Email marketing can be influenced by various factors, of which spam filters and sender reputation are the two main culprits. While specific statistics may vary, here are some notable insights, according to HubSpot:
There are 4 billion daily email users. This number is expected to climb to 4.6 billion by 2025. (Statista)
More than 306 billion emails are sent and received each day. (Statista)
64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. (Campaign Monitor)
37% of brands are increasing their email budget, and just 1.3% are making cuts. (Litmus)
The most effective strategies for email marketing campaigns are subscriber segmentation (78%), message personalization (72%), and email automation campaigns (71%). (HubSpot Blog Research)
33% of marketers send weekly emails and 26% send emails multiple times per month. (Databox)
Spam folder placement amounts to 15-20%. The global bounce rate ranges between 2-10%, depending on the quality of the email list. The stat includes soft bounces (temporary issues). Finally, high unsubscribe rates might lead to future emails being marked as spam. Aim for unsubscribe rates below 1%.
Managing Email Lists
Managing your email list is the first step you can undertake to ensure your offer is continually reaching recipients’ inboxes.
There’s a simple tip at the core of the process: prioritizing quality over quantity.
The next step is email list hygiene: clean and update your list to remove inactive or invalid addresses. This is crucial for the sender’s reputation and engagement impact.
Namely, ESPs use engagement metrics (open rates, click-through rates, and reply rates) to determine the relevance of senders’ emails. Low engagement rates can negatively impact deliverability over time.
As for sender reputation, it is a critical factor affecting email deliverability. If your IP address or domain has a poor reputation due to spam complaints or other factors, your emails might face deliverability issues.
Segment Your Email List
List segmentation is a powerful approach that will boost the chances of all your emails hitting recipients’ inboxes.
The easiest approach is to categorize subscribers based on demographics, behavior, buying preferences, and so on.
Once you know this, you’ll be able to craft personalized content, which will, in turn, boost engagement rates. To increase your chances of keeping subscribers, inform them about the type and frequency of content they may expect.
The main catch here is that engagement goes both ways. Dropping an occasional feedback request will help you more than all the stats you can imagine. Still, keep an eye on open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates, and refine your email strategy to reflect these insights.
Finally, adhere to data protection regulations. Make sure to obtain explicit consent for data usage and provide opt-out options (add an unsubscribe button to all emails you send).
Avoiding Spam Filters
Spam filters can doom your campaigns and business reputation for good if you’re not careful. The list of consequences is long and scary, so we’ll stick to the critical ones:
- Low open rates
- Poor engagement
- Damage to sender reputation
- Decreased deliverability*
- Wasted effort and resources
- Negative brand perception:
- Potential legal issues**
*ESPs rely on recipient engagement metrics to determine whether your emails are relevant. Low engagement rates signal that your emails may not be welcome. This increases the chances of your future emails being sent directly to spam folders. In a worst-case scenario, they may be blocked altogether.
**In some regions, sending unsolicited emails or ignoring opt-out requests can lead to legal repercussions.
Avoiding tough spam filters starts with adhering to the guidelines mentioned above, but it does’t end there. Your content must also observe certain recommendations, notably:
- Not include trigger words
- Not include excessive punctuation
- Be literate, concise, and relevant
- Not include overly promotional language
- Not be image-heavy
Validating the Legitimacy of Your Emails
Validating the legitimacy of your emails is one certain strategy that will ensure that your messages reach recipients’ inboxes.
On top of continually delivering quality content, you should also adhere to authentication protocols, the most important of which include:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF) — verifies the legitimacy of the sender’s server
- Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) — adds a digital signature to each email
- Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) — ascertains the correspondence between the sender’s domain and identity
Om top of these technicalities, there are several additional tips to observe (many of which fall under the domain of common sense, fortunately). E.g., make sure to include a valid identity in the “From” field and provide a reply-to address.
Pick ESPs With Strong Sender Reputation
Don’t forget to pick an ESP with a strong sender reputation. This factor actually is critical in determining sender credibility and email deliverability.
Typically, reputed ESPs use a robust infrastructure to ensure the emails coming from them adhere to industry standards and spam regulations. Still, keep in mind that the choice of an ESP is just the beginning. Maintaining sender’s reputation is an ongoing process that necessitates monitoring of the key metrics mentioned above.
Nail Down Your Subject Lines
One practical tip will help with open rates: craft state-of-the-art subject lines. Subject lines determine the fate of their corresponding emails, meaning that they mustn’t be overlooked or written poorly.
The optimal length for a subject line is around 41 characters (make sure it isn’t cut — presently, the cut-off point is 55 characters). Make sure your subject lines are relevant, personalized, and localized. It goes without saying that the email body should expand on them.
The Future of Email Is Bright
Email marketing has proven to be cost-efficient, far-reaching and effective (when done right). Simply put, it isn’t going anywhere.
The sooner you start optimizing your campaigns and maintaining your email lists, the better the results of your campaigns will be.
Mind the tips mentioned here and remember that much depends on a reliable ESP and local regulations. Start by researching these two points, expand by maintaining your email lists, brainstorm your subject lines, and keep communication alive. This is as close to a recipe for success as it gets!