Email deliverability best practices


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Email deliverability best practices

  1. 1. Email Deliverability Best Practices 10+ Things You Can Do TO- DAY to Improve Your Email Deliverability Immediately. Presented byCopyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc & 1
  2. 2. Legal and Copyright NoticeCopyright © 2012 by Marketers Publishing Group, Inc. and contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. should consult with a professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for any loss of profitAll rights reserved. or any other commercial damages, including but not limited toPublished by Marketers Publishing Group, Inc. special, incidental, consequential or other damages.No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a For general information on our other products and services,retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, visit us online at, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or For technical support, contact our Customer Care Departmentotherwise, except as permitted under Section 107 or 108 of within the United States at 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the priorwritten permission of the Publisher, or authorization throughpayment of the appropriate per-copy fee.Limit of Liability/Disclaimer of Warranty:While the publisher and author have used their best efforts inpreparing this guide, they make no representations or warran-ties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the con-tents of this book and specifically disclaim any implied war-ranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.No warranty may be created or extended by sales represen-tatives or written sales materials. The advice and strategies
  3. 3. 00. Email Deliverability Best Practices{ } 01. Email Authentication 06. Check URLs 02. List Hygiene 07. Review Content 03. Feedback Loops 08. HTML & Plain Text 04. Consistency 09. Can-Spam 05. Engagement 10. Manage Bounces Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc & 3
  4. 4. Introduction non-issue nor is whether or not they open the message, read it, or click 1. Email Authentication. Email deliverability is a big issue for This is really just a fancy way of say- on a link inside of the email mes- any business owner or online mar- ing “to prove that the email is coming sage. keter who is using email as a market- from the person or entity that it says ing channel. So, before we can look at any of it is”. the other metrics to help judge the It’s important to understand “email There are a number of methods used effectiveness of your email mar- deliverability” in context of the other to authenticate a Sender’s domain keting, we need to look at email email marketing metrics. including SPF, SenderID, DKIM (do- deliverability best practices. mainkeys identified mail), domain- Email deliverabil- These 10 email deliverability keys, and more recently DMARC ity is the first line best practices will help (domain-based message authentica- of defense when it ensure that the tion reporting). comes to getting your ISPs don’t turn subscribers to open It is important that these are in place your messages your email messages and set up properly. away before and take the desired they reach NOTE: action. your sub- Even if In other words, if the scriber. you are email message is not using delivered in the first an email place, inbox vs. junk service folder placement is a provider to4 Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc &
  5. 5. send your messages, you may still 3. Register for Feedback Yet, it goes hand in hand with emailneed to update your SPF records Loops. deliverability best practice #2 and #3.for the sending domain (i.e. the from If you are hosting your own email If you send to your list sporadically,email domain). program, you’ll have to register for you’ll have higher numbers of un- feedback loops manually for each of known recipients as people change2. List Hygiene. the ISPs. their email addresses fairly regularlyList hygiene is, perhaps, one of the and turnover is pretty substantial. If you’re using and email servicemost important email deliverability provider, they will handle removing In addition, if your subscribersbet practices to pay attention to after subscribers from your list who click haven’t heard from you in 3 months,proper email authentica- the “spam” button. they’re more likely to hit the spamtion. button because they either don’t However, it’s not enough to justList hygiene is remember signing up for your list or remove complainers fromalso some- are no longer interested in the mes- your list. You shouldthing you sages. also be monitoring yourhave total complaints. Whichcontrol over 5. Pay Attention to En- types of messageswhether you gagement. generate the highestare hosting complaints? Engagement metrics are essentialyour own email when it comes to email deliverabilityclient or using a 3rd party provider 4. Be Consistent. and this one issue is going to play a(ESP). larger role in the future. This is area that is most overlooked. Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc & 5
