Email marketing campaigns are pointless if they don’t actually make it to the user’s inbox. According to Validity's Email Deliverability Benchmark Report 2020, globally, the average inbox placement rate was 83 percent -meaning one out of every six messages failed to reach the inbox. Below we look at some simple ways to improve email deliverability.
Permission marketing as a concept was created by marketer Seth Godin and refers to email marketing in particular. On his blog, Godin describes the term as “the privilege (not the right) of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them“.Gaining permission involves a person specifically opt-ing in to hear from you, and this is important for many reasons. Sending an email campaign to 100 subscribers who have confirmed they are interested in what you offer is hugely more effective than sending to 1000 recipients who don’t know who you are.
In addition, Mailchimp reports that 43% of users report emails as spam if they don’t recognize the From Name or email address and once you’re marked as spam, you’re unable to email that person again.
If you’ve got a list of contacts that are ‘stale’ (no contact in a long time and possibly invalid emails), you will need to reach out to them outside of an email platform such as MailChimp and reconfirm them via a link to a sign-up form.
Sending to a smaller, more targeted list will be more cost-effective. When it comes to your email lists, it’s best to think quality over quantity.
You can damage your email reputation simply because your subscribers aren’t engaging with your emails. If your open rates are below 15% and your click-through rates are below 5%, you’re in dangerous territory.
Webmail providers like Gmail are increasingly using recipient engagement to classify an email as spam or not. They identify when a user deletes unopened emails from senders, and begin to filter out these emails from reaching the inbox in the first place.
To rebuild your email reputation, you need to boost your open and click-through rates. As such you need to create content your audience will want to open and read.
Start by looking at the reports of the emails you’ve sent in the past. Are certain campaigns and messages more successful than others?
Research examining brain activation shows that people light up when seeing their own names in print or on the screen. Our names are intrinsically tied to our self-perception and are a huge part of our identity. It’s hardly any surprise then, that people become more engaged and even more trusting of a message in which their name appears.
Using permission marketing, you can adapt this strategy easily by being able to start off messages with a customer’s name. Secondly, this will help your emails appear less ‘spammy’ to filters.
Spam filters use the metadata of your emails to make decisions. For emails, metadata is information about the sender, the recipient, the IP address the email was sent from and the recipient’s IP address.
Activating the following three items will change your metadata to help avoid the spam filter:
Use merge tags to personalise the To: field of your campaign
Ask recipients to add you to their address books
Ask recipients to reply to you
It’s difficult to create a comprehensive list of text in emails that trigger spam filters, simply due to a large number of different email providers. As a starting point you should avoid:
ALL UPPERCASE LETTERS (especially in the subject line)
Excessive punctuation (such as multiple exclamation points!!!)
Words and phrases (such as free, buy, purchase, earn big bucks, and money making)
If you find writing a challenge, it may be worth outsourcing the task to skilled copywriters. In addition, you should avoid using URL shorteners such as Tiny.url or Bitly to shortening links as these can often trigger spam filters.
Text-based messages generally achieve higher deliverability rates, since they require less bandwidth compared to image-based campaigns.Image heavy emails with little text can also trigger spam filters. It’s recommended to follow an 80:20 (80% text and 20% images) text to image ratio in emails.
You need to follow some best practices for sending HTML emails so they don’t get marked as spam. Optinmonster lists the following best practices for HTML emails:
Use a maximum width of 600-800 pixels. This will make them look good in most email clients.
Keep your HTML code as simple and clean as possible. If you are using a template from a reputable email service provider, you should be OK.
Keep your image-to-text ratio low. Images are OK to include in your email marketing campaigns, but never send image-only emails with no text.
Optimise your images for email by compressing them first.
Don’t use obscure fonts. Stick with fonts that work across platforms, like Arial, Verdana, Georgia and Times New Roman.
Optimise for mobile. Make sure your emails are readable and load quickly on mobile devices, and that your links can be pressed easily with a thumb.
At Ipso Facto we work with business to understand the marketing playing field and how you can harness it to showcase your strengths.
We create intuitive branding, websites and email campaigns to capture the heart of your business message. We help businesses rank foremost on Google and at the front of your consumer’s mind. You can learn more about our services here or contact us directly to learn more about how we can help.