Welcome to the third and final post in our series of nine email marketing tips for better deliverability – make sure your messages land in the inbox.

If you missed either of our first posts, make sure to check them out before diving into today’s tips: Part 1 | Part 2

7) Utilize a preference center

After spending all the time and effort to acquire your subscribers, you definitely don’t want to lose them to unsubscribes or complaints.

Rather than giving your recipients an all-or-nothing option to receive your emails, set up a preference center where they can select the types of categories and emails they’d like to receive and the frequency that’s convenient for them.

Also, if you mail frequently, you may want to consider adding a snooze option for those who may be on vacation just want to pause communications for 30 days or until the end of a selling season, like the holidays.

8) Focus on other metrics outside of opens

As more and more recipients enable Apple’s iOS 15 Mail Privacy Protection, senders will continue to see a lift with their total number of opens, but nearly half of those may be misleading.

As a result, it’s officially time to move away from relying so heavily on open rates and explore other metrics to determine if recipients are engaging with not only your email program but also your brand overall.

Now is the time to make sure your metrics encompass clicks and click-through rates, website traffic, and purchase data. Don’t forget about studying negative engagement metrics, such as delivery and bounce rates and unsubscribe and complaint rates.

If you are concerned about gaining clicks – and beyond – in the conversion funnel, you can send emails containing gamification in different stages and offer some type of reward to subscribers: tell us more about you, update your profile – anything to get them to click/drive web traffic.

Additionally, you can run multi-touch re-engagement emails to users who have no click or website/conversion activity after a certain amount of time.

Finally, be sure you are signed up for Microsoft SNDS and Google Postmaster Tools, to be sure you are monitoring your IPs’ and domains’ health.

9) Send a win-back/re-engagement campaign series

Not everyone who opts in to your list is going to want to receive your email forever. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is.

However, you want to try and get those dormant addresses one last push to come back. Sending a good win-back series or campaign may bring back those who haven’t been an active part of your list.

Here are a couple of best practices if you are thinking about sending a one-time win-back campaign or re-engagement series to improve the deliverability of your email marketing:

  • Be personalized, even if that is just a first name in the subject line. They haven’t heard from you in a while so you want to appear personal as If they were signing up for the first time. Remind them why they wanted to sign up in the first place!
  • Give them actionable content. Maybe they are receiving too many emails? Ask them to update their cadence preference, complete a feedback survey, or offer incentives such as a discount or upgrade.
  • You want to protect your deliverability when thinking about a win-back email or series. Over-emailing or sending large amounts of unengaged volume can lead to high spam complaints, blacklisting, and overall harm the future reputation of your email program. When you’re targeting your inactive subscribers, think of tactics to minimize reputation issues.
  • For example:
    • Segment your list! Pair your inactive subscribers with your engaged subscribers (ex. 75%/15% engaged vs. unengaged). Of course, the goal is to get them engaged with your program again but reputation is key. You want to approach it in a safe way that will not in turn harm reputation and make it difficult to reach those subscribers who already want to receive your content
    • ALWAYS make sure the unsubscribe is visible and easy to find
    • Think about running your list of inactive subscribers through a list cleansing service to remove any known bad addresses before you even hit the send button
    • And lastly, don’t be afraid to remove a subscriber if they don’t end up re-engaging, you want to send to subscribers who want your mail. If you continue to try and re-engage inactive subscribers you could potentially hurt your reputation

Nobody wants to devote their time and energy making an email, only to have it sit unseen in a junk folder.

Low deliverability results in fewer customers seeing your messages – resulting in less engagement and ultimately, fewer sales. We hope these tips designed to get better deliverability for your email marketing campaigns help you achieve the inbox placement you need to help your brand succeed!

~ SparkPost Deliverability experts, Scot Berggren, Hanna Cabanellas, Tracey Crawford, and Doug Turetzky