Josh Arntz

Senior Technical Solutions Engineer

4 Best Practices for Improving Email Deliverability

It’s a marketer’s worst nightmare: After spending days—or even weeks—developing the perfect email template and compiling a list of contacts, the messages automatically divert to the “Spam” folder. The unfortunate fact is, Gmail and other popular platforms often label authentic emails as spam, even ones that are sent to voluntary recipients.

Spam filters are constantly evolving, and savvy marketers would be wise to stay up to date with the best practices that will help them get the most out of email campaigns. This article will introduce a few simple yet effective steps that can take your email deliverability to the next level:

Use multiple IP addresses

Marketing Land reminds readers that companies sending email marketing blasts should expect a few to get marked as spam. The truth is, most people are too lazy to “unsubscribe” to an email in which they’re not interested; it’s easier just to label the message as “spam.”

As a result, Internet service providers (ISPs) may consider the sender to be a spammer. However, if you assign different IP addresses to groups of emails, ISPs are less likely to label all messages within that campaign as spam. It’s especially important to use different IP addresses to distinguish emails that are vital to business processes, such as transactional emails, from those designed for promotional purposes.

As well, ISPs assign limits to the number of connections an IP address can make. Therefore, if marketers use more IP addresses, not only can they reduce the number of messages that go directly to spam, but they also can improve the send speed and deliverability. Keep this in mind if you need marketing emails to arrive at a certain time, particularly for short-term sales.

Use simple HTML instead of JavaScript code and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

All email platforms were not created equal, so you can’t expect every service to support complex CSS and JavaScript. In fact, the latter is often tied to malware, so most ISPs remove JavaScript. However, HTML is a fairly universal coding language, so limiting the design to HTML increases the likelihood that users can interact with messages the way you intend.

Insert a call to action to enable images

According to SilverPop.com, many email clients turn off images by default, that is, until recipients confirm that the sender is “safe.” This can be particularly detrimental because most email analytic software tracks opens only when images are enabled. The best practice to ensure this is to provide a simple call to action that asks recipients to turn on images. Besides helping you track open rates more accurately, this also enhances user engagement.

Don’t overuse images

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That’s why modern webmasters tend to jump at the chance to include an infographic or other types of descriptive images.

However, when it comes to email marketing, “image-stuffing” or using images that are too large can make messages appear spammy. To avoid this, limit the number of images, as well as their sizes, to optimize an email campaign.

08/06/2014 at 05:44

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