5 Steps to improve deliverability of your emails (Guest article from digital agency Pancentric)

This month he kindly shares five top tips to help you to improve the deliverability of your email campaigns.

1. Know your sender reputation
Your sender reputation is a key factor in determining your email deliverability. Every marketer has a sender reputation based on a variety of factors, including complaint rates, list quality and infrastructure.  Your sender score will determine whether or not your email will get delivered to the inbox, junk folder or not at all. Visit www.SenderScore.org to find out what yours is (for free).

2. Encourage contacts to ‘white list’ you
Spam filters do their best to block unwanted mail but they can also stand in the way of genuine email communications, including yours!  One counter-measure is to encourage your contacts to white list you. Try adding a ‘white-list us’ link to your emails that takes people to simple ‘how to’ instructions.

Beyond this, also keep a close watch on email addresses that aren't responding - you might be able to spot problem domains and then contact the domain owner to get white listed.

3. Rescue valuable contacts - review your bounces
When did you last check through your bounced email addresses? Potentially valuable contacts may be bouncing simply because you have their address slightly wrong. Getting rid of the dead wood also tightens up the performance of your list and can reduce the risks of being blacklisted.

4. HTML vs. plain text
HTML emails allow you to incorporate images and graphics to create a more appealing and stimulating format for the reader. However, some recipients may not accept HTML emails and some may not even open them as it's possible to hide viruses within the email code.  Always include a plain text version to maximise your chances of deliverability.

5. Write attention-grabbing subject lines, but avoid these words!
If your subject line is uninteresting it will not get opened.  Worse, seemingly innocent words can trigger spam filters sending your email straight to the junk box. Avoid using words like:
• free
• offer 
• help 
• percentage off
• reminder

Instead, communicate as clearly as possible what is inside the email, without giving it all away so the reader still feels compelled to open it.

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