You spent weeks developing your latest email campaign only to receive terrible results.
Your bounce rate was astronomical and barely anyone engaged with the campaign. This is a marketer’s worst nightmare. The likely culprit? Problems with your email deliverability.
The best way to ensure that your emails reach their mark is to maintain a healthy email sender reputation, which is captured in a score provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP). If that score falls below a certain benchmark, the ISP may direct your emails to the recipient’s spam folder or reject them altogether.
ISPs constantly come up with new ways to block spam — creating a never-ending battle for marketers looking to reach their intended audience and protect their company’s sender reputation. Here’s how to stay ahead of the curve.
8 Best Practices to Improve your Email Deliverability Rate
1. Maintain a healthy email list
Emailing bad contacts is one of the fastest ways to get marked as spam. This can easily be avoided by keeping your email list healthy:
Update and append your B2B data regularly to fill in holes, plug gaps, refresh records, remove obsolete data and replace it with just-verified email addresses,direct-dial phone numbers, correct titles, company information, and more.
Mark leads inactive if they haven’t engaged with any emails from your company within a certain amount of time. For example, if someone hasn’t opened an email for six months, they’re no longer an active lead.
Establish a time for marking leads inactive and move them to a separate list in your CRM.
Verify the emails in your B2B database by using a verification service. This will improve your deliverability rates and minimize bounce-back rates.
2. Abide by the CAN-SPAM law
The federal CAN-SPAM law requires that an unsubscribe request must be honored within 10 business days. We suggest removing the contact and adding them to your “do not email” list as soon as possible to avoid any further communication.
3. Monitor the metrics that affect your email reputation
If these numbers get too high, you risk getting blacklisted — a huge hit to your email marketing program. Pay close attention to:
Abuse or complaint rates. Complaint rates are measured by how many recipients receive your actual message in their inbox and mark it as spam. Being marked for abuse can happen for several reasons, including recipients who don’t find the message relevant or recipients you haven’t emailed in a long time.
Hard bounce rate. Hard bounces are permanent rejections. They occur when emails go to invalid email addresses. A high bounce rate will hurt your sender reputation significantly.
Honeypots or spam trap hits.Honeypots or spam traps are decoys set up to catch and monitor email spammers. It’s not unusual for a company to use a former employee’s email address as a honeypot. After a few months, that email address should no longer receive messages. If this address continues to receive emails, those messages will subsequently be flagged as spam.
4. Make it easy for recipients to unsubscribe
You may think that hiding the unsubscribe button will reduce opt-outs. But the harder it is to unsubscribe from your emails, the spammier your message comes across.
NeverBounce Tip: Consider designing your unsubscribe page as an attempt to draw users back in.
5. Don’t be misleading
Don’t use misleading subject lines. The subject line must accurately align with the content of your email message. According to Invesp:
47 percent of recipients open email based on the subject line
69 percent of recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line
Here are some ways to take your subject lines to the next level:
6. Make sure your HTML and plain text match
It’s not a question of HTML vs. plain text. All HTML messages should include a matching plain text message. And if they don’t match, email providers are likely to mark your messages as spam.
7. Be engaging!
Sure, marketing is all about promoting your products and services, but there are ways to do this effectively that aren’t necessarily a hard sell. Try a variety of content in your emails to engage your contacts and provide them with valuable and relevant information.
If your recipients find your content valuable, they’ll want more of it. Good content will also increase your open rate, click-through rate, and other valuable email metrics, thus improving your deliverability.
8. Set up sender authentication
Sender authentication verifies your identity and allows you to claim responsibility for the emails you send. Setting up sender authentication helps your email reputation. Here’s how:
A company that sends emails will establish a set of authentication rules.
That company must configure its mail servers to put these rules into practice.
Any mail server that receives an email from that company will check the email details against the set of rules defined by the sender or domain owner.
The recipient’s mail server will then use these results to determine whether it should flag, deliver, or reject the email.
Key Takeaways on Improving Email Deliverability
Although it can be difficult to manage your email reputation, marketers should still make their email reputation a priority, especially as the channel continues to deliver excellent results. Consider these statistics:
59 percent of B2B marketers say email is their most effective revenue-generation channel.
80 percent of professionals agree that email marketing drives customer acquisition and retention.
60 percent of consumers say that email marketing influences them to make a purchase.
Learn how NeverBounce’s email validation services can help you improve your email deliverability rate and sender reputation.
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