5 Ways to Increase Email Deliverability with ConvertKit, AWeber, Mailchimp, Klaviyo, Sendgrid and other email tools.
A short guide to help make sure your emails land in people's inboxes
So you've done the hard work of starting a personal brand or business. You've even started to grow your email list (which is an absolute must). However, you've gotten feedback that some of your emails aren't landing in people's primary inbox. And even worse, some of your emails are going directly into Spam and Junk mail folders. Or maybe you don't know if your emails are being delivered at all.
Technology can be cruel sometimes. But save your tears though because in this article I'm going to show you why you don't have to ignore the problem. You can find the answers to your questions and any problem can be fixed.
In this article I'll share several ways to increase your email deliverability so you can make sure more of your emails get read.
Why You Should Have An Email List
First things first. You should always have an email list if you have a brand or business you are building and you should email it often.
Compared to email lists, most other methods of reaching your audience, community and customers are less valuable.
Why are they less valuable and boarding on worthless? Because you don't own them.
You don't own the social media platforms. You don't own the video distribution platforms. You don't own the marketplace platforms.
At any moment a platform's army of busybodies can decide that your words, thoughts, actions or other content are wrong and make you persona non grata which will result in your accounts being locked and you being banned from the platform.
As a result, it is essential that you start building an email list on day 1 of starting any venture.
With email you not only own the list, but you also have people's attention. When people read emails, they will almost always read them one at a time so for a brief period of time you get to share something that can help them in some way.
Now it's time to help you increase email deliverability.
#1 - Register with Gmail Postmaster
When I'm starting a new online venture one of the first things I do related to email delivery is register that domain with Gmail Postmaster.
Registering your domain with Gmail Postmaster lets Gmail know that your domain is legitimate. And considering the fact that Gmail has more email addresses than any other email service provider in the world, it's a great place to start.
#2 - Be consistent with your sender name
Your Sender name should include one of the following:
- Your brand name if you're sending on behalf of your company or brand. This applies to transaction emails from Sales, Billing, Notification email addresses.
- Your first and last name if building a personal brand.
- Your first name and the Brand or Company you represent. This is great for build lists with product or service based businesses and can also be applied to Support staff.
#3 - Encourage your audience to contact you
While most people send emails that are one way conversations, one of the best ways to increase your email addresses reputation score is have people respond to your emails.
And if you are just starting out one of the best ways to build up your domains reputation is to start with an email list of one.
An email list of one is my hack for building reputation prior to ever opening a list up to the public.
Here's what I do.
- Create an email address for sending bulk email and set it up with my preferred email list sending software or at multiple sending software programs.
- Add my personal and business emails to the lists.
- Send 1 - 2 emails per week to myself from my bulk email sending software to build up my email reputation.
- Reply to each of these emails from each email that received the bulk email.
This process does two things. 1) It indicates to the machines watching for Spam that you have a valid email address. 2) It signals to various email software that emails sent from the bulk sending email address are important an should be sent to your inbox.
From a machine's perspective, the only difference between spam email and legitimate emails is that they have often have more two-way conversations. So remember that emails are just digital conversation tools.
One way to quickly and easily get feedback from your audience is by adapting various versions of the famous 9 word email. This format is also great at reviving dead email lists.
"Are you still looking at [action] your [thing] [adjective]"
"Are you still looking at improving your project management?"
"Are you still looking at refinancing your home mortgage?"
"Are you still looking to hire experienced software developers?"
#4 - Check your domain's sending reputation
Domain and IP address reputation is one aspect of email sending and list building that people rarely talk about. However, if the domain that you're using to send email is blacklisted and marked as a spammer, it doesn't matter what marketing strategy or tactic you use to engage your audience and community.
The first place I go when checking my sending reputation is to the MX Toolbox.
I use this tool on a regular basis to check the health of all the domains I own and use that have email lists.
I also use this when purchasing existing domains from people and websites to make sure the domains weren't used to spam people or for other negative purposes that could result in the email being blacklisted all over the world.
You can purchase new domains and transfer existing domains using Growthipedia Hosting
#5 - Check your email deliverability
Most people with email lists don't know this but you can actually check to see whether you are landing in people email inboxes.
I use the two free tools below when checking my email deliverability. They let you send an email to one or several of their email addresses and tell you whether the email got delivered or blocked and whether it ended up in the main Inbox or Spam folder.
Hopefully, this tips and tools help you grow your email list and increase those open rates. Know that while these tools may help, it's important to being consistent, valuable and entertaining when sending email.
Also, backup you email lists. I personally backup my lists to spreadsheets because you never know when a major email list provider may have a technical issue that will require you to relocate your list to another provider.
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Bonus #1 - Email Spam Trigger Words to Avoid
You really need to avoid certain trigger words and phrases
My short list of things I avoid in my email are the following:
- Le t t e r s p a c i n g
- ALL CAPS
- DiFfErEnT size fonts
- Emails without an unsubscribe button
- $ and % signs in emails
- Mentioning discounts, percent or dollar amounts off
- Words I avoid: Free, Earn, Disclaimer, Ad, As seen on, Discount
Here are links to more sources of Email Spam Trigger Words
Bonus #2 - Domain Reputation Tools
Hidden Bonus #3
So you've made it this far into the article and I thank you for having the discipline to not leave the site to go watch catch videos.
Here is one more extra item that most won't tell you. Ask for the email address of old friends, colleagues, mentors and references that you've come across over the years and set calendar reminders to email them short 2-3 sentence emails to check on them once every 60-90 days. You'll be surprised how valuable building strong bonds and community this way can be over time.
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