We spend so many time trying to optimize every little detail of our campaign. We want stunning images and we ponder on for hours on that one font, matching colours and the right amount of whitespace. We invest blood, sweat and tears in our emails. And then there is nothing more heart-breaking than having to find out that the message didn’t make it to the receivers. Regardless of the energy that you spent on your campaign strategy: if your email didn’t reach the final destination, then your ambitious intentions were needless.
We notice that reaching the inbox is one of the most underestimated aspects of a successful campaign. Before your email reaches the mailbox, you are facing a couple of challenges. Would you like to go all the way to make sure that your receivers read the email? Then below suggestions will not leave you indifferent.
Endure the spam filter
Imagine that your email is a busy business traveller on his way to a conference. Once the email has arrived to the airport, then he will be subject to a security control by the gatekeeper.
Just as the gatekeeper is maintaining the security, it is the spam filter’s task to detect spam and viruses. The spam filter will scan the mail completely and determines based on a couple of parameters whether the email should be directed to the inbox or the spam folder. These days email clients are well armed against spam, but your email as well should get past these severe guards. They key is within these next aspects: identification, reputation and content.
“Passport and travel documents please!”, because only with a valid passport and flying ticket you can travel safely. This is also the case for the spam filter that first checks your identity.
Via identification the spam filter verifies whether you are who you pretend to be. To prove your identity, you need authentication. By means of Sender Policy Framework (SPF), SenderID en DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), you can prevent abuse (spoofing, phishing) and the spam filter will identify the domain as a good responsible for the dispatch of your email message.
Does the business traveller already have a bad reputation with the security check due to earlier incidents? Then chances are that he will not get past the gate. There is a reputation connected to an email as well.
This reputation consists of two parts: the reputation of your domain name and the reputation of the sending IP address. Does the domain or the email address exists? Or is your IP address blocked? The reputation of a sender is a score that indicates how reliable you are. Each organisation and internet service provider (ISP) can give you another score. Generating positive behaviour with your recipients is the best way to improve your sender reputation. Examples are the interaction with your email or adding you to the address book or the contact list so that you are marked as a trusted sender.
Of course you won’t get past the gate without having passed the luggage check first. Is there stuff in the suitcase of our traveller that doesn’t belong there? Then the journey most likely stops here.
Spam filters use a lengthy list with criteria that they use to determine whether your email message is spam sensitive. Is the email relevant to your audience? Do you overuse exclamation marks or capital letters in your formatting? Are there offensive words in your email? These spammy techniques all have an impact on your deliverability.
Look at it from the perspective of your receivers. You too only want to receive emails that are applicable to you. Therefore we sum up a couple of tips to outsmart these spam filters.
Clean up your contact lists
If your contact list consist of many inactive contacts, then this can have a drastic impact on your deliverability. After all, they lower the engagement with your campaign or in other words your reputation. Consider eliminating sleeping contacts or isolate them from your active contacts. Via the Flexmail Workflows you can easily filter the contacts that didn’t open your most recent campaigns. Try to wake them one last time with a campaign that addresses them very directly. Does reaction stay off completely, then you wisely invest your effort in your active contacts.
Definitely keep an eye for spam traps. Spam traps look like real email addresses, but they are actually used to detect spammers. Sending to one of those email addresses can indicate that your contact list contains many inactive contacts or that you use spammy practices to collect your email addresses, such as buying lists or digging up email addresses from the internet. All the more reason to clean up your contact lists on a regular basis!
Make unsubscribing easy
Of course you prefer your contacts to stay subscribed willingly and that they click on one link after another. But avoid at all times that your contact stays subscribed because he cannot unsubscribe and that your message gets marked as spam. This has a very negative result. In fact, unsubscribing boosts the engagement of your current contact list and you can easily clean up your contact list automatically. When you clearly mention your unsubscribe link, then you avoid your receivers will mark your message as spam. Which means a negative score for your reputation.
Make your content personal and relevant
Do you want to influence your reputation positively? Then you can send relevant, personal messages to your contacts. When you send emails to contacts that really like to receive your email, then your open and click rates will definitely increase, and your bounces will decrease. You will see that personal content raises the engagement of your readers and eventually builds up a better relationship with your audience. And the more your target group is engaged with your content, the better you score with the spam filters!
Eventually the goal of our busy business traveller is arriving at the desired destination, just like we want our email to arrive at the desired inbox. That is why we motivate all marketers to optimize the ROI on their email marketing budget by keeping in mind these tips and tricks while creating an email campaign. That way you make sure that you beat that spam filter for once and for all.