Improving email deliverability
Lesson 26 Module 4
Ultimately what matters with email marketing is the results. Since the point is to convert a reader into a subscriber and into a customer, we have to make sure there are no leaks in our funnel.
That means every step needs to work perfectly:
If your emails aren't even reaching the inbox of your subscribers, the whole system collapses.
So if you haven't spent any time addressing this, it's time to start right now.
In this lesson I want to focus on getting your emails delivered, opened, and your offers clicked.
The role of your email marketing provider
There are two responsible parties involved in getting emails into the inbox, your email marketing provider and you.
Your email marketing provider handles some of the workload to help with getting your emails into the inbox.
They handle the IP addresses, sending domains, and link tracking domains to make sure they have a high reputation score.
They also stay on top of things like:
This is why it's important to choose an email marketing provider that stays on top of these issues.
Personally, I use and recommend ConvertKit. After making the switch from Mailchimp I noticed an increase in my open rates.
I attribute this to the fact that ConvertKit attracts bloggers, coaches, and creators - not affiliate marketers who purchase huge email lists.
What you can do to improve email deliverability
In short, you need a high sender reputation to get your emails into the inbox every single time.
To get a high sender reputation score you need to send positive signals and avoid negative ones.
Positive signals are opens, clicks, and replies.
Negative signals are unopened emails or being marked as spam.
Here's a few ways to get get these positive signals and avoid the negative ones.
Get whitelisted: Add to address book
Ask subscribers on the thank you page to whitelist your email address or add you to their contacts list.
You can also ask subscribers to do this in the welcome email / incentive email / opt-in confirmation email.
This act alone will make sure your emails always end up in the inbox of these subscribers and never in the spam folder.
A/B test to find the right subject line
You can split test subject lines in ConvertKit. Split testing is important to try because it will teach you what subject lines resonate with your audience more.
Here's how the test works:
The system will email 25% of your subscribers one subject line and 25% will receive the other one.
After gathering data, the winning subject line email will be sent to the rest of the list.
Avoid spam triggers
Certain words can trigger a spam filter to think you're a spammer. Avoid these trigger words:
Avoid heavy HTML templates
Spammers are known to send emails with nothing but images. The idea being that they won't include any spam-triggering words, yet they'll still get their message across.
So, skip the fancy email templates and stick to plain text emails. After all, it's what you say that matters to your audience.
Get replies: Ask a question
It's a good practice to talk with your audience, not at them.
If you want an engaged email list, ask for engagement!
Pose a question at the end of your emails and ask for replies. Just a simple question is all that's needed to get a little engagement and boost your sender reputation score.
Get clicks: Add one call to action
I've learned that if you ask subscribers to do one thing, they'll do it. But if you ask them to do 4 things, they'll do none!
This is why you should only include one link per email.
Don't randomly link words or include links near the top of the email.
Just add one link to the bottom of the email and ask them to click it.
Keep a healthy list
To keep your sender reputation score high, you need to have an active engaged list who regularly opens your emails.
This means you need to periodically go into your email marketing provider and remove people who don't open your emails.
It used to bug me so much to unsubscribe people for fear that I was losing a potential customer.
But if these people aren't even opening your emails, they're not your customers and they are actually causing harm.
Depending on your email marketing provider, you can either search for users who haven't opened the last [X] emails or haven't opened emails the last [X] weeks.
ConvertKit automatically finds cold subscribers for you, who they define as anyone who hasn't opened or clicked an email in the last 90 days.
You can either delete them in bulk at this point - but it's much better to send cold subscribers one last email to give them a final chance to stay on your list before you delete them.
Here's how to do this in ConvertKit.
First, find your cold subscribers and tag them as COLD.
Then, go to Automations > Rules and create a rule that says if the subscriber clicks a specific link the COLD tag will be removed.
The last step is sending a broadcast email to everyone with the COLD tag.
Make sure to use the link trigger you created in the previous step as your link.
Then send the email and wait a few days before you delete anyone who still has the COLD tag.
Here's a template you can use:
Hi [First name]!
My email provider is telling me you haven't been opening my emails lately.
Frankly, I don't believe them! I mean, who wouldn't want to read my emails? Anyways, help me prove them wrong and click the link below to continue getting my emails.
Click this link to stay on this list!
PS: If you don't click the link you will be unsubscribed from my emails forever and I won't get to help you with [XYZ] anymore.