By some estimates, as much as 50% of the email that’s sent on the web never ends up in the recipient’s inbox. No matter how great your email content is – if the end user doesn’t see it, your efforts are wasted. Email deliverability should be a prime concern for anyone who employs email marketing.
So how can you improve your email deliverability rates?
==> Encourage People to Whitelist You
On your opt-in thank you page, tell people to add you to their address book or to their whitelist. This ensures that your email will get delivered to their mailbox, no matter what the spam filter thinks.
==> If You’re Using a Hosted Solution
If you’re using a hosted solution, make sure you’re using one with a solid reputation. Avoid using built-into-shopping-cart autoresponders (e.g. 1ShoppingCart) as your primary email autoresponder. The only exception is shopping carts that give you a unique IP address (e.g. Infusionsoft).
Avoid using free autoresponders, as their deliverability rates are generally much lower.
==> Get an Exclusive IP address
If you’re building your own mailserver, make sure you have your own IP address. You want to be able to build a relationship with ISPs from scratch, not have to pay for the mistakes of other people who used the same IP address as you.
==> Remove Hard Bouncebacks
If you send an email out and it gets a hard bounceback, meaning the email address is no longer operational, delete that address from your list. Continually sending out email to non-existent mailboxes can get you categorized as a spammer.
Most mailers today offer this feature.
==> Email Consistently
If you don’t mail your list for six months then suddenly start mailing again, you’re going to get a whole slew of spam complaints and unsubscribes. Simply put, people will forget who you are or stop caring about you.
Mail consistently. People who lose interest will still unsubscribe; but you mailing them won’t come as a surprise.
==> Avoid Spammy Language
Avoid spammy words like “sex” or “credit card” in your emails and especially in your subject lines.
Avoid using all caps in your text. Avoid using large red headlines in HTML emails.
Avoid gimmicky headlines that use too many symbols. For example, “How I Make $$$$ Online” is likely to be caught by spam filters. Also avoid using too many exclamation points and too many question marks.
Your email autoresponder software should be able to provide a spam rating for your email before you send it. This rates how likely your email is to be perceived as spam. Try to get this rating to zero before mailing.
If you follow these tips, you’re going to do better on deliverability than most other webmasters. Pay attention to deliverability and have a deliverability strategy. It affects everything else in your email marketing.