With email being used by over half the world’s population in 2019 and the number of worldwide users set to grow to 4.3 billion by 2023, it’s clear that email as a communication and marketing channel is far from dead.

If you need to get your marketing message across in detail, email offers plenty of options for doing so. You can include text, images, videos, gifs, catchy subject lines - and much more. Email marketing is incredibly flexible, but one of the problems that many marketers face with this channel is making sure that emails get delivered.

Improving email deliverability and conversions

There are several factors to think about in relation to email delivery, including email authentication protocols. This means adding a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record to your domain host and setting up Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) to add an encrypted signature to your email header. 

Once those are set up, you can turn on Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) which uses SPF and DKIM to check message authentication. You should also make sure that your email header is correctly set up for domain alignment too.

Doing these things will help ISPs identify you as a legitimate email sender, rather than a spammer. In addition, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got your email marketing frequency right and that you have the right marketing permissions in place. You should also be segmenting your list of subscribers. Let’s look at these aspects in more detail:

Email marketing permissions

If you send emails to people who haven’t given you their permission, this is classed as spam. Your emails may get reported as such to email service providers, who will start to direct your emails to the spam folder or even blacklist you as a sender. 

To improve your email deliverability, only send emails to people who have willingly subscribed and opted in to receive marketing emails from you. (Not doing so is in breach of certain data protection regulations such as the GDPR).

Email sending frequency

The optimal sending frequency will depend on what industry you’re in. If you run an online store, a weekly newsletter and occasionally an email now and then when you’re running a special offer or flash sale should be perfectly acceptable. But daily emails will probably lead to an increase in unsubscribes.

On the other hand, a recruitment company could get away with sending daily emails, as their audience would be ready and waiting to hear about the latest job vacancies.

To ensure that you’re sending emails to your subscribers at the right frequency, send out a survey to learn how often they want to hear from you.

Audience and infrastructure segmentation

It’s important to segment your audience to determine which are the most active subscribers, and which are not. Any that are inactive - those who haven’t opened your emails in the last 6 months - should ideally be removed from your list. As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to only email active subscribers.

Another type of segmentation is around your email infrastructure. You might want to split your email sending across different IP addresses and domains/subdomains to separate your marketing emails from your transactional emails. This is important if you have a large subscriber database. 

Gmail deliverability

Gmail, along with Apple iPhone, is one of the most widely used email clients in the world. So it makes sense to ensure your email infrastructure and sending strategy are set up with Gmail in mind. (Gmail supports DMARC as a way to prevent spam.)

Gmail deliverability hinges greatly on domain reputation. While IP reputation is considered, many small senders are on shared IPs. This means that IP reputation isn’t an accurate representation of each sender.

Domain reputation, on the other hand, is associated with a single sender. Hence why we suggest splitting your email campaigns across different sending subdomains. This will help limit the impact of conflicting reputations. 

Another benefit of having dedicated subdomains for sending emails is that this can work well with Gmail’s inbox categorization (where emails are filtered straight under different tabs e.g. social and promotions).

Note - don’t be concerned about your emails potentially going to an inbox category - these are still part of the inbox (not the spam folder). Many Gmail users prefer to have their emails go straight to specific tabs like this as it reduces overwhelm. It may actually help with engagement.

Get the most out of your email marketing campaigns

To boost email deliverability, make sure your email infrastructure is set up properly. By setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, you can increase the chances of your emails being seen as genuine, and not spam. 

Also, consider your target audience and how often they want to hear from you. Make sure you have the right marketing permissions in place and that you’re only emailing active subscribers who have recently engaged with you. Be sure to clean your subscriber list periodically to remove all inactive subscribers.

Before you go - read all about IP warming and how it can help with email deliverability.

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