Our inboxes are exploding with email offers on a daily basis. Promotional offers, newsletters, updates and more types of emails arrive consistently and with no end in sight. Although some may reach your inbox, many others get redirected straight to your spam folder. But why does this happen? What factors determine which emails are spam and which are worthy of making it to your inbox?

In order to better understand this issue, we need to look at email deliverability metrics to get a clear picture of what is going on. In fact, having a poor deliverability score can have a direct negative impact on your email activities. This can determine which emails land in your inbox or spam folder or if they get rejected altogether from the email service provider. Therefore, to help our readers reach more inboxes and get better deliverability scores, we’ve compiled a list of tips we recommend that ensure your emails have the best chances for success.

What is email deliverability?

Before we get into some tips on how to improve your deliverability, we need to understand what exactly this means. Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to your users’ inboxes. In order to understand it better we need to start asking the right questions.

Are you getting high bounce rates? What type of bounces are you receiving, hard or soft bounces? Do you get any abuse complaints, usually people who click on this spam? Are you receiving a high number of mail blocks? Although this may seem foreign and new to many of us, these are standard metrics that most email marketing solutions like MailChimp or HubSpot offer you in your email reports. The sooner you get familiar with them, the sooner you can better understand how your overall email program works.

Configure your sending email addresses

Although this step is not required and most people won’t bother to implement this, we recommend configuring your sending domains. This requires implementing Domain keys and SPF records. To skip the long and complicated explanation setting these up will allow you to authenticate yourself to ESP’s when sending them emails. This confirms I am who I say I am and not some spammer trying to pretend to be someone else.

Big companies usually do this process; however, the process is not too intensive and requires a little work from your end and your email marketing platform to help you set up. If you are unsure how to proceed with this step, you can always consult the support team of the email software you use to send your users emails such as MailChimp HubSpot etc… Either way, we recommend taking the time to set this up as this will directly impact your deliverability.

Keep an eye on your email volumes and IP reputation

Depending on your monthly volumes, you may have multiple IP addresses you might use to send emails to your users. However, most companies will use 1 IP provided to them by the email marketing platform for all their email activities. This can create a scenario where some email campaigns can harm your account and affect future emails as well. To avoid damaging your IP score you should keep an eye on this. Take note of the number of people you’re emailing each week and how they respond to your campaigns. Keep an eye out for open and click rates as well as deliverability metrics. If you start to see a decline, it may be worthwhile to reduce volumes or target more relevant users who are still active with your website or company. Sending 10,000 emails but only having 4,000 get delivered will damage your IP and deliverability quite fast.

Avoid using certain words or symbols too often in your content

To get our point across or create a sense of urgency, we will email our users with specific keywords to get their attention. Words like:

Although these words can convey a sense of importance or urgency, they can also cause our emails to come off as spam. Email providers will look for specific words and how often they are repeated as one possible factor. Other factors include bolding everything, using ALL CAPS too much, using exclamation marks everywhere and having a high image to text ratio to name a few. There is nothing wrong if you would like to emphasize that you are giving away something for free or that the offer will expire soon. Just don’t make that the sole focus of your email.

Maintain clean databases and email lists

Every so often, it’s essential to run through your email lists and make sure you remove unresponsive or inactive email addresses. We even wrote a fun blog on the subject, which you can read here. The idea is to ensure you aren’t consistently sending emails to people who don’t engage with them or even worse, don’t want to receive them at all. Over time this will have a negative impact on your email deliverability. You don’t want people to start clicking this is spam on your emails.

Provide a clear way to opt-in or opt-out of your emails

In 2021 privacy issues have taken the forefront. Most countries now require you get permission to send people emails. In fact, some countries will issue fines to companies and individuals that send unsolicited emails to people. It can also have a direct impact on your deliverability. That’s why it’s important to provide your users easy-to-understand  ways to opt-in or opt-out of your email offers. This ensures you won’t get in any trouble or need to pay fines. More importantly, this will reduce the number of people clicking the spam button in their email accounts to block your future emails. This also means every email you send should have a line or section to allow users to opt-out anytime they like.

If you’re looking to implement your email marketing strategy or would like to get more information on how to start emailing your users, ThreeeDots can help. For more information or to schedule your free consultation email us at marketing@threeedots.com or visit our website www.threeedots.com.

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