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Originally, SPAM was an acronym for Specially Processed American Meat. This canned meat remains a favorite in various parts of the world, including Hawaii. As unwanted email became prolific, the term has become slang name for unsolicited commercial email. As such, SPAM has also been defined as:

  • Stop Pornography and Abusive Marketing Act (CANSPAM Act)
  • Superfluous Pieces of Additional Mail
  • Something Posing as Mail

Of course we all know that not all unsolicited email is SPAM. If it was, email would not be the number one form of getting people to buy online. As business owners, we all rely on email for getting our message out. So how can we ensure that our email gets delivered, and better yet, opened?

The fact is, email deliverability is not an exact science, which can be frustrating for businesses relying on communicating with their customers. Your email can end up in the spam folder for a variety of reasons, ranging from the quality of your email list to your authentication status.

Because every audience is diverse and prefers different sorts of information, email marketing presents a unique problem. The better you know your audience and their email preferences, the more effective you can be. Here are a few tried-and-true tactics that can get you back into the inbox quickly.

Build your own email list

This is the single biggest piece of advice I can give, yet many business owners don’t listen. If your email list is not a list that you have grown organically yourself, you will not only have poor deliverability, but your reputation will suffer. This is true even if the list “has been proven” by someone else in your same industry. It has to be YOUR list. Of course someone else can mail their list on your behalf, which works well, because they have already built the know, like, and trust factor with their audience. But sending an email to their list from your account can ruin your chances of getting opened.

You’ll want to build an email list of people who are interested in receiving your emails so that you can guarantee engagement. Long-term, organically growing your email list is in your best interest. It’s not the simplest or fastest approach to expand your mailing list or audience, but it’s by far the most effective.

Always stay away from:

  • Getting an email from a third party for rent, purchase, or co-registration
  • Sharing or using a shared list with a partner
  • Scraping emails or employing a robot to collect emails, also known as email harvesting, can land you in the spam bin, so avoid it at all costs.

Provide a double opt in for your email list

Building a healthy, sustainable email list necessitates verifying recipient registration and opt-in. By sending subscribers a confirmation or welcome email that demands action, usually in the form of a check box or a link agreeing to terms, you can ensure that they are consenting to receive your communications. They’ll be added to your mailing list once they’ve done this activity.

Use a third-party email service provider

Sending email directly from your website is the simple, default option for most online businesses. But the delivery rate is much less than using a dedicated sending service like SendGrid.

Authenticate your Email Account

With a new cold email account, the first thing you need to do is authenticate it. Authentication protects your account and guards it against the SPAM filters. There are three essential parts to email authentication. You can learn more at: https://sendgrid.com/blog/how-to-authenticate-your-email-in-5-steps/

Send content relevant to your email list

Before you push send on your next email, think about the following:

  • Is the information I’m sending to my recipients new, urgent, or relevant?
  • Have I recently provided an update on this subject? Is it too early for a new update?
  • Is it necessary for all of my subscribers to be aware of this information? Should I instead send only to a certain section of my list?
  • As a recipient, would I find this email useful?

Clean up your email list regularly

I recently purged over 10,000 emails on my list because people were not opening my emails. This is sometimes necessary in order to maintain a healthy reputation score.

As people opt out of your mailing list, your email list and subscribers will naturally ebb and flow. Some people simply do not want to receive your emails, and that is perfectly fine! The quality of your contact list is far more significant and valuable than the number of people on it.

Some people will unsubscribe, while others will disregard or classify your emails as spam. This harms your sending reputation, making it less likely for your emails to reach recipients’ inboxes, even those who actively engage with your communications. A smaller, more engaged email list will always outperform a large list of inactive users.

Monitor your reputation

Your email domain has a sending reputation, and if it starts to deteriorate, you could end up on an email blacklist. Even the most cautious and well-intentioned senders can occasionally find themselves on an email refuse list. Reduce your chances of being placed on a denial list by using a tool like the Atomic email verifier. Your reputation determines how many of your emails actually get delivered. Yes, you read that right – just because you send an email doesn’t mean that your service provider actually delivers them!

Because your email reputation is tied to your domain name, you might want to purchase a nearly identical domain just for sending emails. Even SendGrid does this (they use sendgrid.net instead of sendgrid.com for sending out emails). If your website is mycompany.com, you might purchase mycompany.co for senging out your emails. Or add something like “get” to the front of your name so you send out emails from getmycompanycom. That way, when you send out cold emails, the reputation of your website domain is not impacted by email domain. If you do this, it may take some time to build your email reputation under your new domain, so you will have to start by sending out smaller groups of emails.

When you first get started with a new email account, you’ll need to use your new email account to communicate with ‘warm’ contacts (friends, colleagues, etc.) .These people must open your emails, reply to you, forward your emails and white-list your email address. If your email landed in their spam folder they should report it as ‘not spam.’  These positive interactions with your emails help you build a good sender score.

Comply with internet privacy laws

While compliance does not guarantee email delivery, it might assist you in getting through some ISP barriers. Internet privacy regulations have sprung up all across the world in the last 20 years. Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM), the Canada Anti-Spam Law (CASL), the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and the California Consumer Protection Act are the most essential pieces of law for marketers and senders (CCPA). These rules apply to all commercial email.

Use email spam checkers

Spam checkers are online programs that let you test your emails and see how likely they are to be marked as spam by recipients. Despite the fact that ISPs have the last say in how messages are screened, spam checkers can often give senders peace of mind as they plan new campaigns.

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