Email marketing managers face an increasingly hostile environment when sending messages to their subscribers. Not since the Pony Express have there been so many obstacles to getting mail delivered. Bandits, rugged terrain and wild animals have been replaced with blacklists, spam filters and apathetic recipients.
Following the best opt-in and list management practices doesn’t always insure your email deliverability. Nearly 20 percent of North American marketing emails aren’t delivered to the recipient according to Return Path’s Global Email Deliverability Benchmark Report. Unfortunately, making it to the recipients’ computer doesn’t guarantee visibility either, because almost 6 percent is rerouted to junk/spam folders. And the filters designed to keep spammers at bay catch legitimate marketers too.
The success of your email marketing is dependent on your ability to get your messages to your subscribers. It’s easier to slip past the spaminators when you know what to expect and how to avoid the things that trigger the filters.
There are three different spaminators between you clicking send and your subscriber reading the email:
- The ISPs. Internet Service Providers block emails that dare to break too many rules. They look for words or phrases used by known spammers, hidden identities, and high image-to-text ratios. They also monitor spam reports and historical behavior. Too many offenses and your company will be blacklisted.
- The JBFs. Junk Box Filters clean up after the ISPs. They scan incoming emails looking for triggers. When they find one, a value is assigned to it. The total value is the spam score. Usually, a score of five or more will reroute the message to the junk folder. The recipient can manage the strength of these spaminators by adjusting the filter levels.
- The Recipient. The final filter is your subscribers. Your emails have to quickly capture attention and be relevant to move from inbox to open to read. The rule of thumb is that you have two seconds and 30 characters to go from in to open. A recent study of 4 million opens by litmus found that 51 percent of the recipients deleted the emails within two seconds of opening them.
Improving your email marketing results begins with deliverability optimization. Creating emails that slip past the spaminators and motivate the recipients to read and respond is both an art and a science. Follow these 11 best practices: