All of those emails you’re sending… They might not end up in your recipient’s inbox.
It’s a sad truth, but a truth all the same.
Poor email deliverability is an all-too-common barrier to effective content marketing, growing your business and making sales. The good news is that you can take measures to improve your deliverability and ensure that your content gets seen.
More on that later.
So My Email Won’t Always Arrive Where I Want It?
Correct. If your email deliverability is poor, the email you’ve so cleverly crafted might never arrive in the inbox it was destined for. Worse still, it might end up in your recipient’s spam folder…
What Can Affect Email Deliverability?
Several factors can negatively affect your email deliverability rate.
Are You Who You Say You Are?
It’s crucial to make sure your identification credentials are up to date and correct so that you don’t look like spam.
You do this by sorting out your protocols, such as DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF). These protocols authenticate your emails by adding a digital signature to them. This means the servers receiving your emails can tell you’re real (not a bot) and allow your email through the gates.
Are People Interacting With Your Emails?
Open rate, unsubscribe rate and general engagement levels affect your reputation score, a rating given to your business by your internet service provider that describes how trustworthy you are as a sender.
The more clicks, opens and interactions your audience has with your emails, the better your scoring and the higher your rate of deliverability.
Is Your Content Relevant?
Relevant, compelling information is more likely to encourage higher engagement from your target audience. (If you’re a regular reader of my blog, this shouldn’t be news).
Meeting your prospective customer’s needs at all stages of their buying journey is key to guiding them through the sales funnel. And keeping your prospects interested with great content goes hand in hand with improving your deliverability.
Because when they interact with what you’re sending them, it shows your ISP that you’re legit.
And while we’re here, the notion that including imagery in your emails affects deliverability is a myth. In today’s marketing world, where there’s an increasing focus on the aesthetics that accompany the content, email has evolved to be much more image friendly.
What Can I Do To Increase My Deliverability?
Managing relevant protocols and creating great content are two critical components of improving your email deliverability.
Another strong contender to making sure your emails get to where they need to be is list health. By that, I mean maintaining a clean list full of quality leads.
And by that, I mean you’re going to need to delete people.
That’s right. I know it doesn’t feel good now but think about it. Those on your lists who aren’t opening or interacting with your emails are:
- Not going to buy from you, and more importantly
- Are lowering your reputation score by not showing your ISP you are relevant or interesting.
So here we go.
Six Simple Tips For Improved Deliverability
Don’t let that content go to waste. You can’t sell to people on your list if you’re not reaching them.
Clean your lists. There will always be people on your lists who signed up but lost interest. There will be some who don’t know why they signed up at all. You might even be sending emails to fake or spam email accounts. All of this hurts deliverability.
This recent blog has plenty more to read about who should be on your list.
When you use a double-opt-in method, subscribers have to verify they want to receive emails from you when they sign up. Double opt-in therefore ensures that you’re only adding good quality, interested people to your subscriber list.
In turn, that means less cleaning for you and better overall levels of engagement, making you look authentic.
Another strategy you can use to check the email addresses of a list before sending an email is an email list checker tool (I highly recommend MailerCheck, from the lovely people behind MailerLite). These scan and weed out anything invalid to avoid a high bounce rate.
Good Subject Lines
Even with a high-quality list, you’ll need to hook subscribers in to get them to open your emails. Effective subject lines are enticing and creative. Whilst they won’t affect deliverability directly, they do affect engagement which in turn has an effect on future deliverability.
Read more about the secret ingredients for successful subject lines here.
Understand Your Audience (And Your Sales Funnel)
Content needs to be relevant, interesting, exciting and personalised to optimise engagement.
The information you send out needs to matter to the recipient. And that means you need to have a strong understanding of your target market AND your potential customer’s needs at every stage of their buying journey.
Segmenting your lists can also help you work with your subscribers’ interests and buying stages, meaning every interaction you have with them can be tailored to their needs.
We’ve written a great everything-you-need-to-know blog on sales funnels. Read it here.
Erratic emailing can damage deliverability. Not only does automating your email sequences make your life a lot easier; it can boost your reputation score too.
You can also create automations to either remove non-engagers from your list completely or prompt them to make a decision on whether they want to stay on your list before you remove them.
All Of The Acronyms
As well as making sure your DKIM and SPF records are neat and tidy, give some time to configuring your DNS settings.
ISPs, or internet service providers, use these security processes and protocols to help filter spam, and you don’t want to be that spam. Setting up email authentication for your custom domain helps your emails reach your subscriber’s inboxes instead of their spam folders.
This isn’t something to just ‘have a go at’ – in the wrong hands, changing these records incorrectly can break your email setup completely. Speak to an expert.
So There We Have It… You Can Improve Your Deliverability Rate
With a sparkly clean list, you’ll know you’ve got a bank of subscribers who want to be there and are interested in what you have to say.
Which means you can more effectively personalise the emails you send them, build trust quicker, and ask them to buy from you when the time is right.
A tool I’d recommend looking at is Deliverability Dashboard by the folks at EmailSmart. It’ll help you understand what your sender reputation is right now, and give you specific directions for improving it.
Need a little help? Not sure how to make sure you’re kicking the right people off your lists? Book a call with me today and let’s work through it together.