clear, not misleading, in subject lines. You want to catch your recipient’s attention, but be careful not to do it by offering something in the subject line that the email itself doesn’t deliver. For example, mentioning a discount when there’s not actually one offered. This is something ISPs frown on and it could land you in hot water.

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