Deliverability is one of the metrics for email marketing. It is the ratio of delivered letters to the total number of sent ones. Sometimes the email is rejected even before it is sent. For example, the mailing service moderator looked at the letters and decided that they are likely to end up in spam. The service will reject the mailing and tell you what went wrong to protect the sender from this.
The fact that the letter has been delivered does not mean that it got into the “Inbox”. Perhaps email services considered the message as spam, and then it went to the corresponding user’s folder. Or the letter will be marked as spam due to the spam protection by CleanTalk, which one can install on cleantalk.org. Today, we will figure out why emails end up in spam and how to improve their deliverability.
Why Do Emails End Up in Spam?
Most emails end up in spam because of the work of the spam filters, and not because of the individual settings of users. Spam filters are algorithms that check billions of emails every day. They know how these letters look like, what is written in them, and what mailboxes they are sent from. Based on this information, the spam filter concludes whether the letter is from a fraudster or a respectable sender.
What else spam filters evaluate in emails:
- The quality of the subscriber database. The spam filter checks if there are any invalid mailboxes, spam traps, or users who have already unsubscribed. If there are many of them, this is a signal that the database was collected illegally;
- Domain and IP reputation. The filters consider how long has the domain been registered, whether its base is gradually increasing, and whether subscribers complain about spam;
- Authentication settings. It is the “ID” of the mailing list. If everything is in order with these settings, the letter will most likely get into the Inbox;
- It specifies what to do with a letter that does not have authentication configured;
- It includes a layout, design, and text;
Next, we’ll figure out what can be improved in each of these sections so that emails arrive in the Inbox.
How to Improve Deliverability of Your Letters?
1. Use double opt-in
We recommend you to accept users’ subscriptions in 2 steps. First, you need to ask for their contact data on the site, then send a confirmation letter. In this way, you will protect yourself from errors in addresses, bots, and the competitors’ tricks.
2. Unsubscribe inactive users
Imagine a situation: a user has not opened a single letter in 6-8 months. This can mean two things: he is not interested in the newsletter, or the mailbox is not used. Both situations can negatively affect deliverability, so it is better to delete the contact. If the user unsubscribed from the mailing list, but the letter still comes, with a high probability he will send it to spam. Respect your followers’ choices, and do not force them to complain about you.
3. Do not engage in parsing
Parsing programs collect all the email addresses they can find in the public domain. It turns out a huge database of broken and abandoned emails. In addition to the low efficiency of mailing, you may encounter legal problems because users did not give their consent to receive letters.
4. Start your mailing by warming up the database and domain
If there have not been any mailings from the IP address yet, then the provider does not know about your working methods and the usual frequency of sending letters. Do not start sending emails to the entire database at once — you risk getting into spam. Choose a small group of addresses (200-300), and increase your mailing volume every day. If you do everything right, then you will get a good reputation and a green light for mailing all over the base.
5. Write a subject that matches the content of the letter
Users are not very happy when they are offered gifts in the subject line, when in the letter’s body they find a standard product catalog without a bonus or discount. Do not try to attract attention to the subject with Caps Lock or exclamation marks. Get the user interested in something else: devote it to the holiday, or tell what content the subscriber will read in the email.
6. Check your spelling
For many subscribers, spelling mistakes are the reason to send an email to spam. Spam filters also check grammar and punctuation. If you do not want to proofread the text, you can check it using special services.
7. Avoid spam words
These are words and phrases that are common in spammers’ emails. When the spam filter detects them in the mailing list, it automatically adds spam points to the message.
8. Less colorful fonts
Spammers often use bright text colors to draw users’ attention to links and buttons. Make sure that your newsletter is not excessively bright. You can use multiple colors, but it is better not to use many of them.
9. Add an unsubscribe link
Users may not like the newsletter. This is normal. It is better to provide them with the opportunity to unsubscribe and not click on the Spam button.
10. Do not send emails of one image
This technique is often used by spammers, which is why email services block picture messages. Besides, if the user has disabled images, he will not even see your letter. Also, add Alt and Title tags to images. Alt is the text that appears instead of the picture. It helps to read the letter if the images are disabled. The title pops up if you hover over an already loaded image.
It is not easy to keep in mind all the factors that affect deliverability. You should test emails before sending them. Create multiple mailboxes in popular mail services. Check how each provider reacts to the letter — whether it will be delivered to the Inbox or not. Good luck!