It’s no surprise we love content marketing — email marketing being a big component of that.
However, your emails, regardless of how great they are, are completely useless if they don’t wind up in anyone’s inbox. Furthermore, if your emails aren’t getting delivered, you’re wasting precious time, energy and resources.
Email deliverability is the foundation of great email marketing. Here are 16 ways to ensure you wind up in your subscriber’s inbox:
1. Double Opt-In
A single opt-in is when you instantly add a subscriber to your email list after providing their contact details.
A double opt-in takes it one step further by sending an email which requires subscribers to confirm their subscription.
The double opt-in method has several benefits:
- Lower unsubscribe rates
- Higher click-through and open rates
You may experience lower subscription rates up front but will benefit from only targeting users with a true, vested interest in your brand — quality over quantity.
2. Remove Hard Bounces
A hard bounce is when a sent email never makes it to the recipient because either their inbox is full/unavailable or they’ve wrongly inputted their contact information.
Keep your mailing list clean and purge hard bounces immediately.
3. Avoid Sending Too Many Emails
Just because you’ve sent double the emails, doesn’t mean you’ll receive double the results. If you’re sending more than one email a day, you’re probably over mailing.
You may wind up looking “spammy” and annoying to your recipient.
4. Purge Users Who Don’t Open/Click
You choose the time frame — it may be six months, a year or more, but remove users who are not interacting with your emails, at all.
It may seem like losing a prospect when you cut them from your list, but cleaning up your mailing list will improve deliverability rates for those who are clicking and opening.
5. Maintain a Consistent Sender Name
Usually, the sender name is more prominent than the subject line or preheader text. Be sure you’re sending from your business email account, as this increases credibility and makes your brand more recognizable.
Once you’ve started sending from one account, stay consistent and only send messages from that account.
6. Avoid “Clickbait” Subject Lines
Don’t promise anything in your email subject line, that you are not offering in your email.
You may have come up with a great, catchy subject line, but if your message doesn’t deliver, your recipient will feel duped.
7. Insert Links Instead of Attachments
Avoid sending attachments in your emails, such as PDFs or images. If you have something for the recipient to check out, include a link.
Firstly, a link looks much cleaner and more professional, as you can easily embed it into the body of your message. Secondly, with links, you can track who clicks through and thus learn more about your audience.
8. Limit Email Size
A good rule of thumb is to keep it under 40KB. Of course, you can go over, but we recommend keeping it below. It may take a bit of extra effort and creative formatting, but it’ll be well worth it!
9. Respect Your Unsubscribers
Process your unsubscribers, as soon as they opt-out. There are some email lists, who will message their unsubscribers even after they’ve opted out — don’t be that person!
Respect your unsubscribers and don’t give them any reason to talk ill of your brand — you never know who may be listening!
10. Ask Subscribers to Make You a “Safe Sender”
Encourage subscribers to add you to their address book. This will ensure even a message, normally filtered as “Spam” will wind up in their inbox.
You may not get a ton of people who do this, but it doesn’t hurt asking and can guarantee inbox delivery.
11. Add Unsubscribe Links
Always give your subscribers the options to opt-out. Unsubscribe links are usually found at the bottom of a message, but can also be situated well at the top of an email in a custom heading.
Include a “Statement of Origination” which explains the recipient opted in for said mailing list, ideally with the date and time of subscription.
You may have also seen “Why am I receiving this message?” which is the same as a Statement of Origination.
12. Brand Your Email
Ensure your email branding is clear and consistent with what your subscriber saw at the time of signing up.
This includes wording, coloring, logos and so on. In your email footer include company name, address, contact information and logo. Consistency is key to brand recognition and credibility.
13. Establish a Send Schedule
Low deliverability can be a result of random and erratic send behavior. Decide when is the best time to target your mailing list and maintain a consistent schedule.
As said, over mailing can overwhelm and annoy your recipient; one email per week is a good rule of thumb.
14. Filter Contest/Freebie Sign-Ups
If you’re gathering contacts by hosting a contest or freebie giveaway, users are more apt to sign-up, and even give multiple email accounts.
Before dumping this list into your regular subscriber list, consider vetting users, to avoid high bounce rates.
15. Check IP Blacklists
Check blacklists if you’re experiencing send problems, or as a regular maintenance procedure. Blacklists are created to protect users from IPs with high rates of reported spam. You can check your IP here: MXToolbox
16. Check Your Sender Score
A low sender score could be the reason your emails are not delivering – IPs automatically reject senders with scores below a certain level.
Sender Scores are calculated based on unsubscribe rates and reports of spam; scores are rated from 1-100, the higher, the better. You can check your Sender Score here: Sender Score
Before getting into the details of creating an amazing subject line and click-worthy content, your email has to get delivered. Email marketing can change the nature of your business, but only if you land in the inbox!
Learn more about email marketing, by checking out some of our favorite posts!