Email Deliverability – Deliver When It Counts
Email Deliverability Will Protect Your Rep
It’s pretty easy to send a marketing email these days. In fact, thanks to the proliferation of lightweight, easy-to-use Marketing Automation tools, pretty much anyone can do it. The hard part now is delivering the right message, literally. Deliverability is one of the greatest challenges facing today’s marketing teams. Because while Marketing Automation is easier than ever, there’s still a lot of good emails out there being marked as spam or junk because their senders have a poor Email Reputation. The good news is that: [Tweet “Poor email reputation can be prevented with the right strategy and tools #emailmarketing”].
Chances are, if you’re reading a blog post about Deliverability, you already know the basics of email marketing. You already know how to craft a good subject line. You also probably know how to optimize open rates and how to evangelize your brand with engaging content, personalized landing pages, and powerful calls-to-action. You’re probably also testing various ways to fine-tune the effectiveness of all of these. But all of the tweaking, testing, and template designing in the world is meaningless unless you take a step back and look at the foundation of you email marketing operations and ask yourself, “How’s my Email Deliverability?”.
All of the tweaking, testing, and template designing in the world is meaningless unless you take a step back and look at the foundation of you email marketing operations and ask yourself, “How’s my Email Deliverability?”.
Don’t Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater
Poor Email Deliverability affects more than just the sender. Many people actually look forward to receiving interesting and relevant mails from senders they know and trust. And there’s a good chance a good chunk of that content is being filtered out by well-meaning email clients. Think about it, when was the last time you looked in your Outlook junk folder? How about the “promotions” tab in your Gmail account? I’m willing to bet there’s some good content in there that may be of great interest to you.
There’s no question that marketers are getting better at delivering emails. In 2009, almost 30% of commercial emails never reached their intended inbox, an all-time low. But that was more than six years ago. Since then, quality has replaced quantity as a strategic approach to email marketing, and savvy marketers have made a number of adjustments to improve deliverability.
Today’s savvy marketers leverage marketing automation software to share good, valuable content with interested readers. They maintain and clean their lists. They slice and dice lists using troves of available data. They implement innovative practices such as dynamic content and personalized URLs (pURL) to create highly relevant, engaging experiences between user and brand. And as a result, their campaigns are reaching more and more of targeted subscribers than they have in a very long time.
Despite all of these fantastic inbound innovations, 20% of all permission-based emails are going undelivered. Yes, that means that one out of every five emails sent by we well-intentioned marketers never even reach an inbox.
And those numbers seem scarier when you scale up. One thousand of every 6000 emails are diverted to one of many lonely, unmonitored folders. 10,000 of every 60,000 marketing emails are banished to oblivion, never even having a chance to be opened, read, or clicked.
Boingnet’s Marketing Automation Tools Can Help
At Boingnet, email deliverability is one of our primary areas of focus. We optimize on the technical side (handling ISPs, MTAs, throttling, bounces, and bulking) and simplify on the user side (Domain Pointing, List Cleaning, and most recently, Spam Checking). These dynamic features are designed specifically to improve deliverability for our users.
Keep your List Clean
Good email marketing starts with maintaining a good list. Marketers that send to high-quality lists maintain high sender scores that keep them in the good graces of the top ISP’s, ultimately resulting in messages that deliver clicks rather than sitting in Spam folders.
With a good List Cleaning tool, marketers can weed out bad addresses before they send. And a clean Contact List ensures that your campaigns will result in higher deliverability, click-through and conversion rates. In fact, removing subscribers who have not engaged in over a year instantly increases your email deliverability rate by 3 to 5%[i].
[Tweet “Removing subscribers who’ve not engaged in over a year increases email deliverability by 3 to 5%”]
Check your Spam Score
When setting up an Email Campaign, a Campaign Drip or adding an email channel to a Personalized (PURL) Campaign, a good Spam Checker will help you spot both content and technology flags to help you hone your emails to ensure they have the best possible chances of being delivered. Integrated into our software is a new feature that will help you check your email content and subject lines against a battery of common spam filters. We’ve built some great technology from Spam Assassin directly into our email building tool help users determine if their email is likely headed to the dreaded spam folder.
Your email will be assigned a score of 0 – 10. If your score is 5 or higher, you’re pretty likely to be looking at the message falling in the spam folder. As you approach a score of 5, you’ll get a warning that the message has several elements that might make it look like spam. A low score (under 3.9) will get you a green light, indicating that there are few items that will look spammy in the message.
Be the Master of Your Domain
Many small businesses find themselves dealing with email deliverability issues primarily because they are using a service that does not provide them with a unique sending domain. For example, the service will send out your email from firstname.lastname@example.org instead of email@example.com. In these situations, your emails are sitting in a bucket with hundreds, potentially thousands of other companies who are sending from the same domain.
It’s considered a best practice for any email sender to have a unique domain marketing messages to avoid any potential deliverability issues. A unique domain provides conformation the Email Service Provider (ESP) that you (the sender) are who you say you are, and not just using a spoofed alternate domain to avoid being blacklisted for sending spam. It also ensures that each email send is in an isolated queue, so it won’t be held up by other companies also doing bulk mailing.
It’s important that marketers take basic steps to protect themselves with proper technology underlying their campaigns in order to maintain their Sender Reputation – among the large email software providers. While these are all quite technical terms, your marketing automation platform or email service provider should be able to tell you if they provide the following options that are critical to Email Deliverability:
- Dedicated servers(not cloud) with blocks of static (not dynamic) IP addresses
- Dedicated DNS(domain name) associated with your email marketing – your messages should have a “From” address domain (like mycompany.com) that is the same as the domain sending the email. (Don’t use “on behalf of” domains – they look spammy to email providers)
- MX records provding information on where your email server is located to ensure your domain points to the server(s) you are sending email from
- SPF records let administrators relay to systems that the domain is recognized and approved to send emails for the applicable domain.
- Dedicated IP Options– while this gets slightly more expensive, for large senders, it is a worthwhile investment
Remember, your reputation as a sender is one of your most important assets as an email marketer. Use Boingnet and make sure your email deliverability stays high.
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[i] – WhoIsHostingThis“Email Deliverablilty 101” (2014)