Deliverability: The Best Kept Secret in Marketing
Let’s confirm some of the facts on email deliverability. We sat in on a short discussion on deliverability at the 2017 Marketing Conference in Boston. In referencing some discussion during the conference, we want to focus on those top priorities of getting into the inbox the right way. We have compiled a list of key ways to align with best practices and achieve high deliverability.
The first way of achieving high deliverability is by setting up authentication. Authentication is the foundation of excellent email sending practices, helping you secure and legitimize your emails for recipients. The most optimal way to secure your email is by setting up SPF, DKIM and DMARC. Here is a brief look into each and why they are important:
– SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. It’s a security feature that confirms the sending IP is who they say they are. Having one in place will help you monitor incoming email and allow your emails entry into other mailboxes. Some mailboxes do not allow emails to come through that do not have an SPF.
– DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. It encrypts your messages using a public and private key. The private key is yours alone, and the public key is a text record added to your DNS records for the recipient’s server to view. The keys are encrypted together and add an additional layer of security to your email.
– DMARC stands for Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance. It works with SPF and DKIM to offer an additional layer of security. Large-scale email senders need a DMARC policy in place.
Engagement from Organic Lists
Once you developed a foundation for sending and receiving emails, the next step is to engage your audience. Engagement is about building an organic list based on those who love your products. Often, companies will purchase lists to create an audience quickly. While this approach will boost your list of contacts in the short term, this can often result in a list of uninterested subscribers and a bad sending reputation. If they cannot remember receiving an email from you, this comes across as invasive and may be marked as spam. The email goal is to establish long-term relationships with clients who are engaged. For even more loyal subscribers, create a Double Opt-In experience.
As your list grows, so does the importance of keeping it clean. Always give subscribers a way to unsubscribe, such as an opt-out button on their emails. Monitor bounces that return to your inbox. While a small number of hard bounces is normal, ISPs will find it suspicious when hard bounces are over 5% of all email sent.
One of the best ways you can monitor is by setting up a feedback loop. These loops take any complaints or reports of spam from subscribers to the sender. This allows the sender to receive feedback to make alterations to their content. By listening to feedback, you can alter your content to become more relevant to the audience’s needs.
Maintain your audience by producing content that adds value to your audience’s lives. Aim to provide quality material on a consistent basis. By setting up a sending schedule, audiences will begin to ‘tune-in.’ Maintaining an audience is also about creating ‘user-friendly’ emails, ensuring recipients can view the material easily. Here’s a few ways how you can do this:
- Format email content to be read on all mobile devices
- Personalize emails by addressing them by their first name. This builds deeper relationships and improves future open-click rates
- Be clear about what you are offering in the subject line. Don’t use gimmicky subject lines.
- Use the 80:20 rules for text to image ratio (unless you’re a photographer). Internet Service Providers (ISPs) often mark emails as spam when they have a high image to word ratio.
Deliverability is continually evolving as email sending becomes more sophisticated. The topic touches a vast realm of knowledge, ranging from legislation to ISP algorithmic authentication. We encourage you to learn more about this topic and to implement deliverability into your marketing strategy. Doing so is guaranteed to improve your chances of making it to the inbox every time! That’s why it’s the best kept secret in marketing.
You can visit our Deliverability page to explore we have to offer when it comes to deliverability, ROI, reply-monitoring and much more. For any additional questions, visit our Deliverability FAQ page, or Contact Us.