After all the sweat, blood, and tears you gave to craft a valuable email for your subscribers, it’s finally time to hit the send button. But, after you send them, a large chunk of your subscribers end up not getting it. Can you even imagine the horror?
Bounced emails aren’t a new kid on the block when it comes to email marketing. Whether your subscribers no longer have access to their emails or the email server is under construction, it happens.
The higher the email bounce rate you have, the higher chances it’ll hurt your email deliverability. According to a study, the accepted benchmark for email bounce rate is around two percent. It means for every 100 emails you send, it’s normal to see two emails be returned to you. Meanwhile, if you see your email bounce rate is over five percent, it’s time to bring that number down to a healthier range by taking some actions.
Fortunately, reducing the email bounce rate doesn’t have to be a head-scratcher. Here are some powerful ways to make sure your emails land smoothly in your subscribers’ inboxes.
1. Update and Clean Your Email List Regularly
One of the most common reasons your emails bounce is that a subscriber no longer has access to the email account. In this situation, you can avoid it by updating your email list regularly. It doesn’t mean that you have to remove email addresses from that list and build a new one from scratch regularly.
It’s about getting rid of inactive users and subscribers who never opened your emails to keep your list healthy and active. This way, it’d be much easier for you to focus on the subscribers who really have an interest in your brand and email campaigns. Below are some handy ways to constantly update and clean your email list:
- Request feedback on every email you send so you know which email address worth keeping in
- Ask your subscribers to let you know if anything changes with polls or forms.
- Request another opt-in for the least-engaged subscribers.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe so the unengaged subscribers won’t have to report your emails because the process is too difficult.
2. Avoid Alerting the Dreaded Spam Filter
A report shows that 80 percent of daily emails are spam, resulting in an estimated 140 billion spam emails sent every single day. So, it should come as no surprise that your bounced emails end up in subscribers’ spam folders. The reason is that the spam filter detected your emails as spam and might even unconsciously be falling into them.
Without you even knowing, you might’ve included some content or even phrases on your emails that trigger the spam filter to identify you as a spammer. Broken images, too many links, inappropriate terms can easily put the spam detector on red alert. Emails that are poorly structured and have terrible formatting can also end up in the spam folder.
Here are some actionable tips to prevent emails from going to spam and maximize your email deliverability:
- Use a trusted IP address to send your emails.
- Always warm up a new IP address slowly with a low send volume before sending many emails at once with it.
- Pay attention to your email format, content, and layout. Always avoid including spam-related elements and try not to put all the content in one email.
3. Use Your Verified Own-Custom Domain
Consider investing in an own-custom domain that represents your organization and avoid using free domains like Gmail or Yahoo. Not only does custom domain make you more professional and authoritative, but it also helps you tell the receiving email server that you’re a legitimate sender — which can make it easier for your emails to reach subscribers’ inboxes.
After you get your own custom domain, it’s crucial to authenticate or verify it. Domain authentication helps you verify that the domain used in your email address is all under your control. That way, it can prevent others from sending emails on behalf of you without your permission, helping you protect your subscribers from phishing scams, attacks, and spammers.
There are three primary methods of email authentication to reduce your bounce rate:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF). It’s a mechanism that specifies specific servers/ hosts authorized to send an email for a domain on your behalf.
- Domain Key Identified Mail (DKIM). It uses an encrypted signature to verify if the email sender is who they say they are. It also gives the key to the recipient to check back your DNS records.
- Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC). It compiles the signals from SPF and DKIM to accurately identify whether an email is authorized or not.
4. Rely on A/B Split Testing
Not all emails perform and are created the same. Some of your emails might give you a better result than others. That’s why you need to test out which subject lines, CTA buttons, email copy, content your subscribers engaged in the most with A/B split testing.
To do an A/B split testing, you should create two versions of an email to see which one performs best and see if it helps you reduce your bounce rate at all. With the comparison, you’ll get solid insight into which areas you need to double down on or need some improvements in.
Here are some elements you need to pay attention to while performing A/B testing so you can steadily improve your email quality and minimize the bounce rate:
- The length of subject lines
- Word order
- Email content
- Visual content (including infographics, photos, explainer videos, etc.)
- Call-to-actions buttons or text
Wrapping Up: Keep Track of Your Email Bounce Rate and Deliverability
A higher email bounce rate won’t only hurt your overall email deliverability but also hurt your reputation as a sender. If you don’t pay closer attention to your email bounce rate and deliverability, you’ll see a decrease in engagement levels, open rates, lower click-through rates — which all can lead to a lower number of sales.
Hopefully, the best practices mentioned above give you an understanding of how to create emails that reach your subscribers’ inboxes so you can reap all the benefits you deserve from your email marketing campaigns. Best of luck with your next email marketing campaign!
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
What Not to do in Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the best ways to speak directly to your audience. You can build a relationship with them and create loyal customers. It is also a great way to generate traffic to your website, increase leads, and execute large campaigns.
