November 15, 2023

Mastering Email Marketing: A Guide to Boosting Deliverability and Engagement

Written by:
Tori Krouse

In today's world of social media and endless digital touchpoints, businesses have a multitude of ways to connect with their customers. But here's the thing: good ol' email marketing isn't going anywhere. Many companies still rely on it to reach their audience, build connections, and drive those all-important conversions. However, don't be fooled into thinking it's as simple as just hitting send. Email marketing has more layers than your favorite sandwich.

We’ve got some valuable tips to ensure your emails not only avoid the dreaded spam folder but also capture your customer's attention and get opened and read. In this blog post, we'll dive into how to maintain a healthy email list and supercharge your email game.

The Significance of a Healthy Email List

Your email list is the lifeblood of your email marketing efforts. If you don’t maintain your email list, you run the risk of encountering several issues with your campaigns.

  1. You may experience a high bounce rate 
  2. Emails may consistently end up in spam folders
  3. Your email marketing platform could block your ability to send campaigns
  4. You could end up on email blacklists 

Now that you know the significance of maintaining a healthy email list, let's delve into some common reasons that can lead to a poor email list quality.

  1. You do not have permission to email your list. In other words, they never opted in to receive communications from you
  2. You do not include an unsubscribe option in your email
  3. Your email list is outdated and contains invalid email addresses
  4. Your email list contains emails with syntax errors
  5. You use spammy words in your subject lines like ‘free’ or ‘deal’
  6. You have a low open rate
  7. You have a high unsubscribe rate

If you identify with any of these issues, you're setting yourself up for trouble. What's more, things can quickly go from bad to worse. Each time your email bounces, especially in the case of hard bounces (typically caused by permanent issues like an inactive email address), it can significantly harm your email sender reputation. This could ultimately land you on an email blacklist, essentially a sinkhole for your emails that results in blocking by certain email providers. Rebuilding your sender reputation and getting removed from these blacklists is no easy feat. That's why it's crucial to be aware of these tips before you start your email marketing journey.

Achieving and Maintaining a Healthy Email List

Now let's delve into some strategies for achieving and maintaining a healthy email list.

  1. Before uploading your list to an email market platform, run it through an online email verification tool (we like EmailListVerify) which will help you identify syntax errors, invalid and fake emails. And, create a schedule for yourself, so that you remember to periodically clean your list.
  2. Authenticate your domain. Implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication protocols to prove the legitimacy of your emails. Check out this guide from mailchimp for more information.
  3. Only send emails to those who have opted in to your email communications. 
  4. Consider a double opt-in, where once someone subscribes to your list, they have to verify they want to receive your email communications. 
  5. Segment your list so that you can send more targeted and relevant email content which should lead to higher engagement rates. For instance, a customer and subscriber who just made a purchase last week should receive different communications than a customer who has been absent for a while.
  6. Send high-quality, informative, and valuable content. It sounds obvious, but if your subscribers are used to opening boring and irrelevant emails they’ll likely unsubscribe or mark you as spam and your emails will go unread.
  7. Personalize your emails. Ensure you take advantage of the send to field, so emails always read as “Hey [Customer’s Name]” rather than a generic “Hey Customer”. And, bonus points for tailoring content to their interests. Just make sure your data is clean and that you have the names of all of your customers before you personalize.
  8. Monitor your engagement metrics such as open rates, click through rates and unsubscribe rates. If you notice they’re deteriorating, it’s time to refresh your strategy. 
  9. Ensure your email templates employ responsive design for mobile, tablet, and laptop devices to enhance user experience.
  10. Send to your email list regularly. Erratic sending patterns can lead to decreased open rates.
  11. Test your emails. This one is probably given, but before you go about sending an email to your entire list, send it to yourself and your team to ensure all looks good.

In conclusion, nurturing your email list and achieving a stellar email score are essential for the success of your email marketing campaigns. These efforts pave the way for improved deliverability, banishing the spam folder, and elevating audience engagement. This translates to effective communication with your audience and a superior return on investment (ROI) from your email marketing initiatives.  So, don't forget the golden rule of trimming your list and discarding the deadweight email addresses. A lean, engaged list is far more valuable than a large, unresponsive one. And while you may have other ways to communicate with your customers, it’s important not to neglect email. It has stood the test of time and is an essential tool that’s here to stay.