09 Oct 10 Common Issues with Email Deliverability
Message delivery is a stock parameter for the effectiveness of every email campaign. Obviously, the more letters fall into the recipient’s inbox, the higher chances of being opened by recipients. That again designates the rewarding effect of the newsletter. Below we discuss 10 factors that work on the eventual success of email deliverability.
What is meant by email deliverability
An email is considered delivered if it appears on a mail server without return notifications about the sending rejection. Email deliverability is one of the core email marketing metrics.
Its calculation involves the ratio of letters making their way to the target mailboxes to the total number of sent emails. Hence, we mean the group of received messages besides the spam folder and letters that did not reach their terminal point.
According to recent statistics, the average deliverability ratio for 2019 was 83%. At the same time, by region, the lowest numbers of letters marked as spam were noted in the Asia-Pacific region, 3%, and the least missing emails were in North America – 9%.
Main email deliverability issues
The factors that need to be considered when activating an Internet mailing list go beyond a couple of explicit patterns. These can be technical flaws, content filling errors, and even problems on the recipient’s side, which you can only guess about.
In a structured form, they can be confined to the following issues
Poor IP and domain reputation
Mail servers are constantly modifying their algorithms to improve spam detection and filtering. Their aim is to protect users from intrusive advertising.
The spam filters mainly assess the source of the email. The servers virtually form an index of the reputation of message senders. In the case of the high IP and domain value, an email is likely to get into the inbox section.
The reaction of the recipients of the newsletter has a strong influence on the reputation. The response rate, clicking on links, bounce rates, spam triggers and eventual opening directly specify the deliverability of the letters.
The reputation is also shaped by such factors as the volume of mailings, warmed up or new “cold” IP addresses or their presence in blacklists, sending spam in the past, the number of delivery errors, and subsequent attempts to forward rejected messages. Foul play always leads to loss.
Low-rated email marketing service
The problem occurs when the chosen provider is not integrated with well-known email clients or has an unregistered SMTP server.
In some cases, the server user does not engage in spam mailings but still struggles to get into the customer’s inbox. It happens when the server got a nonoperative IP address. Therefore, you should consider buying an allocated private IP for your virtual servers and hosting plans. Be sure to check if the IP address is in one of the blacklists.
The traffic is not segmented
When you send sales, transactional, and corporate letters from the same IP address and domain, an overload happens. Consider using marketing automation software to detrain the traffic.
There is no address authentication
Email authentication is the process of verifying the real status of the sender.
DNS entries of a domain indicate DKIM and SPF records for IP addresses with the permission to send letters. Thus, mail clients determine whether a letter can be received or not.
The probability of getting into the spam section increases if an email is sent from an IP address not specified in the DNS record for the domain. Thus, the servers protect users from receiving phishing emails when spam and fraudulent messages are sent from someone else’s name and address.
You can create SPF record on your own to enhance the reliability of your campaign.
Even engaged subscribers who receive proper emails can occasionally mark them as spam. A different matter is a sudden growth in the quantity of the recipient’s complaints. It is a reason to reconsider the mailing list.
The possible reasons for spam indications are:
- The subscribers cannot find the unsubscribe link, or there is simply no link. They mark the mailing as spam to stop receiving anything else from the address.
- Unsubscription is broken and did not happen after the user asked for it. Or the subscriber was not warned that the whole process would take several days.
- The site reader was not informed that he was subscribed to the newsletter. For example, you didn’t send a welcome email. Then your first letter may come as an unwilling surprise.
- Email content doesn’t meet expectations. For example, a client signed up for a series of educational messages but only received sales emails instead.
- Mailings come either too often or too rarely. In the first case, subscribers are annoyed by intrusiveness, in the second, they can simply forget that they have subscribed.
Gather relevant feedback to update your customer’s base, remove inactive subscribers, improve segmentation, launch effective online reputation management or completely redo the content of mailings to minimise possible complaints.
These types of breakdowns often occur for reasons beyond the control of email marketers. There are two categories of delivery errors:
- Permanent. When there is a permanent block of delivery of letters. For example, when you send to non-existent or remote email addresses and the recipient’s server does not accept them.
- Temporary. When a letter reaches the recipient but comes back. It usually happens due to the full mailbox. Still, there is a chance that an email will be successfully delivered in the future.
The best cure is to use a double opt-in procedure to get credible users and clean the database of inactive addresses every 3-4 months.
Problems with email content
The scope of the newsletter messages also affects the delivery standings. Mail servers analyze them for:
- stop words that are typically used in spam emails
- links to blacklisted domains, or mentions of forbidden phone numbers and addresses
- suspicious entries in the email header
- large mail size due to multiple visual elements
- excessive use of exclamation marks, special characters and caps
Relevant content, creative ideas and facts, humor and intrigue grab readers’ attention much better. Do not compose obviously promotional outlets. Instead orient on formal letters or white papers. It is also important to be honest with the content – it must match the subject line.
Spam traps are addresses or domains that haven’t been used over a period of more than 18 months. Anti-spam organizations or ISP use them to detect potential spam senders. The reputation of your IP will immediately fall if you send an email to such an address.
Absence of sending permission from the recipients
The correct email marketing campaign base should be legal and collected with the voluntary consent of the users. Give them the opportunity to use your services without being tied to a subscription.
Let them decide whether to receive the newsletter or not. Don’t try to pass over CCPa, GDPR or other local legal regulations.
Be aware of the responsibility in case the user’s personal data gets to third parties through your fault.
Bad email layout
Most spam filters are activated against any errors in the layout or code. Test the display of your messages on different devices and browsers. And don’t use complex frames and cache boosters. Using email testing tools is a must for email marketers to save time and money.
Activate a text version and a web version of your letter. If no visuals are displayed, subscribers can still view the letter. When adding links to an email, just create a compelling CTA button or anchor link with the appropriate text.
To sum up
Email deliverability is one of the basic email marketing metrics, which is the ratio of email in the customer’s inboxes to the total number of messages sent.
Try to anticipate all technical issues to prevent your email from being stopped on the way to the client due to the low rating of your IP and domain, server and mailing failures.
Work on how and what you send: create relevant content and catchy copies. And in the end, you will be calm because you have done everything in your power to ensure that your information gets into the eyes of the right person.
Dmytro Zaichenko is a Marketing Specialist at Mailtrap, a product helping to test emails at the developmental stages. He has more than 5 years of experience in content making.
Apart from writing, he’s passionate about the NBA.