Email deliverability is a crucial aspect of any digital marketing strategy. A high deliverability rate ensures that your messages reach your target audience, whereas a low rate can result in your emails being sent to spam or even being blocked.
In this article, we'll dive into the different factors that impact email deliverability and provide you with actionable tips and best practices to help you improve your email deliverability rates.
The Importance of Email Deliverability
Email is still one of the most effective marketing channels, with a return on investment of $44 for every $1 spent. However, to maximize its potential, it's essential to ensure that your emails are being delivered to your subscribers' inboxes.
A high deliverability rate means that more of your subscribers will receive your messages, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions. On the other hand, a low deliverability rate means that your emails will end up in spam or be blocked, reducing the effectiveness of your campaigns.
What Impacts Email Deliverability?
There are several factors that impact email deliverability, including:
- Email content: The content of your emails must be relevant, valuable, and not contain any spam-triggering words or phrases.
- Email reputation: Your sending reputation is based on the behavior of your subscribers and the quality of your emails. A good reputation increases the likelihood of your emails being delivered to the inbox, whereas a poor reputation can result in your messages being sent to spam.
- IP reputation: The reputation of the IP address you use to send emails can also impact deliverability. If the IP address has a history of sending spam, your emails are more likely to be marked as spam.
- Email client and server configurations: The configurations of the email client and server can also impact deliverability. For example, certain configurations can cause emails to be marked as spam or blocked.
Best Practices for Improving Email Deliverability
Here are some best practices you can follow to improve your email deliverability rates:
Know your audience:
Knowing your audience is an essential aspect of effective email marketing. It helps you understand the needs, interests, and preferences of your subscribers and allows you to create content that resonates with them. By having a deep understanding of your subscribers, you can tailor your messaging to meet their specific needs, making your emails more relevant, valuable, and engaging.
Segmenting your email list is a key part of this process. It involves dividing your subscribers into smaller groups based on shared characteristics, such as demographics, interests, location, purchase history, etc. By doing this, you can ensure that you are sending relevant, targeted content to each group, increasing the chances of them engaging with your emails.
For example, you could segment your list into groups based on subscriber location, and then send them weather-related promotions for their specific region. Or, you could segment your list based on purchase history, and then send relevant product recommendations or follow-up promotions. The goal is to provide each group with content that is relevant and valuable to them, making your emails more engaging and effective.
Maintain a clean list:
Maintaining a clean email list is crucial for the success of your email marketing campaigns. A clean email list refers to a list of subscribers that are actively engaged with your brand and are interested in receiving your emails.
Regularly cleaning your list helps you remove inactive subscribers, which are people who haven't opened or clicked on your emails in a certain period of time. These inactive subscribers can negatively impact your email deliverability, as well as your sender reputation, by reducing your open and click-through rates.
Moreover, removing inactive subscribers can reduce the risk of your messages being marked as spam. This is because email clients, such as Gmail or Yahoo, track the engagement of your subscribers and use this information to determine the relevance of your messages. If your messages are marked as spam, they are likely to be filtered out of the inbox, reducing their visibility and effectiveness.
To maintain a clean list, you can periodically send re-engagement campaigns to your inactive subscribers, asking them to confirm their subscription. If they don't respond, you can remove them from your list. You can also use an email verification tool to validate the email addresses on your list and remove any invalid or inactive addresses.
Monitor your sending reputation:
Monitoring your sending reputation is an important aspect of email marketing as it can greatly impact the deliverability of your messages. Your sending reputation is a measure of the quality of your email campaigns and is determined by factors such as the number of emails you send, the engagement of your subscribers, and the number of spam complaints.
Having a good sending reputation is essential for ensuring that your messages reach the inbox of your subscribers. Email clients, such as Gmail and Yahoo, use your sending reputation to determine the relevance of your messages and to determine whether they should be delivered to the inbox or filtered into the spam folder.
To monitor your sending reputation, you can use tools like SenderScore or Return Path. These tools provide you with a score that reflects the quality of your email campaigns and allows you to track any changes over time. You can also use these tools to monitor other important metrics, such as your bounce rate, open rate, and click-through rate.
If your sending reputation starts to deteriorate, it is important to take action to improve it. You can do this by reducing the number of emails you send, improving the quality of your content, and reducing the number of spam complaints. You can also monitor your subscribers' engagement and remove any inactive subscribers from your list.
Test your email content:
Testing your email content is an important step in the email marketing process, as it can help you avoid common mistakes that can trigger spam filters and reduce the deliverability of your messages.
