With all the hard work that goes into planning an email marketing campaign, as well as crafting the actual emails to be the perfect length, the right tone, directed at the right sort of consumer – it’s pretty disappointing if it never gets to your subscribers. Making it to the inbox is one of the more misunderstood elements of email marketing, with marketers confusing delivery with deliverability. To understand it, delivery refers to whether or not the receiver accepts your email. Deliverability refers to where that email ends up once it is accepted, i.e. inbox, spam folder or some other folder.
At its core, delivery is about receiving the email – does the receiver’s domain or email address exist? Is your IP address blocked? Did the email make it to the mailbox? Deliverability is where that message gets to, once it is accepted. Deliverability can be broken down into 3 parts:
- Identification: this is the set of protocols that proves you are who you say you are when you send an email, like Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). These function like a passport, or background check.
- Reputation: This is your score, as rated by various Internet Service Providers (ISP). This shows how trustworthy you are – if you can get your subscribers to engage with your email, or mark you as a trusted sender, your sender reputation is boosted.
- Content: buying email mailing lists or using spammy subject lines like MAKE MONEY FAST!!!! can impact your deliverability. It’s important to tailor your message to what your subscribers want and need, to make an impact.
A bad rap on any of the above three can seriously jeopardise your email’s chance of getting to where it needs to be. As an email marketer, there are a few things you can do to ensure your delivery and deliverability. Firstly, make sure your list is clean and up to date. Removing invalid email addresses and re-confirming your inactive subscribers can help to declutter your list. Secondly, make your unsubscribe easy. Rather than have many subscribers who don’t actually want your emails, have them unsubscribe to keep your list tight, and send targeted campaigns to the ones that do. Lastly, ensure your emails are relevant and personal – sending emails with content that resonate with your audience will impact positively on your deliverability and reader engagement.