What’s keeping your emails out of your prospect’s inbox? And how can you fix it?

How often do you actually skim through your spam folder, checking to see if it contains anything interesting? My guess is not often. Many people rarely or never click on that folder, and some unfortunate email marketers may never wind up anywhere else. Only 79% of commercial emails make it to the recipient’s inbox. That means that one in five is doomed to wind up rejected or sent straight to the spam folder. Despite that dismal stat, email marketing still brings you the biggest bang for your buck – a recent study has shown that email provides 4300% ROI, which is more than SEO or social media. So it’s very important to make sure that your emails make it into the inbox!

This infographic made by Email Monks and Inbox Pros takes a good hard look at the issues that can plague emails when it comes to making it past that pesky spam filter. In a clever twist, the infographic is from the viewpoint of the email itself! Let’s take a look.

Sender Reputation

Rockstar rebel Joan Jett may not care about her reputation, but marketers should – sender reputation can play a big role in the fate of your carefully-planned email campaign. Having a poor reputation can lead to your email being marked as spam or just plain blocked. Sender reputation can be increased by having high IP and domain reputation.

Think of your sender reputation as being like your credit score. Just as there are sites to help you check your credit score, there are sites that will let you know how your sender reputation is doing.

What affects your reputation?

  • your ratio of spam reports to accepted emails
  • the frequency of unsubscription based on your sending habits
  • your IP address score compared to other IP addresses on blacklists and whitelists
  • the ratio of your emails being bounced compared to other IP addresses
  • the volume of email sent from your IP
  • the ratio of messages opened to those rejected
  • the ratio of unknown users or invalid email addresses compared to those opened

Email Authentication

Email inboxes have their own security checks to make sure that email senders are who they say they are. If the Sender Policy Framework ID or DomainKeys Identified Mail ID seem fishy, chances are the email will be sent on a junk mail detour. Luckily, major email service providers like MailChimp provide authentication support automatically.

Email Deliverability Myths

  • “Remove inactives quickly”: Don’t focus just on open and click activity, but on engagement levels over time. Then, adjust your content, frequency, or cadence.
  • “High sender score is all that matters”: Even with a high sender score, you will still have to run through some filters. It isn’t a magical hall pass, but it does grant you some privileges in terms of being less scrutinized.
  • “B2B senders are immune to email filters”: This simply isn’t true – B2B marketers need to follow the same deliverability rules that B2C marketers do.
  • “Adding new IPs boosts deliverability”: Sorry, changing IPs won’t make a difference for a poor reputation.

How to Boost Deliverability

  • Ask permission to send emails and let subscribers choose the frequency
  • Avoid misleading subscribers
  • Let subscribers unsubscribe easily
  • Include a link to be added to the subscriber’s safe senders list
  • Practice customer segmentation to ensure relevance
  • Avoid bulk-emailing right away
  • Clear your lists regularly to remove dead contacts if they’ve been inactive for long
  • Schedule campaigns according to local time zones
  • Follow spamming guidelines from ESPs

Try out these tips, and let me know if they help boost your open and response rates! Do you have any other strategies that you swear by when it comes to getting your marketing emails into inboxes? Let me know in the comments!

Email Deliverability: The Path to Your Subscriber