Email campaigns are favoured by many businesses for their ability to facilitate cheap and efficient mass communications with users. Whether it is a newsletter, or a specific announcement, email is the first and most obvious choice for distributing communications and promotional materials to customers, or even to other businesses. But, whether it’s a marketing campaign that you are distributing via email, or a more general communication, it is very frustrating when messages aren’t delivered.
If your emails end up going straight into the spam folders of the recipients, you will want to rectify the problem as soon as possible. Many businesses fail to implement any kind of email deliverability strategy, despite the importance of email as a communications tool between a business and its customers.
What Affects Email Deliverability?
There are a number of factors that are involved in determining the deliverability of a business’s emails. As you would expect, chief among these factors is the reputation and trustworthiness of the business itself. If your business has a reputation for sending out unsolicited spam communications, you will find it considerably harder to get your emails delivered in the future.
The content of your email will also affect deliverability, meaning that it’s very important to consider whether, at a glance, your communications might look like spam. If this is the case, there is the chance of a filter misidentifying your message and condemning it to the spam folder.
Finally, email deliverability is affected by technical considerations. If an email arrives with conflicting digital signatures, such as a purported sender domain that doesn’t match the IP address, this can also cause a false positive.
Following email deliverability best practices will ensure that the vast majority of your communications will arrive at their intended recipients without any hassle. Let’s take a look at what some of these best practices are.
Clean Up Your Contacts
It is a good idea to give your email contacts list a cleanout now and then; in fact, this is very important for any email marketer. On the surface of it, it might not seem like there’s much to be lost by keeping old contacts on your list, however, it can seriously affect your engagement rates, while also making it considerably more difficult to accurately determine your email deliverability.
There are two types of ‘dead’ email address that are no longer of any use to you. First, there are the non-existent email addresses. This should be fairly self-explanatory; these are email addresses that have made it on to your contacts list despite the fact that no one owns that address.
The other type of email address that you need to clear from your contacts list is the inactive addresses. These are emails that were once in use but, for whatever reason, the account holder has elected to move on and abandon the account. If you are continually trying to send emails to addresses that cannot receive them, and therefore harming your deliverability rate, you will be penalised by providers like Google and Yahoo.
Ensure Your Contacts Have Given Their Consent
Given that the EU has just implemented its new general data protection regulations (GDPR), it is now more essential than ever before that businesses ensure that they are obtaining the appropriate consent from those they wish to send any emails to. If you haven’t obtained your customer’s permission, and the emails are unsolicited, there is a much greater chance of the person in question deciding to blacklist your email address.
One of the key objectives of any business looking to maximise their email deliverability should be to ensure that a high portion of the recipients are going to be interested in the communication. If a significant portion of those receiving your email communications aren’t interested in receiving them, your engagement rate will be lower.
Avoid the Spam Filter
We’re all familiar with the spam filter on our email accounts. These filters are designed to ensure that we aren’t affected by the large number of businesses and organisations who send out mass communications to large numbers of people. However, we all know that even legitimate communications can fall prey to the spam filter.
There are a number of things that these spam filters look for; if they detect that most of the text has been written using caps lock, for example, they will often mark it as spam. Similarly, if the filter detects a long line of punctuation in a row, such as a string of exclamation marks, it will often identify this as being indicative of spam.
Every business should be looking to maximise their email deliverability. If your emails are routinely being blocked and marked as spam, this will have a negative impact on your business’s standing. Fortunately, improving the deliverability rate of your emails isn’t nearly as difficult as many people think it is.