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Why Deliverability Matters for Email Marketing at Scale

Explore best practices for email deliverability in our comprehensive guide. Learn about sender reputation, email authentication, and engagement strategies to ensure your emails reach the inbox and boost ROI.
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Reaching the inbox is becoming a real challenge. With the ups and downs in the economy, people changing what they like in emails, and all the new tricks from inbox providers like Google, Apple, and Microsoft, it’s a constant battle for email senders. Even when you do everything right such as maintainig optimal permission-based email lists, around one in six of those carefully crafted emails still might miss the mark and not end up in the intended inbox (source).

Many factors can affect email deliverability, including spam filters, blacklists, and email authentication. To ensure your emails are delivered successfully, you need to follow certain best practices such as maintaining a clean email list, avoiding spam trigger words, and personalizing your content. It is essential to monitor your email deliverability regularly and adjust as needed.

In this guide, we will cover why deliverability is essential and how your businesses can optimize your email campaigns to reach the inbox and drive engagement with your brand. Read on to take a deep dive into tricky world of email deliverability and know how to ace it.

Understanding email deliverability

Have you ever wondered what ‘deliverability’ means and why it’s such a hot topic in email marketing circles? Deliverability is more than just hitting ‘send’ on your emails; it’s the art and science of ensuring your messages land precisely in your audience’s primary inbox.

Email delivery Vs deliverability

Let’s talk about these two crucial email concepts in a way that’s easy to understand.

Email Delivery: Sending a Letter

Email delivery mirrors the act of mailing a letter. Like dropping a letter in the post, once you hit ‘send’ on an email, it leaves your end. However, ensuring it reaches the intended recipient’s mailbox is the challenge. This step is akin to the journey of your letter through the postal system; it needs to traverse through various checkpoints before reaching the right destination.

Deliverability: Beyond Sending

Now, let’s delve into deliverability. It’s not just about sending your email; it’s the complex process of successfully navigating through the digital landscape and finding its way to the recipient’s primary inbox. This phase involves overcoming server mechanisms, spam filters, and other technical checkpoints. The ultimate goal isn’t merely delivery; it’s ensuring that your message lands prominently where your audience will most likely notice it—the primary inbox. That brings us to the next section.

Why Deliverability is Key in Marketing

When it comes to email marketing, ensuring that your emails are delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes is just as important as the content of the emails themselves. Prioritizing deliverability of your emails will ensure that your marketing efforts are not in vain. Here are some reasons why you need to focus on deliverability for your marketing success:

Foundation of Email Strategy

Having reliable deliverability is crucial for the foundation of your email marketing strategy. This is because it ensures that your emails are sent and received by your intended audience, which means that your messages won’t get lost in cyberspace, resulting in missed opportunities to connect with your target audience.

Impact on Customer Engagement

Your emails play a significant role in engaging with your customers, allowing for a direct line of communication with them. However, for your customers to engage with your content, your emails must reach their inbox.

Essential for ROI

Generating a return on investment (ROI) is essential for the success of your email marketing campaigns. A study by DMA shows that email marketing has an average ROI of 42:1. However, this ROI can only be achieved if your emails are delivered to the inbox and seen by your target audience. 

Factors affecting deliverability

To run a successful email marketing campaign, you need to prioritize deliverability. This means ensuring that your emails land in recipients’ inboxes and not in their spam folders. However, email deliverability can be a complicated matter. To make sure that your emails reach your intended audience, you should focus on three key factors: sender reputation, email content and formatting, and list hygiene and engagement. By paying attention to these factors, you can increase the chances of your emails being delivered and read by your target audience.

Sender Reputation:

Your email sender reputation is crucial in determining whether your emails are considered trustworthy or not. To ensure trust and prevent spam reports, it is essential to use authentication measures such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Besides, following ethical sending practices and providing responsive customer service can also help increase your credibility.

Email Content and Formatting:

It is the art of crafting captivating content and presenting it in a visually appealing, reader-friendly format. Subject lines should be short and attention-grabbing, while the body of the email should be concise and persuasive, with strategically placed images and calls to action. Excessive links, or broken images are red flags to inbox providers that your email may not be of the best quality or worse, of good intent.

List Hygiene and Engagement:

Maintaining a clean email list is essential to ensure your emails reach their intended audience. Keep your list healthy by removing inactive subscribers, managing bounce rates, and fostering consistent engagement. Personalization, segmentation, and targeted campaigns all help to keep your audience engaged.

