Hey this is Alex Becker, CEO of Market Hero.
Let me get one thing out of the way. I FULLY understand reading an article of email delivery is boring. However, I personally guarantee that the info in this article will double your delivery (thus doubling the money you make).
So...I'm begging you. Sacrifice 5 minutes of being bored here to make 100% more from your email list and help us inbox you on insane levels. This is NOT some lame article that just tells you not to spam and be nice. This stuff is life and death in email.
This is meant to be an as short as possible, simple guide to LITERALLY double your inboxing and avoid killing your email list. I have also included a checklist at the bottom for you to refer to quickly after reading this article
Again, this stuff is not optional. Read this entire article. You will 100% see an increase if you apply it and you will 100% lose delivery if you ignore.
ALSO NOTE: If you do not apply this we will not let you risk our IPs and will ask you to leave.
I repeat: The above is not me exaggerating. If you fail to apply this, your email list will 100% go dead and your delivery will be cut in half. In short: I HIGHLY encourage you to read every part of this article regardless of your email experience. 95% of mailers mail the wrong way, even with years of experience.
If you apply and understand these things, your email will be extremely profitable and safe for years. If you ignore them, I can almost guarantee you that you are cutting your email results in half and slowly killing your highly valuable list.
Part 1: Why ISPs Block Your Mail
An ISP is an inbox (think Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo..90% of mail goes to these guys).
ISPs take spam and delivery seriously. Over the past few years they have added countless updates to make sure less and less spam mail get through to the inbox. In 2018 it has become extremely hard to hit the inbox if you are not aware of these updates and are not mailing the way these ISPs want you to mail.
I could write an entire article on what they are looking for, but I won't. This guide will simply give you the color inside the line ways to inbox.
What you need to know is this
-ISPs look at your domain’s mailing history. Your previous open rates, clicks, and replies all factor in to whether you will inbox regardless of your IP.
-Most common practices in email really anger these ISPs and will guarantee you struggle to inbox
-Every person’s inbox behaves differently based on what they open and do not open
-ISPs hate when you hit spam traps (fake emails made to detect spam) and false emails (bounces)
In short: the less interaction your emails get and the more bad mail you send, the less likely you are to inbox, even when mailing from a great IP.
Part 2: Domain and IP reputation
Most mailers believe inboxing simply comes down to a good IP address reputation. AKA if you get on a good auto-responder, you will have great delivery.
This is false. Let's talk about these two things.
IP Reputation - Let's keep this simple. When you mail ISPs look at the IP address you are sending from, how old it is, how much it mails, and what quality the mail coming out of it is.
ISPs will look at the complaint rate, opens, clicks, replies, bounces, spam trap hits and how old an IP address is.If you are on an autoresponder (such as Market Hero) you are on what is called shared IPs.
This means you and other mailers are sharing the same IP and its reputation. If the autoresponder has great mailers with great engagement stats (high opens, low complaints, etc) then this works in your favor because you can get great delivery right away and you do not have to warm up an IP.
At Market Hero we are delivery elitists and go above any other autoresponder on due diligence on our mailers and actively scrub lists of bad emails to ensure you have peak delivery.
This is in your favor because warming up an IP address to be received well from an ISP is tedious and can take months. This also takes a lot of patience and experience.
At Market Hero you get to skip this and go straight onto a great IP address IF you follow our guidelines and show you understand how to be a good mailer (which is why we sent you this article).
However, IP address is only half of delivery.
Domain reputation - This is the big one and most mailers are totally unaware of this.
The domain you email from (or your from address, for example I mail from email@example.com) has its own tracked reputation with ISPs for YEARS. You also cannot track this accurately via any tool reliably. The only true sign your domain has a bad reputation is poor delivery and hitting promo/spam tabs.
The scary thing is once you have a bad domain reputation, your delivery will tank and it cannot be repaired quickly, regardless of IP. In short, switching autoresponders won't work.
What is also scary is most things mailers commonly do destroy domain reputation.
But just how important is this? Well, with a clean domain I changed the delivery of a 5% open rate list to 25%+. In short, it's everything.
The main focus of this article is in fact maintaining your domain reputation. This is because if you hurt your reputation you will quickly ruin your delivery and be asked to leave Market Hero because poor delivery means poor engagement and that will hurt our pristine IP addresses.
Part 3: Keeping Your Domain Clean With SPF and DKIM
When you mail ISPs, check the signature on your domain and email. This is how they ensure you are who you say you are.
At Market Hero, we require all mailers to set up SPF and DKIM before mailing. This is very easy and will LITERALLY double your delivery instantly. For help doing this, check out our SPF and DKIM articles here.
Part 4: Keeping Your Domain Clean With Low Complaints
This is extremely common knowledge so I will not go into detail. Long story short, when you mail you should not have more than 1 complaint per 1000 emails. If you do ISP will recognize you as a spammer and ruin your domain reputation. You will also be removed from Market Hero.
If you do get high complaints then you have to slow down your mailing so that complaints will go down (in some cases stop it for a couple of days) before you restart your mailing again. If you are getting high complaints then it means that we are delivering your mail in inbox and not spam folder.Two things to look at when you get high complaints are what are your open and click rates.If they are good then you have to lower the volume of mail for coming days.
To make sure this does not happen, only mail people who have opted into your list and want to receive your emails.
