Four Easy Ways to Improve E-mail Deliverability
If the U.S. Postal Service had an 80 percent delivery rate, marketers would mutiny. So why do we settle for approximately the same delivery rate of legitimate commercial e-mail?
Studies show that up to 20 percent of e-mail is not delivered to subscribers. The costs of that undelivered e-mail are very real and include lost transactions, lack of or inconsistent communication, ineffective marketing and more. Conversely, optimal delivery can increase communication, sales and brand building, and improve customer relationships. Here are some simple steps you can take to increase the chances that your e-mail will be delivered:
• Freshen your list regularly. Remove subscribers from your list who haven’t opened a message from you in the last six months.
• Avoid spam “trigger” words. Messages containing certain words—such as “free” or “click here”—often activate Internet Service Provider (ISP) keyword filters or land your message in individual junk files.
• Cull your lists for bounces. ISPs penalize e-mail senders who have a large number of “bounces.” Review your lists regularly and remove any e-mail addresses that hard bounce (e.g. “account does not exist”) or continue to soft bounce (e.g. “mailbox full”).
• Select your e-mail service provider (ESP) carefully. The ESP you select should have someone who is responsible for maintaining ISP relations, monitoring delivery and resolving any issues that may arise. Make sure your e-mail provider supports emerging e-mail delivery technologies, such as Sender Score Certified, Sender ID and Sender Policy Framework (SPF), which have an impact on delivery.
Maximizing deliverability should be an integral part of your company’s e-mail marketing strategy. Working with a reputable ESP and committing to a few best practices will improve deliverability and generate better e-mail results.
Jordan Ayan is founder and CEO of SubscriberMail, an e-mail marketing company that helps organizations successfully develop and deliver e-mail communications. He can be reached at Jordan@subscribermail.com or by calling (630) 303-5000.