- Magnetic Marketing
- The big elephant in the room
The big elephant in the room
What is email deliverability? Why does it matter? How do you improve it?
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Today's Marketing Breakdown:
Time to address the big elephant in the room...
I've been working in email marketing for over 7+ years and even I don't know the full ins and outs of everything that goes into email deliverability.
It's a complex topic with few definitive answers.
But over 7+ years of trial and error, I have learned a few things on the topic. Here are the basics you need to know 👇
What is email deliverability?
Email deliverability is what allows your marketing emails to land in your customers' inboxes (i.e. not the spam folder).
As an email sender, you have a reputation with each inbox provider (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) based on your sending practices.
Use bad sending practices (like buying a list and emailing people that didn't consent to emails) and these inbox providers will mark you as having a low sender reputation and send your emails to the spam folder (hurting your deliverability).
Use good sending practices and your emails should deliver as normal.
Why is email deliverability important?
If your emails don't end up in your customers' inboxes, they won't get read. Trust me.
I've seen companies that got 2-4% open rates on their welcome emails when they destroyed their email deliverability and sender reputation.
The best way to avoid ending up in the spam filter is to follow good sending practices.
How do you improve email deliverability?
That's the million-dollar question. There's no exact science to this stuff so I mainly stick to these basic principles for good sending practices:
Exclude unengaged subscribers (e.g. no open in the last 120+ days). You don't need to remove them from your list completely. Just pick your spots when you do send to a larger list.
Turn on your high-engagement automations. This includes your welcome series for leads, abandon flows, customer onboarding, etc. Getting consistently strong open and click rates from these flows sends a positive message to inbox providers that people want to receive your emails.
Monitor engagement by domain. In my experience, Gmail is more lenient when it comes to deliverability than Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, and others. Meaning... if Yahoo, Hotmail, or AOL notice you sending emails to unengaged subscribers too often, they will be quicker to send you to spam vs. Gmail. That does not mean Gmail is the wild, wild, west. It just means you can be a little more aggressive with your segmentation strategy. e.g. Exclude no opens in the last 120 days for Gmail subscribers. Exclude no opens in the last 60 days for Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL.
NEVER buy lists. This is a sucker's game. If anybody advises you to buy a list of emails that never consented to receive your emails in the first place, run as far as you can in the other direction.
Assume everything is fine. Deliverability is a never-ending game. Monitor your open rates by domain closely as they can change over time. If you notice your Gmail open rates starting to trend down over your last few campaigns, dial back you segmentation and only target people that have opened more recently. e.g. If you were excluding "no opens in the last 120 days" you might want to dial it back to 90 or 60 and hope to see open rates tick back up.
Email deliverability is a tricky and complex subject. If you follow good sending practices, you shouldn't have much to worry about.
If you try to get too aggressive and push the envelope, you could find your emails landing in the spam folder — which is extremely difficult to get out of.
If you ever have any questions related to email deliverability, don't hesitate to reach out! Happy to help where I can.
There you have it! 1 marketing tip to help grow your business.
Here's one other marketing nugget for this week:
21 principles to live by when running your startup 👇
It should be illegal to launch a startup without memorizing these 21 principles from Y-Combinator's Startup Playbook:
— Brian Bourque (@bbourque)
Oct 29, 2022
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See ya next Thursday,
Looking for more great business content? Here are 5 of my favorite beehiiv newsletters that I never miss: 👇