Are email deliverability issues keeping you up at night?
If so, the chances are better than 90% that your problem stems from an issue with your email list.
All it takes is one bad apple in your database to bring your email program to a screeching halt.
There are a variety of addresses that can undermine your email reputation in an instant. The end result is never good. Blocking or, worse yet, blacklisting problems that no marketer has time for. The prime offenders include:
- Heavy spam complainers;
- “Role” accounts (like abuse@ or tech@ or info@);
- Mis-typed registrations; and
- Older bouncing email addresses.
What’s The Key to Email Marketing?
Easy. It’s ensuring that each of your emails reach their intended target. The best subject lines, email creative, promotional offers, and CTAs are of no value if your message doesn’t get delivered.
Some marketers invest a TON of time and money and still, their campaigns miss the mark. Why? They fail to keep their email databases clean and up-to-date. This results in email deliverability issues that require a lot of time and money to clear up.
The Ongoing Spam War
In the war against spam, ISPs continue to tighten the reins on email marketers. As a result, it’s getting more and more difficult to reach subscribers. ISPs rely on 4 factors in determining whether to let your emails through:
- Spamtraps or honeypots: Deliverable but super damaging, spamtraps can wreak havoc on even an honest e-mailer. Hit 1 or 2 of these and it could bring down your entire email program.
- Excessive spam complaints: ISPs’ spam complaint thresholds typically hover around .3%. Exceed that and your emails will get blocked and won’t reach your subscribers.
- Excessive bounces: ISPs’ bounce thresholds typically hover around 10%. If you exceed their threshold, the ISP will block your emails from and they’ll never make it to the inbox.
- Engagement activity: ISPs have their eyes peeled for any sign that recipients don’t want your emails. Did you know that Gmail evaluates hundreds of signals when deciding if your email is inbox worthy?
3 Strategies for Preventing Email Deliverability Issues
As JFK said, “the time to repair the roof is while the sun is shining”. Why wait to get blocked or blacklisted before taking action? Here are 3 recommendations to get you moving in the right direction:
1.) Follow Best Practices for acquisition
Improve your tactics- Strive to acquire addresses that are permission based. You also want these addresses to be as free of typos and spamtraps as possible.
Don’t be shady – Think about the ways you are getting email addresses into your system. Some you trust. Some, not so much (are you still buying lists and harvesting emails, really?). The latter represents a problem. Deal with it before it’s too late!
2.) Conduct routine list maintenance
Remove Bounces & Inactives – First, get the bounces off your list. Next, develop a firm definition of an inactive email address. Set these aside and utilize Email Change of Address to find the current preferred email address for dormant subscribers.
Respect Unsubscribes – At least one Spamtrap provider intentionally unsubscribes from your list. They do this to confirm that you honor your subscriber’s wishes. Fail to respect the unsubscribe process and you’re destined to get burned.
3.) Partner with an expert
Team up with a trusted provider and run quarterly hygiene on every email address that you routinely send to. This will allow you to:
- Sniff out the deliverable but problematic addresses mentioned above.
- Remove more bounces and inactive email addresses that your own manual check-up missed.
- Get rid of any toxic yet deliverable typos you may have acquired.
REMEMBER, shopping for email database services by price alone is a losing venture. Download this whitepaper to learn about the dangers associated with selecting the wrong vendor.