We all get unwanted email - it seems like the more we try to avoid it, the more we receive. Messages from marketers, friends, coworkers, clients and prospects compete for attention in overly crowded email folders. Meanwhile, many emails never make it to the inbox to be read; these emails often become trapped in spam filters. IT support experts are continuously redefining ways to prevent spam from hitting the inbox. The following three tips, when done consistently, are guaranteed to improve your email delivery rates.
Always Use an Opt In List
Sending emails only to those who have requested to receive them is a key component in increasing delivery rates. Marketing to purchased or rented lists is not permission-based and will increase the amount of complaints received. Additionally, the amount of people unsubscribing will skyrocket and will cause your email address to be filtered or even blocked. All subscribers or interested recipients should be encouraged to add your email address or domain to their “trusted senders” list, to ensure the emails arrive in their inbox, instead of the junk folder.
Avoid Using Spammer Tactics
As a rule of thumb, all email should appear to have been sent from a friend, co-worker, partner or other professional. Personalizing all email will contribute to higher delivery rates and can increase their open and response rates as well. Personalizing email does not require it support maintenance expertise, but it does require:
· Always using your first and last name
· Always using the person’s name in the email’s introduction
· Always including a signature which includes contact information
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are suspicious of email sent at certain times of the day--in large amounts--during certain days of the week. When emails are sent during the late night hours, they are often flagged as spam and aren’t delivered. Since ISPs typically favor email that is sent in a consistent manner, becoming more observant of the time, days and volume of emails increases delivery rates, as spammers usually send late at night and during random times.
Remain Can-Spam Compliant
Remaining compliant to the Can-Spam Act of 2003 is relatively inexpensive but can be a mundane and tedious task. Ways to remain compliant are easy to remember: first, include a subject line which is not deceptive. Make sure this contains a signature with a business address, phone number, and instructions on how to unsubscribe from the list if needed.
Next, find out the spam score for each email before sending it. A spam score checker is a tool that analyzes each email and gives it a rating based on how it will be perceived by spam filters. If the checker identifies a problem, that email will unlikely make it to the inbox of the recipient. The email can be modified instantly and rechecked until it receives the “okay” to send, without the high risk of being flagged as spam.
Any email reported as spam can eventually cause problems in a campaign. Additionally, emails that “bounced” or aren’t delivered to the intended recipient successfully can be negatively effect your delivery rates; these email addresses should be removed from the list immediately to avoid further complaints, blocks or blacklisting of your address or domain altogether.
Businesses are becoming more Internet savvy and are more cautious when checking and responding to emails. Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on creating targeted, timely and engaging content that users will want to read every time. By continuing to follow these three tips, delivery rates will increase—right along with your customers.