  6. 6. It’s not about the size of your list, but email deliverability rates (and highest message and check each of them rather the quality of your list. inbox placement rates). against known blacklists prior to sending. For any subscribers that haven’t 6. Check Your Do- taken some sort of action in the last mains. 7. Check Your 3-6 months, consider sending your There are 3 main Content. campaigns from a different IP ad- dressno AND instituting a re-engage- reasons messages get As the saying goes… Con- ment plan for those subscribers. blocked before they ever tent is king! And ultimately your get to your subscribers. content is going to impact your Keep your most active delivery rates. subscrib- ers separate to These include: IP-rep- en- sure the utation issues, message Run your messages through high- content, and blacklisted a spam checker or some est domains. sort prior to sending your messages out. Unfortunately, most email marketers don’t know that One thing to note is that domains in the email mes- while there are all kinds sages can be causing blocks. of claims that words like “free” And if you’re using an ESP, they and “money” will cause your mes- virtually never tell you. sages to get blocked (or wind up in the spam folder), it’s not so cut and So… it’s important to pay careful dry. attention to every domain in the6 Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc &
  7. 7. The big lesson here is to write for issue, we still want to include this as HTML email.your audience. Don’t try to “trick” the an email deliverability best practice So, if you are going to use HTMLspam filters or be sneaky! because HTML can cause a number email, be sure that it is formatted of issues when it comes to sendingOften times, there’s a real person at properly and that you also include a your messages.the other end of your email mes- plain text version of your email.sages and if it looks like spam and Think about how web pages look dif-smells like spam, they’re going to ferent in different browsers (Internet 9. Comply with the Can-mark it as spam and either send it to Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Spam Laws.the junk folder or reject it entirely. etc.). Can spam compliance is very simple,A Simple Test: Pretend that you Well, in addition to all of the brows- yet too many online marketers/busi-received the email message in your ers, there are dozens, if not hun- ness owners simply don’t do it.inbox. dreds of email clients, each with a To comply with can-spam, you must slightlyWould you think it looks like spam? not use misleading header informa- differentWould you read it? Delete it? Mark it tion or misleading subject lines. method ofas spam? handling You must include your company con- tact info and a method for people8. Include HTML to unsubscribe. And you mustand Plain Text Ver- honor all unsubscribe requestssions of Your Mes- within 10 days.sages. It’s a good idea to review theWhile this is more of a usability can-spam law. Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc & 7
  8. 8. Not only is it an email deliverability The Reason? best practice… it’s also the law! It ensures that people that are receiving your messages truly want 10. Develop A Process for to receive your messages. They’ve Managing Bounces. taken the extra step to tell you that There are essentially 3 types of they DO, in fact, want to bounces: hard bounces, soft bounc- receive your emails. es, and technical bounces. NOTE: Contrary to popular You should have a process in place opinion, double optin does for managing each of these bounce not guarantee email types that ensures you are keeping deliverability or inbox valid subscribers and removing those placement. that are not. The other 10 email deliverability best Bonus Email Deliverabil- practices must ity Best Practice Tip: Use be in place Confirmed Optin. While this may not be practical or make sense in all cases, it’s by far one of the email deliverability prac- tices that all of the ISPs agree on.8 Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc &
  9. 9. ;-). But Wait... There’s More!{ } 01. Email Authentication 06. Check URLs 02. List Hygiene 07. Review Content 03. Feedback Loops 08. HTML & Plain Text 04. Consistency 09. Can-Spam 05. Engagement 10. Manage Bounces Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc & 9
  10. 10. deliverability and inbox placement... Wrap Up at (If you are using an ESP, then you will need to ask • Email marketing best practices... In this guide, we covered 10+ best the provider for a list of IPs through • Improving your email ROI... practices for improving your email which you are sending) deliverability. • Increasing subscriber engagement... • Evaluate your list quality by study- EmailDelivered provides customers • And much, much more... ing engagement metrics. and clients with email deliverability • Test message timing and sequenc- tips and tools, email marketing best ing for improved ROI across your Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook practices, and individual consulting. campaigns. and Twitter (and visit our website) for For more information on the services even more tips, tools and ideas. we provide and how we can help you Get More Ideas, Tips, and manage and maintain high deliver- Tools... ability, visit us at: Each week, we provide email marketing and deliverability reports, articles, whitepapers, and training Next Steps... videos. Now it’s time to put into action what Sign up for our weekly newsletter you’ve read in these pages. (and occasional notifications) at Here are 3 things you can do right today away... and stay on top of things like: • ISP changes & updates that affect • Check your current IP reputation10Copyright © 2012. All Rights Reserved. Marketers Publishing Group, Inc &