Emails are the best marketing channel any marketer can ask for. Compared to other marketing channels, you have the ability to send automated emails with the communication personalized as per the recipient. All you need for sending an email to your subscribers is their email address and explicit permission to send them emails of their interests. Moreover, thanks to the different tools and integrations, you can easily track the progress of your subscribers and customize further interactions. All this power comes with equivalent responsibility, failure to which impacts your revenue and ROI. Not following certain emailing practices leads to blacklisting that affects the ability of your emails to land in the inbox of a recipient, i.e., email deliverability. Make sure you do not confuse it with email delivery. Email delivery rate is the percentage of number of emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent.
In this article, we shall be educating you on the different best practices to follow for improving email deliverability while using Salesforce Marketing Cloud (SFMC).
1. Make your Subject Line Engaging
Email subject lines are the best place to start with your efforts to improve email deliverability. Whenever someone receives an email, they always read the subject lines to decide whether the email is worth opening. Hence, it is the first point of interaction between you and your subscribers. In case you are wondering how email subject lines can affect email deliverability, here is how it works.
Unless the subject line doesn’t generate a sense of curiosity, the subscriber may not be motivated to open it. When a large number of people do not open your emails in a while after it was sent, ISPs begin suspecting you of sending SPAM emails. It will closely monitor your sending volume and compare it with the open rates. Going a step further, it will also examine the sending frequency and reduce the number of emails reaching the inbox. In due time, your emails end up in the SPAM folder instead of inbox. This is when the damage becomes irreversible.
Use subject lines to send clear intentions of the email. You can use the subject lines to generate curiosity but ensure that it is not miscommunicated as spammy or clickbait. Make use of the Content Detective tool of Email Studio which will help you to identify spam triggers in your email content, if any.
2. Recognizable From Name and Address
Since emails are the digital counterparts of physical letters, most of the quicks for it are passed on to the emails as well. You have a From Name and a return address, which in this case, is the sender’s email address. After the subject line, the FROM name is the second thing that a subscriber notices. In conjunction with the earlier point, assuming the subject line was not able to generate curiosity, the FROM name can be the saving grace. A recognizable FROM name can build enough trust for the email to be opened.
Certain email clients display the sender address instead of the FROM name. So, it is advised to mention a non-suspicious FROM address along with a recognizable FROM name.
While setting up an email campaign in SFMC, you have the option to specify the FROM name and address. Enter the details appropriately.
3. Encourage Whitelisting
When ISPs suspect someone of sending SPAM emails, they ‘blacklist’ the specific IP address or the sender address. A reverse of this is when a subscriber takes action indicating that the email was expected and is not a SPAM. This is called Whitelisting. When dealing with dwindling email deliverability, subscriber actions such as adding your email address in their address book or whitelisting your emails in their email clients, inform the ISPs that your emails are of value to them. This adds brownie points to your sender reputation and to your email deliverability, in turn.
During the initial conversations with your subscribers (i.e., during the onboarding stage), it is advised to include a link that encourages them to whitelist you.
4. Practice Permission-based Email Marketing
Emails have been infamous in the past for being unsolicited owing to the lack of standardization. This not only disgraces the efforts of innumerable email marketers who send emails to subscribers after being given permission but also raises the suspicion levels of ISP filters. The GDPR regulations have also made sending unpermitted emails an expensive mistake to commit.
On the other hand, some of your leads may only subscribe to get the sign-up incentive. Such people have no intention of engaging with your emails. In order to control incorrect entries and making sure that your subscribers actually expect your email is ideal for practicing permission-based email marketing. This means not sending emails to your subscribers unless they explicitly expressed interest in receiving them.
Choose for double opt-in onboarding or periodically check back on the preferences of your subscribers.
5. Periodically Remind the Reason for Subscription
An average person receives 32 emails of different types daily. So, it is easy to lose track of whom they subscribed to and for what purpose. By mentioning the reason for subscribing, in every email correspondence, you make sure that your subscribers don’t purge your email unnecessarily.
You can improve the customer experience by providing a link to change email type preferences and an unsubscribe link as well.
6. Email Authentication & IP warming
Spammers can easily impersonate people you know and send you phishing emails or spam emails. Authenticating your email with different standards such as DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) helps ISPs to differentiate your email from spam, in turn protecting your brand. SFMC offers a Sender Authentication Package to handle authentication for your email sends. Configure SAP to ensure that your email recipients see you as legit.
When migrating from or to SFMC, you need to conduct IP warming wherein you send a portion of your regular emails and gradually ramp the volume over the course of a few weeks to avoid ISP from suspecting your new IP address to be spamming. You can read about it further in our infographic titled “Smart IP warming.”
Emails are only effective if they land in the inbox of the intended. Checking and maintaining the email deliverability and your sender reputation is an ongoing process, and the tips mentioned above might be able to assist you greatly if you are SFMC as your email delivery service partner. If we missed out on any best practices that improve email deliverability in SFMC, be sure to mention it in the comments below.