Sending emails is not an exact science and several factors can cause you to, sometimes, face some deliverability problems.
Here, we will speak about some of the reasons you might have deliverability issues and we will also offer you our solutions and best practices. When applying these solutions, please bear in mind that the improvements will not be felt overnight, and may take a significant amount of time before they produce satisfying results.
- Spam Inbox
- You have engagement issues
- You are sending to spam traps
- Your contacts are complaining about unwanted emails
How to Fix These Issues?
1. Spam Inbox
Your emails may be ending up in the spam folder if you see the following cases:
- low open rates compared to the average open rate, or
- large deviations between mail provider for the same campaign,
- Low open rate and low bounce rate
- Decrease open rate overtime on the same provider
To fix this scenario, you will need to rebuild your reputation with the mail provider that is showing you some of the problems above.
As a first step to prevent further problems, you need to exclude all contacts from the affected domains from your everyday marketing campaigns and set up a different approach only for those contacts. In order to understand why the ISP filters your emails you can check the following:
- Have you sent high volumes to non-engaged contacts for that domain?
- Have you changed the sending volume to that domain and.or campaigns?
- Are you getting a high number of bounces from that domain?
- Do you have complaints coming from that domain?
If your answer is yes to any of the above questions, you can formulate a strategy to win back the trust of your contacts – and with this the trust of the ISP.
2. You have engagement issues
As a general rule of thumb, your reputation can be improved if you focus on your contacts who are already engaged. Create a segment that contains all contacts from a particular domain who have responded to any of your marketing emails in the past 90 days. Anyone else from the same domain should be excluded until you gain back your reputation. Once you see your open rates improving, you can increase the target segment. For example, you can modify the segment criteria to contain all contacts who have engaged with your emails in the last 180 days. Once your reputation is back to normal, you can start sending again without strict exclusions.
3. You are sending to spam traps
The other reason for being put into spam folders is if you send to spam traps. There are two types of spam traps:
- Recycled email addresses – Recycled spam traps are email addresses that once belonged to an actual person but have been abandoned for a while. ISPs turn these mailboxes into spam traps, which means that the mailbox still exists (so you will not see any bounces), but belong to the ISP rather than to a person. They are used to catch senders that do not use industry best practices such as keeping a healthy database by regularly removing bounced or non-engaged contacts.
- Artificial email addresses – ISPs and spam blocklist providers also create their own fake email accounts that have never belonged to any person (and have therefore never subscribed to any marketing mailing). These are meant to catch senders that buy address lists.
How to fix it?
The best solution to avoid Spam Traps is to add an email validation tool, a captcha, and, where possible, a Double Opt-in for your acquisition process. You should also cleanse your database regularly and, of course, send to contacts that are active/engaged with your program. This way you avoid sending to old/bad data.
4. Your contacts are complaining about unwanted emails
If you are constantly sending unwanted emails to your contacts, at some point they will be so frustrated that they will complain about you. Once someone hits the “Report as spam” button the ISP will bounce the message before it reaches the inbox or it will be marked as spam and be placed on the spam folder. A spam complaint rate above 0.2% is considered high.
If you want to regain your good reputation, your first task is to have a clear overview of how you capture and manage contact data, especially on the opt-in process. Once these workflows are clear and regular checks are set up, you can move forward to improve your content.