Deliverability is the universal struggle among marketing teams; you can get so many things right when developing your marketing content and still struggle to get it in front of your audience. There's 4 steps crucial to the improvement of your deliverability so that you can reap the true benefits of your content strategy. As we mentioned in Why email deliverability matters: Protecting your sender reputation, the first step to a solid deliverability plan is protecting your sender reputation. Second step is to maintain email list hygiene.
It doesn’t matter if you have a massive email list if most of those emails are bouncing or not opened. When bounce rates increase and engagement metrics go down, it signals the receiving server’s Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) you’re not actively maintaining your list or sending engaging content. And your emails will likely get sent to the spam folder when the server receives these signals. Maintaining an email list and promoting long-term growth requires proactively pruning and managing your list.
Routinely review your list for unengaged subscribers and invalid emails
According to Statista, 2%-4% of marketing emails go undelivered each month, which means your engagement rates are tanking partially due to emails that never even see the recipients.
We get it; no one wants to cut their list down. However, by removing addresses that hard bounce (i.e., are permanently undeliverable) and subscribers who are unengaged, you’ll increase your open rate and long-term email deliverability rate. If an email has a hard bounce or a subscriber doesn’t open emails for 12-18 months (depending on cadence), it’s time to cut them loose.
Pro-tip: Not sure where to start cleaning up your list? Check out QuickEmailVerification, an email deliverability tool that will analyze your email list for you.
Implement a double opt-in
A double opt-in is when a subscriber is sent an email to confirm their subscription before being added to the email list. This prevents hard bounces because the user has to verify their email. It also requires an extra step of commitment from the subscriber to confirm their email so you’ll end up with fewer unengaged users.
Make it easy to unsubscribe
Yes, you read that right. Making it easy for unengaged subscribers to unsubscribe prevents them from getting sick of hearing from your brand, cultivates authenticity with your readership, and improves overall engagement on your list.
You can make it easy to unsubscribe from your emails by including a prominent unsubscribe link in every email and creating a 1-click unsubscribe process. A 1-click unsubscribe process includes pre-populating the email field, making feedback optional, and creating simple ways of adjusting preferences, such as checkboxes.
When recipients move to unsubscribe, giving them the option to adjust preferences instead is a good way to retain them. Some users may not actually want to unsubscribe but just aren’t interested in the specific email campaign or don’t want emails as frequently.
Don’t buy email lists
Buying email lists contributes to high bounce rates and low engagement and ultimately compromises the integrity of the portion of the subscriber list that did opt-in.
The first issue you’ll run into with buying an email list is most reputable email service providers (ESPs) won’t allow you to send emails to email addresses that have not opted in. They do this to preserve their own sender reputation and business.
And, if you do find an ESP that’ll allow you to send to this list, the quality won’t be there. Many of the addresses on bought lists are invalid, inactive, or recycled. You’ll also likely run into spam traps using bought email lists. Spam traps are created by blacklist providers who deliberately place fake addresses on bought email lists to identify domains sending spam.
On the off chance your email does find its way into a real, active inbox, remember you’re intruding on someone’s personal space, uninvited. Your email will likely be marked as spam by them or their email provider.
Want to know how to grow your membership and create brand awareness list the right way? Check out our Guide to Email Automation for Fitness Brands, provides some simple tactics and automation practices that will help you convert subscribers into customers, no matter the industry.