Long gone are the days where you could focus on growing lists, avoid spamming and never have to worry about how to improve email deliverability. Email filters have become much more advanced in recent years, recognising how often subscribers read your emails and how they engage with them. Email providers use this data to determine whether an account holder will be interested in particular content and whether it should be visible in their inbox or not.
This is great for the consumer but it can make it tricky for companies to connect with their subscribers. To make sure your emails have the best chance at being seen, here are seven ways to improve email deliverability.
Never, ever, ever buy a subscriber list
This is the most important piece of advice I can give you. Buying a subscriber list will not only put your company at risk regarding deliverability, but is potentially in breach of the Spam Act 2003. It may seem like an appealing option with a great return on investment, but you never know how the subscribers were obtained, how genuine the lists are or how many spam traps are hidden within this list.
David Koch, Email Marketer at BestAustralianWriters and Expert Writer at Huffington Post explains, “email providers will suspend the accounts of people they suspect are buying their email lists or will give you a negative sending score, sending your content straight into the spam folder.”
Use double opt-ins
The two most common ways to get subscribers is the single opt-in or the double opt-in. With a single opt-in, the user enters their email address into the form and they automatically become a subscriber. Double opt-in is handled by your email service provider and goes the extra step to confirm the user’s interest.
Single opt-ins will result in more subscribers but it could affect deliverability as it is vulnerable to spammers. Double opt-ins are a much more reliable option as subscribers have to do more, and show more intent. This indicates they actually want to hear from you, giving a much higher engagement rate and could improve email deliverability.
Ease the reader in
Don’t start off on the wrong foot by bombarding people with sales tactics filled with buzzwords like “double your income”, “fast cash”, “free offer” or “$$$”. Start with a welcome email to help build up the relationship over time. Treat your new subscriber like they’re a new acquaintance that you want to charm.
It’s important to have a clear and relevant subject line that describes your content and will make the subscriber want to open your email. This could help your email avoid being marked as spam and increase email deliverability. Academadvisor and Academized can assist in writing the perfect email subject.
Quality over quantity
It’s important to monitor how many emails you send to subscribers. Avoid sending more than one email a day – if you start sending multiple emails per day it will annoy your readers and look unprofessional. Not only will this lead people to unsubscribe but it can also harm your reputation and deliverability. Sending too many emails can make email filters think you’re a spammer and they may automatically send your emails to the spam box.
The only exception to this rule is if you are sure your correspondence is important enough to engage with customers. Things like product and company announcements or customer account information, which recipients will engage with. For help getting the most useful and engaging emails use online editing tools Tone Analyzer and Grammarix.
Keep an eye on your reports
Email providers can track how subscribers interact with your content, showing you how they consume your content. The number of readers, replies and forward can all have an impact on your brand’s reputation. Tracking this customer data is crucial in beginning to understand and improve your email deliverability.
Engage your subscribers
Silence is almost as damning as spamming a subscriber. Customers will not jump at your offer if it’s the first time they have heard from you in months. Many businesses’ marketing campaigns have failed because of inconsistencies in their emailing. If, for special circumstances, you go off the grid, make sure you ease your customers back into your contact.
Prepare your emails in advance so that if you are unavailable to provide new content for whatever reason, you have something to fall back on. Freelancer sites such as Fiverr or Upwork can help you with content creation to build up your content calendar.
Use the right format
Your customers likely consume your emails on a number of different devices, so it is important your content looks right on all of them. Make sure you provide both plain text and HTML versions, treating the plain text version as a base as many spam filters will use that version to check your message content.
HTML versions should be mobile friendly. If your message isn’t responsive you risk content or images being cropped which isn’t a good look, plus your readers will be missing out on the look and feel you spent so long perfecting. You can make sure your email is perfect for desktop, mobile and phone by using a Vision6 template, because they are all responsive.
Email marketing is one of the best marketing channels available to businesses, as long as your company keeps up with trends in technology and email practices. Treat your subscribers like new friends that you want to build a relationship with instead of harassing them with self-interested sales tricks.