We say it with only a slight tongue in cheek – 100% of the emails you send that are not delivered will never sell anything. So, since email-in-inbox is the start of everything – here they are – the top 5 deliverability myths de-mystified!
1. Thinking that sending legally compliant messages will protect you.
Not true! Legislation like the NZ UEM Act, and the USA’s CAN-SPAM is just the bare minimum threshold that you should adhere too. We always say that if you are trying to hide behind fine print you are doing something wrong. Treat your database with respect by doing what you say you will do, increasing the relevance of your content to your subscribers, and working on all of your deliverability best practices to improve your reputation over time.
2. You think confirmed opt-ins wouldn’t click the ‘mark as spam’ or ‘add to junk folder’ button.
Not true! This action is viewed as a complaint by ISP’s and is taken really seriously by them. If you have more than 1 in a 1000 of these ‘complaints’ you could see an impact on your email delivery. Why do they do it? It can be a quick way for subscribers to remove the email even if they have subscribed. A significant % of recipients do this rather than unsubscribing – one reason is they may not know the difference between the ‘spam’ and the ‘unsubscribe’ functions and not realise the effect it has on reputation. We’ve seen reports that subscribers don’t want to ‘hurt your feelings’ by unsubscribing so they just sweep you out of the inbox. For others hitting ‘spam’ is simply quicker than finding the unsubscribe button and going through that process.
3. You think if you make it difficult to unsubscribe that you will stop people unsubscribing.
Not true! It only makes people flag your email as spam (as in 2. above) if they don’t want your email, rather than searching for your unsubscribe link. Best practice is to have a clearly visible and simple unsubscribe link in all your emails, and allow subscribers to simply and easily opt out and don’t give them any reason to complain. We recommend they are in the top and the bottom of most email campaigns, and prefer a one click instant unsubscribe method on our own clients emails.
4. ‘Free’ ‘Deal’ and ‘CAPITAL’ words instantly flag your email as spam.
Not true! Certain words aren’t great for sure, but they won’t do this if they are relevant and effective in the context of your campaign. Deliverability is measured on many factors, and these combined determine the reputation. So words such as ‘deal’! and ‘free’! used well in the right context will do no harm. These days, most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) filter based on reputation, so content plays a much smaller role in that filtering decision. If you have a good reputation, it will usually override any content filter being used, and your mail will be delivered appropriately. However, that doesn’t mean that your content is never a factor in determining inbox delivery.
5. Compelling content is the best way to create engagement and retain long term subscribers.
Not true! Sending good emails and good content will make your emails welcomed and useful to your audience. However if you send just one email too many, or any email at all if you’re ignoring other deliverability best practices, this will affect your reputation despite having the greatest content in the world. Also on content - balancing ‘image to text’ by having as much of your email as possible in text, while leaving images in a supporting role, is important both to the eye and to the deliverability of your email too.
Yes there are many more things you can do to enhance your reputation and optimise your deliverability, these are just the top 5 things that you should be aware of and take into consideration. If there is one thing we can be sure of – there’s no sure thing.
If you’d like more detail on deliverability or if you’d like to discuss concerns or ideas, give us a call any time on +64 9 360 6463.