5 Steps To Improve Your Email Deliverability
Email marketing is by far one of the most effective ways to build relationships with customers. However, it’s not without its challenges. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as an email marketer is improving your deliverability rates. Deliverability refers to the percentage of emails that reach their intended users’ inboxes in a given time frame. In this guide, we’ll walk through five steps that will help improve your deliverability and help you engage more subscribers along the way:
1. Warm Your IP
- Use a service like IP Checker or MXToolbox to check your IP against blacklists and whitelists.
- If you are using a dedicated IP for your mail server, set up some additional filters to keep it warm in case someone blacklists it because of spam complaints by other users.
2. Develop An IP Reputation Strategy
To improve your email deliverability, you should develop an IP reputation strategy. This means that you need to understand where your IP is coming from and what kind of reputation it has.
A company’s IP address is the unique identifier assigned to it by Internet service providers (ISPs). It acts as a sort of fingerprint for their network and shows up in the headers of emails you send out. The way ISPs determine whether or not they should reject emails from particular IP addresses depends on the reputation those addresses have with them. So if your company has a bad reputation with an ISP because it’s been sending spam through its network, then all its messages will be marked as spam by default—even if they aren’t actually unsolicited commercial emails (UCEs).
You can use tools like Spamhaus Online Whois Lookup Tool or DomainTools Whois Lookup Service to learn more about the current status of your company’s IP address and domain name(s). You can also use these services to monitor how ISPs treat incoming messages from certain domains over time, so if one ISP starts blocking emails from yours regularly, then there may be something wrong with either your mail server setup or delivery practices (or both).
3. Ensure You Aren’t On Any Email Blacklists
- Check your IP reputation by using a tool like MXToolbox.
- Check your email reputation by using a tool like MailTester or Email on Acid. This will give you insight into how your emails are being perceived by end users, as well as senders who may be blacklisting your IPs for sending too much spam or other unsolicited communications.
- Check the reputation of your domain and hosted IPs by using tools like MailTester or Email on Acid, which can alert you if they’ve been blacklisted in any way (ie: caught sending spam).
- If you’re hosting multiple domains and/or have multiple IP addresses associated with your account, it’s wise to check their reputations separately so that you know exactly what needs attention at which points in time.
4. Keep Your Engaged Subscribers Happy
You want your subscribers to be engaged, but you don’t want to annoy them.
So, what do you do? You must find the right balance between sending enough and too many emails. You also need to avoid being spammy with your marketing in every email that goes out.
If you’re sending too few sales emails, for example, then your subscribers may forget about you and unsubscribe from your list altogether. On the other hand, if you’re sending too many sales emails (and not including helpful content), then some of those subscribers might get annoyed with how often they’re receiving messages from you—which could result in them unsubscribing as well.
5. Focus On Your Unsubscribes
Unsubscribes are a key indicator of your email marketing performance. They tell you what is working and what isn’t, which helps you improve the content that goes out to your subscribers.
If unsubscribe rates are high, it could be because:
- You send too many emails to subscribers who don’t want them (i.e., bounces).
- Your content doesn’t match what people signed up for (i.e., opens or clicks/opens). This can be an indication that they signed up for one thing and then didn’t receive it when they opened their inboxes—or worse, they got something entirely different than what they expected when they clicked on a link in an email!
When we look at our data set of over 1 million users across over 100 companies in multiple industries with varying engagement rates per campaign, we see that overall unsubscribe rates hover around 1–2%. What does this mean? If you have more than 2% of your recipients unsubscribing from your emails every month without even opening them first then there’s room for improvement!
6. Clean your email list
If you want to improve your email deliverability, one of the first things you need to do is clean your email list. An email list that is full of invalid or inactive email addresses can cause your emails to bounce, which will damage your sender reputation and make it harder for your emails to reach the inbox.
To clean your email list, start by running a list hygiene check. This will identify any invalid or inactive email addresses on your list. Once you have a clean list, be sure to keep it that way by regularly removing bounced emails and unsubscribes.
Improve Your Deliverability To Engage More Subscribers
To improve your email deliverability, you need to focus on the following five steps:
- Make sure you are not on any blacklists.
- Make sure your IP is warm.
- Ensure that you aren’t engaging in bad email practices.
- Keep subscribers happy by sending them relevant emails and offering value-added content (especially at first).
- Don’t send too many emails!
If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to improving your email deliverability. The best part? You can start today by using our free online tools and guides to take each step.