If you send marketing emails – and you actually want them to land in the inbox – then this for you!
Firstly I’d like to thank Evan Samurin from https://fundamental.marketing for his information and guidance on a lot of the below – he is THE go-to guy for email deliver-ability & list hygiene.
Did you know that less than 30% of your emails are making to the Inbox ? But this can be improved. Email deliverability is a moving target and we have to move with the times. Evan has nailed the science behind it.
You may have noticed the Email Service Providers (ESP) such as Hotmail; Gmail; Outlook; Yahoo have upgraded their ‘thinking’ (and algorithms). It is their job – and rightly so – to ensure that the inboxes of their clients are not full of SPAM!
Research said that in March 2019 alone over 85% of all emails sent (that’s 295+ BILLION emails a day) were considered Spam. (https://www.talosintelligence.com/reputation_center/email_rep)
They run each incoming email through a number of checks to see if the domain it’s being received from is authenticated and reputable; and if they consider content is spammy; They have the ability to throttle incoming emails and stop your emails being delivered at all if they think you are a spammer. The ESP themselves won’t even guarantee 100% inbox delivery – you can see what Yahoo say on protecting their users here https://help.yahoo.com/kb/SLN24439.html
We – as people sending bulk email, now have to upgrade our thinking – what we have been doing up to now – isn’t going to work anymore! and this is across ALL bulk email platforms.
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
The job of these platforms/services is to protect the reputation of their IP addresses (their unique servers through which they send your marketing mails) – to basically avoid being blacklisted which means the ESP will stop ALL mail coming from their servers. The ESPs are updating what they are doing this on a continual bases – Yahoo for example have recently deactivated a load of dormant emails – so if you are sending to any of these they are considered a spam trap. This is why you need to be looking at your email hygiene around every 90 day.
The rest of how to get in the inbox (about 70% of the job) is up to you – as the sender.
- The ESP wants to know that your emails are actually from who they say they are? Are they authenticated? This is where your SPF; DMARC: DKIM Settings come in and are so vital (in simplistic terms – authorising 3rd party services to send mails from you, via their domains) If you don’t have this your mail will bounce!
- How reputable is your domain? What is your sending behaviour? and how are people reacting with your emails?
- Are they bouncing (soft & hard).
- Are people engaging If you are continually sending to un-engaged contacts the ESPs will no longer trust you and will stop delivering ALL your mails.
- Are they complaining & unsubscribing
- Have you hit a spam trap or used an invalid email? (List Hygiene). ONE spam trap can trash a whole mailer
- How consistent is your sending behaviour? (inconsistency screams promotion – they want you to provide value)
- Are your emails personalised
- 2-3 links maximum (NEVER use link shorteners like bitly)
- Have you used used capitals in the subject line (don’t do that !)
- Have you used too much punctuation !!!!!
- Do you have preview text
- Have you used any Spam Phrases? (see Hubspot’s article https://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30684/the-ultimate-list-of-email-spam-trigger-words.aspx)
What defines engagement?
- Move to another folder
What are Spam Traps?
(hit one spam trap and it will kill the whole send of that mail)
There are 3 kinds of spam trap
- if you are buying lists, sharing lists, scraping mails from the web.
- Recycled (even on 100% opted in lists)
- when the ESPs take old email accounts – and recycle them as spam traps. (Yahoo recently did this)
What is a Spammer (as far as the ESPs are concerned?)
if you are….
- Sending to unengaged contacts
- Repeatedly sending to addresses that bounce
- Using link shorteners
- High spam complaints
- Hitting spam traps
- Making unsubscribing hard
- Sending large amounts of mail at 1 time – one mail blast can ruin your reputation
- Authenticate if your domain doesn’t have the SPF / DMARC / DKIM set (giving permission
- Clean the list every 3 months. (30 % of lists go bad every year)
- Sort your content out
List Hygiene, Validation and Reputation Tools
- Mail Tester
- MX Toolbox
- Talos Intelligence
- Sender Score
- 250 ok
- Edata Source
You can see Evans full webinar and more details info on this here https://fundamental.marketing/email-deliverability-101-replay/ He is my Go-To guy for sorting this stuff out
If you want to speak to one of us about how to improve your marketing – email marketing & deliverability – automation – Book a Call hereBook a Call with Lisa