Email deliverability is unquestionably one of the most important aspects of email marketing. After all, what good is your carefully crafted promotional email if a majority of your subscribers will never see it in their inbox? With email inbox providers getting ever stricter and punishing senders who don’t comply with their rules, it’s imperative that email marketers keep up-to-date on best practices and make sure their emails are designed to land in every inbox.
With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of seven essential email deliverability tips to keep your email marketing humming.
Authenticate your Email Domain
Make sure all Email ISPs (Internet Service Providers) know you are who you say you are. Enabling and authenticating your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) is perhaps the most straightforward step you can take towards improving your sender reputation and overall email deliverability. Check with your individual ESP (Email Service Provider) to see how to set both of these factors up. As a start, here's how to configure them on MailChimp.
Clean Your List Regularly
If an email address hasn’t opened your email over the course of several months, chances are they aren’t interested in what you’re sending. Low open and click rates can damage your email deliverability by indicating to ISPs that people aren’t interested in your content. Prevent that by removing inactive subscribers, which will boost your open rates and email deliverability. Refer to this helpful article to learn more about why you should regularly prune your list.
Make it Easy to Unsubscribe
While this might seem counterintuitive, including a link to unsubscribe or manage email preferences is beneficial for your email deliverability. If subscribers are unable to unsubscribe easily, they are more likely to mark your email as spam. Additionally, it is better to have those who don’t want to receive your content be able to remove themselves from your list, than to not open your emails.
Try A/B testing send times to analyze what times of day have the highest engagement with your audience. Once you’ve settled on a time, be consistent and stick to a highly scheduled send regimen. Erratic sending can trigger ISP spam traps.
Create Engaging Subject Lines
It’s obvious but always bears repeating: subject lines are the most important weapon you have in the fight to raise your open rate and improve your deliverability. Avoid easily identifiable spammy phrases, as spam traps are sophisticated enough to recognize them. While there is no hard and fast rule for what subject lines trigger spam traps, so try testing different subject lines to see which work best with your audience.
Monitor Your Email Deliverability
Services like Return Path can help you monitor your overall email deliverability by reporting on the health of your IP Address and other factors. Google also has a tool called Google Postmaster which helps you track if your emails are arriving in Gmail inboxes. Gather as much data as you can to help yourself build emails that improve your deliverability.
Create Great Emails
Finally, spend time building the best emails that you can! If you’re able to send emails that people love and engage with, ISPs will rarely give you any issue. Test different pieces of content and always try to deliver value to your subscribers.