“Think outside the Inbox.” – EmailOut

There’s nothing more frustrating than slaving over your email list, impeccably planning a content calendar, creating amazing content, agonizing over what goes into your emails… only to have them bounce back or head straight to spam.

So, how can you make sure your emails get delivered? Well, we’ll run you through some tried-and-tested strategies that will help you improve email deliverability rates, today.

In this article, we’ll talk about the following ways to improve email deliverability:

  • Cleaning up your list
  • Authenticating your domain
  • Avoiding common spam triggers
  • Improving your opt-in, preferences and opt-out process

Let’s dig in.

1. Clean Up Your List

Do you have unengaged readers on your list? They might help inflate the numbers, but they’re doing no one any good. Scrub your list regularly to make sure you aren’t damaging deliverability and, at the same time, by doing this you’ll also improve email deliverability rates.

2. Authenticate Your Domain

It’s a bit fiddly, but it’s well worth your time to authenticate your email domain by enabling Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Email (DKIM). These build trust that you are who you are and make it much harder to spoof your email address, which could be causing you problems without you knowing about it.

3. Think About Your Subject Lines

Some words or use of punctuation in your subject lines just get spam-detectors spidey-senses tingling.

$-signs are one. Cries of “FREE!!”, claims that something is “risk-free” and references to debt, credit, quotes and winning competitions are all major offenders. Others you might not expect. Words as innocuous as bargain, amazing, buy, problem and open can all cause trouble, purely because spam filter algorithms see them crop up a lot in dodgy emails.

Pay very close attention to emails that don’t get delivered. The clue is probably in the name.

If you don’t feel the inspiration juices flowing yet, take a look at our 27 ideas for irresistible subject lines here. These ideas will ensure you will improve email deliverability and get you another step closer to better deliverability rates.

4. Improve Your Opt-In

Make sure that people genuinely want to be on your email list. Don’t try to trick people into handing over their details. Ensure they understand what you’re planning to send them.

A double opt-in process, where they get an email confirmation to click, ensures that it really was them that signed up – which sounds like a strange concern, but if you’re lazy about it, your competitors could feed you spam trap emails (more on that in a moment) and then you’re really in trouble.

5. Sort Out Preferences and Opt-Out

Don’t try to stop people from reducing the number of emails they receive or from unsubscribing altogether. In fact, make this easy for them by setting up a preferences page with a link from your emails, so that they can change their interests or email frequency, or cancel if they so please. Much better than having them move your emails to junk.

6. Never Buy Email Addresses

For the love of all that is holy, don’t fall into this trap. Often it is literally a trap – people add ‘spam trap’ email addresses to certain lists, and these trigger spam filters, which then put you on a blacklist. Once you’re on, it’s very tricky to get off again – so really, don’t risk it. Forcing people to get your emails is a bad enough strategy without this extra risk.

Final Thoughts

Remember that there is simply no substitute for sending stuff to people that they actually want to read. Strategies like these will improve the process, but no amount of tricks and tools can force your audience to be interested in things that they don’t care about.

Make sure that you’re conducting proper research into what your audience wants to hear about, that you’re giving subscribers plenty of chances to tell them for yourself – and that you’re listening. You won’t get far without this.

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