Emails need to go to the Inbox- 6 ways to get them there
Fancy words, fabulous offer, irresistible designs, a great pitch- all of these are to naught if your email does not reach the inbox. None of the above matter in any way if you aren’t able to get through to the place where the email will be read. Deliverability is the catch word here and it drives about every action that an email marketer takes. If your email marketing inbox deliverability is low, it shows there is a problem. Finding that problem is always going to be time consuming and finding a solution is not a surety. How do you then avoid such issues? How do you get good delivery rates without waiting for it to hit rock bottom?
Deliverability and how to improve it
Staying out of the spam box and getting into the inbox are not really directly related. If you avoid the spam box, it doesn’t mean you automatically enter the inbox. It can also mean that you didn’t get through at all in the first place. Now, understanding that it is not better to not get delivered than enter the spam box is something that will save you a lot of embarrassment. Both are bad, if not equally bad. Getting spammed and not getting delivered are bad for your IP reputation and deliverability rates. Improving delivery rates is how you beat the spam folder, and get into the inbox. It is a two stage process. For this, you will need to work on certain aspects of your planning and execution to ensure it happens. We have collated 6 ways in which you can improve your delivery rate and avoid the spam folder.
Blacklists are bad
Getting blacklisted has a multiplier effect on your email marketing program. First let’s understand what email marketing blacklisting is. If an ISP identifies you as sending a certain number of emails that are spam like or has gotten too many unsubscribe requests or has fallen into a certain number of spam traps, you will be added to a blacklist. A blacklist reduces your reputation score and ISPs will not accept emails from you. You can always check if you are on a blacklist.
Try to get into white lists. Ask people to add you into their mailing list. Getting approval to send emails is another way of getting white listed. Make sure you stay within the parameters of email compliance. They are-
- Non spam looking emails
- Regulated sending
- Avoiding and removing hard bounces
- Honoring unsubscribe requests fast
These are essential and need to be done. That does not mean you will not end up on a blacklist. It happens sometimes due to shared servers and other such technological problems. You can sort it out if you have a valid reason.
Set up DKIM, SPF, Sender-ID, and Domain Keys properly
Domain keys Identified Mail, Sender Policy Framework and your sender ID are digital markers that are recognized by ISPs. Ensure that youremail marketing service provider has kept them in place and all of them are functional at the time of campaign launch and end. These can be daunting for email marketing executives who are not well versed with technical aspects of the same. You can always get it done from your service provider. Ensure you verify it, which can be done for free, online.
Master drip sending
Bulk sending is frowned upon. It is usually done by shady marketers who are looking to make a quick buck. Even if you have a big list, time the sending to be kept at a minimum per hour. It need not be too low and it shouldn’t be too high. It does mess up your time of delivery but that’s the price you need to pay to stay out of blacklists. The best thing you can do is classify your emails as per geography so you can send geo specific emails in batches.
Don’t send attachments, avoid over-linking
Attachments are usually sent by internal servers who have received permission beforehand. They are typical within office ecosystems. So when an outside server is trying to deliver attachments, it is red flagged. This is also because during the initial stages of consolidation of email marketing, scammers used to (still do) send viruses masked as attachments. Spammers have ruined it for the rest of the lot, but it has also helped in defining guidelines for email marketers.
If you do need to send an attachment, try getting approval to do the same. You can always use Dropbox and other such applications if you want to share presentations. Too many links within the mail are also seen as a threat, often used by scammers. So, reduce links to a bare minimum.
Don’t appear like a spammer
You may have the best intentions, but if you don’t dress well, your value depreciates. This is a life value and it holds true in the digital environment too. Understand how spam mails work, how they look and why they get spam trapped. Use that knowledge while creating your campaigns.
Know the most commonly used spam words. Usually, it is the subject line that gets noticed first. Work on it intensely. Test it out to see how they perform. Don’t use gaudy fonts and large images. Video is also a new trend in emails but it increases the size of the email considerably. Most ISPs have a limit, so know it and work within these limits.
Don’t use special characters at all. Even if you are selling products and services that are usually seen as spammy, such as fertility pills and recreational products such as adult toys, you can still do a fantastic job at it. Take Porn Hub for example. They have created one of the best marketing campaigns of this year, without using a single explicit image. It’s all about being smart about the design and content.
Use spam checkers
Using technology to its fullest should be on the back of our mind. Spam checkers are available freely. You can check your spam score easily and then try to reduce it as far as possible, without affecting the creative edge you have put into these campaigns. There are several free and paid tools that analyze and tell you what you need to do, to achieve a good score. Also, your HTML code should be of top quality. Invest in a good coder who understands the nuances of the email marketing environment. If you have faults in your coding, it is recognized by ISPs as from someone who isn’t interested or invested in the process entirely, aka-spammer.
Email marketing can be a tough task master if you slip and fail to recognize red flags fast. It takes a considerable amount of time and effort to undo issues such as blacklisting. So, to avoid such issues, you need to have a clear check list that needs to be taken care of with utmost concern if you are looking to succeed in email marketing. Invest in a good email service provider; the extra dollars you pay are well worth it, as compared to the pain of failing and losing good business.