Inboxes Are Getting Overloaded. How to Keep Your Emails Out of Spam.

A well-written grand slam still falls flat if lands in spam.

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By Liviu Tanase

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sadly 21 percent of marketing emails never reach their intended target. Many go missing while still being reported as "delivered."

A new survey of American office employees, conducted of Motivosity, found that 47% of those polled think there should be fewer last-minute emergencies while 40% also said they'd like their manager to stop micromanaging them. All of this ensures that, in this time of unprecedented working-from-home numbers, inboxes are only getting fuller.

Knowing the difference between "delivery rate" and "deliverability" will help you get a more realistic idea on how your edicts perform.

Your delivery rate refers to the number of emails that reached your subscribers' mailbox. It only means that your missive did not bounce, but it doesn't tell you anything about where it went -- inbox or spam.

Your deliverability reflects the number of emails that managed to reach your subscribers' inboxes. You'll also hear marketers referring to email deliverability as "inbox placement."

Why should you differentiate between the two metrics? It's simple: While your delivery rates can look solid, you can still have deliverability issues and not even know it.

Herein lie some easy adjustments, you can make today, to ensure you're infiltrating an optimum amount of inboxes.
Related: The Sneaky, Little Known Secret I Use for Generating Content and Why It Works

Your email list health is key

To boost deliverability, the number one thing you need to check is your email list.

If you get an unusual number of bounces (more than 2% per email) or your open rates have dropped, first take a look at your database. The pandemic has caused data to degrade even faster, so weed out invalid contacts before sending another message.

Keep an eye on spam complaints: You shouldn't get more than one complaint for every 1,000 emails. Any more than that and your sender reputation is at risk. Along with bounces, spam complaints contribute the most to your poor placement. If people label you as spam, inbox providers use that feedback to direct your messages to the right folder ---in this case, the spam folder.

A trustworthy validation service not only removes invalid contacts from your list, but can also spot people who have a history of marking emails as spam. That gives you the option to prune them out and avoid the risk.

Deal with inactive subscribers

What should we do about subscribers that don't engage with our emails?

A good place to start is to analyze these subscribers' journey with your brand. This allows you to determine when they've stopped engaging and whether there's a chance of winning them back.
Related: Small Actions You Can Take to Decrease Stress at Home and Work

Removing people who never open your messages

Some people may have subscribed to your list to download a free content offer. If they've never clicked on your many other missives, remove them without hesitation. They're a waste of resources and could end up bouncing, which would hurt your reputation and placement.

Then take a look at subscribers that haven't opened your emails in more than 90 days. If they used to be active and even made a purchase, there's a high chance you can get them to click again.

The best tactic is a re-engagement campaign: A series of emails that includes an offer worth coming back for. Once your campaign completes, remove the people that still haven't clicked, (you're better off without each other).

Avoiding dealing with inactive subscribers will hurt your inbox placement. These people are telling inbox providers that your content isn't interesting, so your emails may start going to spam.

Switch to a different strategy

What are some of the best marketing emails you get? In my case, it's knowing that I always get something useful out of reading that email.

With the average inbox receiving about 122 emails a day, businesses need to go the extra mile to engage their subscribers. The most efficient strategy is to be consistent in the quality of the content you send.

While having a promo calendar in place is vital, no one subscribes to a list to be overwhelmed by an avalanche of promotions. To build engagement, we need to be of help, and that help doesn't always take the form of a discount.

Instead, it could be a valuable piece of information that you share exclusively with your list. What are some of the most frustrating issues your audience is dealing with? How can you help people overcome these challenges? Make a list, then add every one of these topics to your content calendar.

Furthermore, when you do send out a promotional email, make sure it has a relevant angle. Why do people need your product or service? Start with a pain point, then show how you can solve it. In the end, include your call-to-action and invite people to learn more on your website.

Sending an occasionally awesome email isn't going to bring you spectacular results. What will boost your engagement is to deliver something of value---every time. Don't compromise on that and you'll see steady engagement.
Related: 10 Tools to Help Your Business Grow as a Solopreneur

Liviu Tanase

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Founder & CEO of ZeroBounce

Liviu Tanase is a serial entrepreneur and telecommunication executive with extensive experience in the creation, growth and sale of novel technologies. He is currently the CEO of ZeroBounce, an email validation and deliverability platform.

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