Email Deliverability: How to Ensure People Actually Receive Your Messages

Jun 6, 2018 3:30:09 AM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

No matter how wonderful your email marketing campaign is, if your email deliverability rates are low, that means your contacts aren’t seeing your messages. Typically, this is because your company’s emails are being bounced directly into the spam or junk bin. A 2016 study conducted by EveryAction determined that across 55 organizations, 18.21 percent of emails sent were being sent to spam folders.

How can you avoid your messages being classified as spam and boost your email deliverability? Here are a few tips.

Build Your Contact Lists Organically

In its 2017 State of Email Deliverability report, Litmus found that certain email acquisition sources were more problematic than others in terms of reliable email deliverability. Senders were more likely to be blacklisted or blocked if they used emails from a list they’d rented or purchased or if they were working off co-registered email lists.

While using email scraping and list-building services may seem like an attractive way to boost your contacts, in the long-term, these can backfire and cause your emails to be flagged as spam. This can negatively impact your ability to reach out to prospects and clients. As time-consuming as it may be, it’s always best to build your lists organically by allowing interested companies or individuals to sign up or only signing them up if they’ve done business with you previously.

Give Them an Escape Hatch

Even if a client was interested in signing up for your emails a year ago, there may come a time when your service or product no longer suits their needs and they’re increasingly sending your emails to the trash bin or scrolling past them. When this happens, it’s best to give them a way to opt out. Make this easy by including an unsubscribe link directly in the email.

As unintuitive as it may sound, giving customers the ability to opt out makes them feel respected and empowered. It’s good customer service. If you do this, chances are they’ll be back the next time the need arises for the goods or service your business provides. Providing an opt-out also keeps you from violating the 2003 CAN-SPAM Act, which you can read about in detail here.

Send Out Curated Content

Major internet service providers (ISPs) keep track of users behavior in order to determine which type of messages should appear in a user’s inbox and which ones should automatically be marked as spam or sent to the junk bin. If users see your messages and scroll past them or hit delete, pretty soon, they’ll all be bound for the trash or flagged as unwanted messages.

To prevent this, work on creating high-quality, curated content that targets your users’ interests. If you have a relatively small email list, this might mean focusing on interesting content that will pique your audience’s curiosity, encourage them to open the email, and entice them to click through to your site. For larger lists or an organization that provides a diversity of products or services, consider segmenting your audience into specific interest groups and work to target each of them.

Two of the biggest mistakes companies make in terms of email deliverability is creating messages that are too sales-oriented and not particularly interesting, or creating messages for a large audience that are one-size-fits-all. Think about what each segment of your audience is interested in reading and deliver this to them.

Use A/B Testing for Better Email Deliverability

If you’re uncertain about what types of subject lines, topics, or graphics will ensure the best open rates and boost your email deliverability, try A/B testing to find out for sure.

Does your audience respond better to subject lines that are worded as a question? Many companies find that their audiences respond better to subject lines that are statements or provide quick facts. (See how that works?)

A/B testing allows you to try out the inclusion of different graphics, videos, color schemes, and calls-to-action to see what your audience prefers best.

Email campaigns can be costly, both in terms of time and money. If you’re going to invest either of these, make sure your audience is seeing what you put in front of them by working to achieve optimum email deliverability.

Need help with your email development and deliverability? Contact us today!