How to Check Email Deliverability even if You are Not Email Delivery Expert

April 16, 2024
How to Check Email Deliverability even if You are Not Email Delivery Expert

Are you one of those who writes emails, sends them, and thinks they instantly appear in the recipient's box? But what if I tell you that almost 20% of all emails never reach the intended inbox? If you're starting a new marketing campaign, this can be a severe problem. But before hiring an email deliverability expert, let's see what you can do. 

First, we need to understand email deliverability and why it is essential. Let's say you're launching a new product or offering a new service. You make everything right - the email campaign is ready, and your emails are perfect from the subject line to the CTA, but there are no sales. One possibility is that your ideal email never reached potential customers' inboxes. 

This is what email deliverability is about - the ability of your email to get to the recipient's inbox rather than being filtered out as spam or sent elsewhere.  

Some companies invest in email deliverability experts, but these resources aren't always available to everyone. Even without an expert, you can take control and significantly improve your email deliverability rates. This article will equip you with the knowledge and tools to ensure your emails reach their intended audience - every time.

What Kills Your Email Marketing Campaign and Why Deliverability Matters

Email marketing is a powerful tool, but only if your messages reach their destination. Even an email needs a clear path, and that's where email deliverability comes in.

Deliverability is about getting your email into the recipient's inbox, not the spam folder. It might sound too technical, but trust us, it's the foundation for successful email marketing.

Why Should You Care About Deliverability?

Imagine that you've created a perfect email campaign, only to have your messages disappear. Here's why deliverability is crucial:

Visibility is Key:  No matter how unique your message is, it can only work its magic if it reaches its target audience. A deliverability failure is like whispering your marketing pitch into a void.

ROI: Marketers live and breathe ROI (Return on Investment). Emails stuck in spam are unlikely to be opened, let alone drive sales. That's a recipe for a disappointing return.

Sender Reputation Matters: Think of email deliverability as your online report card. High bounce rates, spam complaints, and low engagement hurt your sender score. This can make it even harder to deliver future emails – a vicious cycle!

Keeping Customers Engaged:  Email is a powerful tool for nurturing leads and keeping customers happy. But if your emails don't reach inboxes, you miss opportunities to connect, share updates, and build loyalty.

Compliance Concerns: Deliverability isn't just about tech tricks. Regulations like GDPR and CAN-SPAM have strict rules about email communication, and ignoring them can lead to legal headaches. 

The Journey of Your Email

Ever wonder what happens to your email after you hit "send"? It doesn't just magically appear in the recipient's inbox; it embarks on a fascinating journey. But you don’t have to be an email delivery expert to find out. First, it travels from your email client to your provider's sending server, akin to a message entering a high-speed postal hub.

Next, the email utilizes the recipient's address to locate their server, like navigating a vast digital map. But before reaching its destination, it faces a crucial challenge: the spam filter. These sophisticated systems act as guardians, analyzing content and sender reputation to ensure only legitimate messages pass.

If your email successfully navigates these hurdles, it will land in the recipient's inbox. However, red flags like suspicious attachments or generic subject lines can lead to rerouting to the spam folder or rejection. 

Don't Believe the Hype: Busting Common Email Deliverability Myths

Ever feel like you're firing emails into a black hole, and all your efforts were in vain?

Many marketers get tripped up by misconceptions about email deliverability. Let's clear the air and separate fact from fiction so you can land your messages squarely in inboxes, not the spam folder.

Myth #1: Bigger Email List Equals Bigger Success

It's tempting to think that a massive email list equals an automatic marketing victory. But think quality over quantity. A list packed with unengaged or invalid addresses can hurt your deliverability.

Here's why: Email providers prioritize user experience, and high bounce rates (emails that can't be delivered) are a red flag. They signal that you might be sending spam or to irrelevant addresses. Focus on building a targeted list of engaged subscribers who genuinely want to hear from you.

Myth #2: High Open Rates Are the Deliverability Holy Grail

While open rates are a valuable metric, they're not the sole factor in deliverability. Sometimes, a perfectly relevant email might not get opened right away. Maybe it landed in someone's "Promotions" tab, or they're busy.

The good news? Consistent engagement over time is a more reliable indicator. Regularly sending valuable content to a targeted audience strengthens your sender's reputation and builds trust with email providers.