With all of the benefits that your company can gain from email marketing, it’s no wonder that 64% of small businesses engage in email marketing. However, there are still a few important things to keep in mind. In order to be successful, you should avoid these 4 mistakes explained by 97 Switch when preparing an email marketing campaign.
Talk About Yourself
Many companies fall into the trap of only talking about themselves. They assume that since their audience signed up for emails, they want to hear all about the company and the sales. While marketing your products or services is important to do sometimes, your audience is still looking for value.
Failing to foster a relationship with them by being too sales-y will lead to unsubscribers and a loss of potential customers.
Instead, it’s important to give the audience something in return for their loyalty. Exclusive deals and sales codes are appreciated, but they also want to see educational or entertaining content in their inbox.
One way to do this is by creating content such as “you asked, we delivered” or “your questions answered” to show that you care about your customers and the feedback they give you, and it builds trust.
It’s also important to speak your audience’s language. Sometimes, companies get too caught up in trying to sound professional and impressive and end up using jargon that’s hard to understand.
Using more simple ways to get your message across is imperative, as it makes the email easier to consume and thus more valuable.
Email Without a Purpose
While building relationships with your customers is one of the main goals of email marketing, you should keep in mind that they don’t want to hear from your company just for the sake of connecting.
Ensure that you have a clear purpose for each email you send, whether that be to inform, entertain, or motivate.
Being intentional about when to reach out includes sending timely emails. You should respond to relevant industry, company, or world news in a timely manner. Readers would find you reminding them about the last day of a sale important, and that qualifies as a purposeful email.
Part of proceeding with a clear purpose is also including a call to action in your emails. Your readers want to know exactly what you’re asking of them, and making it simple is the best way to get it. Beware of including too many calls to action, as it can be more confusing and seem more selfish than helpful.
Personalization is one of the greatest strengths of email marketing, yet it is often overlooked. Simply including first names in an email makes it sound more personal and builds stronger relationships. This can easily be achieved using an email scheduling tool such as Mailchimp. Again, this is a way to build customer relationships. Research shows that using someone’s name in the subject line increases open rates by 26%. Be that as it may, personalization is more than just plugging in names.
Using an email marketing tool is also an easy way to utilize the segmentation aspect of personalization. By separating your audience into groups, you can categorize what they would each be most interested to hear from you.
It has been shown that segmented campaigns perform better than non-segmented campaigns. An example of this is categorizing your readers as beginners, intermediate, or advanced knowledge of your industry. Based on this category, you can send each segment a different email that would pertain to them more specifically.
Your readers will appreciate that your content is tailored to their needs. Imagine sending a beginner an email that skips over the basics of a process. They would be confused and find it very unhelpful.
Now imagine an expert who is wasting time reading the basics that they know by heart. They would become frustrated and lose interest in finishing the email. These are just two examples of using segmentation to better serve your audience.
Use Poor Subject Lines
Often, people will decide whether to open an email at all based on the subject line alone. A mistake that marketers tend to make is wording the subject in a way that sounds like spam, and thus never gets opened or reaches the audience.
As we mentioned before, it is also helpful to include someone’s name in the subject line. While it might seem like a shot in the dark to form an effective subject, there are a few tips for the best open rates you can achieve.
A good subject line should be short. The ideal length for a subject is 7 words, based on a study conducted by Marketo.
However, you also want to make it interesting so that people are curious and want to know more. This curiosity is enough to encourage people to read the email.
However, you want to avoid click-baiting your readers with interesting subject lines that have nothing to do with the content in the email. Make sure that your subject is also relevant to what you have to say. Otherwise, you will have the opposite effect you’d intended by destroying trust and losing credibility.
Simply sending out random emails is not enough to see results. You have to stick to a schedule that your readers can count on and know when to expect to hear from you in their inbox.
The frequency can vary based on your industry and from business to business, but emailing at least once a month is recommended. The more you email, the more you will be on the top of potential customers’ minds when they need what you offer.
That being said, you shouldn’t always assume more contact is better. If your company emails are flooding their inbox, you can bet that they will either block the sender or unsubscribe from future emails. Finding a balance is key to seeing the best results from your campaigns.
You should also consider the brand voice that you are using to speak to your customers. If your emails all sound like they were written by different people, then it’s hard to gain the brand-strengthening benefits of email marketing. It is also confusing to your audience and makes it harder for them to connect with the company.
A good way to remedy this is to create a company persona, where you give a personality to the company that is sending the emails.
Are you funny and witty, or are you serious and somber? Consider strengthening your branding within the company before communicating it with the world.
You can’t expect to be perfect at email marketing, so don’t get discouraged if you find that you have made these mistakes. There is always room for improvements, and every so often it’s a good idea to evaluate how your email marketing campaigns are going.
Using analytics to track your results and adjusting your strategy will help you grow as you fix any mistakes you might be making.
By taking the time to improve your strategy, you will see the success that can carry across all your marketing efforts.
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