How to ensure your emails are reaching inboxes
Marketers with an understanding of what affects sender reputation, why email engagement matters, and best practices for deliverability, will get the best engagement and return from email communications.
Sponsored content: this article was commissioned by Marketo to let readers know they can access a free copy of ‘Best practices for email deliverability’
Creating and sending engaging email materials is harder than ever, and email software – and the people who use it – are getting more proficient at filtering out spam.
Without a strong focus on deliverability and quality, even permission-based emails can get filtered out of subscribers’ inboxes. Worldwide, 21% of permission-based emails get sent to a spam folder or go missing. Therefore a focus on sender reputation and deliverability is necessary.
“More than 80% of all delivery issues arise because of a problem with your sending reputation,” says George Bilbrev, President of Return Path. Close attention to how emails are being delivered can ensure a good reputation is upheld and your content is being engaged with.
Here’s some fundamentals to understand relating to modern email deliverability.
Your reputation as a sender is crucial to whether or not your emails reach subscribers’ inboxes. Marketers need to give plenty of attention to how their lists are being built, and how emails are being delivered.
Spam traps, algorithmic filters are influenced by reputation and directly affect email deliverability.
Most email applications use algorithms to compare all incoming emails to those marked as junk. Emails with a similar sender, links or content are more likely to be dismissed as spam.
The subscriber’s ISP remembers URLs and domains in the spam, and if these are reported, then any further emails containing them has a harder time getting through to the recipient – even if it’s from a completely different sender.
A spam trap is an inactive deliverable email address owned by an ISP to catch senders of spam.
Be scrupulous about building and managing your email list and sends, or you could severely hurt your deliverability and sender reputation, or your IP address could be blacklisted.
Why engagement matters
How your recipients engage with your emails is a key factor in the deliverability of future sends. If users aren’t opening and clicking your emails, they will eventually get filtered to the spam inbox. If your emails aren’t getting opened or clicked through, or are landing in junk boxes despite the following best practices mentioned, it’s probably time to review your content.
Here’s a few best practices which you can focus on to give your emails the best chance of hitting the inbox
- Follow and trust the engagement mantra. Give subscribers a good reason to opt in and set clear expectation about what’s to come. Follow through on your promises.
- Build your lists responsibly. Verify all new email addresses before sending your messages, and regularly remove inactive addresses.
- Create engaging content. People will ignore or mark as spam boring or irrelevant content.
The whitepaper offers seven best practices for maximising email deliverability and deeper understanding of fundamental considerations surrounding filters, traps, and blacklists. It gives examples of how Gmail’s tabbed inbox filters and sorts incoming emails, and key requirements to consider when sending bulk emails to worldwide markets, including Australia, are outlined.