Best Practices for Email Deliverability

Mastering email deliverability is essential in today’s competitive digital landscape. By adhering to best practices, you can significantly enhance the likelihood of your emails reaching the intended inboxes. Here are the key areas to focus on, along with practical tips for each:

1. Sender Reputation: The Cornerstone of Email Deliverability

Email Authentication: Implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols to authenticate your emails. This step is crucial for ISPs to recognize your emails as legitimate. Utilize platforms like RoblyENGAGE for a more seamless authentication process.

Monitoring Reputation Metrics: Regularly check sender scores and domain reputation using tools like Return Path and SenderScore. These insights help you understand how your emails are perceived and allow for timely adjustments.

Implementing Feedback Loops: Set up feedback loops with major ISPs. This strategy helps you track and address user complaints, thereby maintaining a positive sender reputation.

Compliance with Best Practices: Ensure adherence to regulations like CAN-SPAM and GDPR. Compliance not only builds trust but also shields you from legal ramifications.

Proactive Complaint Management: Vigilantly monitor and address spam complaints. Understanding and rectifying the root causes promptly can significantly improve your reputation.

Engagement and Interaction: Create content that resonates with your audience’s preferences. Personalized, relevant emails increase engagement, which in turn positively impacts your reputation with ISPs.

Consistency and Transparency: Maintain a consistent emailing schedule and be transparent about subscription preferences and opt-in processes. This consistency builds subscriber trust and fosters long-term engagement.

By focusing on these aspects, you can develop a robust sender reputation, which is foundational to ensuring your emails are not just sent but effectively delivered and engaged with. This proactive approach to email deliverability not only enhances the effectiveness of your campaigns but also solidifies your brand’s standing.

2. Optimizing email content and formatting

Let’s delve into email content and formatting with an expert’s precision, offering a comprehensive guide to optimizing these crucial elements.

Compelling Subject Lines:

Crafting subject lines that captivate while remaining concise is an art. Engage recipients with curiosity-piquing subject lines that align with the email’s content. Finally, personalize. It increases open rates by 26%. (source Avoid spam triggers, misleading statements, or excessive use of symbols or emojis, ensuring clarity and relevance.

While a compelling subject line can contribute marginally to an additional one or two percent of opens, our data reveals that more than half of email opens are influenced by the unpredictable inbox behaviors of your subscriber base. Surprisingly, this behavior follows a remarkably consistent pattern. Robly’s OpenGen effectively boosts engagement by targeting the 55% of your subscribers who missed the initial campaign but remain active and interested.

Engaging Body Text:

The body text is the heart of the email – persuasive, concise, and tailored to resonate with the audience’s interests. Keep paragraphs short, employ bullet points for readability, and maintain a conversational yet professional tone. A/B testing different content styles and lengths can provide insights into what resonates best with your audience. Also, how long is too long? Studies show that keeping the length of an email between 50 and 125 words increases the chance of a response by 50%.

Visual Appeal and Email Designs:

Visuals hold immense power. Emails with images get a 42% higher click-through rate. (source) Balance text with carefully curated visuals to enhance the message. Ensure responsive design that adapts seamlessly across devices, optimizing for mobile viewing. Use alt text for images to maintain accessibility and clarity for recipients with images disabled.

Call-to-Action (CTA) Optimization:

Strategically position CTAs, making them visually prominent and aligned with the email’s objective. Employ action-oriented language, emphasizing value propositions to prompt recipient interaction. Testing different CTA placements and language variations can refine effectiveness. Try to have a single CTA to increase CTR; multiple CTAs might make it hard for subscribers to make decisions.

Personalization and Relevance:

Personalized emails have a 139% increase in click-through rate (source). Tailor content to individual preferences and behaviors whenever possible. Segment your audience based on interests, purchase history, or engagement levels, delivering personalized content that resonates. Relevance sparks engagement, which, in turn, enhances deliverability metrics.

Avoidance of Spam Triggers:

Avoid spam triggers such as excessive punctuation, all caps, or trigger words that may flag spam filters. Balance promotional content with informative or educational material, reducing the likelihood of being marked as spam.

