How would you feel if nearly one out of every five online orders you made never arrived at your doorstep? You’d be pretty angry with the shipping service, right? (Unless that missing delivery was the talking toilet paper holder you ordered at 2:00 AM during a bout of insomnia, in which case, you’re probably better off without it.) Unfortunately, this miserable delivery rate is something companies are facing when it comes to their email marketing efforts.
According to Return Path’s 2018 Deliverability Benchmark Report, emails sent by companies to their U.S. subscribers reach the inbox only 83% of the time. That means 17% of the emails are cast away, either sent to spam folders or blocked by ISP filters. Is there anything you can do to up the percentage? Sure!
Here are five proven techniques to improve email deliverability:
1. Make your IP trustworthy
It goes without saying that people don’t like spam. An unwanted email is about as welcome as a startling voice coming from a roll of toilet paper. (Note to self: always wait until morning before hitting the “complete order” button on late-hour purchases.) If an ISP filter suspects your IP is suspicious, your outgoing emails could get blocked. So, how do you convince these filters that your address is legit and trustworthy? Start by sending smaller email batches and by targeting recipients who you know are active. By getting a high percentage of engagements with your emails, an ISP will conclude that your IP is valid. After that, you can gradually increase the volume of your email list.
2. Beware of spammy subject lines
You could spend hours creating the perfect blast email with a compelling headline, arresting images and a killer call-to-action...only to be doomed by a few words: your subject line. Writing “FREE” in all caps, adding exclamation marks and using various sales-y phrases like “no risk” and “lowest price” could catch the attention of an ISP filtering system. But even if it doesn’t, an over-aggressive or cliché-addled subject line could have recipients deleting your email without opening it. When writing a subject line, focus on the value of your message instead of pushing the sale.
3. Clean out your email list
It’s easy to get excited about quantity when looking at your subscriber list, especially when you hit milestone numbers. But what good is having 5,000 followers if a third of them are inactive accounts? Emails to non-existent users will ramp up your bounce rate and affect your send credibility. Most email list providers offer data on who is opening your emails. Weed out all users who haven’t been active in a few months to keep your email list lean and healthy and your credibility intact.
4. Check your sender reputation
Are you finding that your emails are going into a black hole instead of inboxes? Make sure that your IP is not on any DNS-based blacklists, which are created to protect recipients from IPs that have a high number of spam reports. MXToolbox and Sender Score are two services you can use to find out whether or not you have a bad sending reputation.
5. Don’t bombard their inboxes
Like any relationship, communication is key...but in the world of email marketing, how much is too much? Oversending can annoy subscribers and often inspire them to unsubscribe. Too few emails can weaken your revenue. While there’s no perfect number that applies to everyone, a data report by Omnisend (an email marketing and automation company) shows that 86% of marketers send between one-to-four emails a month. That’s a decent benchmark to start with and then, depending on engagement, you can always scale up (or scale down) your communications from there.
The importance of good business communications goes beyond email marketing. That’s why we offer a full suite of communications products and services to help your organization operate more efficiently and productively. Contact us today to learn more.