Deliverability Fact vs. Fiction
With so many variables inherent in optimizing email deliverability, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. There are quite a few myths out there with the potential to steer marketers in the wrong direction, and away from the best practices that can really make an impact. Here are the top five myths surrounding deliverability – and the truth about them.
Myth #1: Sending only CAN-SPAM-compliant emails protects you against being considered spam. CAN-SPAM is the law, but you should think of this as the bare minimum threshold to keep your brand legally compliant. Relevance and reputation are of far greater importance.
Myth #2: Confirmed opt-in subscribers will not mark emails as spam. The truth is that every user can click the spam button – it’s a quick and easy way to remove an undesired email from your inbox. And while those who have confirmed their subscription through an opt-in are far less likely to flag that mail as spam, about 5% of subscribers unsubscribe the lazy way…by using the spam button rather than the “unsubscribe” links we include in our emails. Our goal then as marketers is to create highly relevant content that engages our audience and keeps customers loyal so they won’t want to unsubscribe by any method.
Myth #3: Making it difficult to unsubscribe helps minimize opt-outs. Not only is this an extremely poor practice, it’s a sure way of getting your emails flagged as spam by your own subscribers. Create clear functionality within your email sends that allows subscribers the option to easily opt out, and respect their decision to do so.
Myth #4: Certain key words or large images will automatically flag your email as spam. If your subscribers are engaged because you are sending targeted and timely messages, then words that could be considered spammy, or were considered spammy in the past, are not an issue. There are lots of examples of senders who use large images but have no delivery problems. If subscribers are engaged and want your email, the ISPs will deliver it.
Myth #5: Sending more email improves results and deliverability. This one is not as clear-cut as some other myths. Here’s why: Compelling content is paramount to creating immediate interest and long-term engagement. Engagement is the key to deliverability. If your customers are well engaged with your brand, you will see more benefit with your email efforts, so sending good email can actually improve deliverability. So, merely increasing frequency without considering your content can jeopardize your sender reputation with both your customers and ISPs.
About the Author:
Matt Hayes is Services Strategy Director at Lyris.