Myth #3: Buying an Email List is a Shortcut to Success

The temptation of a pre-built email list might be strong but resist the urge. Purchased lists are complete with risks. They often contain invalid or uninterested addresses; some might even be flagged for spam.

Not only will this hurt your deliverability, but it can also lead to legal trouble depending on regulations like GDPR and CAN-SPAM. It may take time to build your list organically through opt-ins and lead magnets, but it's a safe and sustainable path to email marketing success.

DIY Email Deliverability Checks (No Email Delivery Expert Required)

Subject Line Savvy: Avoiding Spam Filters

Ever get an email with flashing red text promising overnight riches? Yeah, those are classic spam triggers. They are red flags telling email filters, "Hey, this is probably junk!"

They can seriously hurt your email deliverability. Spam filters look at several things in your email, like the content, subject line, and formatting, to see if it's legit. If your email has too many of these triggers, it might get stuck in the spam folder, never reaching its destination.

You don't have to be an expert to dodge these spam filters. Many free email testing tools can scan your email and highlight areas that might set them off. These tools can be a lifesaver to ensure your emails land in inboxes, not the spam abyss. 

Building Your Sender Reputation: The Email Credit Score

Think of your sender reputation as your email credit score. Paying your bills on time builds good credit, and consistently sending legitimate emails establishes a positive sender reputation. This score is super important for deliverability.

Here's the deal: reputable email providers are likelier to trust emails from senders with a good track record. On the other hand, a lousy sender reputation can tank your deliverability rates.

You can quickly check your sender score with free online tools. These tools look at spam complaints, bounce rates, and overall email habits to give you a score. Generally, a score above 70 is considered good.

Email Nightmare: Stuck in Blacklist 

You've sent a crucial email, and it just disappeared? It might be because your IP address is blacklisted. Think of blacklists as those "spammer hall of shame" lists maintained by email security companies. If your IP ends up on one, your emails get rejected or sent straight to spam, no matter how important they are.

The good news? You can check if you're blacklisted for free with tools like Senders’ Email Spam Tool. Just run the test and see if it's flagged anywhere.

The bad news? Getting off a blacklist can be a real headache. You must figure out why you're there (maybe a hacked computer sending spam?) and fix the problem. There are resources to help, but an email deliverability expert might be your best bet for trickier situations.

Improve Your Deliverability: Advanced Techniques for Inbox Domination 

Conquered the deliverability basics? Ready to send your emails into overdrive? This section dives into advanced techniques that will transform you from an email warrior to a deliverability champion. 

Level Up Your Email Reputation with Authentication

Think of your sender reputation as your online email credit score. A good score means email providers trust you, and your messages land in inboxes. Email authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC come in here. These fancy acronyms work together to verify your identity as a legitimate sender, significantly boosting your reputation and keeping spam filters at bay.

Warm Up Your Sending Habits: Gradual Growth is Key

What happens when you suddenly send a massive email campaign after little to no activity? Email providers might flag you as suspicious.

The solution? Email warmup. This involves gradually increasing your sending volume over time, mimicking natural growth, and proving you're a trustworthy sender.

Segmentation: Speak to the Right People at the Right Time

Have you ever received an email about dog food when you're a cat person? It's a major turn-off. Segmentation helps you avoid this by tailoring your emails to specific audience segments.

By grouping subscribers based on interests, demographics, or purchase history, you can craft highly relevant messages that resonate with them. This boosts engagement and tells email providers you're sending valuable content, further improving your deliverability.

List Hygiene: Cleanliness is Next to Inbox Placement

Your email list is like a garden. Just as you wouldn't let weeds take over, it's crucial to remove inactive or invalid addresses, which can lower your deliverability rates.

Regular list cleaning removes these "deadweight" addresses, ensuring your list is healthy and full of engaged subscribers eager to receive your emails. Think of it as spring cleaning for your email marketing success.

Deliverability - The Secret of Successful Email Marketing

Don't let your emails become lost messages in the digital void. Following the simple checks outlined in this article and considering the advanced techniques for power users can significantly improve your email deliverability rates. Remember, good deliverability is the foundation for successful email marketing. It ensures your messages reach their intended audience, fostering engagement, driving sales, and strengthening customer relationships.

So, take charge of your email destiny! Implement the tips you've learned, and watch your email marketing efforts soar. Even a tiny improvement in deliverability can lead to a big jump in the number of people who see your messages. Start using these strategies today and unlock the true power of email communication!

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