Cold Email Deliverability Best Practices: How to Get Your Message into Inboxes

Cold Email Deliverability Best Practices: How to Get Your Message into Inboxes

Email deliverability is something that B2B marketers should know a lot about, but often don’t. After all, how often do you think about what happens between hitting “send” on an email, and when it lands in the recipient’s inbox? Being able to successfully deliver email campaigns is crucial for successful digital marketing. If you’re not sure how to make that happen, don’t worry. Here are some best practices that will help you maximize your deliverability.

Use a Quality List

Your campaigns can only be successful if you’re using a high-quality list of contacts. But what does that mean? How do you know if you have a list of good-quality contacts? Well, that’s tricky to answer as there are several layers you need to go through before obtaining a high-quality list.

The adage, ‘you get what you pay for’ comes to mind. Just like a pair of sneakers, one that costs $40 may last you a few months. Alternatively, a pair that you pay over $100 for could last you years (depending on your usage).

However, before picking out new runners you likely have a checklist of questions: Are they made for walking or running? Do they have good support? What do they look like? Are they available in your size? These are appropriate questions to ask before making a purchase. Depending on the answers, you may decide a certain sneaker is not the right fit. (Pun Intended).

The same holds true for a list of contacts. Not all lists are made the same. Poor quality lists that aren’t sourced from reputable data providers can be (and often are) full of bad addresses. That’s emails that don’t exist at all, spam traps, and other addresses you don’t want to send to.

Sender Reputation

If you go ahead and send to that list anyway, you’re going to damage your sender reputation – and, even worse, run the risk of being blacklisted.  Sending emails to too many of these types of email addresses will likely get you a high bounce rate, which can lower your sender score and tarnish your IP reputation.  It’s also not email deliverability best practices. And it definitely won’t get your email in the inbox.

Landing on a blacklist is a death sentence for email campaigns, especially in the cold email marketing space.

So what’s the difference? What makes one list better than another?

Bad lists are assembled via scraping, which is the use of software to search the internet for email addresses. When a potential email address is found, the software collects that address (or “scrapes” it).

Scraped addresses are unreliable at best, with no way of knowing whether it’s a spam trap or even a real address at all.

Reputable providers don’t do that. Instead, they build their lists over time by aggregating real data. The result is a list that’s much more trustworthy and reliable.  They are more expensive, but the output from the transaction is worth it. After all, ‘you get what you pay for’.

Clean and Verify Your List

The next step is to clean and verify every contact on your list. You might be wondering “why?” If you went through the trouble of getting a good list from a reputable provider, shouldn’t it be ready to go?

Unfortunately, not. Every email list – even a totally opted-in list of newsletter subscribers – decays over time. People change jobs, for example. Sometimes addresses are repurposed as spam traps, as well.

To net high results and follow email deliverability best practices, your list needs to be cleaned and verified to remove bad addresses.

Generally, list verification is a third-party service you need to purchase from another vendor.

But, if you use Clickback, your lists are put through a series of top-notch, robust cleansing, and verification checks. The result is a ready-to-use, CAN-SPAM, and GDPR-compliant list of sendable contacts. And it’s already baked into the monthly price of your subscription.

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Create Filter-Friendly Content

Today’s spam filters are very advanced and very good at catching spammy messages and sentencing them to the junk folder.

The obvious solution is “don’t write spammy messages”, right? Yes, but that’s harder than you might think. So, you may ask, how do I ensure I’m following email deliverability best practices?

Well, spam filters are always on the lookout for indicators on whether an email gests put into the junk or the inbox. The problem is that because they’re so advanced, the list of those indicators is incredibly long. Therefore, you need to craft your content very carefully to avoid words, phrases, or formatting that looks like spam. However, the most important element is that you engage your contacts.  But what does that mean? Here’s an example. You spent a day and have written what you believe is a stellar email. It doesn’t have one spammy word in it.

But, for whatever reason, the email doesn’t resonate with your reader. You send out your campaign, and several of your recipients begin putting this email message into their spam folder. You start to see a high opt-out rate. They delete it without opening it. Or worse, they hit the ‘this is spam’ button and complain. These actions have now alerted the spam filters, not only to your message, but to your sending variables. They begin scrutinizing future emails that come from your IPs and/or domains.

They start to put all your emails sent off of those sending variables into the junk folder. And after a little while, you notice your results start to decline. And all this time you thought you were following email deliverability best practices.

Spam Trigger Words

You thought it was obvious by avoiding words such as “Free!!!” or “Buy Now!!” in your content.

However, with hundreds and hundreds of potential spam trigger words and phrases, avoiding them all is tough and memorizing them all is impossible.

The best solution is to create content that resonates with your reader and send your campaigns using software that remembers the types of spam words you should avoid.

Clickback’s email editor has a built-in real-time spam checker that audits your content for you, and notifies you of any content or formatting that could negatively impact your deliverability.

Don’t Oversend

Contact engagement plays a big role in generating results. It’s also one of the core email deliverability best practices that you should focus on as low engagement can impact your sender score.

Many marketers are inclined to send campaigns as often as they can, aiming to generate as many leads as possible.

The problem with that is that if you inundate your contacts with emails, they’re going to begin opting out in large numbers. You might even start getting reported as spam – and that’s really not going to do your deliverability any favors.

It pays to follow email sending frequency best practices instead. In general, once per week is a good place to start – but even that may be too much. Keep a close eye on how your contacts engage with your campaigns and dial down your send frequency if you need to.

Use the Right Software

If you want your cold campaigns delivered safely, securely and reliably, send them using Clickback’s Email Lead Generation software. It offers best-in-class deliverability, built-in list verification, powerful contact management and much more.

See it in action with a 1:1 live demo.

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