If you’re not seeing the results you want from email marketing campaigns, it’s possible that your messaging is off, you haven’t segmented your list effectively, or your email subject lines could use some improvement. But none of that matters if your emails aren’t reaching your audience’s inboxes at all!
Many things can impact your ability to get emails past spam filters. Here are a few to consider:
1. Your recipients are flagging your email as spam
If enough people mark your email as spam, your emails will start being filtered into spam folders automatically—for everyone, not just people who have marked those messages as spam in the past. This can be hugely detrimental to your marketing efforts.
What can you do? Make sure your content is tailored to your audience’s specific interests – which means segmenting your list and developing personalized, targeted marketing campaigns.
Another thing you can do is only send emails to people who have demonstrated actively that they want to receive them. This is why it’s crucial to have a robust opt-in process.
2. Your emails often bounce
High email bounce rates can be a huge problem for marketing. Ideally, your emails should bounce at a rate below 3%. Most email service providers (ESPs) will take note if your emails bounce at a rate of more than 5%, which can seriously harm your sender reputation, or even get your account shut down.
Not all email bounces are the same, though. There are “soft” and “hard” bounces. Soft bounces are usually caused by temporary technical glitches – like if the user’s inbox is full, or the email server is short-circuiting. Hard bounces are often bigger issues – such as invalid email addresses, addresses that are no longer active, or have incorrect domain names. To reduce that number, scrub your list (by removing bounces) to ensure you’re sending only to valid, active email addresses.
3. You’re using spam trigger words
Spam filters flag specific words and phrases to filter your emails into spam purely because you included them in your email body or subject line. The list of trigger words to avoid is hundreds of words long and can also include formatting choices such as using all capitals, excessive exclamation points, or bright red text. It also changes often… so keep that in mind.
Generally, the words on trigger lists are those that are excessively spammy, but some could also be used without spammy intent – so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on what words and phrases are included.
Spam filters have grown more sophisticated in recent years, and may also take into account factors such as your bounce rates and context. Marketers have put together numerous lists to use as reference – recent ones can be found here, here, and here.
If your emails aren’t reaching recipients, it doesn’t matter how well-crafted your message is. This is why it’s so important to scrub your list and ensure your recipients actively express a wish to receive your messages through a robust opt-in process.
With these steps in place, you’ll be well on your way to improving overall deliverability and reaching your target audience on a regular basis!
Kristen Nevins, CDMP, has over a decade of experience in marketing and communications. She joined Direct Connection in early 2018 and leads the team with her extensive digital marketing expertise.
For additional information, contact Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 707.410.7254.