I’m thankful to you for making all the efforts to get me delivered securely to subscribers. The door of every Inbox has a guard dog (ISP) who stand guard to deter and shoo away some of my (unauthorized) peers straight to the garbage bin (spam folder).
That’s news of concern for me, as One of my Five friends (emails) fail to reach the intended recipient.
Let’s get hold of some
Well, ISPs and spam filters are getting hold of high sender reputation to assess whether the messages I bring to you should be blocked or let through. Besides, free online tools are also available that help indicate problem areas for you to address and improve your standing.
Your high domain reputation is crucial, as that helps enhance not only your Sender Reputation; In fact, it helps ensure high deliverability so as to thwart your emails being delivered in the spam folder of your subscribers.
The Key to Email Deliverability
I understand that my (Email) authentication is vital and very similar to the security check you go through while entering airports. Not only does my confirmation help reduce spam and phishing by verifying the identity of my sender; it also helps maintain decent sender reputation as well.
Don’t worry! Just wear your (sender) ids - SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM ((DomainKeys Identified Mail) - as they’ll be cross checked and verified by the ISP's to determine if you are real (friend) or a spammer so that they can be assured of my deliverability to an Inbox. Major ESPs like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and Constant Contact provide me authentication support by providing their users DKIM, SPF and SenderID.
Well, my journey to the INBOX is more than just making me look awesome - stashing in some snazzy images, shooting it off to your opt-in list, and watching the customers roll in. Sender reputation is mainly measured by:
Get Real with Me
Myth: Most of my marketer friends take spam traps seriously & quickly remove inactives. However, in the process they forget that spam trap ‘email’ addresses do not belong to real people - so, apparently they aren’t meant to engage like real people.
GET REAL: Rather than removing subscribers based on open and click activity focus on engagement levels over time and adjust your content, frequency and/or cadence accordingly.
Myth: Sender Score is the trust metric most businesses revere considering its assessment of how trustworthy a sender’s IP address is, to the delivery guy (email provider) or ISP. Also determining how the guard (ISP) may junk, filter, block or bulk ‘me’ rather than delivering them to inboxes.
GET REAL: A high Sender Score gives me the privilege of being considered amongst the delivery guys who will be less scrutinized, even though I will invariably have to run through some filters
Myth: All businesses nowadays are moving towards cloud-hosted (email) solutions for me like Google Apps. And with my deliverability finally converging with B2B and B2C, a third of all the B2B domains in your subscriber file are hosted by Google - that means they are using the same filters as Gmail.
GET REAL: Gmail’s spam filter looks at reputation data like spam traps, complaints, and unknown users, among dozens of other criteria. As a result, my B2B (email) marketer friends need to follow the same deliverability rules and practices as their B2C counterparts.
Myth: Complaint rates post-email campaign is calculated by the number of me and my friends being delivered to the inbox, by the number of subscriber complaints. So, if complaint rates are low, but I get delivered to the spam folder, no one will be able to mark me as spam.
GET REAL: Technically, they can only mark your emails as “not spam”.
Myth: Low IP reputation affects my deliverability; however, adding a new IP is not the solution. A few of the many reasons why a new IP is as less effective as your old IP with a poor reputation is that - in case I’m blacklisted, your IPs and domain names are automatically blacklisted.
GET REAL: Changing IPs will not make any difference.
Brave the Odds - Make Way to the INBOX!
It is said that the simplest way to beat poor deliverability and ensure that I reach your Inbox seamlessly, is to remove people from your email list if they haven’t been opening, reading or clicking. But is list-cleaning just enough?
Subscribers consider email Inbox to be a very private space. So besides considering the CAN-SPAM laws when sending unsolicited emails , take into consideration the perspective of customer relationship too.
Clarify the frequency of emails one would like to receive (viz. weekly, bi-weekly or monthly). Place a checkbox on your forms, confirming they understand what they will receive in their Inbox.
Refrain from deception using unethical practices such as misleading subject line, hiding unsubscribe link and Hashbusting to camouflage spammy words and bypass content filters - as it will diminish your credibility.
Emails with irrelevant, non-targeted content results in poor open rates, un-subscription & spam report. Create customer segmentation by analyzing metrics like who opened your email, who clicked-through, the accessed device & time.
For emails to go straight to the recipient’s inbox, include a link in your email template requesting subscribers to add you to their safe senders list. If email server permanently rejects your email, stop mailing them.
Add an ‘unsubscribe link’ to their emails that allows uninterested subscribers to opt-out of your email marketing – rather than hurting your sender’s reputation with ‘delete’ or ‘report spam’.
Follow the Rule of the Game
Avoid bulk emailing at the first go; increase your sends gradually when your delivery and open ratio increase.
Clear your lists on a regular basis and remove the hibevvrnating and ‘dead’ contacts if they have been on the bounce or inactive list for long.
Give preferences for your subscribers to choose the frequency of emails and newsletters they would like to receive from you.
Segment your list and schedule your email campaigns as per your contacts local time zone.
Follow spamming guidelines from ESPs. Ensure your emails do not get marked as spam,as a few many spam marks may lead to your IP being blocked forever.
Make it easy for the readers to unsubscribe and take the less damage route.