Deliverability Guide

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This information applies to all account types but especially for ADVANCED MEMBERS sending through their own SMTP or through 3rd party servers such as Elasticmail

Understanding Sender Reputation

Sender reputation and its effect on email deliverability can sometimes feel like unknowable black magic.

But with a little knowledge, it’s not as mysterious as it might seem, and email senders who follow best practices should have little trouble developing a great sender reputation.

Key rules for sender reputation

The fundamental factors that shape sender reputation include:

Opt-ins are most important

If people do not want your mail, your reputation suffers

Receivers and metrics are judge and jury when it comes to getting delivered to the inbox

You cannot transfer your reputation from your previously used IP address

Domain reputation can follow you, however. ISPs like Gmail use the reputation of the domain coupled with the reputation of the IP address. A careful warm-up process is critical.

Reputation is empirical. ISPs trust metrics from their users and what they observe—no brand, big or small, will get special treatment over any other.

B2B senders must follow the same warm-up process as B2C senders, especially because an increasing number of business domains are now hosted by mailbox providers like Yahoo, Outlook, Gmail, AOL, etc.

Subject Lines

The first thing a subscriber sees from you is the Subject line.

It is imperative that a subject line catches the attention of your subscriber and compels them to open your message. Below are seven email subject line best practices to keep in mind when you are trying to capture your audience’s attention.

STAY AWAY FROM SPAMMY WORDS/PHRASES.

 If you use words like Free, Act Now, Limited time offer and overuse special characters like !!!, $$$ and …! Your message will not even make it to the inbox for your audience to see.

BE CARFUL TO AVOID SPELLING ERRORS OR ALL CAPS.

 Misspelled words can often look like you are avoiding spam filters for “spammy” words and will be caught anyway.

USE A SUBJECT LINE REFERRING TO THE MOST INTERESTING SUBJECT IN YOUR MESSAGE.

 If your email has multiple subjects, first run subject line tests with a subject line for each of the different subjects in your email.

Once you determine what subject garners the most interest to a sampling of your list you can use that Subject Line on the remainder.

SUBJECT LINE LENGTHS DO MATTER.

Often the shorter the subject line the more opens you get. However, the opposite tends to be true with Clicks.

 This is another subject line test you may want to run to see how your subscribers will respond. For example, B2B emails do better with 20 words (less than 80 characters), whereas, B2C do better with 6-10 words (less than 50 characters).

PERSONALIZATION IS EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE.

 However, rather than using first name, you may consider using the region or the area they are in.

Seeing the City/County name often catches their attention creating a feeling of importance.

BRAND YOUR MESSAGES.

 Create a subject line that will tell the reader who you are as well as what to expect when they open the message.

 For example, always using the words {Your Brand} Bulletin and then what subject they will encounter when they open.

 Another option would be to use the words {Your Brand} Bulletin as the friendly From Name leaving the subject line to tell them what subject they will encounter when they open.

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