How do you improve deliverability? How do you get the maximum number of people to see your emails?
Here are 10 methods for making sure your emails are delivered.
10 Methods To Improve Email Deliverability
1. Have a Solid Indoctrination Series
The indoctrination series is the first series of emails that someone gets. As soon as someone signs up for the email, you want to send them a Welcome email that gives them excited for your future emails. Some things you can include:
- Thank them for signing up and welcome them to your community
- Share a quick snippet about the brand or your story
- Let them know what they can expect. “You’re going to get a valuable email one a day for the next week”
- You can ask them or give instructions on how to whitelist your email address
2. Get them to Respond to Your Email
How does an ISP know that you’re trustworthy? One way is if they actually reply back to your email. In many ESP’s, when someone replies, you’re automatically “whitelisted.” You can write a call to action in your email, or add it to the p.s.
“What’s your biggest challenge right now with x? Reply back and let me know”
Warning: Depending on the size of your email list, you could end up with hundreds of replies. Make sure you reply back or you risk damaging the relationship.
3. Send Consistently
If you only send large email blasts occasionally, ISPs may think that you’re a spammer. Sending “spikes” are a signal to ISPs that something unusual is going on, and they may flag your emails as a precaution. It’s much better to send emails on a consistent schedule.
It’s kind of like training a dog. If you only train your dog once every four weeks, you’ll never make progress. You need to be consistent. In a similar way, you need to “train” ISPs to recognize your email address and not flag you as spam.
4. Use A Confirmed Opt-In
This is also called a “Double Opt-In.” It works like this. When someone signs up for your email list, an email is sent to the address they used. They must click a link to confirm that it’s really their address.
This ensures that people use real email addresses that aren’t old or outdated. Obviously, you don’t want to be sending emails to fake addresses (they’ll bounce) or to ones that are never checked (the emails won’t get opened). With the new GDPR regulations, using a double opt-in is especially important. In some European countries, it’s actually mandatory.
5. Do a “List Hygiene”
There are always going to be some people on your list who don’t open your emails and don’t click on any of the links you include. Now, you might think that it’s better to just keep these people on your list and hope that someday they open one of your emails. But ISPs pay attention to how often a person opens and clicks on emails from a certain address. If a large number of people don’t open your emails, they may start to get automatically marked as spam.
So, every few months, you should go through your email list and remove the people who haven’t opened or clicked on an email for a month. This will ensure that only the most active and engaged people are on your email list.
6. Use “From” In Your Name To Remind People Who You Are
There’s a pretty good chance that people will forget that they signed up for your email list. When they see your name on an email, they’ll be like, “Who is this guy?” Then they’ll either delete the email or mark it as spam.
A simple way to prevent this from happening is to include “From” in your sender name. It’s a simple reminder of who you are and how they got on your email list in the first place.
7. Make Sure You’re Not On A Blacklist
A variety of companies create and maintain blacklists of email addresses and domain names that have received a high number of spam complaints. If you’re having problems with deliverability, there’s a good chance you’re on one of these blacklists.
And even if you’re not experiencing problems, it’s good to check these lists every once in a while to be sure you’re on them.
8. Don’t Hide The Unsubscribe Option
You might think you’re being tricky by hiding the unsubscribe option or making it so small that people can’t see it. But you’re actually just hurting yourself.
Because what are people going to do if they can’t unsubscribe from your email list? They’re going to smash that spam button and you’re going to end up on a blacklist. When that happens, your email deliverability will tank.
Plus, it’s not like they’re going to convert on any of your offers if they don’t want your emails in the first place. If someone doesn’t want to be on your email list, don’t make it hard for them to unsubscribe.
9. Segment Your List By Offer
Not everyone on your list is going to be interested in every offer you send out. If you send out every offer to your entire list, you’re going to have a lot of people unsubscribing, not opening the emails, or marking them as spam. All three hurt your deliverability.
Whenever possible, segment your list by different offers. For example, if you have one offer for car insurance and another for cruises, segment your list so that you’re only sending the offers to those who are actually interested in them. Don’t randomly blast both offers out to your entire list.
10. Be Careful of Using Spam Words
There are certain words that ISPs automatically associate with spam. Some of these are pretty obvious, like “Cash bonus” and “Double your income.” If you include these in your subject line or email body, it’s pretty much guaranteed that it will be marked as spam.
It is always better to find alternatives words or phrases to use.
For example, let’s say I’m sending you an email with a tip to make more money. “Money” and “earnings” are spam trigger words. Instead, we might use the phrase “improve your conversions.”
Honestly, the best advice when it comes to email deliverability is to play things as clean as possible. The more “whitehat” you do things, the higher your email deliverability rate will be. And the higher your deliverability rate, the more money you make. So play it clean. That’s how you’ll ultimately win in the game of email marketing.