Part 5: Keeping Your Domain Clean By Only Mailing Openers
Ethics aside, mailing people who do not open your emails or know who you are will destroy your domain reputation because your open rates will be poor. In short, if you have high open rates ISPs will inbox you better and better increasing your opens and delivery over time. If you have poor opens your open rates/delivery will get worse and worse over time. It is a vicious cycle and this is why it’s so important to remove non openers.
This is an easy fix that most mailers refuse to make. Most mailers carry around lists where only 20% of the list has opened and yet they keep mailing the entire list. This actually hurts the delivery to the people who want to open your emails in the long run.
I cannot stress this enough: Mailing NON-openers hurts you more than it helps you because it stops you from talking to the customers that do open as they will slowly stop receiving your emails.
To fix this: Simply only import people who have opened in the last 3 months into Market Hero and remove emails that have not. This will ensure maximum delivery and will improve your domain reputation. Do this monthly and your list will deliver better and better. Fail to do this and your list will go "dead" over time as you fail to inbox.
You should aim to have a minimum of 10-15% open rates. Failing to do this could get you removed from Market Hero. TRUST ME, we want you here, but you are ruining your own delivery and we can't go down with you.
Removing dead leads is in your best interest regardless of what auto responder you use. The only difference is we will remove you and not take your money. Other AR's will move you to a bad IP and keep billing you.
TRUST ME x2: Mailing people who do not want your emails stops you from delivering to the people that do and will make sure NO ONE gets your emails.
Part 6: Clean Lists Of Fake Emails and Spam
This is pretty simple. When you build an email list about 10% of emails are not real or will bounce (aka undeliverable). On top of that when you build a list 1% of emails can potentially be spam traps. These are emails intentionally passed around to detect spammers.
When they are hit they fire a notification and hurt your delivery domain and IP. Think of them like the undercover cops that will ask around for drugs, and then arrest people selling them.
It’s an expensive process to clean your list. You can use a service such as klean13 to do this. However, if you are on Market Hero we automatically clean your list of spam traps for you. Isn't that swell?!
Part 7: Domain Killing Common Practices
Here are a few things mailers love to do that tank your domain delivery:
- Mailing non openers of an email: Just don't. I know it’s tempting when you mail out a promo to just load up the people who didn't open and mail again. This GUARANTEES a low open rate thus GUARANTEEING you will start to lose domain reputation
- Mailing without testing multiple inboxes: All it takes is a few blasts to the promo or spam tab to get really poor delivery. Once this happens your overall delivery goes to junk. I will get into how to properly test here in a moment
- Mailing duplicate content emails to the same email: Stop doing this now! Do not copy and paste emails or send the same content repeatedly to the same emails. A person should only get the email ONCE, and then never again (or a least for a few months)
Part 8: Properly Test Before Mailing
No, hitting test mail and sending to your one inbox is NOT a good test. When you mail multiple emails at once and from an autoresponder IP, your delivery will be radically different than a single email.
To properly test I suggest you make 5 Gmail accounts, 3 Outlook accounts and 2 Yahoo accounts, tag these emails as !testemails in Market Hero and then before you ever mail a big broadcast, mail these emails first.
IMPORTANT! After your mail goes into these accounts, open a few of these even if they hit promo or spam to keep your engagement high.
If your email inboxes in all Gmail and Yahoo inboxes, THEN mail your entire list.
(Note: Outlook is extremely hard to inbox in without a very high domain reputation; we actually suggest importing only your email clickers with Outlook/Hotmail emails to ensure you build a good rep. If you hit spam do not worry too much, Outlook emails are only about 5-10% of emails)
You should also do this with each email in your streams to ensure peak delivery.
If you hit the promo or spam tab try removing hot words that are related to marketing from your emails such as: Money , $, income, marketing, ads, earn money, act now, discount, special, etc
Part 9: Have A Great Welcome Sequence
The best way to ensure great interaction that will increase your delivery is to have an amazing welcome sequence to your list. When a person joins your list, ensure the first 5 emails are value packed and optimized for delivery. This will set the pace for all future emails and increase delivery.
We also suggest you remove people who do not open your first 5 welcome emails immediately. These are poor emails and should not be put onto your broadcast lists.
With Market Hero's stream functionality it is very easy to set up a 5 email sequence that mails over 1-2 weeks and then tag each openers as !opener. I would suggest you then tag every person who does not have the tag !opener at the end of your stream with !dead and remove them from your email list.
There you have it! The above is an incredibly simple way to improve your delivery and make sure you keep it. I cannot stress enough, the above is NOT optional. You will see your delivery crash even on great IPs if you ignore the above.
If you have ANY questions or need help applying these tactics, be sure to open up a chat with my support. We LOVE great mailers and will help you become one!
For Ease Of Use Here's A Quick Checklist For Epic Delivery Protection
DO -Remove emails that haven't opened in 3 months -Remove emails that don't open welcome emails -Clean list prior to mailing (automatically done in MH) -Set your SPF and DKIM -Test your emails via 5 Gmail, 3 Outlook and 2 Yahoo test inboxes before mailing -Send unique emails to people who want to receive them -Put new leads through a clear, high value, optimized welcome funnel -Ask our support if you need any help on these
DO NOT (These will 100% kill your domain rep) -Mail non openers -Send the same content to the same email twice on the same day -Mail without testing delivery first -Mail without cleaning (spam trap and high bounce guaranteed) -Mail without checking links/mail rendering on different browsers/devices
(CEO of Market Hero)