After hours spent designing, coding and writing up emails, we want to know they’re having an impact. Perhaps one of the most overlooked metrics for email marketers is the simplest: email deliverability.

What is email deliverability?

This is an internet service provider (ISP)’s way of measuring your trustworthiness as a sender. An ISP will measure how often people open and click on emails. They will also measure engagement – predominantly, whether or not somebody replies to a message.

The more people who engage with your emails, the less chance you’ll have of landing in the spam box. This may also include forwarding, marking as ‘not spam’ or moving emails to a certain folder.

How can I improve email deliverability?

Your goal is to engage users from the moment you send them their first email. This is easier than it sounds – for example, if they’ve just registered with an e-commerce account, you can send them a link to verify it.

Make them feel welcome with automation

While you’ll score points with the ISPs by using a verification email, you also need to warm up your customers. This is where an automated welcome email comes in. Personalise it by first name and give your users a chance to engage, for example:

  • Link to a ‘my account’ section
  • Tell them about news on a blog
  • Point them to a sale
  • Tell them to refer a friend.

According to GetResponse, welcome emails have a 91% open rate. Even more important, three quarters of us expect a welcome email when we sign up to something new.

We’ve got them to click – now what?

Clicks are important, but replies are weighted even more favourably. An ISP will recognise your content as something the recipient wants to read if he/she replies.

So, how can we encourage people to reply?

Make your automated emails that pinch more exciting

The answer is simple: add a competitive element to your welcome emails. When you set up your automated email, include a competition incentive that invites your reader to reply to the email. This could be an entry into a prize draw, for example, or an answer to a question.

With a good enough incentive – such as a gift card – your users will feel compelled to take part. The result? An immediate, positive reaction with the ISPs and better email deliverability forever.

Other quick tips to avoid those spam boxes

Remember, you want to keep those robots happy. Don’t irk them with the following cardinal sins:

You didn’t get permission

More than a GDPR offence, this will send your emails straight to spam if they didn’t use appropriate sign-up methods.

Your subject line is aggressive or misleading

SALE! PROMO! FREE! All of these make spam filters light up, as will clickbait like fake transactional subjects.

You cannot prove you’re trustworthy

Always include a physical address and make sure your ‘from’ address is accurate.

Remember, your emails are for pleasing humans as much as they are for pleasing machines, so create them that way!