How To Get Real Results From Email List

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How to get real results from email list

How to reach your subscribers in Inbox and avoid the SPAM folder

in this article, I will tell you all you need to know about email deliverability and what you have to do to get your messages landing in the Inbox folder. 

Plus, I will show you how you can have 30% or more opening rates on your campaigns

When you play by the rules, your chances of success is almost guaranteed.

This is what you will learn today: 

How to play by the rules and improve your results with email. As I said, deliverability is a game of points and

email_deliverability

And here is where this gets really interesting:

When your subscriber finds your message on the spam folder and moves it to the Inbox or clicks

on the This is not spam button, you get a lot of points.

This means that if your campaigns are landing on the spam folder now and you start playing by the

rules as I will teach you, you can see your messages landing on the Inbox folder soon enough.

Now let's see how you lose points.

If you send a campaign to a big list, let's say ten thousand subscribers, and only a few of them open the message, you lose points.

This is very important: if your subscriber doesn't open your campaign, you lose points.

If your subscriber deletes your message before opening it, you lose points.

If your subscriber moves your message to the spam folder or click on the button "This is spam", you lose a lot of points.

The sender's identity is how your subscribers know that it's you sending messages to them.

Your subscribers must easily identify that the campaigns are coming from you.

Of course, I'm assuming that your email list has only subscribers that accepted to receive content from you.

If this is not the case, you can just throw your list away and start again.

Let me be very clear on this one: 

if you don't have an opt-in list, this means your subscribers didn't explicitly accept receiving emails from you, it means you are a spammer and nothing that I will teach you today will work for you. Unless. you delete your list and start one with real subscribers.

That said, how do your subscribers know that the messages are coming from you?

First, you must be consistent with your sending domain.

Unless your domain has a very bad reputation for sending spam, changing your sending domain to try to stop landing in the spam folder won't work.

Always send your campaigns from one domain, not multiple domains.

Your sender's reputation will be based on your sending domain, so keep the domain and work to improve its reputation. Your name or business name must be clear as the sender.

Consider creating profiles on Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Gravatar with your picture on it.

This way your messages will show your picture or logo when it lands in your subscriber inbox.

So, the first rule is: Keep your sender's identity consistent and clear

Second rule: Authentication.

Some people ask me why their campaigns are landing on the spam folder if their domain and message authentication is correct.

Authentication is important but the sender's reputation is much more. If your domain reputation is not good enough, doesn't matter if your domain configuration is right.

If your domain reputation is good, you can get to the inbox folder even if your domain and message authentication fails.

Remember: domain reputation is everything in this game.

But, of course, the right authentication helps a lot and can make a huge difference in how the providers see messages coming from your domain.

What are domain and message authentication?

There are 3 authentication mechanisms used by email providers to check if your message is legit.

By legit I mean: the message is coming from you, not from someone trying to look like you.

#The first important authentication method is the SPF.

The_first important authentication method is the SPF.

SPF is a record on your domain DNS that tells email providers which servers are authorized to send emails on your domain's behalf.

The most common mistakes we see on SPF records are not having all the authorized servers listed there, having a duplicated SPF record, or not having an SPF record at all.

Your email provider should give you what you need to put on your SPF record. Checking the SPF record is easy. You can use whatsmydns.net for that. 

Let's see an example.

whatsmydns


# The second important authentication method is the DKIM.

The_second important authentication method is the DKIM

Having a DKIM reinforces the message's origin by adding a layer of security to the message.

This layer of security prevents modifications to the original message by hackers, for example.

Again, your email provider should give you the record you must create on your DNS.

You can also use whatsmydns.net to check if the record is there.

Different from the SPF record, you can have more than one DKIM record since the identifiers

or hosts will be different.

# The last of the authentication methods is the DMARC.

The_last of the authentication methods is the DMARC

DMARC is a way of telling the email providers how they should handle your messages in case your SPF and DKIM fail.

DMARC is a bit complicated and you should keep it as your email provider told you to.

Your DMARC record should be something like this:

DMARC

To test if your domain and message authentication is OK, you can use a tool like Inboxpath:

Or you can use this trick:

Use a Gmail account you own and send a test campaign to this account.

If you don't have an email from Gmail, it's easy to create one.

After sending the campaign, find it (Inbox, Spam, Promotion Tab)

Open the campaign Click on the 3 dots on the upper right side of your screen Click on show original

Click on show original


Here you will have all 3 authentication mechanisms and the result of each one.

all 3 authentication mechanisms


This message has all the authentication methods working fine.

This one from another sender has only the SPF working. The other 2 authentication methods are missing.

ONLY SPF

 

Sometimes, instead of not showing here, the message will be that the authentication has failed.

