Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Email Deliverability

You’ve written, designed, coded, and sent your email. Job is complete; no worries, right? What if your email then lands in your subscribers’ spam folders? All that work beforehand isn’t going to matter much now.

Managing and deploying an email to a list of any size can be stressful, and sometimes you just want to hit send after looking at it for so long. However, if you aren’t taking the proper precautions, your email may end up in the wrong place, where all that work isn’t returning your investment (in time and money). Focusing on deliverability tactics can help make sure that you’re getting the greatest potential ROI from your emails.

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Here are ten tips to help improve your email deliverability.

  1. Improve your data collection tactics. The collection process is the source of all your data for your work, so good data in and good data out. Provide clarity and transparency in the processing and use of the data.
  2. Always authenticate your mail–ALL OF IT–using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. By doing this, you protect your consumers from fraudulent emails, phishing, and spam. Be sure to specify your legitimate email, in-house, and third-party sources.
  3. Test the frequency of mailings to determine the optimal send time and number of communications per week. Over-mailing can be as dangerous to your list health and delivery as not mailing enough.
  4. Do some list cleaning. Start by reducing the frequency of messages to non-responsive users to test whether or not they can be coaxed into action. Consider launching a win-back program, but eventually remove subscribers. (CASL requires this for implied consents after 24 months anyway.) You aren’t gaining anything from having non-responsive subscribers.
  5. Use welcome programs to start an immediate relationship with the subscriber. Explain what’s in it for them, set expectations, and introduce the value of your email program. “Welcome emails can achieve open rates of above 50%”, so you have an important opportunity to establish an initial relationship with trust.
  6. Take time to look at your data differently. Find ways to track in-store shoppers (e.g. barcodes), track activity of users by collection source (and perhaps invest in better sources), and sunset under-performing sources.
  7. Expand your reach with partnerships in order to grow your lists. By cross-promoting content in related or complementary organizations’ newsletters, you can add value to both organizations. Be Aware: expanding your lists through list purchasing can greatly affect your sender reputation.
  8. Ensure content and coding is flawless. Mistakes in your content or code can affect delivery and have a negative impact on your program, so use them effectively. Avoid using services like bitly and IP addresses in your URLs in order to improve your deliverability.
  9. Monitor your reputation by using services like 250ok. 250ok tracks your email/IP reputation, delivery rendering, and inbox placement rates. By using this tool, you stay on top of your reputation constantly.
  10. Code with the device in mind. Mobile-optimized emails need to be sent to mobile-optimized websites and landing pages. More people are reading on mobile devices than on PCs these days, making it even more important to keep mobile rendering in mind for delivery.
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