There are a million demands on your time as a modern marketer, and testing your email marketing campaigns may wind up at the bottom of your priority list.
However, testing does not have to be time-consuming, and the possibilities to enhance and optimize your results that you might unearth can be invaluable.
In this piece, I’ll go through five email tests you should conduct right now to improve your results, as well as some testing recommendations.
So, how many emails are being sent a day?
Spam filters caught fire in the aftermath of COVID-19. According to DataProt, spam accounted for 85 percent of all emails received, while phishing schemes targeted 85 percent of all enterprises in 2020.
Does this, however, imply that all spam emails are scams? No way, no how. However, an email delivered to the spam/junk folder is effectively non-existent.
The distinction between delivery and deliverability is found here.
Whether an email is delivered to the recipient’s junk/spam bin or their inbox folder, it counts toward your delivery rate. A delivery rate can’t tell you if your emails made it to the recipient’s inbox folder.
On the contrary, according to Moosend’s platform:
When it comes to deliverability, getting a campaign into a prospect’s inbox is all that matters, which means that delivery and deliverability are two peas in a pod, but they’re still two separate things.
So, how do you evaluate and improve deliverability, which is far more crucial than delivery (since there’s no use in sending emails that wind up in spam/junk folders)?
Let’s look at all of the potential problems and how you can fix them by making some changes and selecting the best ESP for your business.
How Does the Flow of an Email Affect Deliverability?
The first thing you should consider is your email list.
When it comes to growing your email list, you need to use strategies that will help you score interested prospects. This reduces the chances of your emails being marked as spam.
- Use tools like subscription forms and landing pages to generate leads. These qualities are among the most common when it comes to choosing email marketing platforms, particularly lately. As a result, choose an email marketing platform that can help you increase your lead creation efforts.
- Make sure to provide material that explains what your prospects are signing up for.
- Try opting in twice. Those who are truly interested in your topic will see right through it.
- Never forget to apply list pruning procedures and to evaluate the general health of your list on a regular basis. Segment your audience to identify dormant accounts, accounts that haven’t connected with your material in a long time, and accounts that interact often.
- Find and remove all fake email addresses from your contact list. These might be spam traps, which are false email addresses set up by ISPs to differentiate between spammers and marketers, or companies that have earned their email addresses through genuine list-building procedures.
- Optimize for all platforms. An email that looks to be malfunctioning may cause spam worries.
Hint: A spammer is more than simply a company that sends out spam emails. According to ISPs, sending unsolicited emails with truly amazing email content is still spam. If your organization purchased an email list that was obtained through dubious means on the internet, it will not look good in the long run, no matter how great your material is.
Now, let’s talk about what could happen before they get delivered. There’s the chance of a hard bounce and that of a soft bounce.
- When an email is sent to an invalid email address, a hard bounce occurs. ISPs receive hard bounces if you haven’t trimmed your email list.
- A soft bounce occurs when a prospect’s inbox is filled or when your sending volume unexpectedly increases.
Because most email systems provide adequate storage and even go so far as to automatically divide emails into categories, a soft bounce due to a full inbox is no longer an option.
Let’s pretend your email lands in your prospects’ inbox, whether it’s your inbox or the Promotions and Social tabs.
Indeed, according to Gmail data, “emails labeled as “Promotions” often have an inbox placement rate of roughly 84.5 percent.” As a result, promotional content differs significantly from spamming content. But let’s wait and see what occurs.
- The acts of “marked as read” and “delete without opening” are visible to ISPs, making you suspect in their views and perhaps harming your sender reputation.
- Your users may report irrelevant information as spam. Make sure to segment your list and tailor your material to their preferences.
- Create material that will be useful to their peers. Email forwarding may improve your reputation by demonstrating to ISPs that your information is unique and establishing you as an authority in your field.
But let’s say you’ve addressed all of the aforementioned concerns. Deliverability rates that are good are not always fantastic. Let’s see what you can do about it.
How Can You Boost Email Deliverability?
Deliverability of emails is primarily – if not entirely – determined by the technologies you use. This makes it a complicated problem, and not everyone is capable of developing a program that allows them to send the correct email at the right moment. This is why it’s crucial to choose email marketing software that has essential capabilities like segmentation, customization, and list-building while still being intuitive and simple to use.
After all, not everyone can design their own tools, which is why you need an ESP to assist you with your email marketing efforts.
But, aside from the quality of your email list and the spam complaints we addressed before, what factors influence your deliverability rates? Let us examine the primary factors.
- Deliverability rates may and will be affected by poor email design and content, as well as poor branding in general. The explanation for this is straightforward. According to Forbes, “voice and tone may affect the end user’s experience and how the firm is remembered” when it comes to your brand’s visibility. This is why the look and feel of your email marketing must be consistent. You may be flagged as a spammer if your content isn’t engaging or if your brand image is inconsistent or bad.
