Email marketing delivers the highest ROI of any digital marketing tactic (and out-delivers any traditional marketing tactic as well) as you can see below. However, email marketing isn’t easy. It’s a multi-pronged strategy that relies on building a robust email list, sending valuable messages, and ensuring email deliverability. That’s the topic of today’s discussion, and by the end of this post, you should have the tools to optimize your email marketing.
Building a successful email marketing campaign
Building a successful email marketing campaign relies on four cohesive elements:
- Building a robust subscriber list that’s kept up-to-date
- Sending valuable messages to segments of your list based on their interests, behaviors, or characteristics on a regular basis
- Ensuring deliverability by cleaning your list and using other tactics discussed in this post
- Monitoring performance and building insights to optimize performance
I’ll briefly discuss the first two aspects of building a successful email marketing campaign before we get to the meat of this post which addresses deliverability. If you’d like to learn more about running a successful email marketing campaign, check out other posts in this category.
Building a subscriber list
Building a subscriber list isn’t an easy task as internet users are increasingly concerned about their privacy. International regulations are also getting stricter in terms of adding subscribers and promptly removing subscribers no longer interested in receiving information from you. In the US CanSpam regulations and GDPR in the EU limited your ability to send information unless the recipient actively asked to receive your email. Severe penalties are levied when companies violate these regulations, and since email provider absorb many of these fines, they have their own ways of ferreting out companies likely violating these rules. You can’t buy, sell, or borrow lists unless you want to receive a fine or get kicked off your email provider.
Most companies use a lead magnet to encourage folks to subscribe. For my site, I offer an ebook that walks you through the process of creating a website that doesn’t require writing code.
Sending valuable messages
Next, you should establish a schedule for sending email messages. I send one when the user subscribes. This email contains a link to the promised ebook used as a lead magnet. Then, I send email messages about every month to my subscribers containing information I think they’ll find valuable.
Message creation requires you to pay careful attention to the following:
- Subject line – the subject line should entice subscribers to open the email. Adding emojis and personalizing the subject line increase open rates
- Timing – Sending email messages to a full inbox almost begs subscribers to delete them. Avoid sending messages on Monday morning or late on Friday is a recipe for disaster if your subscribers are business folks
- Segmentation – subscribers are different. Don’t send messages to the entire list unless it’s likely to interest everyone. Instead, send separate messages to those who might find the message valuable. For instance, you might send a message to subscribers who haven’t made a purchase in some time to offer them an incentive to make a purchase now.
And, now we come to the topic of today’s discussion on deliverability.
What is email deliverability?
Email deliverability refers to the successful transmission of an email to the recipient’s mailbox without being blocked or redirected to a spam folder. It is related not only to the arrival of the email in the customer’s inbox but also to its placement within the inbox itself. This includes considerations such as whether the email lands in the primary inbox, promotional tab, social tab, or spam folder.
It is commonly assessed by the percentage of emails that are accepted by the recipient’s internet service provider (ISP). While the conventional understanding of email deliverability revolves around emails that just disappear after being sent, in reality, it involves a wider spectrum of factors influencing the email’s ultimate destination and visibility to the recipient.
Why does email deliverability matter?
Deliverability is crucial for higher ROI because correctly delivered emails allow you to improve the visibility of your message in a crowded inbox and increase your chances of engaging with a target audience. Consistently good deliverability builds trust with both email service providers and recipients. It indicates that your letters are valuable, strengthening your brand reputation.
It is important to mention the cost efficiency of improved deliverability, which means you get more out of your marketing investment.
What is a good email deliverability rate?
Certainly, achieving 100% is most likely unrealistic, so try to maintain the highest possible percentage! A good email deliverability rate typically hovers around 95% or higher. You can use an email spam tester, such as the Inbox Insight tool by GlockApps, or the spam score provided by your email provider.
Remember that the definition of a "good" delivery rate can vary based on industry benchmarks, the size of your email list, your audience’s specifics, and the quality of created content. Continuously monitoring your metrics and improving them will help maintain a healthy sender reputation and achieve consistently high deliverability rates.
What affects your email deliverability rate?
There is no single aspect that affects the email deliverability rate. Here are the essential factors:
The lower your reputation score is, the less likely your letter will reach an active subscriber’s inbox. This score is calculated based on an algorithm of many different points such as bounce rates, spam complaints, and overall sending practices, to determine whether or not your email should be trusted. Your sender’s reputation is like your email credibility score, a positive dynamic in this aspect improves deliverability.
The authentication process enables ESPs to verify the sender’s identity and prevent spam. Authenticating your emails using protocols SPF, DKIM, and DMARC predominantly helps verify your identity and prevents email spoofing.
Email subject line and content are imperative to building trust and engagement. Compelling subject lines and targeted and relevant content will result in longer read times and higher open rates. With these two factors in mind, no ISP will mark your email as suspicious or dump it in the spam folder.
Your deliverability rate can be negatively affected if you send many emails at once because the ESP tracks the volume and frequency of your letters. The ideal solution would be sending a consistent amount of emails from month to month.
Recipients’ interactions with your email content are continuously tracked by ESP, including open and click-through rates. Keep on working for a higher engagement rate, that can positively impact your sender reputation and delivery. Don’t forget to add interactive elements to your email content such as short videos, GIFs, interesting games, relevant polls, and quizzes. The visual aspect can also influence how people behave with your letter, and an attractive design can boost recipients’ reactions to your campaign. It’s also essential to make sure that your email design has a good user experience on both mobile and desktop screen sizes, as mobile-friendly layouts help increase the engagement rate.
How to get the best rates for deliverability?
The deliverability of your emails is an ongoing process that depends on how much your subscribers interact with them. If your subscribers are more engaged with your emails, your emails will have better placement in the inbox. So, it’s important to keep track of your email deliverability metrics to ensure that your email marketing efforts are not in vain.
You should always monitor your performance by accessing the data provided by your email provider. You should check periodically to see how the message performs immediately and over the next few days to make adjustments for your next campaign. Your provider also lets you see the exact percentage of your emails that were delivered, opened, or bounced, as well as which subscribers opened a prior email, to help you improve performance. You might also send a second email based on whether the subscriber opened the message.
As with any digital marketing tactic, you want to remove subscribers when the email bounced or wasn’t delivered. Cleaning your list may sound counterintuitive after spending so much effort gaining subscribers in the first place but data shows that clean lists perform better. I commonly remove subscribers who haven’t opened an email for some time. My email provider really helps with this task by rating the subscribers on my list.
To monitor your deliverability rate, just create a free account on GlockApps and get two spam tests, which help you to quickly find if there are any problems with your emails and achieve higher results in your ongoing marketing campaigns.
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Hausman and Associates, the publisher of MKT Maven, is a full-service marketing agency operating at the intersection of marketing and digital media. Check out our full range of services.