Email deliverability is a critical element of email marketing success. If your emails don’t get delivered, no one will ever read them! To help ensure that your emails reach your customers' inboxes, it’s important to be aware of the common mistakes that can hurt your email deliverability. From failing to implement spam filters correctly to not cleaning your email list regularly, these mistakes can have a significant impact on your reputation and your bottom line. In this blog post, we'll discuss 10 of the most common mistakes that lead to poor email deliverability, and how to avoid them.

1) Not Using a Confirmed Opt-In Process

One common mistake that can hurt your email deliverability is not using a confirmed opt-in process. This means that you're not verifying that the email addresses you collect are valid and that the people who sign up for your list actually want to receive your emails. Without a confirmed opt-in process, you risk sending emails to people who didn't ask for them, which can lead to higher unsubscribe rates and lower engagement.

But that's not all. ISPs use filters to identify and block spam, and one of the factors they look at is the source of the email addresses on your list. If your list includes a lot of invalid or unverified email addresses, it can harm your sender reputation, making it more difficult for your emails to reach your subscribers' inboxes.

By implementing a confirmed opt-in process, you're ensuring that your subscribers are genuinely interested in receiving your emails. This not only helps improve engagement and reduces unsubscribe rates, but it also ensures that your emails are being sent to valid email addresses, which can improve your sender reputation.

To implement a confirmed opt-in process, you can use a double opt-in method. This means that when someone signs up for your list, they receive a confirmation email asking them to confirm their subscription. Once they click the confirmation link, they're added to your list. This helps ensure that the email address is valid, and that the person wants to receive your emails.

Another important step in ensuring deliverability is to regularly check your DNS (Domain Name System) records. This is a crucial part of email authentication, which confirms that the emails you send are coming from a legitimate source. Checking your DNS records helps you identify any issues with your authentication and encryption settings that may be hurting your deliverability.

A confirmed opt-in process and regularly checking your DNS records, you can take important steps to improve your email deliverability. This can lead to higher engagement rates, more satisfied subscribers, and ultimately, greater success for your email campaigns.

2) Poor List Management Practices

One of the most common mistakes that can hurt your email deliverability is poor list management practices. When you fail to maintain a clean and well-segmented email list, your messages are more likely to be marked as spam or filtered out by ISPs.

One issue with poor list management is that it can result in a high bounce rate. When you send emails to invalid or outdated email addresses, they will bounce back to you, indicating that the email is undeliverable. This not only wastes your time and resources, but it can also negatively impact your sender reputation and cause ISPs to view you as a spammer.

Another problem with poor list management is that it can lead to low engagement rates. When you send messages to uninterested or inactive subscribers, they are less likely to open, click, or interact with your emails. This can trigger spam filters and harm your overall deliverability.

To avoid poor list management practices, you should regularly clean and update your email list, remove inactive subscribers, and segment your audience based on their interests, preferences, or behaviour. You should also avoid purchasing or renting email lists, as this can lead to a higher risk of spam complaints and blacklisting.

By having good list management practices, you can improve your email deliverability and ensure that your messages reach the inbox of your intended recipients.

3) Not Segmenting Your Email List

One of the biggest mistakes that email marketers make is not segmenting their email list. It's a common belief that sending the same email to everyone on the list will work best, but that's far from the truth. Segmenting your email list is all about targeting the right audience with the right message. By dividing your email list into groups based on various demographics and interests, you can create more targeted and personalised content. This will help increase the likelihood of your emails being opened and engaged with.

For instance, let's say you're running an online store that sells clothes for both men and women. You wouldn't want to send the same email promotion to both men and women because their preferences and interests are different. Instead, you should segment your email list by gender and send targeted emails to each group.

Another example of email list segmentation is by location. If you're a restaurant owner with multiple locations, you can segment your email list based on the location of your subscribers. This allows you to send location-specific promotions and offers, which will increase the relevance and effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Segmenting your email list can also help you improve your email deliverability. By sending more relevant and targeted content to your subscribers, you're less likely to be marked as spam. This can improve your sender reputation score and increase the chances of your emails landing in the inbox rather than the spam folder.

4) Sending Emails Without Testing Them First

We all know that sinking feeling when we realise we've sent out an email with a typo, a broken link, or some other glaring mistake. Not only is it embarrassing, but it can also hurt your email deliverability. When you send an email with a mistake, your subscribers are less likely to engage with it, and this can hurt your sender's reputation.

The solution? Always test your emails before you hit send. This means sending a test email to yourself and a few colleagues to check for any errors or formatting issues. You should also preview your email on different devices and email clients to make sure it looks good across the board.

In addition to checking for mistakes, testing your emails can also help you optimise your subject lines and email content. By sending out test emails with different subject lines or content variations, you can see which ones get the best response rates and use this data to improve your future campaigns.

So don't skip the testing phase – it's an important step in ensuring your emails are error-free, engaging, and have the best chance of making it to your subscribers' inboxes.

5) Ignoring Your Sender Reputation Score

One important factor in email deliverability is your sender's reputation score. This score is based on a variety of factors, such as how often your emails are marked as spam, how many people unsubscribe from your emails, and whether your emails are being opened and engaged with. Ignoring your sender's reputation score can be a big mistake that can harm your email deliverability.

