Reports show that roughly 100 million email messages get marked as spam by Gmail every day.
Many of those messages are truly spam, but some of them are legitimate emails that tripped a spam filter of some sort. Unfortunately, once those messages go to the spam folder, they will likely never get read.
Keeping your emails in your customers’ inboxes is critical. Let’s look at seven tips for improving your email deliverability.
1. Build Your Email List
It’s tempting to buy or rent an email list instead of running a lead generation campaign to build your own. But in most cases, the deliverability of any email you send to that list will be low.
Those lists have probably been rented to other marketers and received a lot of unsolicited messages. That can lead to a lot of people marking them as spam, which means your email could automatically get tagged that way.
2. Avoid Hype and Spam Trigger Words
Spam filters look at the contents of each email to determine whether it “sounds” like spam. That includes both the subject line and the message body.
If your message has a lot of hype like writing in ALL CAPS or using a lot of exclamation points, it can trigger the spam filter.
Certain words are also more likely to get your email flagged. Words like free, guaranteed, cash, investment, click here, and spam tend to get used in actual spam, so it’s best to avoid them in your email.
3. Don’t Send Attachments With Your Email
Attachments are one of the most common ways that viruses and other malware get distributed around the internet. This has led to spam filters treating attachments as a bad thing.
Instead of attaching a file to your email, make it available on your website or through a web-based file sharing service like Dropbox. Include a link to the file in your email rather than the file itself.
4. Use Double Opt-In When Building Your List
Most email service providers (ESP) give you two options for adding people to your email list - single and double opt-in.
This refers to how people sign up to receive your email. Single opt-in means once they submit their email address and any other contact information you collect, they’re added to the list immediately. They don’t have to confirm anything beyond that first step.
After they sign up with a double opt-in list, they’ll get an email with a confirmation link. They have to click that link to confirm they do, in fact, want to receive your email.
Double opt-in can lead to a smaller email list since some of those people may never confirm they want to get added, but making them take that extra step means they’re definitely interested.
Those people are less likely to flag your email as spam since they took the extra step. And the fewer people that flag your email, the better your chances are of staying out of the spam folder.
5. Include Unsubscribe and Contact Info
If you use an ESP like MailChimp or Constant Contact, they’ll add a footer to every message you send with an unsubscribe link and your contact information. It might seem like putting a link to unsubscribe in every email would lead to people opting out, but that’s not a bad thing.
In fact, this is a legal requirement in many countries. But whether it’s the law or not, there’s no point in keeping someone on your list who’s not interested in what you have to offer.
You want a list of people who want to hear from you and are likely to buy what you have to offer. Successful inbound marketing relies on an attentive, interested audience.
6. Test Your Email Deliverability Before Sending
Different email platforms have different thresholds for their spam filtering. Something that triggers the filter on Gmail might land in the inbox on your prospect’s iPhone, for example.
Before you send an email to your entire list, send a few test messages to your test accounts on all the major email services. This isn’t foolproof since the filters are partly based on each user’s behavior, but if your test message gets sent to spam, you can be pretty sure the ones going to your list will too.
7. Provide Value to Your Audience
The first six tips are important, but most of them are more technical in nature. They’re about the nuts and bolts of building your list.
The last tip is more wide-ranging and is the most important of all - provide value in every message you send.
If you provide valuable information that your prospects and customers want to receive, they’ll make sure they read those emails.
Think about an email list you’re subscribed to that you look forward to receiving. If you don’t get it, you would probably check your spam folder to see if it ended up there, right?
That’s how you want your audience to feel about your messages. If they’re big enough supporters, some of them will even email you to let you know if your message does end up in their spam box.
You can also help avoid that by educating your list about adding you to the white list in their email service. This can help keep your messages in their inbox even if a given message rates a little higher on the spam scale for some reason.
They’re only going to do that if they like reading what you have to say, though.
Where to Turn for Help With Your Digital Marketing
Whether you’re doing cold email outreach or sending it to a list of warm prospects or customers, your email deliverability is critical to your success. It’s only one piece of the puzzle, though.
If you’re looking for help getting your digital marketing strategy sorted out so you can take your business to the next level, ProSales Connection can help. Our team of seasoned professionals has experience ranging from small startups to Fortune 100 companies.