List Building – Delivery Rates

Here’s a little underestimated topic–the deliverability of your email campaign. It’s a wonder that some people pay little attention or no attention to this at all. Maybe it’s one of those “out of sight, out of mind” things, but it really shouldn’t be. Imagine if you sent out a message or newsletter to 100 email address and it only reached 75% of them? You now have 25 people not getting your message.

So what keeps 25 valid email addresses from receiving your message? SPAM filters are the number one reason. Another would be IP address blacklisting. It could even be whether you’re sending attachments with your email. Of course, if you have a list with some invalid email addresses, that’s a whole other issue! Let’s breakdown some of these email issues:

Invalid email addresses

List pruning is an important task and should be done periodically to ensure that you’re not sending emails to people who don’t want it, making sure that you’re not using excessive system resources and also to keep an updated count of your active list.

Better yet, let the users prune themselves! If you’re users signed up one month, but lost interest the next, they would be happy to know that you don’t have them jumping through hoops to try and get their email address off your list. This is one less thing to worry about if you’re using an email provider such as Aweber because they follow anti-spam laws to a “T”, therefore all of your messages will provide instructions on how users can unsubscribe.

SPAM filters

A lot of people have spam filters, but some may not even know they’re there and some might not have control over what comes in. The point here is not to force your users to try and find out ways to sneak your emails past the guards, but to ensure your emails are designed properly so they can get to the inbox without trouble. Have you ever been to a website that tells you how to subscribe to their newsletter and then somewhere on the same page, they tell you that before you can get anything, you need to make sure such-and-such email address in on your whitelist?

How often do you continue with that subscription and do you even remember to add the right email address? Don’t put this type of stuff in your user’s hands. They want access to your information and they want it fast and easy. The moment you let this fact out of your head is the moment you lose readers.

IP address blacklisting

If you’re not using an email service provider, you’re likely sending emails from your own system(s). Be careful as some ISPs and webhosts don’t allow the sending of mass emails over their networks. This can cause your IP address to be banned on certain ports or worse, you can be placed on worldwide spam lists. To check your IP address, you can visit some (or all) of these blacklists:

More information on how to remove an IP from these lists can be found on each page.

Attachments

Don’t send people attachments if you can help it! Even if they’ve purchased or requested something downloadable, don’t attach it. Make it accessible to download from your server and then link to it in your email. Attachments don’t always make it on the other site. Some users have automatic attachment removals, some send all emails with attachments to the trash and sometimes attachments can get corrupted.

So, unless you’re communicating with someone one-on-one, try not to attach any files.

Frequency

One sure way to increase delivery rates is to let your readers know when to expect your email(s). This way they can look for it and if it did happen to end up in the spam folder, they can make adjustments on their own to ensure that won’t happen again.

Also, by telling a user when they should expect your mailings, they can get a better idea of the “value” in signing up for your mailing list.

Following the tips above will guarantee that your messages are delivered on-time and to the right people.

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