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Email marketing is an essential business tool used by most companies and there is substantial evidence that email marketing has a very high ROI. While most email software available in the market is effective, you should closely watch your email list, continually monitoring to determine its deliverability and gauging related metrics such as open rates and bounces. By tracking the engagement with your customers or subscribers, you can make relevant adjustments so you can continually improve your email deliverability and in general, your customer engagement.

Deliverability is important because setting up an email marketing tool for client outreach and autoresponders involves a lot of work. Without determining the effectiveness of your email outreach, it is difficult to improve and you may end up wasting time and resources. . You should therefore strive to achieve the best email deliverability. You should note that this is applicable for any email address list for any business including, Shopify store, non-profits, affiliate marketers, and law firms.

I have spent about 3 weeks researching all the ways you can use to improve your email deliverability. Let’s get started: 

Authentication of emails

To improve deliverability, make sure your subscribers confirm their email addresses. 

If you want to ensure you are not limited by the various ISPs then you have to ensure that your subscribers verify their emails. This can be easily done following the basic protocols; Sender Policy Framework (SPF),DomainKeys Identified Mail(DKIM) and Domain Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance(DMARC). Each of the three protocols determines whether an email will be filtered as spam to protect users. By enabling the three, you stand a better chance to ensure that the emails will reach customer`s inboxes. 

This also ensures that your business has a certain legal status that prevents them from being filtered as spam.

IP credibility

By determining the credibility of an IP, you can significantly improve email deliverability. 

sender reputation and impact on deliverability

I would propose  to start by sending small batches of emails which once are received and opened to build up credibility with ISPs which over time amounts to peak volume. One should also handle any issues pertaining to their IP addresses so as to make sure their IP addresses are not suspicious thus preventing them from being spammed. I would also urge companies to avoid adding a lot of IPs to avoid ISP penalties as the ISPs may end up blocking an entire pool. This comes in handy in ensuring that your IP is not blacklisted thus making sure it reaches the inbox of customers 

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Opt in process

Most companies prefer single opt-in whereby a user agrees to receive an email by simply clicking a box. It is popular as it is automatic and a great way to harvest email addresses. However it is quite risky as it can generate a lot of spam reports which once noted by an ISP blocks emails preventing them from reaching a customer`s inbox. 

 recommend a double opt-in which is also known as confirmed opt-in which involves a two step verification thus ensuring only engaged users subscribe to receive emails thus no spam complaints putting the company in a better position with ISPs.

Email list

Keeping a clean list has turned out to have a lot of advantages and improves deliverability compared to keeping inactive and unengaged customers who will only generate various spam complaints. 

To avoid having inactive, unengaged customers you should simplify the opt out process where one can easily choose to unsubscribe even though they had accepted to receive emails in the first place. I recommend keeping a suppressed list which is a list of inactive customers to avoid sending emails to them thus preventing adverse effects in future. You should also never buy email lists as they bring a lot of risk to your business.

Feedback and reputation

The reputation of business is quite important in email marketing as it has a direct impact on deliverability. It is due to this that you have to constantly check on feedback from customers and find out how to improve the quality of service thus ensuring to reduce spam reports. Your business should also continually check if it’s listed in any blacklists as being included in any could lead to emails being blocked by ISPs. If you find your business to have been included in a blacklist you should undergo the difficult process of clearing the names to ensure emails reach the right inbox

Segmentation 

Various studies have shown that segmented emails have a higher open rate. As such you should embrace this concept as it is key in preventing spam reports. This is because most companies send mass emails which are not appealing to subscribers which lead to spam complaints. Segmentation solves this by giving a personalized perspective thus leading to a higher open rate. This implies that segmentation should be done on the basis of location, past purchases, position in the sales funnel among other things. I therefore advise you to use segmentation as it adds relevance to emails thus preventing spam complaints which in turn leads to email deliverability.

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Spam traps

You should avoid spam traps at all costs. This is because spam traps can adversely affect domain and sender reputation and in worst cases lead to permanent blocking of emails and domain. 

This can be easily accomplished by keeping a clean list of subscribers as this ensures emails put in place by ISPs and blacklisters are filtered out. This is why companies should never buy email addresses as they may contain spam traps. It is also quite costly and difficult to get out of a deny list after one has been flagged.

WordPress deliverability

Most hosting providers are yet to set up wordpress to be used for email and thus the few companies that do are prone to have issues in the PHP mail function which could lead to emails being flagged as spam. 

This can be easily solved by using Simple Mail transfer Protocol (SMTP) to send emails as it helps sort through authentication issues thus improving wordpress deliverability.

Email lines and content

You should ensure to use non-spammy lines as they make it easy to be filtered out by ISPs as spam. This means they should avoid certain phrases like free which are common in spam. Using brands in your from line prevents ISPs from filtering that out as spam and also reduces spam complaints. Other studies have also shown that this has been seen to improve open rates and also acts as a marketing tool. 

You should also try to send emails that people love. You can do this by personalizing content thus preventing spam reports. You should also let customers manage their preferences thus enabling your business to send them emails of their own choice thus leading to a higher open rate and lower spam complaints 

Frequency of sending emails

improving email deliverability chart

You should strive to keep a consistent send schedule. This is because erratic frequencies increase the chances of an email being reported as spam. I recommend preparing a set schedule so as to ensure customer appeal thus preventing spam complaints. 

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However even as companies use set schedules they should also avoid bombarding the customers with a lot of emails and should instead stick to a certain number of emails thus raising opening rates. Studies show that once a month has proven to be the most effective frequency over the years.

Email deliverability with seed email accounts

It advises you to test email deliverability using seed accounts to see if the emails sent reach the inbox. To ensure effective results one should various domains and different email clients thus ensuring that you have a wider scope which gives more comprehensive results which thus enables a business to find out the level of its email deliverability

Contest entry email signups

You should be very careful when obtaining client lists from contest signups. This is because as customers sign up for emails their aim is to win a certain prize and thus may not be interested in emails you send them and they therefore become inactive users and may end up reporting the emails as spam. This creates a problem for companies as they are flagged down by ISPs which damages their reputation and thus their emails do not reach customers inboxes and thus unable to achieve email deliverability.

Preference center

 After your clients have agreed to receive emails you should create a preference center. From the center the clients can choose their own frequency and thus receive emails at the time of their own choosing. This comes a long way in ensuring customer satisfaction which in turn prevents spam complaints. This gives you a good relationship with ISPs thus ensuring emails reach the inboxes of clients.

Conclusion

Most companies concentrate on factors like email optimization and forget that deliverability is the most important thing as without it all the work done on the emails is of no use if it does not reach the clients.