Email Marketing Fast Fives | Article #4
Lasso’s monthly blog series, Email Marketing Fast Fives, explores best practices in email design, list management, and deliverability in 5 easy tips per article.
Nobody wants to think about failures when sending marketing emails. The fact is, it’s important to track, manage and act on your emails that don’t get through to your prospects. No matter the failure rate, you should always review and try to clean things up to improve for next time. Email failures can be indicative of larger problems, including server issues, spam complaints, outdated email addresses, or spammy content.
Retail Internet Service Providers (ISPs) look at engagement as a spam indicator – if the last 10 emails to someone were unopened, it may be time to reassess and confirm their interest. When you continue to send, future email could be flagged as spam. To maintain a good sender reputation and make sure the right people get your message, you want as few email failures as possible. Here are five ways to improve email deliverability to the inbox:
1) Always send from a corporate email account.
Not only does this legitimize the email to the recipient (recognition is important), it provides branding, plus you are able to authenticate the domain (see the next item). Sending from a retail ISP like Gmail or Yahoo, or even a MyLasso.com email address, provides no recognition to the recipient. Using a consistent email address is important as well. Avoid role-type email addresses such as sales@ info@ or marketing@. These email addresses are typically for receiving enquiries rather than for sending. If your sales agents have names that the recipients recognize, send email from them. Otherwise a corporate name like ‘Ocean Place News” (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org) would work for mass email-type sends.
2) Authenticate your domain.
ISPs use domain authentication to verify that emails are sent from a valid source. It is often the first step they take in identifying spam. Because of the overwhelming number of emails sent daily (100 billion!), ISPs take the approach of “guilty until proven innocent” when it comes to trusting your domain. Your Lasso Client Director can take you through the domain authentication steps so that Lasso is approved to send emails on your behalf.
3) Remove potential spam triggers from the subject line.
ISPs generally don’t like too much punctuation or overuse of upper case letters in subject lines. Remove words like Final, Sales and FREE. These types of subject lines are commonly associated with spam, so ISPs often block them automatically.
4) Clean your lists.
With so many email provider options, people change emails more frequently than ever. After a year, about 20% of your database will have outdated emails. People leave jobs, create new email addresses, get hacked, etc. It’s important to pay attention to hard bounced and soft bounced emails and remove addresses that no longer exist. Also, review emails that failed due to technical reasons. This could be as simple as a misspelling or it could be an issue with the receiving network. In some cases, you may want to reach out and ask for an updated email address.
5) Are you sending to the right people?
Of course everyone is interested in what you have to say, right? Even though someone hasn’t unsubscribed from your email, it doesn’t mean they want to receive everything you send. Low engagement (i.e. under 10-15% open rate and a unique click rate of under 1%) is a sign that you may want to reassess your database.
Bonus: Have you got permission?
List quality is one of the first things we notice when a client asks us about deliverability. If you do not have permission to send to your database, quite frankly, you shouldn’t be sending to them. If you do, it effects deliverability for that mailing and future mailings. List purchasing is never something we recommend at Lasso. Lists are rarely current, nor do they have any recognition of your company.