4 ways to increase your Email Deliverability Ratio
Arun Pillai, December 6, 2018
An email marketer might design a killer marketing campaign. He might collect a large number of mailing ids to add to his mailing list. He might also work out the optimal frequency of sending those emails. But all of these would come to naught if the emails do not actually hit the inbox of the intended recipient.
There could be several reasons why an email might not be delivered to the recipient. Some of the reasons are:
- Throttling of emails by the internet service provider
- Mails bouncing due to error in email id or closure of email id
- Filters which push the mail directly to spam folder
- Lack of customer authentication
- Use of a single opt-in
- Not giving recipient the option of unsubscribing
- Using heavy emails (with too many videos or graphics)
The ability to actually deliver emails to a recipient’s inbox is referred to as deliverability. The effectiveness of an email marketing campaign may get reduced if you do not work on your email deliverability. Let us look at a few simple ways to improve your email deliverability.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
This is a protocol designed for email validation. It is used by mail exchangers to be sure if a particular mail sent from a specific domain is being sent from an IP address authorized by that domain. The DNS (domain name system) record of a particular domain would have the list of all their authorized IP addresses. If you have a sender policy framework (SPF), then the email server which your recipient is using would be more willing to trust your emails, and refrain from rejecting them.
We spoke about the use of a single opt-in above, as one of the reasons for low deliverability. What this means is that when a person receives your email, it has a checkbox which needs to be clicked by him to show that he is willing to receive your emails. But in spite of opting in at some point, many subscribers are prone to change their mind later, and actually report your emails as spam. That is why most email marketers have moved to a double opt-in system. How this works is that once the first opt-in has been submitted by the recipient of an email, you send another email reminding them that they had signed up for you, and asking them to validate their email id.
Keeping out greedy subscribers
This happens when you use a contest or a giveaway to get more people to sign up to your emails. How this works is that you have a contest where people submit their email ids. But if the reward for that contest is quite attractive, then many subscribers make multiple entries with multiple email ids, some of whom are fictitious as well. The problem with this behavior is that the same person might have 4 separate email ids listed in your mailing list. So if there are 20 greedy people like him who have all given four email ids of which only one is genuine, then you would be sending 80 email to those 20 people, of which 60 emails would be of no use to you, and drive down your deliverability as well.
Email service providers (ESPs) often create blacklists of email ids which they consider to be spammers. If your email id becomes part of such a blacklist due to some reason, all the subscribers who use that ESP would not be getting your emails, even if they are interested. There are a number of free tools available which match your email id against all known blacklists and send you a report, so you can take necessary action.