5 Simple Tweaks for Better Email Deliverability Email success starts in the inbox. Learn five easy ways to tweak your strategy so you can achieve better email deliverability.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
More than 4.6 billion people will be using email by 2025. For businesses like yours, email remains a critical communication channel. Not only is it most reliable for transactional messages, but it also allows you to boost revenue through newsletters and marketing campaigns.
So many pieces make up the puzzle of effective email marketing. Compelling copy and beautiful design help you stand out. But first, you have to make sure your emails are going to the inbox. Email deliverability isn't guaranteed — your campaigns can easily go to spam.
To boost email deliverability, improve your sender reputation
So, why do certain emails land in the inbox while others go to spam? It boils down to your sender reputation, a score that allows Internet service providers (ISPs) to determine whether you're a legitimate sender. From the types of emails you send to the engagement they get, your entire behavior as a sender influences your score.
Here are five simple tweaks to consider for your email marketing strategy to give your score — and inbox reach — a quick boost.
1. Prune your email database
Outdated and unengaged contacts hurt your email deliverability. When you email fake or non-existent addresses, you're very much acting like a spammer, so don't be surprised if your emails land in spam.
A good rule of thumb is to pay close attention to your metrics, especially your bounce rate. When more than 2% of your emails bounce back, it's a sign that your database needs pruning. Another good practice is to run your contacts through an email verifier every quarter. Keep in mind that about 23% of the average email list deteriorates yearly. Email decay is natural, but it isn't something you can ignore if you want your emails to arrive in the inbox.
2. Segment your audience
As your engagement plays such an important role in your sender score, increasing your metrics is essential to your email deliverability. Email list segmentation will help you do just that, allowing you to target subscribers with campaigns that matter to them.
Many business owners are intimidated by list segmentation. It entails going through your system and splitting your customers and prospects into specific groups. Using filters such as location, gender, interests or past purchases, segmentation allows you to see where each person is in their buyer's journey – and send them content that pushes them forward.
Although email list segmentation can take a lot of work to set up, it pays off. On average, open rates are 14.31% higher for segmented, personalized campaigns. This key metric, along with better click rates, fosters healthy email deliverability.
3. Ask questions
Marketers ask questions in their emails because they want to strengthen their relationship with their audience. But asking questions and getting people to reply to your messages also helps your email deliverability. Inbox providers see it as a sign of trust. If someone writes you back, they're encouraging further communication. Hence, your emails should be in that person's inbox — and in other inboxes — in the future.
So, in your next email, how can you spark conversations with your subscribers? The best questions come from genuine curiosity, so think about a topic both you and your audience care about. Ask a question and don't forget to tell people to hit reply and answer it.
4. Get on a schedule
Having a set email-sending schedule is another simple change you can make that has multiple benefits. First, being present in your prospects' inboxes builds awareness and familiarity for your brand. When they need your product, those prospects will be more likely to buy it from you, simply because they've been hearing from you regularly.
On top of that, sending emails on a schedule helps your reputation. Unlike spammers, who send emails erratically, you have ongoing communication with your audience. While your marketing approach can be surprising in order to stand out, your schedule should be predictable.
Establishing a sending schedule doesn't have to entail writing more emails. However, if you send a weekly or monthly newsletter, try to send it on the same day and even at the same time. You'll be helping both your engagement and email deliverability.
5. Scan every email for potential spam triggers
A spammy word in your subject line, too many images and too little text, link shorteners or broken links can result in your email landing in your recipient's spam folder. So, before you hit send, scan your email to make sure it doesn't look like spam. Ask your team to take a look, too.
You can go a step further and test your email deliverability with the help of an inbox tester. Reliable inbox testers pinpoint potential deliverability issues so you can fix them before it's too late. It takes only minutes to test your email and get access to these insights. Sometimes, a simple tweak will pull your campaign out of spam and ensure it lands in the inbox.