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5 Best Practices for Successful Email Deliverability

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“Deliverability” is expressed as a percentage of number of emails that actually make it into the inbox. To ensure email deliverability one needs to must first understand the process of email deliverability and the challenges that need to be overcome to reach recipients inbox.

Email deliverability procedure (in brief) – First the mail is sent from sender’s web mail and it passes via router to SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol). After going through firewall (these are filters that prohibit certain mails from entering recipients’ inbox) and spam filters, the email reaches mail server of recipient. Here authentication (checks if the sender is authorized to send emails) and reputation (indication of the trustworthiness of sender’s IP address) check takes place, email then proceeds to recipient’s router and finally recipient’s web mail.

Each receiving Internet Service Provider (ISP), business email exchange, and individual account uses significantly different rules affecting email deliverability but the most critical email deliverability factors rest with sender. Some of these factors are as mentioned below:

1.  Use Your Brand Name

To help recipients easily recognize you among the list of emails in the inbox it is a best practice to use your brand name in “from” name & the email. Using the brand name helps recipients to easily connect with brand and thus increases the chance of increasing open rate of the email. And this also reduces of the chance of mail being marked as spam. Apart from including brand name in “from”, one may even consider adding brand name in the subject line.

If someone is not using brand name then using the same email id used earlier consistently helps to better connect (instant recognition) with the recipients.

2.  Email Subject Lines

Subject lines give recipients the information about the email content in brief. A lot depends on subject line if an email will be opened or not. A good subject line helps to gain recipients interest and thus open & check email. Subject line should be creatively written, interesting, forcing enough to open email and not too lengthy.

Recipients may mark an email spam just by reading subject line. To avoid email from being marked spam do not use special characters and words like “free” or “advertisement” in the subject line.

3.  Use Opt-In

The chances of emails being marked as spam by recipients are more when they receive emails from unknown sender compared to when they receive it from known sender. When an unknown sender sends an email there is a high probability that the recipient marks it as spam even without opening the email. The best practice is asking for recipients’ permission to send them mails. This can be done either through single opt-in or double opt-in.

In Single Opt-in user enters their email into the form (or join box) and the email address is instantly added to your email list. And the subscriber starts receiving emails from you. Here a recipient does not need to confirm that they signed up.

In Double Opt-in sign-up requires that a user confirm that they have joined email list. The user first enters their email id in the form and then they receive an email with a link in the mail id mentioned in the form. The user needs to click on that a link to confirm that he or she is the owner of the email address and agree to receive emails from you.

4.  Check your Sender Reputation

What is sender reputation? 

Sender reputation is an indication of the trustworthiness of an email sender’s IP address. Mailbox providers take a lot of metrics into consideration to determine your sender reputation including spam complaints, mailing to unknown users, industry blacklists & whitelists, subscribers engagement, email volume, hard bounces and more.

What is sender score?

Sender Score is a number between 0 and 100 (0 – low score & 100 – highest score) that identifies your sender reputation and shows you how mailbox providers view your IP address. Your Sender Score is like a bank running your credit score to gauge your credit history. There are tools available to check IP address score like sender score.

Sender Scores assigns a number to every outgoing mail server. A good reputation has a great impact on the effectiveness of your email campaign whereas a bad reputation may prevent your emails from reaching your recipients. Emails are not delivered majorly because of the poor sender reputation, so past email campaign have effects on future campaigns.

5.  Check Your Copy for Spam-Triggering Words

SPAM filters triggering can cause senders email to straight away land into spam folder instead of recipients’ inbox. To avoid SPAM filters it is best to choose the email words carefully. Spam trigger words cause problems and increase the chances of email getting caught in a SPAM trap. By avoiding the ‘spammy’ words in your email which spam filters checks for, sender can dramatically increase their chances of reaching recipients inbox.

Learning’s:

Success of email marketing campaign for any business depends on its deliverability rate. If sender sends emails but cannot land them in recipients’ inbox, then there is no point in sending them at all. If an email is blocked by spam filters or internet service providers not only the current communication is lost but future communication is also affected. Therefore, when developing an email marketing campaign, it’s important to keep all of above elements in mind.

Credit: Google & YouTube.

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