According to a study conducted by RetailDive, more than 20 percent of marketing emails do not reach the inbox.  That’s a huge number and a large amount of massively missed opportunities for your business!  But don’t panic because it doesn’t have to be that way!  With the proper tools and protocol, you can significantly reduce the number of your company’s marketing emails that end up in the spam folders of your target audience or blocked altogether by various ISPs.

To help you get it right, we’ve put together our list of best practice tips and processes to improve your overall email deliverability rate and ensure that your marketing emails land at their desired location…..the inbox!

What Is Email Deliverability?

So what is email deliverability anyway?  Well, simply put, email deliverability is a measure of how many of your emails actually reach your subscribers’ inboxes, which is often expressed as a percentage.

As ISPs, such as Gmail, Yahoo, Comcast, and AOL, are always working to protect their users, they update their procedures and protocol on a continual basis.  Keeping up with these changes is a fulltime job!  Never fear though because Mail Monitor has a team dedicated to staying on top of the ever-changing requirements put in place by ISPs and we work tirelessly to create tools and helpful content to keep you stay on top of the changes and to keep your emails flowing smoothly.

Best Practices for Email Deliverability

While we keep up with the changes in processes, requirements, and regulations, you just need to follow these simple best practice steps to keep your email deliverability rates high:

  1. Never Buy Email Lists – While it might sound tempting, never purchase an email list from any vendor.  Industry regulations around opt-out and opt-in requirements are so stringent, that purchasing a list of users who have not specifically provided you with an opt-in approval to be on your list, could cause your company to get blacklisted (i.e. blocked) from an ISP altogether.  Take the time to build your lists organically and avoid the pain that comes from taking the easy route to creating a robust email list.
  2. Stay On Top of Your Email Stats – Marketers typically focus on open and click-through rates.  While these are hugely important when it comes to connecting with consumers, managing your company’s bounce and complaint rates are more important.  If too many emails bounce or a large number of users mark your emails as spam (i.e. complain about you), then your sender reputation will take a hit.  A poor sender reputation could cause you to end up blacklisted.
  3. Make Opting-Out Easy – We know, you don’t want users to opt-out of your emails; however, if you make this process harder than it needs to be, users will mark your emails as spam, which as we just discussed, will negatively impact your sender reputation.  Put your opt-out or manage email subscription links up top or in an easy to locate area at the bottom of your emails…don’t hide it!
  4. Control Your Desire to Spam – As marketers, we love to send emails and share information…it’s who we are!  Try and minimize the frequency with which you reach out to your users though.  Create segments of your main email list putting users into categories such as active, influencers, sleepers, previous customers, leads, etc. and market to them according to their status versus sending one massive blast to everyone.  Also, create a schedule and stick to it!  This way your users will be more likely to open your emails versus getting annoyed with constantly receiving them.
  5. Manage Your WordPress Deliverability – WordPress is an amazing platform and one that allows so many businesses to create a great website and manage several business tasks, such as newsletters and email management.  However, WordPress uses the PHP mail function for sending emails.  Many ISPs are not quite set up for their emails and have discrepancies in understanding where emails are coming from and from whom.  To solve this issues, establish a standard email protocol (SMTP) from which to send your emails.  To handle and get it checked off your list quickly, check out the WP Mail SMTP plugin.
  6. Clean Your Email List Regularly – As part of your marketing roadmap, include a task, either monthly or quarterly, to clean your email lists.  Based on your business model, decide when a user should be moved from an ‘active’ list to a ‘sleeper’ list and adjust accordingly.  Look for users who receive bounces consistently and address the issue — update their email address if it has changed or simply move them to an ‘unable to email’ list until the issue is resolved.  Also, if you see that a user has opted-out and is still on a list, clear them out.  These steps will help to protect your sender reputation.
  7. Use the Tools at Your Disposal – Develop a protocol for testing emails before sending.  Create a seed list that you can test with to verify deliverability and preview quality.  You can do this manually, or you can use tools, such as the suite of tools provided by Mail Monitor, to handle this job for you.  Regardless of whichever path you choose,  always test before you send emails!

Looking for more details?  Check out our series on how to Spam Proof Your Email Marketing Campaigns for more information and tips on how to create marketing emails that will grow your business!

Want to power up your email deliverability efforts even more?  Then contact us and request a demo of the full suite of MailMonitor tools!

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