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How To Ensure a Successful Deliverability in Email marketing

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                                        E mail deliverability is a help to measure the success rate of marketer’s email campaigns reach to the recipient’s inbox .There ardownloade number of factors accountable such as ISP (Internet service provider ),bounces, spam issues, email content , opt in database etc. Authentication , reputation and the mail content affect deliverability of an email to a great extent.

To begin with first the entire procedure involved from sending a mail to the receipt at the recipients inbox have to be understood well i.e First the mail is send from sender’s mail client (outlook ) / web mail and it passes via router to SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol ) . Further after going through firewall (This is a filter kept by certain companies to protect their server from getting infected and prohibits certain mails from entering recipients inbox ) and spam filters , the email reaches mail server of recipient. Later after authentication and reputation check , mail proceeds to recipient’s router and finally to recipient’s mail client , mail app or recipient’s web mail (gmail , yahoo etc). All our emails are first made to go via authentification and reputation checks before it reaches the inbox .

Authentication check :-There are various authentication checks which an email goes through namely :-
 Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – an email validation sytem designed to prevent email spam by detecting email spoofing and verifying sender’s IP address .
 SPF allows administrators to specify which hosts are allowed to send email from a given domain by creating a specific record in the Domain Name System (DNS).
 Sender ID is based on SPF and it verifies the header addresses that indicate the sending party.
 Domain Keys is an email authentication system that goes a step further, it’s designed to verify the DNS domain of an email sender and the message integrity.
 DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), built on DomainKeys, associates a domain name to an email message, thereby allowing a person, role, or organization to claim responsibility for the message. The association is set up by means of a digital signature that can be validated by recipients.

Reputation check :- The key factors that affect reputation are:
 Consistent, recognizable sender name and email address which enables the recipient to trust the sender if mails are received from a consistent IP Address with a Good Sender Score.

 Spam complaints can be controlled if we first do a spam check of the content before sending and if the mails are sent to an opt in database.

 Unsubscriber option is mandatory , giving the buyer a chance to opt out whenever he finds content irrelevant .This could also be controlled if we send our mail to opt in database and relevance of our mails are controlled .It is generally observed that the recipients unsubscribe as they feel they are being bombarded with too much of information and at very frequent intervals . If Unsubscribe option is not provided then there are possibilities that the customer might place our mails in spam folder which will affect our sender score and could also blacklist us .

 Spam traps are email addresses used to expose illegitimate senders who add email addresses to their database without seeking permission i.e if an email address has not been used by a person for a long time, it can be taken over by an ISP or by an anti-spam organization. This email address is now called a spam trap because if any emails get sent to it, the sender will be flagged as spammer.

  Blacklist is a possibility if too many spam mails are sent from a sender id .If sender score is affected than the sender’s email can get blacklisted.
 Bounce management :- Bounces are emails that cannot be delivered to the recipients mailbox , and are returned to the service provider that sent them.
ISP (Internet service provider ) keeps track of all bounces and suppresses delivery of senders emails if too many hard bounces are triggered. Bounce rate should not exceed 10 % , else it can result in getting sender id blacklisted.
There are two types of bounces :-
a) Hard bounces are the failed delivery of email due to a permanent reason, such as a non-existent address.
b) Soft bounces are the failed delivery of email due to a temporary issue such as a full inbox or an unavailable ISP .

 User engagement (recipient feedback)  can be observed depending on open and click rates of recipients .It can be determined if the customer / recipient progresses further in sales funnel lifecycle and ends up buying our product or offering . Internet service providers track how engaged subscribers are with an email and its sender, and the nature of the engagement.
User engagement involves opening of the message, appending the address to the contact list, clicking on link or images, and scrolling through the message , reporting the email as spam, deleting it, moving it to the junk folder, or ignoring it. Engagement ratings can be controlled if the sender use only opt-in lists as this maximizes the likelihood of engagement.
ISPs track the reputations of the sender. Most of webmail providers offer preferential delivery to senders using IP addresses with good reputations.

Key factors to be kept in mind while preparing the mail content :-
1) We should take utmost care while writing Subject Line which should prompt recipient to open the mail , we could state a benefit of offering or scarcity tactics may be deployed so that it incites the recipient to click on senders mail .

2) It is advisable to exclude an attachment , Instead include a link to download in the email.

3) Spam check needs to be done on the content before its send to avoid mail from ending in spam folder

4 ) Avoid Embedded Videos as they suppress deliverability. It is better if a link is provided instead to the required page .

5)  Personalisation of mails make the buyer feel that we have personalized the conversation and ensures that recipient showcase interest in our offer or respond to our survey . Also we need to check we have named the customer correctly with the right format i.e Mr /Ms.

6) Call to action (CTA ) is the prime important button to ensure that the recipient is keen on getting enrolled to our services or is keen on buying our product / offering.CTA should be clear and precise and have wide spaces around the button.

Tips for managing recipient engagement:
 Segmentation :- It would be a nice practice to segment our recipient lists and mail quality content to them . This will help us first check how our email campaign reach recipients inbox , before the email is sent to the entire targeted database .
 Set recipients expectations :-Inform the opt in recipients the frequency of our emails (e.g., once a week , month etc ). Sender could deploy double opt-in to ensure that the customers are really interested in our mails i.e recipient is sent a confirmation email after they have enrolled or subscribed to senders campaign or service , unless recipient clicks on the sender’s link , they are not considered for further transactions .
 Deploy a good onboarding program :-To inform recipients that they need to sign up once they receive a welcome email .
 Maintain clean database :- All opt out , unsubscribers should be deleted from the senders list

If all the factors explained are adhered to then there is great likelihood of obtaining a high engagement rate with the recipient and subsequent high ROI in email campaigns .

Photo credit – www.prosender.com

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