Three crucial rules and six tips to improve e-mail deliverability


Reaching the inbox is an increasing challenge for many e-mail marketers. In a fragmented communication landscape and with ISP's looking at new ways to decide whether an e-mail is "good" or "bad", the focus on deliverability is more important than ever.

Of course the best guarantees to reach the inbox are relevance, clean lists, personalization, targeting, giving subscribers control over messaging and smart actions based on good data. But there is more.

Here are some crucial tips to improve your e-mail deliverability

1. Engaging content
Engaging your subscribers through compelling and valuable content is good for your response rates. But it is also good for your sender reputation, a determining element in e-mail marketing. Furthermore, ISP's are increasingly looking at the interaction recipients have with their e-mails. If your subscribers are engaged, they will respond and interact. If they are not, they will not respond, unsubscribe and maybe even complain. And that's what you want to avoid, especially if these complaints lead to a negative "spammer" reputation.

2. Do what you promise
When people decide to trust you their e-mail address and give their permission to contact them, some form of contract exists. In that contract, you as a business say what you will provide and how you will serve your subscribers. You set the expectations, say how you will handle their data and make a promise. Some e-mail marketers don't even do that in the sign-up process. And of those who do, some do not live up to their promises. Honour that contract between your business and your recipients and give the subscriber the possibility to change "the terms of the contract" at all times: whether it's the type of content, the frequency, etc. Give subscribers control over their data and preferences, even if you deliver what you have promised.

3. Manage your sender reputation
Your inbox placement is based on your sender reputation by ISP's. Sender reputation is influenced by many elements. Below you'll find some tips to regarding your sender reputation. First of all: make sure you avoid complaints by respecting the rules above. 

  • Keep your lists clean and up-to-date: many bounces can lead to a negative sender reputation.  On top of that, ISP's can see e-mails to a non-responsive list with too much bounces as spam-like behaviour
  • Gather relevant data about your subscribers as the e-mail relationship develops and use them to improve future campaigns. The more you know about your recipients, the better you can serve them with valuable messages, thus increasing engagement and improving sender reputation.
  • Use authentication methods such as SenderID and DKIM. Authentication techniques like these and others (for instance domain-level reputation) are becoming increasingly important.

Respecting these rules will improve e-mail deliverability and lead to a better interaction with your subscribers.