Spam filters are designed to identify and flag emails that contain spam-triggering words or phrases. These words and phrases can include anything from overly promotional language to words that are commonly used in spam messages. To avoid triggering spam filters, it's important to test your email content for these words and phrases, and make adjustments if necessary.
You can use spam-checking tools to test your email content for spam-triggering words and phrases. These tools will analyze your content and provide you with a report that highlights any potential issues. You can then make changes to your content to ensure that it doesn't contain any spam-triggering words or phrases.
In addition to checking for spam-triggering words and phrases, it's also important to test your email content for overall quality and relevance. This can include testing the subject line, the call-to-action, and the design of your email to ensure that it looks great and is easy to read on all devices.
Use a reputable email service provider:
Using a reputable email service provider (ESP) is essential for the success of your email marketing campaigns. An ESP is a company that provides the technology and services needed to manage and send email campaigns.
When choosing an ESP, it's important to choose one with a good reputation and strong deliverability record. This is because the reputation of your ESP can greatly impact the deliverability of your messages. Email clients, such as Gmail and Yahoo, use the reputation of your ESP to determine the relevance of your messages and to determine whether they should be delivered to the inbox or filtered into the spam folder.
A reputable ESP will have strong relationships with email clients and a proven track record of delivering emails to the inbox. They will also have robust systems in place to prevent spam, such as spam-checking tools, bounce management systems, and email list cleaning tools.
Adhere to email authentication standards, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC:
Email authentication is an important aspect of email security and deliverability. By adhering to email authentication standards, you can protect your domain from being used for malicious purposes and ensure that your emails reach the inbox of your recipients.
Here's a more detailed explanation of the three main email authentication standards:
- SPF (Sender Policy Framework) - SPF is a simple, straightforward email authentication method that verifies the authenticity of the sender's domain. It works by publishing a list of authorized IP addresses that are allowed to send emails from a particular domain. When an email is received, the recipient's mail server checks the SPF record to see if the sending IP is listed as an authorized sender. If not, the email may be marked as spam or rejected altogether.
- DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) - DKIM is a more advanced email authentication method that uses digital signatures to verify the integrity and authenticity of an email message. This technique helps prevent unauthorized changes to the email during transit and ensures that the message was actually sent by the domain that it claims to be from.
- DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) - DMARC is a protocol that builds on SPF and DKIM and provides a way for email receivers to check for authenticity of emails and provides a mechanism for domain owners to specify what to do with emails that fail SPF and/or DKIM checks. It allows domain owners to publish a policy that specifies how email receivers should handle emails that fail authentication, such as marking them as spam or rejecting them.
By following these email authentication standards, you can help protect your domain and increase the chances of your emails being delivered to the inbox of your recipients.
Monitor your IP reputation:
Monitoring your IP reputation is important because it helps you maintain the deliverability of your emails. The reputation of an IP address can be negatively impacted by various factors such as sending a high volume of spam emails, having a high bounce rate, or having a high complaint rate. When an IP address has a bad reputation, email providers may block or filter your emails, causing them to land in the recipient's spam folder or not be delivered at all.
Here's how you can monitor your IP reputation:
- Use Reputation Monitoring Tools: There are a number of tools available that can help you monitor the reputation of your IP address. These tools collect data from various sources and provide you with a score that reflects the reputation of your IP address.
- Check Email Deliverability: Keep an eye on your email deliverability rates to make sure your emails are being delivered to your recipients' inboxes. If you notice that your emails are being filtered into the spam folder or are not being delivered at all, it may be an indication that your IP reputation has been impacted.
- Check Complaint Rates: Monitor the complaint rates of your emails to ensure that they are not being marked as spam by your recipients. A high complaint rate can indicate that your IP reputation has been impacted, and you need to take steps to improve it.
- Track Bounce Rates: Bounce rates can also impact your IP reputation. High bounce rates can indicate that your emails are being sent to invalid or non-existent email addresses, which can lead to a bad IP reputation.
By regularly monitoring your IP reputation, you can identify potential issues early and take steps to improve it. This will help ensure that your emails are delivered to your recipients' inboxes and that your IP address remains in good standing.
Email deliverability is a critical aspect of any digital marketing strategy. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can improve your email deliverability rates and maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns.
To summarize, you can improve your email deliverability rates by:
- Knowing your audience and sending relevant, valuable content
- Maintaining a clean list
- Monitoring your sending and IP reputation
- Testing your email content
- Using a reputable email service provider