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07.Jul.2021 Ajitha Victor - Email deliverability, Email Marketing
Email deliverability is of primary importance to email marketing. And email deliverability failure usually happens when your emails end up in the spam folder or get blocked by the Internet Service Provider (ISP). If your email is not even delivered, what is the point of you running an email marketing campaign?
You’ve probably read a lot of content on different types of email campaigns, A/B testing, Subject lines, open rates, strategies for email marketing, but without email deliverability, they all become invalid.
So let’s learn to keep the foundation strong!
Before we jump into the blog’s main subject, let me first clarify the difference between email delivery and email deliverability.
Email delivery is decided based on whether an email sent reached the subscriber, be it their spam folder or inbox. But your email might not be delivered if either the domain or the email address is wrong.
When it comes to email deliverability, it shows whether the email landed in their primary inbox and not in their spam folder.
Now that we have cleared off a significant confusion let’s move on to the ways to improve email deliverability!
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider. In a broader context, ISPs refer to Outlook, Hotmail, Yahoo, Gmail, AOL, Comcast, and so on. And ISPs tend to protect their customers by protecting them against shady emails and spammy ones.
Do you know that over 270 billion emails are being delivered every day? And 50% of them are spammy emails annoying the recipients. And so the ISPs who make emails possible, have the authority to block certain emails from getting delivered. They do this to improve their reputation.
The ISPs know the history of mailing lists. They know which emails from you were clicked and which were opened or which were marked spam. All you have to do is think like an ISP. You need to avoid bad email habits which ISPs consider spammy. Simple as that!
Here are a couple of things to be wary of:
One way to combat all these is to request your subscriber in the introductory email to add you to their safe sender list or address book or contacts depending on which ISP they are using.
I know you probably put in the effort to build that list, but what use is it if most of them in that list are inactive subscribers. In fact, it does the opposite of useful, it brings your credibility down. It affects your email reputation negatively through increased bounced rates.
And that’s why a lot of email marketing tools show you the hard bounce rates, it is warning about the poor health of your email. It is a sure-fire way to get filtered or blocked by the ISPs. Ultimately, lowering email deliverability rates because they offset engagement metrics.
So every now and then clear off inactive subscribers or contacts that give high hard bounce rates. By every now and then, I mean, once in 6 months.
And as a general rule of thumb, make sure to ask your existing active subscribers to double opt-in once a year. This is just to avoid getting those spam complaints before it even happens. They might like opening your emails now but they might change their minds after a while. So it is always best to get their permission first to send those emails.
Email domain authentication is intimidating and might sound complicated. Email domain authentication is done to avoid phishing and harmful messages that might trick people or put them in danger.
Email domains that are not authenticated, usually have a low deliverability rate and most of the time get blocks or go to spam. It can tank your email reputation easily as you will be at the risk of someone else taking control of your email domain.
So firstly, authenticate your email domain with Sender Policy Framework (SPF) which is the oldest one, and Domain Keys Identified Mails (DKIM) which is quite new.
When you get authenticated by SPF, the SPF verifies and authenticates your identity (sender’s identity).
When you get authenticated by DKIM, the DKIM verifies and authenticates your identity and also goes a little further and protects your content!
The final verdict is to never start email marketing without getting your email domain authenticated. Don’t become a victim of spoofing.
The process in which you build your email list is paramount. It should start with a strong foundation of trust and transparency. The subscriber should willingly sign up to be part of your email list.
How you get sign-ups not only affects your distribution list but also the level of your email deliverability.
And double opt-in is considered the best way to allow someone to sign up for your email list. This is the highest level of consent that you can get from a user. Getting contacts through double opt-ins are usually of higher quality and mostly these subscribers tend to be active users as they want to hear from you!
Double opt-in allows the user to take a secondary action to sign up and to confirm a subscription to an email list. This secondary action could be anything from confirmation CTA or type in a verification code sent to their respective email or phone or a short survey on what kind of content they like to receive from you.
A spam traps’ job is to disguise as a regular email address but it traps spammers and phishers to catch senders with malicious intent. Its only work is to identify spammers and senders with poor email list hygiene.
So you might ask me, “As a legitimate email marketer, why should I worry about spam traps?”
Here’s the tea, sometimes these spam traps tend to trap authenticated emails too based on poor email list hygiene.
The best way you can avoid spam traps is by validating new email addresses. There are many paid email validation tools that will help you with this. And never ever buy an email list however tempting it might be.
Yes, if the content of your email is loved by the recipients, why would they consider you spam or why would the ISPs block you? When creating emails, make sure the copy engages the reader. Subject lines are the first thing people notice about your emails.
Your subscribers love your products and that’s why they have signed up for your newsletter in the first place. So if you can also engage them with high-quality content which would add value to their experience. Will they not be smitten with your brand?
You’ve probably got a good idea of the language that makes your customers feel connected to your brand. That language should be carried over to emails to keep them highly engaged — it will show your audiences that you care about their needs outside of advertising and revenues on a personal level. And that’s what email marketing is all about. It is about communicating with your audiences directly using personalized content!
Ask yourself, “Am I sending content that adds value to my subscribers?”, “Does it help them?”
And if you can say “yes” with proper evidence, then you are a winner in the email marketing milieu.
One word of advice: Relevancy!
Never trap your subscribers without giving them an unsubscribe link. It is in fact, illegal to send out email marketing campaigns without giving an unsubscribe option.
People usually mistake that unsubscription is bad for your email reputation. But it is better than getting marked as spam. And there’s no evidence that unsubscribe rates have an impact on deliverability.
In fact, it can be beneficial if you’re looking to increase subscriber engagement and clean up your email list.
Sending emails to active subscribers gives visibly higher open, click-through and engagement rates and it also decreases bounce rates. It is best if someone is not interested in your content, and they have an option to unsubscribe.
So make the unsubscribe button easily accessible and visible in the emails. Never hide it whether it is at the top or at the footer of the emails. If you don’t allow ‘unsubscribe’, you will get reported as spam. And ending in spam evidently will affect your email deliverability.
In order to ace your email marketing, first master email deliverability!
After that, you can start curating subject lines, figure out A/B testing, find out different email campaigns to cover customer journey, learn email automation, and so on!
And with email marketing tools like BayEngage, you will never have to worry about finding ways to increase your email deliverability. BayEngage makes it a given. It ensures that emails always end up in the primary inbox. So, you haven’t created an account with BayEngage, go ahead and give the 14-day Free trial a chance and explore its features!
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