Stand and deliver – 5 deliverability tips

Before you can even think about who is opening and clicking in your email campaign you need to pay attention to any emails that aren’t being delivered. So in this blog post I am going to list ideas for you to improve your email marketing deliver-ability by making some small changes to your email marketing.

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It may be that some people have changed circumstances or just have no interest in your products and/or services anymore. Some companies will run specific email campaigns sending only to non openers to try to tempt them back, some even after a while will email them one last time to explain they are removing them from their list. By doing this they will not be emailing and paying for almost “dead leads”, and usually the will say how they can remain active if they should choose to.

So below are some tips on how you can change your email marketing habits to improve your deliverability.

Bounces

Most email marketing providers track any bounces so you can see the reasons the emails weren’t delivered. By inspecting the bounce reasons given you can see how you can make changes next time to try to improve your delivery rate. These bounces will come with an error code and reason as well as a type – either soft or hard. Hard bounces are permanent failures to deliver the message whereas soft bounces are temporary delivery failures.

Some bounce codes are temporary failures to deliver the message and can be anything from out of office is turned on, temporary network issues, email size being too large or mailbox being full. Hard bounces are permanent failures of delivering the message – mainly to say the email address doesn’t exist now or anymore and the email address is no longer in use.

DNS/SPF record

More and more email service providers now check SPF records to authenticate the delivery of your email campaign. By setting up your SPF record you are showing the emails being sent by your email provider are authenticated and if this is checked it will show your email marketing system IP addresses in your domains mail record.

So if the email is ever checked to match your SPF record, it will show the mail authorised to be sent on your domains behalf.

The reason for doing this is to prevent emails being marked as spam, as some larger brands and banks especially have their emails spoofed, this is why quite a few email clients use SPF record checks when receiving emails to ensure the email is valid.

From address

Make sure your from address is correct and monitored in-case of any replies, especially emails notifying you of the person no longer working for the organisation, you can then take these off your list. You may also from time to time receive questions from subscribers, about your products or services so you can answer these if needed.

No reply from addresses just look bad from a marketer’s point of view, like you are sending an email you expect me to make a purchase from but don’t want to hear back from me.

Subject lines

By treading carefully with your subject lines you can make it to your subscribers inbox; I highly recommend testing your subject lines prior to sending your campaigns. Over the years working in Email Marketing I have seen the tiniest little things mark an email as spam just from the subject line, from exclamation marks, to a single word causing a spam filter to junk the email when used in the subject line.

When testing your email make sure you have different test accounts in Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo! Gmail and Aol to name a few, just to see what these accounts not only do to your email when it arrives but also to view how it displays. It is always an idea to look at your own list to see the most popular email clients and email providers, so you can test these yourself to make sure the most popular clients display your email correctly.

Double Opt-In

By making your subscribe process double opt-in this can make sure incorrect email addresses are not added to your list by mistake. When subscribing it will ask the user to confirm a link that is sent to their email address, until this action is made they will not be added to your list.

By doing this you not only confirm the subscribers email address is correct but also that they are sure they would like to sign up for your newsletter.

Some businesses’ are put off by this process but this will save any complaints further down the line and not waste any money spent emailing addresses that do not exist.


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