- URLs were shortened. They may appear more compact in principle and maintain the user’s attention on the information, but they can present a variety of cybersecurity risks in practice. Remember that the epidemic resulted in an increase in cybercrime and phishing schemes, according to cybersecurity data. In the hands of fraudsters and spammers, URL shorteners are a useful tool since an abbreviated URL hides the link’s destination.
- Sending frequency. ISPs, like their customers, are creatures of habit. It’s reasonable that you’ll have a greater send volume at times and a lower volume at others, but being inconsistent with the number of emails you send can cause spam filters to alert. Not to mention that a larger send volume may result in users marking you as spam.
- When it comes to subject lines, using spammy terms might result in worse campaign deliverability overall. Spam filters will be triggered by subject lines with capital letters and spammy terms like “FREE!!!” or “URGENT!!!,” or a deceptive “RE:” or “FW:.” When establishing email marketing campaigns, be sure to be honest and truthful.
Of course, if you’re not diligent, handling the above won’t miraculously preserve your deliverability rates. Typically, the issue arises when marketers employ lead generating tactics that aren’t quite up to par.
Aside from buying lists, which might hurt your deliverability, employing single opt-in instead of double opt-in can cause a lot of confusion about your email marketing and the quality of your leads in general. Perhaps your subscriber intended to go forward in order to receive a freebie, or perhaps they didn’t read your terms and conditions carefully.
These issues can be mitigated by using double opt-in. It causes unneeded friction. However, if a person is actually interested in your material, they will not mind validating their email address in order to join your mailing list.
Also, don’t forget to use email testing tools to identify problems with your campaigns. Perhaps your email’s HTML version is broken, or perhaps your sender score is low. Email testing tools can help you figure out what went wrong and make data-driven decisions about what to do next.
Maybe it was the material you utilized, or maybe the words in your subject line and body copy were a bit too spammy, or maybe the email appeared a little too “broken” for the user’s device.
See how some of the terms we deem “innocent” enough to use in the body content and subject line of an email may prompt spam filters to alert? Make careful to use terms like “offer” or “reminder” sparingly, and avoid symbols like “$$” or too many exclamation points.
Another point to consider in terms of poor deliverability is whether or not your campaigns are GDPR compliant. GDPR violations include buying lists or sending emails to individuals who aren’t interested. Especially if you don’t exercise caution while employing lead generation services.
Finally, and probably most crucially, if you don’t take care to maintain a good sender reputation, your deliverability rates will decrease.
You’ll need to get an IP address at this point so that ISPs can track and trace your email campaigns. A dedicated or shared IP address might be used. If you have a lot of messages to send, go with the first option. The latter is for lesser sending volumes that may “absorb” other senders’ – or your own – faults, whereas the shared volume will improve your sender reputation if all organizations in the pool follow deliverability best practices.
Larger transmit volumes, on the other hand, necessitate a dedicated IP address. In such scenario, you will be fully responsible for the deliverability score, as well as any faults or penalties that are far more difficult to recover from.
Common Email Deliverability Dont’s
It’s time to review because there are a number of mistakes to avoid that might impair your deliverability rates without your knowledge.
- Purchasing email lists rather than building your own creates a GDPR issue and puts you at risk of being labeled a spammer by both ISPs and customers.
- Making uninteresting emails that aren’t shared, forwarded, or even opened won’t make you look like a spammer, but it won’t help you either.
- Having an overly complicated or uncaring registration process. Neither will help you expand your list because the former will produce a lot of unneeded friction, while the latter will not provide your prospects with a memorable experience.
- Employing spammy terms and content, producing email content that doesn’t look well on all devices, and using link shorteners will all place you in the spam bin.
There are a few more don’ts that we haven’t covered yet. One should avoid using generic email addresses or any email address that does not have a corporate email address.
A generic email address appears impersonal and does not reflect a living organism with an original content marketing strategy, like your company should be, but rather a distant, unapproachable brand that does not appreciate its consumers.
Email addresses that are not corporate emails, particularly @gmail addresses, will not reflect your brand and may not even belong to a brand at all. Your email campaign will be labeled spam because you can’t prove who you are.
Finally, non-segmented email campaigns might have a negative impact on deliverability. Take a look at this.
Deliverability rates aren’t the only problem with email marketing. Your open and click-through rates may suffer if you don’t create user personas and A/B test your email marketing campaigns, subject lines, and overall content. As a result, you’ll obtain a lesser ROI than you intended and won’t be able to reap the full benefits of email marketing.
Additionally, failing to use double opt-in and failing to use a clear and transparent sign-up and unsubscribe procedure may hurt your deliverability rates. Creating the image of a business that doesn’t care about its customers or isn’t excellent enough to be top-of-mind has never helped anybody.
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