Since only 82% of emails from our email marketing efforts reach the inboxes of our email subscribers, Digital Marketing Manager and Email Marketing Managers need to explore how to improve delivery of email marketing messages to email subscribers’ inboxes to obtain revenue goals. (Source: Return Path’s Email Intelligence Report Q3 2012)
Return Path’s report also indicates that 70% of the emails in SPAM folders are actually legitimate emails.
Given these statistics, let’s talk about how you can deploy email marketing deliverability best practices to boost your email marketing performance and prevent your email messages getting blocked or sent to SPAM folders.
Before diving into the details about best practices for email marketing deliverability below, I want to give you some background information to help you formulate a better email marketing deliverability strategy for your brand.
Definition of Email Marketing Deliverability
The percentage of your email messages delivered to your email subscribers’ inbox.
Email Marketing Deliverability Fundamentals
- Algorithmic Filters – If an incoming email contains similarities to an email already marked as junk, the incoming email will be marked as junk. These similarities include email sender, links, or content. Also, if an incoming email contains an URL that is blacklisted by an ISP’s (Internet Service Provider), the email will be marked as junk.
- Spamtraps – An email address was set up but never receives email. These email addresses are created by Spamtrappers and set up to catch spammers. Deploying secure opt-in technique prevents you from collecting spamtrap emails.
- Blacklists – Reports IP and URL addresses that send unsolicited commercial email. ISPs use these reports to block emails sent from these IP and URL addresses.
- Bounce Handling – Understand ISPs and your ESPs bounce codes to help you manage your email marketing efforts effectively. Bounce codes are values assigned to email addresses that are not delivered, and different types of bounces are handled differently. Work with your ESP to better understand your bounces.
- Authentication Protocols – Use protocols to help email receivers separate legitimate and non-legitimate messages. According to Marketo’s The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing, the most common email authentication protocols are DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), SPF (Sender Protection Framework), and SenderID.
- Email Receiver and ISP Relations – Choose an ESP to help you manage your relationship with ISPs on your behalf and let them handle email messages that get marked as non-legitimate.
Now, let’s talk about best practices you can deploy to prevent getting labeled as a spammer.
10 Best Practices for Email Marketing Deliverability
- Include Unsubscribe Links in Email Messages – To comply with Anti-Spam regulation, you need to include an Unsubscribe link in all email marketing messages.
- Fulfill Your Promises – When you collect email addresses, you make a promise to provide them with timely, targeted, and relevant content that will meet their needs or solve their problems.
- Consistent From Email Addresses – By using the same from email address when you send email marketing messages, your email subscribers will recognize your emails and mark them as SPAM.
- Consistent Subject Line Wording and Tone – When the wording and tone of your email subject lines are consistent, your email subscribers will recognize your email messages and not mistake it for SPAM.
- Honor Your Email Subscribers Requests – Let your email subscribers manage their email subscriptions. If they only want to receive product informational emails, don’t send them promotional emails.
- Use Ethical Methods to Build Your Email Subscriber Lists – Verify all new email addresses through a double opt-in email address collection methodology, or you can send Welcome Emails to evaluate the validity of your email addresses.
- Regularly Remove Inactive Email Addresses – Review my 4 Ways to Reactivate Inactive Email Subscribers to Increase Deliverability blog post to learn about removing inactive email addresses.
- Choose a Reputable Email Service Provider (ESP) – Pick an ESP that have tools to handle email bounce codes, feedback loops, connection optimization, manage complaints, authenticate the quality of your IP addresses, and help you manage your relationship with ISPs.
- Manage Your Complaint Rate – If your ESP warns you about a lot of complaints take them seriously. According to Marketo’s Blog 7 Best Practices for Email Deliverability, set up an email address — firstname.lastname@example.org — that your ESP can use to contact you with any complaints. Register that email address with www.abuse.net, an anti-spam advocacy group, to show that you take email abuse seriously.
- Be Proactive about Monitoring your Reputation – Work with your ESP to create relationships with ISPs to maintain a positive reputation and change whatever it takes to improve your reputation to get your email messages delivered to your email subscribers inboxes. Both Return Path and SenderBase offer reputation monitoring services.
Call to Action to Improve your Email Marketing Deliverability
- Develop your Email Marketing Deliverability Best Practices to increase your delivery rates and boost your email marketing results
- Work with your ESP to deploy your Email Marketing Deliverability Best Practices
- Visit Next Weeks Email Marketing Discussion: Always being Relevant with Your Email Subscribers
- Visit the next Digital Marketer’s blog about Social Media including the latest news and updates from social media networks
- Email Intelligence Report Q3 2012 from Return Path
- The Definitive Guide to Engaging Email Marketing from Marketo
- 7 Best Practices for Email Deliverability from Marketo’s Blog
- How to Improve Your Email Marketing Deliverability from Exact Target
- Deliverability from Mail Chimp
Additional Email Marketing News and Resources
- Email Summit 2014: Top Takeaways from this Year’s Award Wining Campaigns Webinar on March 5th at 2:00 EST from Marketing Sherpa
- Email Validation for Improved Deliverability and Marketing Results from Towerdata
- Gmail Adding Prominent Unsubscribe Option to Marketing Emails from PC World
- How to Maximize Email Deliverability for Greater Campaign Success Best Practices in Email Deliverability eBook from Act-On
- 6 Ways You Can Build Your Email Newsletter with Social Media from Deliverability.com
- 11% of B2B Email is Classified as Spam, These 6 Tactics Will Help from Marketing Sherpa