This is the final part of our Email Deliverability Tips. Here you can find part 1 and part 2.
Authenticate your email domain
Email authentication is a technological verification of the origin of an email message, and is one of the many ways the industry is resolving the challenge of spam. Authenticating your emails is important to secure a positive reputation and earn an ISP’s trust in your brand, with more chance an ISP will actually deliver your email. Without email authentication, you will never get great email delivery, plus it is good to protect yourself against spoofing.
The three most important email authentication protocols are:
● SPF – Sender Policy Framework: You achieve authentication by having IP addresses published in your DNS.
● DKIM – Domain Keys Identified Mail: This assigns a digital signature to a domain to allow it to associate its name with an email message. Verification is achieved using a signer’s public key as published in DNS.
● DMARC Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance: You will need to have SPF and DKIM in existence for DMARC to work. DMARC offers an extra layer for authentication and directs a receiving server on how to handle emails that fail SPF and DKIM validation. This makes DMARC a super powerful tool.
Secure your reputation with a dedicated IP and conduct its initial warm-up
To be able to build and protect your own reputation, every email marketer should use dedicated IPs that are not used by others. The risk of using a shared IP, is that all your efforts to send good emails are meaningless if there are a couple of bad actors on the same IP. A dedicated IP means just that, an IP address for your exclusive use. You are responsible for all activity good and bad, and for most businesses, a dedicated IP is the best option.
An IP warm-up plan is critical to ensure that ISPs will regard you as a legitimate email sender, as when they detect emails from a new IP they can get suspicious. By sending emails to the engaged recipients first, the ISP will boost your reputation due to the high email engagement. At Inboxroad we have written a guide on warming up IPs.
Make sure your sending domain is an existing website
An existing website is absolutely essential for email marketers, and without one you’ll lose the trust of ISPs. ISPs are able to detect spammers by verifying the sender’s information, and if your domain is found to non-existent, a red flag could be raised leading to you being marked as a spammer.
As an email marketer, your ultimate goal is to maintain high email deliverability, so regularly evaluating best email practices and following them is essential to the future of your brand or business. Not only you should always provide your subscribers with a simple unsubscribe process, but make sure that you are complying with all anti-spam laws if you want your email deliverability to improve.
You are not alone. Our Inboxroad team is dedicated to get you the highest possible deliverability. We strongly believe in customer relationships – similar to what you would like to see with your clients. Feel free to reach out to us.
This is part 2 of our Email Deliverability Tips. Haven’t read the first one? Click here.
Find the perfect sending frequency
Meeting the expectations of your subscribers not only refers to the content you send, but also the frequency at which you send it. Sending emails far too often can be annoying for some of your subscribers and will result in your emails being ignored. Although this won’t directly impact your email deliverability, it will affect your open rate and your ROI. As well as being ignored, you also run the risk of unsubscribes, and spam complaints.
On the other hand, sending emails too infrequently disengages your subscribers and makes them forget about your brand or business.
Unfortunately, there is no magic rule when it comes to how often you should send emails, as this will entirely depend on your type of business and the email campaigns that you are running. The best thing is to setup an A/B test and decide the frequency based on the most important campaign metrics. When you do send out that double opt-in email to clarify to a subscriber about the type of content and frequency at which you will send it, make sure you stick with it.
Check you are not on a blacklist
Being on a blacklist is every email marketer’s worst nightmare, so how do you know if your company is currently listed?
An email blacklist is a database that uses certain criteria to determine if an IP or sending domain is being used to send spam. These lists are used and updated by ISPs to prevent spam messages from reaching peoples’ inbox.
If you have a feeling that your emails are not getting through as your open rates have plummeted, you can check your IP address or sending domain on either MultiRBL or MxToolbox to see if you are listed. It’s always better to act on these listings as soon as possible, therefore we advice you do check this on a daily base.
If you do find that you are listed, it is not the end of the world since it is likely that you are able to remove your IP address or sending domain. You will need to first discover the reasons as to why you have been blacklisted from the information provided on the site, and then take your time to resolve these issues. You can find instructions on how to get yourself removed, so make sure to follow these guidelines to get back to delivering relevant content that your subscribers want to read.
At Inboxroad we will proactively delist our customers and inform them on the latest status.
