Email marketing has always been an effective way of generating more leads and sales for businesses. While it can help you grow your business, it might take you a little time to figure out how to increase email deliverability. After all, it’s not as simple as just sending a promotional email and waiting for it to convert.
What if the emails you send just end up in people’s spam folders? This is a real struggle for marketers.
According to Statista, spam messages account for 53.5% of global email traffic. If your audience never sees your emails, your email marketing campaign won’t be effective.
The only way to overcome this is to focus on email deliverability, even before you start your campaign.
Here are some tips on how to increase email deliverability and get the most out of your email marketing campaigns.
1. Send Your Emails in Batches
You want to make sure that your messages reach as many people as possible. It can be easy to get carried away and start sending emails to everyone on your email list. But that’s a big mistake.
ISP filters are on the constant lookout for spam emails. If you send emails to too many people at once, you can come across as untrustworthy for ISP filters.
The best way to get past this issue is to send your emails in batches. To increase email deliverability, first send your emails to the most engaged users. By doing so, there’s a better chance of people opening your emails.
As your engagement increases, so will your credibility. This can slowly help you increase the number of emails that you send out as well as increase email deliverability.
2. Prune Your Mailing List
Many businesses invest a lot of money into creating a large database of email addresses. It’s a good strategy, but don’t get caught up in simply adding more names to your list.
You also need to continually prune your email list to increase email deliverability.
For this, you need to find out who your most inactive and unengaged users are. Anyone who isn’t engaged isn’t worth keeping on your mailing list.
Your content might be great but it might not be relevant to all your subscribers. It might sound counter-productive to prune your mailing list, but it’s necessary.
If you keep sending emails to users who are not interested, your bounce rates will increase. Some unengaged users might even mark your emails as junk or spam.
In both these scenarios, the ISP might reduce your reputation score. If this happens frequently, it might even trigger blocking of your IP.
The best way to avoid this is to go through your mailing list every six months. Look for subscribers who don’t open your emails and delete them from your list. Additionally, also look for bogus addresses, duplicates, and typos. If doing all the work manually seems tiring, you can also get help from email validation services.
Also, make sure that you provide an “unsubscribe” button on all your emails. This will reduce your pruning efforts considerably and help to increase email deliverability.
3. Focus on Proper IP Allocation
While planning your email campaign, one of the first things you should look at is your email infrastructure. The way you allocate your IPs can greatly affect your email deliverability.
Do not make the mistake of owning dozens of IPs. This is a tactic that is commonly used by spammers. Usually, they try to send emails using different IP addresses. A lot of times these addresses do not match the address that appears in the sent column.
ISPs can detect such mismatches easily. Even if spammers rotate the IPs continuously to send large volumes of email, it might not help. When ISPs detect this, they tend to block an entire range of IP.
To protect your reputation score and increase email deliverability, it is advisable to authenticate your domain. You can also read up about Sender Policy Framework to understand how to take an anti-spam approach.
4. Use a Double Opt-In Process
To increase email deliverability, you need to make sure that you build a transparent relationship with your subscriber base. This begins with the way you choose to collect email addresses for your email marketing campaigns.
Many businesses believe that pre-selected opt-ins are the best way to get a longer email list. In this scenario, the checkbox to provide your consent to receive promotional emails is already selected for users. That means that without actually selecting anything, users give their consent to receiving emails from businesses.
This might not go down well with all users. If they are annoyed by your marketing materials, they could mark your emails as spam. This will leads to a loss of your reputation.
Through an optimized opt-in process, you can get an email list full of subscribers who are engaged. One way to do this is to select a double opt-in process. Through this, a secondary action is required by the user to confirm their subscription. This could be in the form of a call-to-action button or just a URL.
5. Write Suitable Subject Lines
When a user sees your email in their inbox, the subject line is what they notice first. A well-written subject line has the power to make the user want to read your email.
However, a badly written subject line can be a huge turn-off. In fact, 69% of email recipients are known to report emails as spam simply based on their subject lines.
While wanting to pique the interest of users, you might also want to take care of ISPs. Certain phrases, which sound clickbaity, might or might not make ISPs push your emails to the spam folder. But for the sake of your reputation, it is best to avoid them.
Some of the phrases that you should avoid in your subject lines include:
- Click Now
- Double Your Income
- Get Debt-free
But that doesn’t mean your subject lines need to be boring. Aim to create curiosity in the reader’s mind when they read your subject lines. Alternatively, you could also highlight the benefit of your email in a few words.
Another technique widely used by marketers to increase email deliverability is to create a sense of urgency using their email subject lines.
When users feel that they might miss out on something, they are more likely to want to check out your emails. Brands often create a sense of urgency by offering discounts or signups for a limited time.
Image via Gmail
Grammarly uses this strategy to get users to upgrade to their Premium package. By offering a sale of 50% off for 24 hours, they give users a deadline to act upon.
Adding a personal touch is also effective in getting the attention of your audience and to increase email deliverability.
Personalized subject lines generate 58% higher click-to-open rates than emails without them. This is because users receive thousands of emails per day. By personalizing subject lines, you can cut through all the noise and get their attention quickly.
