For many marketers, the ultimate question during a lead nurturing campaign is “how often should I send an email?” But if your email deliverability is low, your email frequency won’t matter. Deliverability is the percentage of emails that make it into a valid Inbox, ready to be opened. They don’t bounce, get lost in a Spam folder, or lead to an unsubscribe.
The rampant amount of junk mail and scam emails has led to increasingly strict standards for email deliverability. While this is good news overall, it can be tricky to navigate all the rules when you’re setting up an email campaign. We’ve put together a few tips to help ensure your emails aren’t incorrectly categorized as Spam. Follow these five tips to help improve email deliverability, as well as open rate.
Keep Complaints Low
When someone deems an email unwanted, they may simply delete it. But if they’re truly annoyed, they might click “This is Spam.” When that happens, it’s flagged as a Complaint. To improve your email deliverability, make sure your list is up to date, accurate, and verified with double opt-in and complaints should account for less than 2% of your messages. The biggest culprit for complaints? Unsuccessful unsubscribes. Many email service providers will automatically unsubscribe users who click “unsubscribe,” so you won’t have to manage two lists. Make sure yours is one of them so you’re not accidentally sending unwanted emails.
The best way to keep Complaints low and improve your email deliverability is to ensure that only the people who have explicitly opted into your database are receiving your emails. Verify how, when and why they provided their contact information using double opt-in. Don’t assume a single purchase long ago equates to a mailing list sign-up. Anyone who receives unsolicited emails will probably report them as Spam, so it’s important to keep your email list current.
Clean Up Your Lists
Once you have permission, make sure you keep your email lists up to date. Track unsubscribes and bounces, and watch your open rate for trends. Gmail, one of the largest email services out there, is particularly picky about user activity. So if a large percentage of your email is not being opened or clicked, Gmail may start to flag you as Spam. Optimize your Subject Lines to improve email deliverability and increase open rate, and avoid mailing any user who has not opened or clicked in either the last two months or ten emails, whichever comes first.
You want to ensure that it is crystal clear what it means when someone joins your database. Whether they signed up for your mailing list directly on your site, through co-registration ads or by virtue of purchasing a product, make sure that the terms spell out that they will receive periodic emails from you. And every time you send an email, be sure to include a clear unsubscribe link that quickly removes them from your send list.
Respect Your Brand
While it may not directly impact your send metrics, your open and conversions rates will benefit from a consistent brand look and feel that is uncluttered and easy to navigate. If you are promoting a partner or secondary brand or service, make sure that it is still clear that the email came from your company on their behalf.