This may seem patronizingly obvious to you, but in order for your email to be engaged with, it needs to arrive in its target inbox, right? That’s what we’re talking about when we talk about email deliverability. Whether the email has been successfully delivered, or not.
Just because you publish an email, and send it, doesn’t mean it’s sure to arrive in a recipient’s inbox. Whilst this is something we might accept on an email, by email basis, having an overall low email deliverability rate for an entire campaign can make or break your marketing efforts. Besides the obvious, like an email address that just reads “bob”, there’s actually a whole slew of reasons why your email has low deliverability. If you’re wanting to maximise your efforts, you’re going to have to become familiar with these reasons; and their possible solutions, to make sure your email campaign gets to its destination.
Note: You can usually find out how well your email delivered by observing hard bounce statistics in your publication reports.
The Problem: Incorrect Email Addresses
The Solution: Improve your Subscription Form
Perhaps one of the more obvious reasons your emails are bouncing is that they’re trying to deliver to an address that doesn’t exist.
The secret to combatting a high bounce rate caused by bad destination mailboxes, is to ensure emails are collected correctly at the opt-in stage.
When potential contacts subscribe to your email communications, you should be employing a 2-step verification process for the email address input field. What does this mean? You should be asking your subscribers to type out their email addresses twice. If the text in the fields don’t match, well then your subscriber is going to need to correct their typo. Voila, a potential bad address has just been saved! This also goes without saying, but your email input field also needs to be verified. This is done on the back end, but the format will have to be validated; e.g. is there an @ symbol? Are there any spaces or invalid special characters? Etc.
The Problem: Your Target List is full of Previously Bounced Emails
The Solution: Clean up Your Lists!
Bad email addresses are the result of a myriad of things, not exclusive to someone typing out their address wrong when subscribing, or due to human error when editing spreadsheets. If you’re buying your lists (just a reminder: you shouldn’t be) then you’re more likely to end up with a lot of incorrect email addresses, and addresses that no longer exist.
If there’s no one at home with a correctly inputted email address, and it shows up on your bounce list more than once, then this is when cleaning up your lists comes in handy. You don’t want non existent addresses clogging up your mailing lists, so dedicating time to cleaning up your spreadsheets, to rid them of badly formatted addresses, or bounced ones, is best practice. If you’re lucky enough to be using a marketing automation platform that does this for you, then you can sit back and relax.
The problem: You’re Being Spammed with Undeliverable Subscriptions
The solution: Use CAPTCHA in Your Opt-in Form
Petty competitors, and bots, may spam your subscription form with dozens, if not hundreds, of undeliverable email addresses. This can really take a toll on your marketing strategy, especially if you are broadcasting via a third party, and being charged for the publish per contact. To remedy this, you need to consider prevention methods. For example, to prevent bots, and to slow down any malicious intent, you can simply use CAPTCHA, or other “show us you’re human” validation processes, in your subscription forms.
The problem: Your List is Upwards of 10% Invalid
The solution: Stop Buying Lists!
This rule speaks for itself. If you’re buying lists (which we highly, highly recommend against – in fact, many marketing automation platforms and email broadcasters will refuse to send to bought lists), expect to have a lot of old, no-longer-in-use, and invalid email addresses downgrading the usability, and worth of your list. Contacts on bought lists don’t respond well to your email communications anyway, and when it comes to fostering trust and engagement in your audience, an audience who knows you, and opted in for communications from you, is way more likely to respond in kind. If your current method of finding an audience is buying lists full of invalid email addresses, it might be time to think of a better lead generating strategy.
No matter how hard you scrub, there’s still a stat?
Despite how many of these solutions you put into place, your bigger email campaigns are always going to have some sort of a bounce stat. The real question then is: what’s an acceptable rate? The industry tip is that anything below 3% is OK, and expected – whilst any stat exceeding that is a major red flag. If your campaigns are showing a bounce rate about 3%, it’s time to identify the issue, and implement the relevant solutions listed above.
Regardless of the email campaign you’re sending out, and how well thought out your strategy may be, the first most important step is to get those emails delivered. If they’re not received, then they won’t be read. Try out these methods for improving your email deliverability, and reap in the benefits of a mostly engaged, contactable audience.
Need further assistance? Here at Swift Digital, we can help you create the perfect email marketing campaign packed with the right features to make it a success! To find out how your business can get the best out of Swift Digital’s platform, contact our Sales Team today on 02 9929 7001.