Email marketing is a powerful tool for reaching your audience, but its effectiveness relies heavily on whether your emails are delivered and opened.
To ensure your messages are hitting the right inboxes and capturing attention, it's crucial to focus on how to improve email deliverability and open rates. In this article, we will explore five email marketing tips that every email marketer should follow to achieve that. Dive right in!
1. Use double opt-in
This is one of the most effective ways to improve email deliverability. Unlike the one-step subscription, where users simply input their email addresses and start receiving emails, a double opt-in requires an additional step: confirmation.
With a double opt-in, users get a confirmation email on the provided email address after they subscribe, requesting them to click a verification link and confirm their subscription. This simple action verifies the legitimacy of the email address and ensures the subscriber genuinely wants to receive your email content.
While a single opt-in might result in a larger subscriber count, it doesn't necessarily guarantee a quality target audience. Some users may enter fake or mistyped email addresses, leading to bounced marketing emails and negatively impacting your sender IP reputation.
Double opt-in, however, ensures that your list consists of genuine and engaged subscribers who are more likely to open and interact with your marketing emails. Responsive subscribers make it possible for you to actually make money with your email lists.
In addition, by having subscribers actively confirm their interest, you significantly decrease the chances of your emails ending up in the spam folder. This helps maintain a positive email reputation, as high spam complaint rates can harm your deliverability.
A great sender reputation indicates to email service providers (ESPs) that your subscribers have willingly opted in, reducing the risk of having your emails flagged.
To leverage double opt-in effectively, ensure you let email recipients know you're taking this additional step to ensure they receive valuable and relevant email content. Transparency builds trust and increases the likelihood of subscribers confirming their interest.
The confirmation email itself should be user-friendly and clearly state the next steps. Include a compelling call-to-action that encourages subscribers to confirm their subscription. Also, leverage automation tools. Automation not only saves time but also ensures that every new subscriber goes through the same verification process.
2. Segment your email list
Segmentation is the other powerful email marketing strategy email marketers should use to improve email deliverability.
Email list segmentation involves categorizing your subscribers based on specific criteria, allowing you to send targeted and personalized content to different segments. This strategic approach goes beyond a one-size-fits-all email strategy, providing numerous benefits that directly impact email deliverability rates.
One of the primary advantages of segmentation is the ability to deliver highly relevant email content to every subscriber.
By understanding their preferences, behaviors, or demographics, you can craft messages that resonate with each segment. Relevant content captures attention and encourages higher open rates as subscribers find value in what you send.
Segmenting your list also allows you to tailor your communication frequency based on engagement to avoid inbox overload. Inbox overload is a factor that can contribute to subscribers marking your emails as spam or unsubscribing.
For highly engaged subscribers, you can send more frequent updates, while less engaged segments may receive a reduced frequency.
But how do you effectively segment your list?
Start by collecting and analyzing email clients' data that provides insights into your subscribers' preferences and behaviors. This may include data on past purchases, website interactions, or responses to previous email campaigns. The more granular the data, the more precisely you can segment your audience.
Next, identify the criteria for segmentation based on your business goals and the content nature. The common segmentation factors include demographics, geographic location, purchase history, and engagement level. Then, use these criteria or email filters to create distinct segments that align with your marketing objectives.
Again, like with double opt-ins, leverage automation tools to dynamically segment your list based on real-time data. This ensures that your segments remain relevant and up-to-date as subscriber behavior evolves. Automated segmentation also allows you to deliver targeted content at the right moment.
3. Regularly clean your email list
Over time, email contact lists can accumulate inactive or invalid email addresses, which can negatively impact deliverability and open rates. Cleaning your list involves the systematic removal of such addresses.
This proactive approach ensures that your messages are reaching engaged users, which will boost your sender reputation and subsequently improve email deliverability.
