Five Tips for Better Email Delivery Rates
By Julie Graham / October 18, 2015

Ensuring you get to the inbox is both art and science.  Below are some straightforward recommendations for improving your inbox rates.  Happy sending!

1. Increase relevance.
ISPs keep score of your digital reputation as a sender, and relevance is the key to building and maintaining a good sending reputation. Relevant email will keep your spam complaints down, which is a high priority with the ISPs, each of whom have their own individual thresholds for what they consider to be an “acceptable” number of spam complaints. Once those thresholds are breached, the ISPs make a decision to block or filter your mail.

How do you help increase relevance, thereby decreasing spam complaints? Target your messages. Leverage what you know about subscribers to offer them content that will capture their attention and drive them to your website to make a purchase. Use BlueHornet’s dynamic segments and segment by clickthrough tools to parse subscribers into more targeted lists, and pay attention to past purchase behavior. Targeted messages will keep subscribers more engaged with your email program.

2. Take advantage of the first 30 days.
It’s important to welcome subscribers with messaging that sets expectations for the emails they’ll be receiving. Taking advantage of the 30 days following their request to receive emails helps to keep them engaged, and research shows that you’ll receive a higher percentage of conversions from new subscribers within that timeframe.

3. Re-engage inactive subscribers.
You’ve worked hard to capture the subscribers held in your database, and you want to get the most out of them. If you have a high percentage of inactive subscribers (those who haven’t opened, clicked, purchased, etc.), consider sending a campaign aimed to get them re-engaged with your emails. Many people do this with an incentive. Others do a re-permissioning campaign to get confirmation that subscribers want to stay on the list, and use the opportunity to collect more targeted information from them. This will help you to send more relevant emails, which in turn improves your reputation and thereby your deliverability.

4. Run a spam count.
Using the BlueHornet platform, you can run a spam count on your email prior to sending. It scans your HTML and compares the content with commonly used spam filtering algorithms. Based on your score, you can determine whether the email requires edits before sending, or if it’s ready to go as-is. This tool only checks the HTML version of your email, but note that it’s a best practice to include a text version of each message you send as well.

5. Get the frequency right.
Keep your emails relevant and regular. Too many, especially if they aren’t relevant, can generate complaints. Too few and you run the risk of your subscriber becoming disinterested. Your particular frequency will be unique to you and your subscribers. Some people ask subscribers how many emails they’d like to get upon signup. Others do testing to see what number generates the highest response and the lowest complaints and/or opt outs. No matter your method, remember that if you respect your subscribers, they’ll respect you.

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