Poor email deliverability can translate to lost revenue, or lost opportunities
At one time, unsolicited email wasn’t controlled, and every email landed in a recipient's inbox.
This led to the spread of spam, viruses, and other cyber threats.
Today, the same tools that were created to protect us, also prevent the emails we send from reaching our recipient’s inboxes if they don’t follow the “rules”.
Sometimes, these “rules” can prevent emails that a recipient has asked to receive, from never actually reaching their inbox. This issue is called Email Deliverability.
Poor email deliverability can translate into lost revenue, lost opportunities, or a less-than-stellar customer experience.
In fact, in 2013 it was discovered that the estimated cost of “false positive” junk mail amounted to more than 19.4 billion euros in Europe alone.
A 2015 study about email deliverability found that the philanthropy sector experiences a $1,203.84 loss in potential revenue for every 1% of emails falsely treated as spam.
Email Deliverability Is No Longer For Cold Outreach Marketers
Email Deliverability is Everyone's Problem
Email Deliverability used to solely be the domain for marketers who used cold emails to reach out to prospects. However, with the number of emails sent by all types of marketers and applications steadily increasing, email deliverability is now a concern for everyone.
Are you looking to boost your email deliverability?
Email deliverability can seem simple - it is the ability to deliver your emails to the right inboxes. But it can be perplexing how to make sure it happens?
The Email Deliverability System
How we do it
This is the process we follow, looking into both the technical and social aspects of email deliverability, for every engagement we deliver.
Firstly, we check to confirm and validate that your DNS records for SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are all set up, and set up correctly. If you’re not familiar with these, they are:
SPF: This DNS record defines who is allowed to send an email on your domain’s behalf. In other words, if not set up correctly, it tell recipient email servers that your email could be spam or a phishing campaign.
DKIM: This DNS record enables the sender to sign the message in a way that the recipient email server can verify. It validates that the email sent was actually the email received.
DMARC: DMARC builds on SPF and DKIM to verify email senders. This enables senders to protect their domain name from unauthorized usage.
List Clean Up
Not all of the people on your email list will be legitimate. Many could be fake, temporary, or otherwise, an email that will bounce. If you send emails that bounce regularly (especially Gmail and Yahoo), providers will assume you’re spamming.
Here, we’ll recommend that you spend some time cleaning up your list. There are many online tools to validate email addresses, we can also take this work off your shoulders and help validate and clean up your list.
The second technical aspect we check is if your domain or sending IP address is listed on any blacklists.
This is relatively straightforward. If you’re listed on one of these, and a provider you’re sending to subscribes to the one you’re on, they won’t deliver your emails.
If we find you on one of these, we’ll notify the blacklist provider and ask them what we need to do in order to remove you from the blacklist.
How are you acquiring the email addresses on your list? If you’re purchasing that list, there is a likely chance that it contains people who are uninterested, spam traps, and email addresses that weren’t acquired above-board.
There are also some people who use a unique email address for every mailing list or account they signup for. If they receive an email to that email address from a different company/service other than the one they signed up for, there is a high chance they’ll mark it as spam.
We always recommend that you acquire your email subscribers from advertising, or organic traffic to increase the chances that the recipient wants to hear from you and to avoid sending an email to a spam trap, or being marked as spam.
If you’re sending an email that’s automated or something that someone didn’t explicitly request, including a way for them to unsubscribe, such as an unsubscribe link is critical.
An unsubscribe link provides the recipient a way to tell you they don’t want to receive emails from you and stop them from coming into their inbox nicely, and without having to resort to marking your emails as spam, impacting your deliverability.
Double Opt-In means that the person who gave you their email address has to also opt-in by clicking a link in an email sent to them. This helps validate that the email address is valid and that the owner of that email address wants to receive what you’re sending.
This validation can help improve deliverability, eliminate hard bounces, and protect your domain reputation.
It used to be that warming up your domain was only for cold email marketers. These days, with email providers including other signals in their spam/not-spam decision-making, warming up your domain is critical for all emails you send, regardless of whether you’re sending cold email, transactional email, customer follow-ups, or any other email activity.
Here, we’ll ask you whether you’ve warmed up your domain and email account. If not, this will of course be a recommendation!
If you’re sending emails for a long period of time and nobody is opening, replying, or clicking on the links in those emails, your deliverability will start to suffer.
We always recommend segmenting those who are active - meaning they open, reply or click on links, from those who aren’t active. Often inactivity means they aren’t interested and need to be removed from your list.
Google Feedback Loop
If you're sending to Gmail address, Google provides a wealth of information on how your emails are being seen by recipients.
From spam rates to delivery errors, Google Postmaster Tools has a wealth of information to help you catch any Gmail deliverability issues.
You can find Google Postmaster Tools at https://postmaster.google.com/
If your recipients aren’t interested in the emails you are sending them, their engagement is going to be low, and your deliverability will suffer.
Here, we’ll go over the types of emails you’re sending, and whether your list can be segmented so that you’re sending specific emails to the specific groups that’ll be interested in those emails, instead of your entire list.
If you’re sending both marketing and transactional email from the same domain, there is a chance that a deliverability issue with one will affect the other.
For example, if your marketing emails start to get marked as spam, your transactional emails notifying buyers of shipping or payment notifications could go to the spam folder, too.
Split all of your objectives onto different domains (marketing, cold email, transactions, corporate, etc.), so one can’t impact the other.
How are your recipients reacting to your emails? Are they opening them, clicking on links, replying, or buying? If not, this can impact your deliverability over time and signal to email providers that your emails are not relevant and might be spam.
If there are certain people not engaging with your emails, try some different emails, or a different strategy. For example, if you’re selling a B2B product, and nobody with a Gmail address is opening, maybe the people providing Gmail email addresses aren’t the decision-makers you need to reach.
Also, if you find that there is a theme behind low engagement, such as low engagement from a specific email provider, it could be the first warning sign that your deliverability for that provider is weakening and needs attention!
As time goes by, more and more countries are adopting anti-spam laws. Canada has CASL, The United States has CAN-SPAM, The EU has GDPR, the UK has the privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations, and Australia has the Spam Act.
Ignoring these laws can mean more spam complaints, more hard bounces (which will impact your deliverability), and even financial penalties.
Many of the aspects of these laws follow good deliverability practices, so complying with them will also help your deliverability. Some also have differences, so it’s best to ensure you also talk to your legal team about your specific compliance requirements.
Like sending emails that use language or markup that could suggest they’re spam? You’ll end up in the spam folder!
This includes like phrases in all caps, free, PR!ZE, order now, urgent, FLA$SH SALE, deal of a lifetime, etc.
How we can do it for you
Book A Call
We can help you avoid becoming a victim of cyber attacks. Book a consultation call below where we can learn more about your business, and explain how we can help.