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Seven Steps to Ensuring Email Deliverability

Dave Reeder

by Dave Reeder , 13 July 2021

Seven Steps to Ensuring Email Deliverability

What's in this article?

    Picture this. You’ve got a top-notch weekly newsletter on website design in Crawley. You spend time and effort crafting it specifically for your client base, but the open rates are plummeting. How can that be? Well, it’s most likely down to a not-so-little issue called email deliverability.

    While website design remains a top priority to Millennial and Gen Z customers, you’ll reach fewer of these potential clients if your emails aren’t even getting to their inbox. 

    But what does email deliverability actually mean? It’s kind of what it says on the tin. 

    Email deliverability is having the capability to deliver emails into inboxes. It’s getting your emails to existing or prospective customers without getting flagged as spam or bouncing back. 
     
    Email marketing can lead to fantastic results. It’s crucial for contacting your client base, delivering updates, and honing the voice of your brand. 
     
    However, it can only do this if the emails actually arrive in customer inboxes. If your emails aren’t being delivered, then email marketing is a waste of money. 
     
    We’ve picked up lots of tricks for ensuring email deliverability, despite our expertise being website design in Crawley. Upping your open rate is something we regularly tackle for our clients. First, we’re going to walk you through email deliverability, then tell you our seven steps for making sure those emails get delivered.
     

    How Email Deliverability Works

    This is where it gets a little complicated, but let’s break it down for you. Every business or marketer uses an Email Service Provider (ESP). ESPs work with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to send and deliver emails. So far, so good. 

    ISPs use filters to stop spam and other malicious content from reaching people’s inboxes. In 2019, 50% of all emails sent were spam. Considering that roughly 60 billion spam emails are sent daily, you can understand why ISP filters can be a godsend.

    But the emails are still getting sent correctly, so it’s not a delivery problem, right? Well, remember that email deliverability doesn’t just mean that your email arrives successfully — it also means avoiding the spam folder. 

    When you send an email campaign, ISP filters run reputation checks. Think of this as a credit check, but for emails. 
    Reputation checks look at the following:

    • Sender: They give you a ranking as a sender.
    • Server: Your email service provider’s credibility ranking.
    • Domain: The reputation of any links in your email.
    • Email Engagement Metrics: The ISP examines metrics such as bounce rates and spam complaints.

    If the email falters at any of these hurdles, it may not get into that inbox. This is not ideal if you need to update customers, and will affect your brand reputation. 

    While we’re known more for website design in Crawley, email is one of our services that clients frequently ask us about. There’s not a lot of knowledge out there on this subject, so we’ve provided seven simple steps for ensuring email deliverability.  
     

    1. Utilise Double-Opt In

    Opt-in is when someone allows an organisation to send emails to them. Single opt-in is when an email owner hasn’t confirmed their consent to be added to a list. 

    Double opt-in is when there is confirmed consent from the email owner, usually via a confirmation email link. This protects your mailing list from spambots and ensures that you have a solid user base. Not to mention, double opt-in undoubtedly strengthens your ISP reputation on top of this. If people take the time to sign up they are more engaged and more likely to become a future customer.

    For instance, if a person searches ‘Web Design in Crawley’, even if they click on your website, there are still a lot of steps before they are willing to part with their cash. But, if they sign up for your e-Newsletter and confirm their consent via double opt-in, this means that they’re a solid lead that’s worth nurturing. Think of it as quality assurance.
     

    2. Utilise SPF and DKIM

    Let’s briefly define both of these terms.

    • Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email validation system which is designed to stop spam by certifying the sender’s IP address. When an SPF record is added to your website’s DNS, external servers know that you are the owner of the domain. It’s essentially a way to verify that your website is legitimate.
    • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a way to verify that a particular business owns the email. Many email clients check for a DKIM signature to check the authenticity of an email and the organisation sending it. 

    Want to ensure deliverability? We can take care of the above. We help our clients set both SPF and DKIM, as part of our mission to provide emails as well as websites made simple. So whether you need a website design in Crawley, or your email hitting inboxes, we’ve got you covered.

    3. Make your Emails Personable and Engaging

    This may seem obvious, but many companies fall into the trap of sending bland, uninspiring emails. It’s important to send content that gives your customers value.

    Obviously, having a great email design is important, but so is the content. It needs to be engaging and appeal directly to your audience. People don’t like overly salesy language and aren’t going to pay attention to your emails if they’re boring. Plain and simple. 

    For example, let’s say that you’re a Sussex based charity that works with the elderly in your local community. Instead of the focus of your email being straight-up asking your followers for a donation, you should also include content that will interest prospective donors. These could be tips for accessible family day trips or a story about a recent event your charity ran. This way your content adds value to the reader and has a personal touch.

    It’s also a great idea to provide easy unsubscribe options. That might seem counterintuitive but making it easy to unsubscribe will ensure a dedicated reader base and increase your open rate. 
     

    4. Encrypt your Email with TLS 

    We often show our clients how to encrypt emails with Transport Layer Security (TLS). Most emails that are sent aren’t encrypted. TLS encrypts emails so they aren’t read by anyone other than the intended recipients. This is key for the recipient email server to see you as credible.

    The receiving email server can cross-check your domain name against your IP address. So if your email address is from the UK, it checks your IP address isn’t from Austen, Texas. TLS encryption also acts as an added layer of protection, which is a sign of trustworthiness to any receiving email server.
     

    5. Get a Dedicated IP Address for Your Email

    There are two types of Internet Protocol (IP) addresses: dedicated IPs and shared IPs. If you send a lot of emails, we recommend a dedicated IP that is exclusively used for your email campaigns and recipients.

    Dedicated IPs also help to lessen the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam. This is particularly effective when you consistently send content once a week (such as that weekly newsletter on website design in Crawley).

    6. Ensure Mobile-friendly Design

    Nowadays, almost 50% of emails are currently opened on mobile devices. It’s certainly not surprising. Most of the time we check our email when we’re on-the-go or multitasking.
    Make sure that you get a designer that can optimise your emails for mobile browsers (and your website while you’re at it). Any email that looks rubbish on a mobile phone or tablet will almost certainly result in a high unsubscribe rate.
    In a nutshell: make sure your emails look good on mobile. If you don’t, you’ll be at a massive disadvantage. As a go-to agency for web design in Crawley, we can happily help ensure that your mobile site functions optimally, as we make websites simple for any device. 
     

    7. Administer a Sender Policy Framework and DMARC System

    Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) is an email validation system. The purpose of DMARC is to protect domains from being used for phishing scams, identity theft and other cybercrimes. 

    DMARC builds on SPF and DKIM technology by adding a reporting function that gives you the ability to view who is sending email via their domain. Having a DMARC policy is yet another way to prove that you as a domain owner put serious effort into securing your email channel. Unsurprisingly, this is another way to show ISPs that your domain is legitimate. 

    What to Takeaway

    While it might seem like email deliverability is a never-ending rabbithole — the overall principles are simple.
    Establishing a solid domain reputation = more emails in inboxes. We recommend taking the time to set up proper security procedures. Follow best practices or work with and make sure your content is engaging, whether it’s about web design in Crawley or charity events in the South East.

    Our team at Made Simple Media frequently assists clients to ensure email deliverability. We like to live up to our name and provide websites made simple. It allows our clients to focus on their core business while we do the heavy lifting. 

    If you want to know more, ping us a message anytime. If your team requires website design in Crawley, we have a wealth of experience when it comes to digital marketing in the South East.

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