7 Steps to Mastering Email Deliverability

DeliveryWhen we craft an email our ideal is that every subscriber sees the value of the content and conveys that value by taking action.  Whether that’s sharing it with their network of friends or clicking a link to register or buy something that grabs their attention. This doesn’t matter if the email doesn’t reach the intended subscriber.

Defining Deliverability

The root of the word deliverability is deliver.  Deliver is defined as “To bring or transport to the proper place or recipient; distribute:”.  It’s extremely important to ensure that your email campaign meets deliverability best practices.

First, let’s break down the three basic components to ensure the deliverability of an email:

  • Consistent mailing strategy, but also utilizing a consistent testing environment.
  • An organically grown email subscriber list.
  • Stable infrastructure: optimized IP address(es), SPF, and sender ID records.

7 Steps to Deliverability

We want to take it a step further and give you seven ways to meet best practices for deliverability and to ensure that your email marketing is at the top of it’s game.

  1. Work with your email service provider to ensure deliverability and to identify deliverability problems. Deliverability isn’t only in the hands of your ESP but both parties need have to work together to ensure best practices are met and achieve your goals.
  2. Optimize your IP address and establish credibility.  Send your emails regularly, build your email database organically by providing valuable content which will establish credibility with Internet Service Providers.
  3. Create valuable content.  Though I mentioned this above, I’d like to elaborate make sure your content is relevant, timely and targeted to your audience.  Give your subscribers what you promised when they signed up, deliver the value.
  4. Write killer email subject lines.  Think about the headlines on magazines at the supermarket. Think about your topic and what’s grabs the most attention on the topic and then use the magazine headline format to write your subject line.  Also, use Twitter and other social tools to see what’s hot and use that information to craft your email subject line.
  5. Utilize the delivery assurance solutions provided by your ESP. Each feature you use adds additional percentage points of delivery to your campaign.  If you are trying for maximum performance it makes sense to use every tool at your disposal.
  6. Test your campaign. Test your links, test your shortcodes, test the creative.  Make sure your email functions exactly the way you intend it to before you send it to your list.  Tweak the content to your heart’s content.
  7. Evaluate your results (and then test again).  Once you’ve sent the email, evaluate your results and determine the areas which need improvement.  Were your emails opened?  (If not, test the subject line.)  Where your links clicked?  (What can you do to make the offer or information more compelling?)


Changing your email marketing game.

Each email is an opportunity to test and learn what works for your email marketing strategy.  Your deliverability in the future relies on your practices today.  Follow the best practices as best you can and make sure you get advice from your account managers if you have questions about how to ensure more of your email gets delivered and acted upon.

Michelle Wolverton

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