How to ensure your customers actually receive your emails

Libby Margo in Email marketing on 26th of Feb 2020
vector image of smartphone buzzing with new email notification

Email deliverability best practices to increase reach

For every 5 emails you send, 1 will fail to land in your intended recipient’s inbox (Experian). This means that 20% of opportunities to connect with your customers are being missed.

Using spam trigger words in subject lines, intentionally or otherwise, isn’t the only factor hurting your email deliverability. The following things may also be preventing your emails from being received:

  • Your emails may contain triggers such as poor HTML codes and excessive punctuation;
  • You’re practicing poor email list hygiene;
  • Your emails aren’t engaging enough;
  • You’re not complying with data privacy laws; and
  • Your contacts haven’t given you their explicit permission to receive your emails.

There are various things you can do to improve your deliverability rate, such as making sure you avoid using common spam trigger words.

Here are 5 more things you can do immediately to keep your emails from landing in spam folders.

1. Be cautious with HTML codes, capital letters, and exclamation marks

Spam filters spot bad HTML codes from miles away, especially if they’re done in Microsoft Word or by placing plain text in an element that’s intended to be rendered as HTML. If you’re not a coder, you may be prone to creating sloppy HTML templates, resulting in emails being sent to spam folders.

Additionally, spam filters check for other red flags such as messages in ALL caps, the use of too many exclamation marks!!!!!, emails missing an unsubscribe button, and links to dodgy websites.

2. Clean out your mailing list regularly

A clean list is a must when it comes to getting your emails delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes. A Prospectify study found that out of 1,000 random email contacts, 4.5% of them were no longer valid after 28 days. Email list hygiene is a process that involves verifying or removing invalid or inactive email subscribers from your database. Here’s what will happen to your business if you don’t clean out your database regularly:

  • The more unengaged subscribers you have, the lower your overall open rates will be
  • Together, low open and engagement rates lead to an impact on your sender reputation
  • The lower your sender reputation, the lower your deliverability rate
  • When your deliverability rate is low, your emails may even be marked as spam — even if you’ve taken care to avoid using every single word on the above list

There are several ways you can clean your email list. Traditionally, this process of cleaning involved manually segmenting their email lists and filtering out disengaged contacts, one by one. We understand that this process can be time-consuming and tedious for businesses with large databases. Autopilot’s sunset policy feature removes that manual process by automatically segmenting contacts who open, click, and reply to your emails from those who are silent. With this feature, you can choose when to stop emailing contacts who don’t engage after a specific timeframe.

Once these disengaged contacts have been cleaned out, it’s important to note that they have not actively unsubscribed from your emails. This means that you can still try to reach out to them in an attempt to re-engage using the following journey.

3. Improve email metrics

Building an email list is one thing. Keeping your contacts interested through a strong email engagement strategy is another. Your sender reputation and deliverability is dependent on how often your readers are opening and engaging with your emails. This means that you should be writing subject lines so good that readers can’t help but click on them and crafting email content that will ensure your subscribers are reading every single word — and taking action. It’s also a good idea to segment your audience and personalize your emails accordingly in order to get more contacts to engage with your emails.

4. Comply with data privacy laws

Data breaches have become increasingly common in today’s digital world. Legislation such as the CAN-SPAM Act and the GDPR now govern how businesses and marketers can promote or sell a product or service — and failure to comply may result in your business being slapped with severe penalties. There are a number of ways to ensure your business complies with the various data privacy laws, including the following:

  • Consider giving customers a chance to double opt-in (see point 5)
  • Avoid using false or misleading information
  • Give contacts a simple way to access their data — and opt-out of your emails
  • Allow contacts to have their data deleted from your database
  • You honor all opt-out requests quickly
  • If you must send an important transactional email such as an account update or an invoice to a customer who has unsubscribed from your emails, use the following Autopilot journey to temporarily update a contact’s email permission to send the transactional email before closing off email permissions again.

5. Consider a double opt-in

You should only email people who have given you their explicit consent to receive your emails. There are two sign-up methods available when it comes to email marketing: single opt-in and double opt-in.

A single opt-in process requires the subscriber to enter their email address once in the sign-up field on a website and they immediately become a subscriber.

In contrast, a double opt-in involves a two-step process where a person enters their email in the sign-up field but must then click on a link in a confirmation email to confirm their subscription.

The journey below shows you how you can use Autopilot to configure a double opt-in process to help you improve your email engagement and deliverability rates high.

Say goodbye to low deliverability rates

Most of the reasons your emails have been landing in spam filters are completely unintentional, which is why it’s so important for you to educate yourself on factors that hurt deliverability rates such as the 5 outlined in this article. The next time you plan your next email campaign, implement these tips to increase email deliverability while improving your customers’ experience.

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