See, this is a fast way of checking your domain and message authentication.

So, we have Sender's identity - your subscribers must identify that the messages are coming from you.

And... domain and message authentication - you must make sure you have SPF, DKIM, and DMARC in place and working.

Now let's talk about the most important rule of this game.

If you want to win the game and get to the inbox folder all the time, even when you don't follow

the other rule, you must work with a responsive email list.

If you don't know what a responsive list is, it's a list that gives you, at least, 20% opening rates

when you send a campaign.

The ideal opening rate is 40% or more.

If you don't have this level of opening rates with  your campaigns, you are doing something wrong.

These are the main reasons for low opening rates:

These_are_the_main_reasons_for_low_opening_rates_

Do you think there is something important out of this list of reasons for low opening rates?

Do you think your subscribers are not opening your campaigns because they are receiving them in the spam folder?

I know. This is a very good excuse, actually, but not a reason for your subscribers not opening your campaigns.

Why?

Because if your content is good and if your list is expecting to receive content from you, your

subscribers will open your campaigns no matter if they land on the spam folder, promotions tab, or whatever.

What can you do if you have low opening rates with your current subscriber's list?

Simple. Extract only those subscribers that opened your last 5 or 6 campaigns from your list and create a new one.

All the subscribers that didn't open your campaigns, you just delete them.

These subscribers that don't interact with your campaigns are hurting your business.

They are preventing the ones that want to receive your content from receiving your campaigns in their inbox folder.

If you have a list with ten thousand subscribers and only two or three hundred are opening your campaigns, you are playing against yourself. If you keep doing this, the situation will only get worse, believe me.

Another question I receive a lot is about single or double opt-in. Some say that with a single opt-in they get a lot more subscribers.

Yep. Bad subscribers. And we go back to what I just said about subscribers that don't open your campaigns.

The real game here is quality, not quantity.

Unless you're running some very specific kind of a campaign that requires the use of a single opt-in list, always go with double opt-in. You will get a lot more with fewer subscribers.

Let's talk about the last rule of the deliverability game: Content

Sometimes it takes only one word on the subject or body of your campaign to receive a red flag from a spam filter of an email provider. You must be very careful about the content you send to your subscribers.

These are some things to avoid:

These_are some things to avoid

- Don't use big brand names, especially on the subject - I've seen a lot of people using Netflix and PayPal on the subject. These are used by scammers to steal passwords and money. Your message is almost guaranteed to go to the spam folder.

- Don't use link shorteners - link shorteners like bit.ly are associated with email senders trying to obfuscate dangerous links.

- Don't send images with a lot of text inside spammers try to hide spammy words inside images and the providers are aware of it.

- Avoid words and phrases related to make money online, cryptocurrency, and so on. If you're in the making money online business or the crypto business, you must build a huge sending reputation before using these words freely on your content.

- Don't create subjects just to catch the subscriber's attention but that are not related to your content. Be creative, but honest.

- Don't try to disguise words like using spaces, dots, wrong spelling, etc. email providers know all these tricks and will block your messages.

Now, these are things you should do:

These_are_things_you_should_do

- Create compelling campaign subjects - there are 2 main winners in this category: 

Asking questions and shortlists. Asking a question on the subject is a good way of enticing the subscriber to open the message to see what would be the answer. 

For example: if you receive a message with the subject "What would you do in this situation?

" do you think you would be curious enough to open the message? Yep. It works. And shortlists work too. 

Example: 3 things you must know about email, 5 secrets on how to bake a perfect cake, etc.

- Write as you talk. When sending content to your subscribers, write personal messages, like you are talking to them face-to-face. This will create the relationship you need to sell anything to your list.

- Give them a call to action. Always ask your subscribers to do something, like a reply to your message, or click on a link. Remember that this interaction will give you points in the reputation game.

- Always have an easy and visible unsubscribe link. If they don't want to receive your content, let them go. They won't be buying from you anyway.

Then we have:

- Take care of your sender's identity.

- Make sure your Domain and Message Authentication is working.

- Only send campaigns to a Responsive List - if your list is not responsive, create a new one.

- Be careful with your Campaign Content. If you follow these rules, you win. Simple. The problem with simple is that most of you won't do that. You will probably keep doing the same mistakes.

How do I know that? Because I did it myself. Even knowing everything I know about email deliverability, I tried to send messages to non- responsive lists. And I failed.

Why? Because it's tempting. Having a list with thousands of emails just a click away from receiving our campaign and buying from us. But the reality is that it doesn't work.

If you are serious about getting big results with email, you need a plan.

As I promised, I gave you all the information you need to get to the inbox folder.

Author 

Waled Badry

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