Evaluate negative issues as soon as they come about
Evaluating any negative issues that arise from your email campaigns is imperative to building a trusting relationship with both your existing and potential new subscribers. There are mainly four ways that you can tell if something is not right:
1. Bounces: If you are finding that a lot of emails are bouncing back, read the bounce codes. If you listen to the feedback from the ISPs, you can act accordingly and scale back in volume or change your content.
2. Unsubscribes: Give the option for subscribers to tell you why they are unsubscribing in a short feedback form on the unsubscribe page.
3. Complaints: Take note of what the complaints are about – are your emails not meeting the expectations of your subscribers in terms of content or frequency? Are the emails too long, or use offensive or inappropriate language?
4. Blacklisted: As mentioned in the tip above, you can usually find out the reasons why you have been blacklisted so you can take steps to get your status as a trusted email sender back.
As stated earlier we help our customers at Inboxroad. Our team closely monitors your outbound email to protect your IP reputation and deliverability. If any kind of issue arise, we will proactively intervene and inform you.
Learning from these kinds of issues and dealing with them appropriately will help you to avoid similar mistakes in the future, and therefore increase your open rates and ROI.
Thanks for reading. Keep an eye out on the Inboxroad blog as we will post the final part in the coming weeks!
Email deliverability tips all marketers need to know
As an email marketer, your primary goal is to get people to read and engage with your emails. After all, what is the point in putting in all that hard work to create and send offers if nobody is even going to look at them?
Looking at bounce reports, receiving negative feedback, and realizing your emails are hitting spam folders, are all signs that your email deliverability is not where it should be. These put all your efforts to waste and will leave you wondering just where you have gone wrong.
To prevent these issues and to improve your email deliverability, our experts at Inboxroad put together a list of our top tips, so you can ensure your emails are actually being opened.
Ensure your data quality with double opt-in
These days, it is not ok to email anyone without their permission, so although the idea of buying an email list might be tempting for you to be able to reach more people, it’s definitely a bad idea.
It is also illegal due to the CAN-SPAM act and new GDPR regulations.
Using a double opt-in signup process is the right way to go about acquiring new subscribers. This is where an email is sent to the subscriber after they have given their email address, so they can reconfirm they are the owner of the email and that they want to receive your newsletters. The other option you have is using single opt-in, where subscribers will enter their email address once but they don’t need to confirm before you start sending emails.
Double opt-in is by far the most secure choice out of the two. Here, transparency is key, as you can let the subscriber know exactly what you are going to send them, and how often.
Although implementing a double opt-in method might seem like a slower way of acquiring subscribers, it is something that every email marketer should do and definitely worth it to ensure that you only have willing recipients on your email list.
Segment your subscribers based on their activity
The subscribers that open your emails and click through are the ones that you absolutely need to keep track of during your email campaigns since they will give you your ROI.
But, it is also important to identify and keep an eye on your inactive subscribers.
People may no longer engage with your emails for an assortment of reasons – perhaps they’re too busy, you’re sending too many emails, or their interests have changed. Once you have identified who these people are, you can try lowering your email frequency to see if you get any bites or develop a reactivation campaign to recover those inactive subscribers.
If a reactivation campaign still does not get any positive response, your only choice is to stop sending emails to these addresses, otherwise you risk hurting your reputation by these addresses turning into spam traps.
Only send relevant content
Misleading your subscribers about the content that you are going to send them is never a good idea, so you should always be transparent and send only what you promise.
When subscribers sign up through the double opt-in method, you have the chance to state the frequency and type of content that you will be sending. While it may seem harmless sending out an unrelated offer or marketing campaign, if you fail to meet the expectations that your receivers have, you’re only going to shoot yourself in the foot and see a higher number of unsubscribes, and even worse, spam complaints.
As a marketer, you are likely well aware of the dangers of spam complaints to your business, so do the right thing and keep your reputation intact. When sending out an email, ask yourself the question, is this something that I would like to receive myself? Does it add value for my subscribers?
You also need to be careful about the wording that you use and you should always avoid spam words in your email template. Spam filters are getting smarter and smarter and will easily kick your email to the spam folder if they pick up a lot of these words in your content.
Thanks for reading. Keep an eye out on the Inboxroad blog as we will post part 2 and 3 of this article in the coming weeks!