“How can I improve my email delivery rates?”
This is among THE most common questions I’ve seen in the 15 years I’ve been in the internet marketing world.
And for good reason. Email is still the most affordable way to market and sell.
So getting your emails delivered, opened, and clicked should be a big deal for you.
There’s a lot of complexity to the world of email delivery optimization. A LOT.
That’s why I think many people tend to glaze over, choosing instead to just “spray and pray.”
“Sheesh! I was hoping for a quick fix, not a 78 page PDF, a 2-hour webinar and a 32-point checklist of technical stuff to tweak?!”
I get it. And while some of that techier stuff can be important, there’s one thing you can do right now that will make the biggest difference to your short-term and long-term email delivery rates.
Ready? Here it is:
Stop emailing your disengaged contacts. Like, now.
Check it out…the email account providers out there (think Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.) are watching your mailing habits. Everytime you mail your list, they watch to see what proportion of your recipients open your emails, click your links, and reply.
If too many people are ignoring your emails, they’re judging you to be a sender that their customers don’t care to hear from.
And the more you continue to email your disengaged contacts, the worse the problem becomes.
That’s because as your “sending reputation” goes down, they de-prioritize your emails. This means if you were going into the primary inbox for your recipients, you’re getting moved into the promo box. If you were in the promo box, you may now be in junk or spam.
In the decade I’ve been working with online businesses, I’ve seen so many who simply don’t do any list hygiene. They just keep emailing that same list, including disengaged contacts…week after week after month after year.
You can spend all the time in the world on great copy, a killer offer, and all of it. But if you’re just blasting your emails out to the whole list, you gotta knock it off. It’s crushing your results.
So the simplest way to get that email reputation back up is to stop emailing those disengaged folks.
This way, since you’re sending to a higher proportion of the folks who’ve shown themselves to want to hear what you have to say, they’ll be engaging in higher proportions than in the past. In this way, you’ll quickly begin to teach the email inbox providers that you’re a sender who sends mail that people actually want, and they’ll start delivering it to more people’s inboxes vs. their spam/junk folders.
It’s really that simple :).
Depending on what you use as your email service provider, this can be done in a number of ways.
Ontraport, the platform we use (and love), for example, lets us set up conditions for our campaigns that filter out folks who haven’t engaged with our emails in a certain amount of time.
So our rule of thumb is that we send 3 out of every 4 of our weekly emails to just those who’ve engaged (opened, clicked, replied) within the last 90 days.
Then, once a month we’ll open it back up and send a weekly email out to those who’ve engaged within the last 6 months.
A close friend of mine who’s an email delivery consultant told me that nowadays Hotmail (and Live.com) won’t deliver any email to their users who’ve not engaged within 60 days. But they’re pretty aggressive.
So stop “spraying and praying” and start improving your email inbox game.
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