We all know that messages that don’t get delivered to the inbox have no chance of getting opened. So should we be as concerned with deliverability as we are with open rates?
How do you know if your messages are getting delivered? One metric that helps is your bounce rate. If your messages come back, there may be a number of reasons why, but deliverability is one element among the many.
Another factor in deliverability is using a reliable email marketing service with a good rating with the common carriers: gmail, yahoo, etc. Also, using a domain-related return address (i.e. email@example.com) rather than a common/free provider email (gmail, yahoo, etc) will lend more credibility to your message.
But how can we help assure that our emails won’t be designated as spam? The following article from AWeber’s Help Center provides some good tips on how to avoid becoming a spam casualty.
From AWeber: (the link in item #7 is from AWeber’s website)
The Reputation of the Sender of Your Messages
As a hosted solution, AWeber’s customers’ messages are sent via our mail servers, something that the ISPs (e.g. Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, etc.) review when deciding whether to accept or reject a message.
We’ve been in the business of sending only requested messages since 1998, following the strict industry standards required for excellent deliverability.
What Can I Do to Avoid Deliverability Issues?
- Use Confirmed Opt-In to ensure the lowest rate of unsubscribes, undeliverable addresses, and SPAM complaints.
- Avoid using excessive punctuation and CAPS in your messages, especially in the subject line.
- Don’t use a generic e-mail address for the ‘From/Reply’ setting for your list. Addresses hosted at yahoo.com, gmail.com, etc. are commonly used by spammers.
- Always include a plain-text version of your message. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a template or type in your own HTML message, but if you do so, also include a plain-text version.
- Encourage your subscribers to add you to their address book. Some ISPs and email applications will place a message in an inbox always when this is the case.
- Test your messages. Sign up for some free accounts and send yourself tests as an actual subscriber to your own list. Review how they’re handled by those ISPs in particular to establish how it might be handled among others.
- Use AWeber’s fundamental best practiceswhen working on your campaigns
I use both AWeber and MailChimp for my email delivery. I recommend both.