Email Deliverability guide
Email marketing is a bit like a hurdle race. And the first, most critical hurdle, is getting your message into the inbox. Here are some tips to reduce bounce rates, and steer clear of those dreaded spam filters.
Deliverability is the ability to deliver email content to a recipient’s inbox directly without bouncing or being blocked or rejected as spam. Reduce bounce rates by proactive list management and maintenance. Avoid spam filters by only sending useful, relevant emails to people who have explicitly requested them.
Hard and soft bounces
Bounces can be hard or soft. You get a hard bounce when an email address does not exist. This may be because the address has not been entered correctly, or the email account is out of use. A soft bounce comes from a valid email address that often rejects the message because the inbox is full. Remove hard bounces immediately and soft bounces after a few attempts over a period of time. The benchmark for bounce rates in the UK, according to Silverpop is 3.6%.
What is spam?
With the great proliferation of email in recent years, many recipients are keen to block unsolicited messages. Spam filters screen emails, and reject those that contain certain key words or characters. Spam filters vary from internet service provider (ISP) to internet service providers, and are also regularly updated. You can see some of the latest UK spam laws here.
How to get around spam filters
Don’t feel victimised by spam filters. They are not aimed at legitimate marketing activity like yours, but if you understand how they operate, you can avoid falling foul of them.
Use reputable spam checking tools such as Lyris to rate your outgoing emails, or Mailchimp to see how your email will appear in different clients.
Many techniques will also help you reach the inbox such
as using an identifiable from name,
sending only to those that have opted in,
providing an opt out,
avoid using too many capital letters, excessive use of the word “FREE” and exclamation marks!!!
Different ISPs have different rules, so ask your email service provider to help with the latest regulations.
Time spent improving the deliverability of your email communications is never wasted. The more emails you can successfully get into inboxes, the greater your response is likely to be. So run anti-spam checkers against your creative executions, and make the changes indicated. Keep your lists as fresh as possible, and you will be well on the way to achieving excellent deliverability rates.