Ep. 115 | Why Your Email Deliverability Matters
This week, we chat Andrew Kugler, about email deliverability. Andrew is manager of deliverability at Act-On.
What is deliverability, you may ask? It is the ability to deliver emails to your subscribers’ inboxes.
Deliverability is an important piece of every email marketing campaign. And email marketing is a critical cog in the success of your business.
Your deliverability score or rate is affected by a number of factors between you hitting send and your audience seeing an email in her inbox.
These include your sender reputation, spam issues or complaints, sending emails to non-existent users or folks that no longer work at a company, and more.
Email marketing remains a powerful and cost-effective marketing channel for engaging prospects and customers. But without giving proper attention to deliverability, sometimes even relevant, permission-based emails can get filtered out of subscribers’ inboxes.
Here are some practical steps that marketers can take to build a good reputation, improve their deliverability rate and maximize the effectiveness of their email marketing campaigns.
Send to contacts that expect to receive your emails
A good rule of thumb for email marketing is to only send emails to people who want and expect to receive your email. You should aim to grow your lists organically, as purchased and rented lists can often lead to a negative impact on your reputation and less than stellar results.
Perform proper list maintenance
Maintaining a solid contact list plays a critical role in ensuring high email deliverability. You want to keep your list free of invalid, mistyped and otherwise undeliverable email addresses that bounce when an email is sent to them. ISPs track what percentage of your emails bounce and a high percentage says that your lists are not clean.
Monitor response rates
Staying on top of your email response rates is not just fundamental to understanding and optimizing your email marketing performance, but it also can play a role in improving your email deliverability as well. You’ll want to keep a close eye on your delivery rates, bounces (hard-bounces and soft-bounces), unsubscribes, complaints, opens and clickthroughs, so you can spot any patterns or discrepancies and respond accordingly.
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Focus on engaged subscribers
Subscriber engagement metrics are a key factor in an ISP’s spam filtering determination process. One way to improve your engagement metric is to focus your email marketing efforts on contacts that have recently responded to your emails. You could create a segment of a particular list based on recent open and click activity during a particular time period, such as the past 30, 60 or 90 days and send your email only to that engaged segment.
Create relevant and engaging emails
Bad content alone won’t necessarily prevent your emails from being delivered, but it will certainly lead to a high rate of unopens, unsubscribes, and spam complaints that do impact future deliverability.
Play by the rules
Whether the EU’s GDPR or the CAN-SPAM, make sure you’re in compliance with these rules. Failing to do so will not only affect your sender reputation, but could result in fines.
Choose a solid email marketing platform
As email deliverability continues to become more and more complex, it’s important to choose an marketing automation vendor that has an established track record and the sophistication to help you navigate the ever-changing landscape. While much of deliverability rests on you the sender, the business processes and reputation of the email service provider you use also affect it.