Here are key email list cleaning best practices you should follow:
- Schedule regular audits: Establish a schedule for regular list audits and cleanings. The frequency may depend on your email sending volume, but it's generally advisable to conduct a thorough review at least quarterly. This ensures that your list remains up-to-date and aligned with the interests and engagement levels of your subscribers.
- Use email verification tools: Leverage email verification tools to identify and remove invalid email addresses. These tools do more than just help you verify email addresses. They also help detect syntax errors, typos, and other issues that contribute to high email bounce rates.
- Re-engagement campaigns: Before completely removing inactive subscribers, consider implementing re-engagement campaigns. Encourage them to reconfirm their interest or provide options for adjusting email preferences, as shown below. This can help you retain valuable subscribers before resorting to removal.
These practices will help you focus on the quality rather than the quantity of your subscriber base. Remember, active subscribers are more likely to open your emails, click through, and contribute positively to your overall email performance metrics.
4. Maintain a consistent sending schedule
Maintaining a consistent sending schedule is crucial to effective email marketing. Consistency creates a sense of reliability for your subscribers, establishing an expectation for when they can anticipate and engage with your content. This regularity fosters a stronger connection with your audience that heavily influences email deliverability and open rates.
A consistent email-sending schedule also enables you to manage the volume of emails you send and the email frequency. This helps you prevent subscriber fatigue. Too many emails within a short timeframe or irregular communication can overwhelm your audience, leading to disengagement or, in some cases, unsubscribing.
To find the best email-sending schedule, start by defining the frequency that aligns with your content strategy and subscriber expectations. Whether it's daily, weekly, or monthly, setting a clear and predictable sending schedule provides a foundation for consistency.
Then use automation and email marketing tools, like GetResponse’s Autoresponders, to schedule your emails in advance. These tools allow you to plan and execute your email marketing campaigns with precision, ensuring that emails are sent at the designated times without manual intervention.
Finally, ensure you regularly monitor your emails’ performance to assess the effectiveness of your current schedule. Do this by analyzing core engagement metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribe rates through the best email analytics tools. Then use the insights and subscriber engagement patterns to optimize your sending schedule.
5. Provide clear unsubscribe options
While it may seem counterintuitive, making the unsubscribe process clear and easy is key if you want to improve email deliverability. A clear unsubscribe process builds trust by demonstrating transparency in your communication.
When email subscribers see that you respect their choices and provide straightforward options to opt out, it fosters a positive relationship.
However, if subscribers find it challenging to unsubscribe or if the process is unclear, they might resort to marking your emails as spam. This, as we mentioned earlier, is damaging to your email sender reputation. A poor reputation will negatively impact deliverability and engagement rates.
Besides that, providing clear and accessible unsubscribe options is a legal requirement under regulations like GDPR. The requirement states that a data subject has the right to withdraw consent at any point, and an organization must make it easy for them.
So to play your part, ensure the unsubscribe link is visible in every email you send, as shown below. Many subscribers look for this option when deciding to discontinue receiving emails and hiding it may lead to frustration and potential spam complaints.
Also, make the unsubscribe process simple and straightforward. For instance, don’t require subscribers to log in or navigate through multiple pages to unsubscribe.
However, you can include an unsubscribe survey that helps you understand why an email contact unsubscribed. Use the information you get to inform your future email marketing strategies.
Email marketing is still one of the most powerful marketing channels today. However, your success in email marketing hinges on your email deliverability and open rates. Your emails should get delivered to your contacts' primary inboxes and actually get opened.
To ensure this, follow the five key tips to improve email deliverability and open rates we’ve discussed above. They include segmenting your email subscriber list, regularly cleaning your email list, maintaining a consistent sending schedule, and providing clear unsubscribe options.
As you implement these practices, continuously monitor your metrics, adapt to changing subscriber behaviors, and refine your approach. The email marketing world is dynamic, and a proactive strategy will keep you ahead of the curve.
Now go ahead and nurture an engaged audience. All the best!