3 Email Deliverability Best Practices to Help You Improve Inbox Placement

Email Marketing

Deliverability is a hot topic that many marketers are still trying to wrap their heads around. Although the goal of placing emails in the inbox seems simple, there are several factors that influence deliverability — making it difficult for senders to even begin to assess how it applies to their own email marketing efforts.

In simplest terms, deliverability refers to the overall health of a sender’s email. Narrowing down on the true meaning of this term gets complicated, however, when you take into account that the health of your emails involves everything from delivery rate, inbox rate, and ROI from email — among many other factors.

While the term seems unnecessary complex, deliverability is a marketing essential that can’t be ignored. Further, it impacts our ability to do business in an environment where email marketing is more important than ever, especially when it comes to nurturing leads throughout the sales cycle. And with ISPs constantly changing the email landscape in an effort to eliminate spammers, ensuring inbox delivery requires us to follow best practices and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to new updates.

Today, we are going to take some of the mystery out of deliverability and equip you with a few practical tips to set you up for success. The following best practices will help you build a solid foundation for improved deliverability, helping you get your messages in front of your audience.

Design Your Emails to Be Mobile-Friendly

Most consumers and businesses view their email on their mobile devices. ISPs have noted this preference and are now quick to reject your emails or send them to the spam folder they are not mobile-friendly. Therefore, ensuring that your email can be viewed across a variety of devices and email platforms is an important step toward achieving good deliverability. The right marketing automation platform can help you guarantee your email is easy to read regardless of the device or ISP used by your recipient. Act-On, for example, has a variety of easy-to-use responsive email templates, making it so that you don’t have to know HTML to ensure your message can be viewed across an array of devices. Additionally, our platform uses Litmus to help you see how your email renders on desktop and mobile (and in different email readers), helping you ensure your message is good to go before hitting “Send.”

Ensure Your Emails Are Optimized for the Inbox

Content and design also play an important role in the overall deliverability of your emails. After all, your recipients aren’t the only individuals who view your messages. ISPs, such as Google, scan your emails to make sure they fit certain criteria before they can make it to the inbox. These include design and content elements such as a clear and visible CTAs, alt-text, and copy that resonates with the interest of your recipient.

While these strategies won’t guarantee 100% inbox placement, ensuring your emails conform to the following best practices will help get your message in front of the right audience:  

  1. The recipients of this email are targeted for this message
  2. This email is part of a strategy
  3. The subject line is clear and concise and conveys the who, what, where, when, why, and how (whenever applicable)
  4. The email has a clear call to action that results in a click
  5. All links work and lead to secure sites
  6. All pictures have alt-text
  7. The email renders on mobile and the majority of email applications

If your emails meet the criteria above, they’re far less likely to be filtered out or lost in the clutter.  These tips also improve the look, feel, and readability of your emails, which ultimately enables you to improve engagement and conversions.

Always Use Quality Data and Maintain Good Email Hygiene

Previously, companies could purchase lists with very few repercussions, but those days are gone forever. Nowadays, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re collecting quality data and your lists are as clean as possible, which means your recipients are opting in to receive communications from you and that you are collecting valid email addresses.

At Act-On, we take data and email hygiene very seriously. At the end of the day, we want our customers to get results from their marketing, and improving their email deliverability and ensuring they don’t gain a bad email reputation is an important part of doing that. That is why we provide a variety of landing page and form templates that allow customers to easily acquire user information and consent to send all in one place. Our platform also integrates with NeverBounce so that Act-On users can review their lists, make sure all their emails are valid, and reduce the number of hard bouncebacks.

With an array of privacy regulations (such as GDPR) being developed, implemented, and enforced all over the world, it’s in your best interest to ensure you have permission to send and are sending to active email addresses. Further, taking the extra step to gain permission to send emails to your contacts will result in better and more engaged leads, so the work involved in maintaining your lists is really a blessing in disguise.

If you want to learn more about how you can ensure quality data and email hygiene, check out the latest in our deliverability eBook series, Improve Email Deliverability with Quality Data and Email Hygiene.

Stay Ahead of The Game to Ensure Your Messages Reach the Inbox

Deliverability is constantly changing, so it’s in your best interest to stay on top of trends and make sure you are always following best practices. Doing so will set you up for success today and help you avoid having to put out any fires in the future.

This post just begins to cover the basics of what you can do to ensure maximum deliverability rates. We invite you to take a more in-depth view into deliverability and how you can set your company up for success by downloading our Deliverability 101 series, written by Act-On’s very own deliverability consultants, linked below.