Foundations of Email Deliverability II

Second of four posts in the Email Deliverability Series

Email Deliverability Best Practices

After several years of practice, I’ve assembled a summary of the best tips to ensure the successful inbox placement of your email.

  1. Dos:
    • Personalize your content for each subscriber. Insert their name or dynamic content that caters to their interests.
    • Send from a person instead of a generic mailbox when it makes sense. Emails from people are opened more frequently than email from generic company addresses, but it’s most important to be honest and transparent with your From: name.
    • Watch your sending frequency. Send regularly but don’t overwhelm.
  2. Don’ts:
    • Don’t repeatedly send the same or similar content.
    • Don’t send attachments. Instead, host the document on a website and link to it in your email.
    • Don’t use punctuation like exclamation marks or words often used by spammers.
    • Don’t BCC your list.
    • Don’t use too many images. Balance between images and text.
    • Don’t use all caps. Emphasize using bold, italics, or underlining.
    • Don’t use spam trigger words.
  3. A surge in list size can trigger a blacklisting or lower your sender reputation. If the size of an email list grows by a lot in a short time, most Internet and email service providers will suspect a list has been purchased.
    • If starting with a new email service provider or using a new IP address for your outgoing mail, follow these IP Warming Guidelines to start small and ramp up.
  4. Bad lead data.
    • Ensure everyone actively opts in.
    • Track records of proof of consent, required by GDPR and other international spam laws.
  5. Clean up deliverability.
    • Low open rates and high bounce rates likely correlate with your email address not being trusted.
    • Send a re-permissioning campaign to inactive subscribers. 
  6. Sunsetting unengaged subscribers is good. Remove email addresses from your list if they don’t open or click your emails. It’ll increase sender reputation, open and click rate, and decrease spam reports and unsubscribes.
  7. Authenticate your email. Take steps to authenticate or legitimize your email and help prevent the spoofing and abuse of your domain. The world of SPF, DKIM and DMARC are complicated enough to warrant their own series of posts.

Much credit goes to the authors of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud documentation for Email Deliverability Best Practices – which I recommend that every email marketer read regardless of which email tool you use.

Finally, Blacklists: Avoid them by following the steps above! You also need to check your status, setup monitoring, and sometimes get off of them. That’s the next post.

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