Consistent Branding and Tone:

To reinforce brand identity, maintain consistent branding elements, including colors, logos, and voice. Establishing a consistent tone throughout your emails helps build familiarity and trust with your audience and can improve brand recognition by 80%. (source)

3. Maintaining a clean and engaged email list:

Ensuring a clean and engaged email list is the cornerstone of successful email marketing. Let’s explore expert strategies to maintain this crucial aspect:

Bounce Rate Management:

Take a proactive approach to managing bounce rates by promptly addressing hard and soft bounces. Regularly review bounce reports, categorize them, and act on them. Remove hard bounces – permanently undeliverable emails – immediately to uphold list hygiene.

Inactive Subscriber Purge:

Regularly assess subscriber engagement metrics to identify inactive subscribers. Define criteria for inactivity, such as non-openers or non-clickers, within a specific timeframe, and systematically remove inactive subscribers from your list. This purging process maintains list health and engagement metrics. According to HubSpot, email lists typically expire at 22.5% each year, so regularly purging inactive subscribers is essential to avoid sending messages to uninterested or unengaged recipients. (source)

RoblyENGAGE employs AI-driven segmentation to identify unengaged users within your email list. By automatically segmenting these inactive subscribers, the platform ensures they are excluded from your regular email sends. This practice is crucial as consistently sending emails to unengaged users can negatively impact your sender reputation and deliverability rates. Robly customers can activate RoblyEngage, systematically removing completely disengaged users. This showcases robust engagement to SPAM filters, securing inbox placement.

Re-engagement Campaigns:

Revitalize relationships with dormant subscribers through well-crafted re-engagement campaigns. Personalize content, entice with exclusive offers or create compelling subject lines to reignite their interest. For unresponsive subscribers, consider opt-in confirmation to reaffirm their interest. 45% of users who receive re-engagement emails read them – making it a powerful tool for maintaining an engaged email list. (source)

RoblyENGAGE implements strategies to re-engage inactive subscribers. It sends targeted emails or campaigns specifically designed to pique their interest and encourage them to re-engage with your content. Successfully re-engaging these users revitalizes your email list and improves deliverability by fostering a more engaged audience.

Segmentation for Targeted Communication:

Segment your email list based on behavior, preferences, or demographics. Tailor content and communication for each segment to deliver highly relevant and engaging messages. This personalized approach significantly boosts engagement rates. A study found that segmented campaigns had a 14.31% higher open rate than non-segmented campaigns, highlighting the importance of targeted communication. (source)

Preference Center Promotion:

Encourage subscribers to use preference centers to customize their email preferences. Giving subscribers control over what they receive fosters engagement and reduces the likelihood of unsubscribes or spam complaints. According to Litmus, subscribers who use preference centers have a 26% lower unsubscribe rate and a 20% lower spam complaint rate, indicating the positive impact preference centers can have on email list health. (source)

Consistent Communication Schedule:

Maintain a consistent and balanced communication schedule to sustain engagement without overwhelming subscribers. Analyze engagement metrics to determine the optimal frequency for your audience and adjust accordingly. According to a survey by MarketingSherpa, 86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails at least monthly, highlighting the importance of consistent communication. (source)

Compliance and Transparency:

Adhere to legal requirements such as GDPR and CAN-SPAM Act while transparently communicating subscription details. Clearly outline why and how subscribers receive emails, building trust and reducing the chances of being marked as spam. Businesses that comply with email marketing regulations have a 23% higher average open rate and a 17% lower unsubscribe rate, indicating that compliance and transparency are crucial for maintaining an engaged email list. (source)

By diligently implementing these strategies, business entities can maintain a clean, vibrant, and engaged email list. This ensures higher deliverability rates and fosters meaningful connections, increasing conversions and long-term brand loyalty.

Wrapping up

Email marketing is a complex process that involves various strategies to ensure its effectiveness. It requires a good understanding of the difference between email delivery and deliverability and the ability to comply with best practices in managing large email lists. However, the most critical element of email marketing success is deliverability, which determines whether your emails can successfully reach your intended audience’s primary inbox. 

At Robly we help businesses achieve their email marketing goals effectively with industry-leading inbox placement rates. With our powerful sending infrastructure, best practices, and superior technology, Robly can increase your email deliverability by up to 50%. 

Our platform uses advanced algorithms help you optimize your campaigns for better deliverability and engagement. Take a look at how Robly combines a cutting edge platform with advanced machine learning and AI capabilities to improve your chances of reaching your susbcribers’ inboxes.

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