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Email Deliverability - What To Do. What NOT to Do

email marketing Dec 17, 2020

Recently, our digital marketing mastermind group had a conversation about emails (MailChimp, Constant Contact, ActiveCampaign, etc) ending up in our subscribers' "other" folders or, worse, in their spam folders. 

So much goes into successfully delivering an email to the inbox,

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind. (I'll be using Constant Contact for an example here, but most tips will also apply to other 3rd party email platforms)

 (note: you can download this blog as a pdf resource here)

DO: Get explicit/express permission

While implied/implicit permission is allowed within Constant Contact, getting some form of direct permission is considered a best practice (it’s also becoming more of a requirement and even the law within certain countries.)


DON’T: Purchase a list

Not only is it a violation of Constant Contact’s permission policy, but it’s frowned upon in the industry overall and could have a serious impact on your sending reputation. (Seriously - Don't!)


DO: Use Double/Confirmed Opt-In

 If getting explicit permission is a best practice, then a double opt-in is the king of best practices.  This will ensure those signing up truly want your email,. It will also help protect your online sign-up forms from potential bot attacks.


DON’T: Scrape email addresses from websites

Contact emails are placed on websites for specific inquiries regarding their business, not to be added to marketing lists.  (Just Don't!)


DO: Use your own business domain

This simply looks more professional than using a free email address (Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.),Your domain-based email address will also give you greater control over your email settings and your security. 

DON’T:  Ignore your bounces

Bounce management is one of the most important parts of keeping your list up to date.  Continually mailing to addresses that are bouncing back reflects badly on you as a sender and can impact your ability to successfully deliver mail to the inbox.


DO: Make your email campaigns RELEVANT to your subscribers

When sending out emails, sometimes it’s easy to forget that there is a real person at the end of the line.  If the email seems too generic or doesn’t connect with the person on a personal level, they’re simply not going to engage with it.


DON’T: Neglect your subject line

 A good subject line will not only affect your open rate, but it could hinder your delivery as well!  You'll want to always use a clear, concise call to action or some kind of "tease" about something special in your email that will entice your subscribers into opening the email.  Make sure you're not using too many symbols, buzzwords, or all caps like: “All items 50% off!!!!” or “OPEN FOR A FREE GIFT”.  You might also want to try A/B Testing to test multiple subject lines and find which is most effective.


DO: Segment your lists

List segmenting goes hand in hand with making your campaigns relevant,. It really is a great way to make sure you are personalizing your campaigns to your particular contacts.  You could segment by items/services purchased, birthdate, interests, location, etc.


DON’T: Rely (only) on images

 A few images can help your email campaigns pop, but using only images (or only one image) is never recommended.  It's common for these tol get filtered right to the spam folder.  And...even if they are delivered to the inbox, if your subscriber happens to block images, she won’t even see your content.  It’s best to offset images with plenty of text.


DO: Keep track of engagement

It’s important to keep track of your opens and clicks since those are the contacts you know for sure are actively interested in your emails.  One good practice is to keep an ongoing list of these addresses, this will ensure that you always have a list of engaged contacts


DON’T:  Send too often

 This one really depends on what expectations are you set up when tyour contacts signed up for your list.  Whether you send monthly, weekly, or daily, make sure your contacts are aware from the start.  Once you set a frequency, do your best to stick to it.


All of these points in one way or another can have an impact on your overall deliverability.   


I am happy to have a discussion with you to help you improve your email deliverability and engagement results. 

Schedule your call today. 


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