Email deliverability is crucial. You spend a lot of time each week crafting emails to your subscribers. None of that will do you any good if you don’t have a decent delivery rate.
If your emails land in your potential customers’ spam folders, you don’t have much of a chance of making a sale or building a relationship with them.
Here are a few tips that will help ensure that your emails make it to your subscribers’ inboxes.
Use A Reputable Autoresponder Service
Using a reputable autoresponder service is the single best thing you can do to improve your chances of avoiding spam folders. Companies like Aweber and GetResponse work hard at making sure they have good reputations with the big Internet service providers and email providers like Gmail.
Many autoresponder companies will list their delivery stats. In addition the good ones will help make sure your emails are compliant and keep you out of hot water.
Engage Your Audience to Improve Email Deliverability
Ask questions of your subscribers in your emails. Encourage them to reply to your emails. Tell them they can reply instead of using a help desk or contact form on your site. You don’t have to reply to every message you get, but let people know you appreciate them taking the time to write back. This does two things. People who reply to your emails are more likely to stay on your list, read your emails, and eventually buy from you. When someone replies to your email, some email providers treat that as evidence of a relationship and give your messages preferential treatment.
In your first email to new subscribers or customers, ask them to whitelist you. Whitelisting is the practice of marking you as a preferred sender, in other words someone they want to receive emails from. Sometimes this is called a friend list, buddy list, trusted sender, etc. The process for whitelisting varies from one email provider to another.
Tell your subscribers that if they ever see one of your emails in their Spam or Bulk email folder, to mark it as Not Spam. Ask Gmail users to drag your emails from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab.
Set Expectations and Keep Them
Building a relationship with your list helps your email deliverability.
Your chances of staying in the main inbox are higher when your subscribers regularly open your email. The best way to insure that – outside of providing great content that your subscribers are looking for – is to set expectations from the beginning. Let your subscribers know early on when and how often they can expect an email from you.
You can even use foreshadowing in your messages. For example, toward the end of your current broadcast email, mention that they can look for another email from you next Tuesday.
Once you’ve set those expectations do what you can to meet them. Yes, things happen every once in a while. In general though, do your best to keep your promise and email when your readers expect it.
Doing this regularly will improve your open rates and thus your overall deliverability.
Clean Up Your List Regularly
Another good habit is to clean up your list regularly. If subscribers haven’t been opening your emails for the past six months, chances are good they are no longer interested in what you have to offer.
Check your autoresponder service’s manual or help files to see how you can go about deleting anyone that hasn’t opened an email from you in the past six months. If that freaks you out, or you have a seasonal business, start by deleting anyone that hasn’t looked at your emails in the past year.
Following these tips and keeping an eye on email deliverability in general will make sure your emails are being read by your subscribers and that’s the point of email marketing, isn’t it?