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.

  • Infusionsoft
  • Ontraport
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Mailchimp
  • 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.

You can see here Yahoo’s Bulk Email Sending Guidelines and Gmail’s guidelines are here

The rest of how to get in the inbox (about 70% of the job) is up to you – as the sender.

  1. 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!
  2. 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)
  3. Content

What defines engagement?

  • Open
  • Scroll
  • Click
  • Move to another folder
  • Whitelisting

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

  1. Typos
    • Yah00.com
    • Gmaal.com
  2. Pristine
    • if you are buying lists, sharing lists, scraping mails from the web.
  3. 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

Solution?

  1. Authenticate if your domain doesn’t have the SPF / DMARC / DKIM set (giving permission
  2. Clean the list every 3 months.  (30 % of lists go bad every year)
  3. Sort your content out

List Hygiene, Validation and Reputation Tools

  • Klean13
  • Mail Tester
  • G-lock
  • 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 here

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