How to Improve Email Deliverability
It Starts with Your List
Who should listen: Anyone engaged in email marketing who wants to ensure a high email deliverability rate.
Key idea: Maintaining a clean email list will help ensure that your emails are delivered to recipients’ inboxes, helping you to stay top of mind, drive conversions, and nurture prospects.
Action item: Implement the suggested tips to clean up your email list. Start by identifying and deleting nonsensical email addresses and addresses from various auto-reply customer service units.
We’ve written numerous blogs and hosted many Stay Paid episodes on the topic of email marketing, but none of it will be useful to you if your emails don’t make it to their destinations—your recipients’ inboxes.
Email deliverability is critically important to the success of so many businesses that an entire industry has developed to address the issue. Today, you can do an internet search to find a host of email deliverability tools and services, including:
- email delivery testing
- email deliverability monitoring
- email deliverability checkers
- inbox placement testing
- email sender reputation checkers
In this Silver Dollar episode, we’re going to help you address one of the biggest sources of failed email deliveries—the health of your email list. We talk about the role of internet service providers (ISPs), email service providers (ESPs), and internet protocol (IP) reputation, but they’re simply the context for the 7 tips you can use to help ensure that the time and effort you put into crafting the perfect subject lines, curating the best content, and developing irresistible calls to action don’t go to waste.
Below are some quick highlights that we discuss in greater detail:
- Do not buy email address lists
These lists are typically chock-full of defunct or otherwise bad email addresses that email service providers will recognize. Your emails will be marked as spam or not delivered, and the address you use to send your email will be flagged—preventing legitimate addresses from getting your email too.
- Only send to people you know or who have opted in to receive your emails
It isn’t the quantity of email addresses you have; it’s the quality. People who give you permission are expecting emails from you and won’t mark them as spam. We share several methods you can use to get this permission.
- Delete customer-service email addresses
You want to audit your email list and remove any addresses that include customer, service, or mailer daemon. You’ll also want to search and remove emails with do not reply in the body.
- Remove single-use email addresses
These are addresses used by senders who remain anonymous. You’ll find them in emails from Craigslist and similar sites.
- Delete bogus email addresses
Bogus email addresses include any incomplete or misspelled address, includes a nonsensical string of characters, or is sent from a suspicious name like 12345Bob@yahoo.com.
- Use personal email addresses
Many businesses have filters in place that remove emails from spammers, certain ISPs, and that originate from ESPs like Mailgun or Mailchimp. So ask for your recipients’ personal email addresses rather than have them give you their business addresses. Asking if you can have their personal address so that you can send them [insert item of value] will nearly always get you what you need.
- Request that recipients whitelist your address
You can proactively ask your recipients to whitelist or otherwise mark your emails as safe and not spam. How to do this will differ depending on the ISP used, but it’s a straightforward process you can easily find with a quick search. This should ensure your emails are delivered as intended.
When you listen to this episode, you’ll get all the nitty-gritty details for each of these tips. So please enjoy it, and we’d appreciate it if you would give us a 5-star rating and leave a review on Apple Podcasts. (Not sure how to leave a review? Click here.)
Connect | Resources
FREE Success Guide: The Starter Guide to Email Marketing
FREE Success Guide: How to Build, Grow, and Segment Your List