Top 10 Tips for Maximizing Email Marketing Deliverability
Email marketing can be a powerful tool for your business to connect with customers and drive results. With inbox providers like Gmail becoming more aggressive with spam filtering, it’s more essential than ever to follow deliverability best practices so your emails can reliably reach their intended inboxes.
Here are 10 tips for maximizing email deliverability:
- Maintain an updated email list One of the quickest ways to harm deliverability is for your list to have a high rate of inactive subscribers. As a best practice, be sure to regularly scrub your list and remove hard bounces, non-engaged subscribers and spam complaints. Ideally, you should have no more than 10% inactive subscribers. In addition, make sure your subscribers double opt-in — and that you have clear unsubscribe options in every email.
- Use relevant, personalized subject lines Generic, spammy subject lines are a red flag for spam filters. Instead, craft subject lines that are relevant to each audience segment and campaign — and avoid commonly used spam words like “free,” “act now,” “limited time.”
Tip: Using merge tags to personalize subject lines with first names increases open rates.
- Send emails from dedicated IP addresses Sending all your email from one shared IP address can cause problems if other senders engage in spam. Investing in dedicated IPs used solely by your brand signals you send legitimate mail — and it also improves deliverability. Warm up new IP addresses gradually to build sender reputation.
- Follow CAN-SPAM guidelines Complying with anti-spam laws like CAN-SPAM Act demonstrates you respect recipient preferences and helps avoid issues. Key requirements include honoring opt-outs within 10 days, not disguising sender identity and including a physical postal address.
- Monitor your sending reputation Tools like Return Path’s Sender Score or MailChimp’s Abuse Desk track your domain and IP sender reputation. Optimally, complaint rates should be less than 5%. Be sure to identify any spikes in your spam complaints, and quickly resolve any problems before they snowball.
- Pay attention to email design Both content and html/css design influence spam scoring. Avoid common spam triggers like all-image emails, flashing animations, overuse of exclamation points and ALL CAPS. Ensure functionality such as unsubscribe links work across email clients and devices.
- Send emails at optimal times Analyze when your audience opens and clicks emails the most. Avoid sending during non-business hours or holidays when engagement is lower. Use follow-up analysis to continuously refine the best send times and days for each audience, as well as campaign objectives.
- Monitor and maintain engagement High open and click rates signal relevance to ISPs, while low engagement raises spam flags. Nurture subscribers with value-added content. Prune low activity subscribers. Ensure email content and design encourages engagement with strong calls to action.
- Use double opt-in and confirmed opt-in Double opt-in requires subscribers to confirm their sign up via email to demonstrate intention. Confirmed opt-in asks current subscribers to reconfirm their interest periodically. This verifies all of your active subscribers want to receive emails.
- Stay up to date on best practices Optimizing inbox placement is an ongoing process as challenges evolve. Continue learning and refining strategies as inbox providers adjust their filtering technology. You can also attend email deliverability conferences, read industry blogs, and monitor deliverability reports.
Email marketing best practices are essential for deliverability.
By maintaining your sender reputation, engaging your subscribers and respecting their preferences, you’ll be able to build and maintain trust with inbox providers. In addition, monitoring the performance of your emails, adjusting them based on insights, and innovating your approach will help your email program effectively connect with audiences and drive ROI.
Need help with your email marketing efforts? Have questions about your current campaigns? If so, contact us to discuss optimizing your email marketing efforts for success — we’re here to help.