Best Practices for Getting Your Email into Inboxes

Aug 27, 2013 7:11 AM  By

emailThere are a lot of issues that can affect email deliverability, but you can put out a successful, effective campaign by following best practices when it comes to deployment, working with ISPs, and adhering to email rules.

Positive Engagement
ISPs no longer just look at customer complaints. They’re taking it a step further and concentrating on positive engagement to make decisions regarding delivery to the inbox. Customers who do not open emails or delete the emails without reading are now a part of the algorithm to negatively impact deliverability. Since the focus is not just on fewer spam button hits, you need to make sure your overall engagement strategy works well.

Scheduled Deployment
As part of ongoing reputation maintenance, it is important to understand how engaged customers on your list are and to develop an approach that delivers to customer segments that are more likely to open and click through your emails first.

Scheduling the deployment of an email campaign by targeting your most active segments first, those who clicked/opened within the last 3 months, then 3-6 months, then 6-9, and lastly 9-12, can positively impact your overall delivery percentage. The campaign should not be deployed to all segments at once, but rather staggered over a period of time.

Campaign Prioritization
When it comes to delivery reputation and engagement, prioritization of campaigns is key. If you communicate with your customers more often than they’d like, or worse, while a prior campaign is still active, it can have a negative impact on your overall reputation and cause an ISP to throttle or block your deliveries while they’re in flight.

It’s important that you work with your email services provider to actively monitor and make inquiries to remove the blocks or to whitelist your domain if necessary. These actions can have an immediate impact on your campaign delivery.

Standards and Regulations
Email rules have not changed much in recent years, but ISPs are becoming more diligent than ever. Make sure you are compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act. Have clear opt-out options and remove those who do not want to receive your emails. An up-to-date mailing list is crucial. From a technical standpoint, make sure your emails are authenticated, your sender score is excellent, and your spam score is low.

As long as you remember that there is a real person at the receiving end of your email and you follow best practices for optimal deliverability, you are more likely to get your mail through.

Gina LeMay is Director of Solution Management with Quaero.