To monitor your sender reputation score, you can use tools like Sender Score or Return Path. These tools provide valuable insights into your sender reputation score and can help you identify any issues that may be affecting your email deliverability. If your score is low, you should take steps to improve it, such as reducing the number of emails you send, segmenting your email list more effectively, or improving your email content.

In addition, it's important to remember that your sender reputation score is not just about your emails. It's also affected by your website and social media presence, so you should make sure that you are maintaining a positive online presence overall. This means regularly updating your website and social media accounts, engaging with your followers, and avoiding any spammy or suspicious activity.

Overall, ignoring your sender's reputation score is a big mistake that can seriously harm your email deliverability. By monitoring your score and taking steps to improve it, you can ensure that your emails are reaching your subscribers' inboxes and achieving their intended purpose.

6) Using Misleading or Spammy Subject Lines

We've all received emails with subject lines that promise something amazing, only to find out that it was just clickbait. Not only is this a frustrating experience for the recipient, but it's also damaging to your email deliverability.

Using misleading or spammy subject lines can make your emails look untrustworthy and result in your messages being marked as spam. This can impact your sender's reputation and hurt your ability to get your emails into the inboxes of your subscribers.

Make sure that they accurately describe the content of your email. Avoid using exaggerated claims or clickbait phrases that are designed to get clicks, but ultimately leave the recipient disappointed. Be clear and concise about what your email is about, and make sure the subject line is relevant to the content inside.

In addition to avoiding spammy subject lines, you should also pay attention to the other elements of your email that may trigger spam filters. For example, avoid using too many images or certain words that are commonly associated with spam.

By taking a thoughtful approach to your email subject lines and avoiding the temptation to be misleading, you can build trust with your subscribers and improve your email deliverability over time.

7) Sending Emails Too Frequently or Infrequently

Finding the right balance for how often you send emails can be tricky, but it's important to get it right. Sending too many emails can lead to recipients becoming annoyed and unsubscribing while sending too few can result in them forgetting about your brand altogether.

If you're sending too many emails, it can be helpful to ask yourself if all of them are necessary. Are you sending out promotions too frequently, or are your newsletters too long? It's also important to make sure that you're sending emails at appropriate times - for example, avoid sending emails during the early morning or late night hours when people may be less likely to check their inbox.

On the other hand, if you're not sending emails often enough, your subscribers may lose interest. Consider setting a schedule for sending emails, whether it's weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. It's also important to make sure that you're sending valuable content, so your subscribers look forward to hearing from you.

By finding the right balance and sending emails at appropriate intervals, you can improve your email deliverability and keep your subscribers engaged.

8) Failing to Include an Unsubscribe Link

One of the most important things you can do to ensure good email deliverability is to make it easy for your recipients to unsubscribe from your emails. While it might seem counterintuitive to encourage people to leave your email list, it’s better for your reputation as a sender if people unsubscribe rather than mark your emails as spam. If you don’t provide an easy way for people to unsubscribe, they may become frustrated and resort to marking your emails as spam, which can harm your sender reputation and reduce the likelihood that your emails will be delivered in the future.

To avoid this, always include a clear and easy-to-find unsubscribe link in every email you send. Many email marketing services will automatically include an unsubscribe link in the footer of your emails, but you should double-check to make sure it’s there and that it’s working properly. If you’re sending emails manually, be sure to include an unsubscribe link yourself.

Keep in mind that you’re legally required to include an unsubscribe link in every commercial email you send, so failing to do so can also get you in trouble with the law. Including an unsubscribe link isn’t just good practice, it’s essential for maintaining a healthy email list and good sender reputation.

9) Using the correct DNS records on your domain

Many people don't realise the importance of having the correct DNS records set up for their domain. DNS stands for Domain Name System, and it is what allows your email to be delivered to your recipients. The DNS records act as a map, telling email servers where to send your emails.

If your DNS records aren't set up correctly, your emails may not even make it to your recipients' inboxes. Instead, they could get marked as spam or blocked altogether.

To avoid this, it's important to check that your DNS records are set up correctly. One of the key things to check is that your domain's MX records are pointing to the correct email server. If they're not, your emails will fail to deliver.

Additionally, it's important to set up your SPF and DKIM records. These are two types of email authentication that help prevent spam and phishing attempts. By setting up these records correctly, you can increase your email deliverability and improve your sender reputation score.

If you're not sure how to check or set up your DNS records correctly, it's worth reaching out to your domain registrar or hosting provider for assistance. Alternatively, there are also many online resources and guides available to help you.

Overall, taking the time to ensure your DNS records are set up correctly is an important step in improving your email deliverability. By doing so, you can increase the chances of your emails reaching your intended audience and achieving the desired results.

10) Neglecting Email Authentication and Encryption

When it comes to email deliverability, neglecting email authentication and encryption can be a major issue. Email authentication is the process of verifying that an email message is coming from the sender it claims to be from, while email encryption ensures that the message content is kept private and secure.

Without email authentication, spammers can easily send emails pretending to be someone else, which can damage your sender's reputation and ultimately hurt your deliverability. Encryption, on the other hand, can help protect your emails from interception or tampering.

To ensure your emails are properly authenticated and encrypted, make sure you have the appropriate authentication protocols set up on your email server. It can be something like sender policies, SPF, DMARC and DKIM.

Additionally, consider using secure email protocols such as Transport Layer Security (TLS) or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) to encrypt your emails in transit. By taking these steps to authenticate and encrypt your emails, you can help improve your email deliverability and protect your brand's reputation.

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