How to Improve Deliverability in your Email Marketing Campaigns

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Improve Deliverability in your Email Marketing | Concept image of email inboxes showing how many emails have been read or unread - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

When talking about email marketing campaigns, one element stands out as crucial: deliverability. In other words, if your emails aren’t reaching your audience’s inbox, then all your efforts are in vain. But fret not; improving deliverability doesn’t have to be a Herculean task. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to boost deliverability in your email marketing campaigns, ensuring your messages land precisely where you want them to.

Total Time: 5 minutes

  • Ensure Clean Email Lists

    Above all, maintaining a clean email list is crucial. Periodically prune your list by removing inactive subscribers, bounced emails, and duplicate entries. For instance, an individual who hasn’t engaged with your emails in the last six months might be considered inactive. If this seems like an extremely-time consuming task, you could use current automation features found in ActiveCampaign or even Mailchimp to do this for you automatically.
    Why it’s essential: A list full of inactive or non-responsive email addresses can harm your sender reputation. Therefore, by focusing on a more engaged audience, you enhance your chances of reaching the inbox.

    Improve Deliverability in your Email Marketing | Screenshot of ActiveCampaigns recipes for automation - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

    Screenshot of ActiveCampaigns Automation Recipes Dashboard – This particular recipe allows you to identify unengaged subscribers, gives them one more chance to engage with your content or unsubscribe them, automatically.

  • Authenticate Your Emails

    Email authentication can sound technical, but it’s a powerful tool in your deliverability arsenal. In addition, using protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC can significantly increase the chances of your emails reaching their intended destination.
    Why it’s essential: These authentication methods confirm that the email is genuinely from you, similarly acting as a stamp of legitimacy, and thereby reducing the likelihood of it being flagged as spam.

    Improve Deliverability in your Email Marketing | Screen shot of email domain authentication section in Mailchimp - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

    Screenshot of Mailchimp’s email domain authentication section. This is probably the first step you should take after setting up your account. Similarly, you can follow the process for other email marketing platforms.

  • Craft Relevant and Quality Content

    Content quality plays a pivotal role. Your subscribers signed up because they found value in what you offered. Therefore, continue delivering on that promise by providing relevant, valuable, and engaging content.
    Why it’s essential: Emails perceived as spammy or irrelevant can lead to increased unsubscribe rates and complaints. After that, these negative actions can hurt your sender reputation.

    Craft Relevant and Quality Content | Picture of older man clearly annoyed at the email he just received on his mobile phone - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

    Easier said than done. However, as someone who works in email marketing but also receives a lot of email marketing campaigns (a lot of them unsolicited), you can bet irrelevant content does not even get an open. Similarly, if you spam my inbox more than once a week, you are just asking for me to click on the unsubscribe link, which ties into our next point – frequency.

  • Mind Your Frequency

    Bombarding subscribers with daily emails can be overwhelming. Similarly, sending emails too infrequently might cause them to forget about you. Find a balanced frequency that aligns with your content strategy and audience preferences.
    Why it’s essential: Striking a balance ensures you remain top of mind without becoming a nuisance.

    Mind Your Frequency | Picture of a man at a coffee shop visbly angry at an email he just received on his mobile phone - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

    In my experience managing email marketing campaigns for multiple companies, frequency is directly tied to open rates and click through rates. In other words, the law of diminishing returns kicks in rather quickly as you increase the frequency of your campaigns. For example, when one of my clients sends more than one email (their newsletter) per month, their open rate dips 5% after each additional email, which is closely followed by an increased number of unsubscribes.

  • Optimize for Mobile

    A significant portion of users accesses their emails on mobile devices. In other words, if your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, you risk alienating a large chunk of your audience.
    Why it’s essential: Poorly formatted emails on mobile can lead to immediate deletions or, worse, unsubscribes.

    Optimize for Mobile | screen shot comparison of two emails received on a mobile phone, one on the left was not optimized for mobile and the one on the right was - Juan Rojo Design Toronto
    It’s hard to believe that in 2023, I’m still receiving emails on my phone that look like the one on the left. For instance, how am I supposed to read that copy without pinching and zooming? The image on the right is from an email marketing campaign created in Mailchimp, where mobile styles were available in their email editor. Don’t be like the company on the left, accessibility is a critical factor to consider when crafting email campaigns nowadays and that email is nearly impossible to read for someone with decent eyesight.

  • Include a Clear Unsubscribe Link

    This might seem counterintuitive, but making it easy for subscribers to opt-out can improve your deliverability. For instance, if a user no longer wishes to receive your emails, it’s better they unsubscribe than mark your email as spam.
    Why it’s essential: A clear and straightforward unsubscribe process can decrease the chances of your emails being flagged as spam, safeguarding your sender reputation.

  • Monitor Deliverability Metrics

    Always keep an eye on your email metrics. Above all, focus on bounce rates, open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints. These metrics provide insights into your email campaign’s health and areas that might need tweaking. For instance, unsubscribes are a clear sign of decaying interest, which could be directly tied to the quality of your content.
    Why it’s essential: Regularly monitoring these metrics allows for timely interventions, ensuring consistent deliverability success.

In conclusion, the journey to improved email deliverability revolves around understanding your audience, offering value, and adhering to best practices. Embrace these strategies, and you’ll witness a notable surge in your email campaign successes.