6. Stick to a Regular Schedule
When it comes to email marketing, the timing and frequency are extremely important. If you don’t send enough emails, you risk being forgotten by your subscribers.
On the other, if you send too many emails to them, you may end up annoying them. You need to find the right balance between the two to increase email deliverability.
So, how often should you send out marketing emails to your target audience? According to a study conducted by Statista, 49% of consumers said they would like to receive promotional offers every week. That’s the consumers’ perspective.
As a marketer, you might not have enough marketing material to send something every week. That’s okay. There is no magic number that works for all. You will need to try to figure out what works for your audience.
Once you have figured out what frequency works best for you, settle for a regular delivery schedule.
Random and erratic sending patterns can cause sending spikes. This may result in a lower sender score and IP rejection. That’s why it is important to maintain a consistent posting schedule to increase email deliverability.
7. Segment Your Subscribers
All of your subscribers are not alike. Some of them might be interested in discounts while others might want to see more of your content. To drive engagement, you need to give your subscribers exactly what they are looking for.
That’s only possible if you segment your audience into different groups. Once that is done, you can easily tailor your content to suit the likes and interests of each segment.
You should also adopt different servicing strategies based on segmentation to increase customer retention.
Here are a few ways you can create segments within your audience:
If your email contains localized messages, it is best to segment your target audience by their geographic location.
This type of segmentation is useful if you want to promote a specific store or a local event. It will help you send out emails only in the immediate proximity and will exclude out-of-towners from the mailing list.
This is a great way to increase email deliverability.
Segmenting by demographics is useful for brands who sell different products for different age groups and/or genders. This helpful if you promote multiple products to a wide audience.
3. Buyer Persona
You can also create a custom segment to reach out to your buyer personas.
Say, you need to target females in the age group 18-30 who are interested in fitness. You can create a buyer persona so you can create email campaigns that revolve around solving their fitness problems.
4. Email Activity
You can also study the behavior of your target audience and see how they interact with your emails. Through this, you will be able to figure out what kind of content interests your subscriber base. You can base your future email campaigns on that.
Another way of segmenting customers is by using separate sign-up lists. BuzzFeed uses this strategy to find out what each of their visitors is interested in.
So, when a user visits their “Cats” page, they show a sign-up form for their newsletter related to cats. This way they allow people to self-segment based on something they genuinely care about.
8. Use Predictive Analysis
Understanding consumer behavior and spending patterns can help you increase email deliverability and customer retention.
Regardless of the industry that you belong to, it is important to look at data. Using predictive analysis, you can get to know about every customer’s purchase history and preferences.
You can use this data to chart out your email schedule. For example, you might have a customer who has added a few products to their shopping cart. But while shopping they might have been distracted. And as a result, they just abandoned their shopping cart.
With predictive analysis, you can send out follow-up emails to these customers. It can gently remind them that they have a few products waiting in their cart. Customers are likely to open such an email and get back to their shopping.
To increase email deliverability further, you need to send your emails at the right times. Predictive analysis can help you estimate the time that a specific product is expected to last. If you send out emails when the customer needs to buy the product again, your email is likely to get opened.
Sephora has used this strategy to improve their customer retention rate. Sephora sends emails to customers to remind them about free makeovers, special discounts, and loyalty programs. Every time a customer buys a product, they make a note of the duration for which the product is expected to last.
Image via In2sight
For example, say a product is estimated to last for four months. At the end of four months, they send an email to their customers with a promotional offer on the same product. This is an easy way to increase email deliverability.
9. Show Your Brand Name
As soon as a recipient sees your email in their inbox, they should be able to see your brand name. Not only does it help get the attention of recipients but it can reduce spam complaints.
To add a more personal touch, you can also send the emails from an individual’s email address in your company. After the individual’s name, you can also add your brand name.
For example, here’s how Moz has added their CEO, Sarah Bird’s name to one of their newsletters. Such strategies can help to increase email deliverability.
Image via Moz
11. Register for Feedback Loops
Want to find out which recipients are marking your emails as spam? Register for feedback loops. Using it, you can get information about all the complaints regarding your emails. All you need to do is subscribe to feedback loop reports from your ISPs.
Only Gmail is an exception. It has a new feedback testing loop that sends reports only to email service providers.
12. Check Blacklists
If you are facing issues sending your emails, you may want to check DNS-based blacklists. These blacklists include those IPs that have received a lot of spam complaints. The emails sent out by them do not actually reach anyone’s inbox. They are just lost.
Your email deliverability could get completely wrecked if your name features on any of these blacklists. There are various online resources like MXToolbox, Ultra Tools, and Debouncer that will help you do a quick check.
13. Analyze Your Metrics
During your email marketing campaign, you should constantly analyze your metrics. Seeing what’s working and what isn’t can help you change your strategy as required.
Look at what gets you more clicks. Analyzing your metrics constantly can help you increase email deliverability and engagement.
If you want to increase email deliverability, there are a lot of different things you need to focus on.
You should consider pruning your mailing list and write interesting subject lines. Proper IP allocation and analyzing your metrics can also help you increase email deliverability.
Above all, strive to provide value to your recipients through your emails.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.