Improve Email Marketing Deliveries and Message Acceptance Rates

In a recent Quora response, we discussed how bulk senders can improve email deliveries.  There are many factors that affect email delivery and acceptance rates, and the following points are intended for senders using their own email marketing applications and hosted services.

Multipart Matters

First, make sure your emails are properly generated with both text and HTML versions. Spam filters look at readability across all devices and clients.  Send your HTML only message and your emails will be docked. Sending multipart emails with text and HTML combined in one email may improve your spam scores.

Test First

Test sending to a wide range of email accounts and review the spam scores at different providers.  Fix any problematic or malformed headers. If you’re having issues with deliverability or messages going to spam, you may need to hire someone to review what you’re sending and consult.

Best Practices

Adhere to the requirements specified in the CAN-SPAM Act. If you’re unsure about meeting these requirements, get help and make sure you’re following email marketing best practices. Sending to addresses outside the US? It is your responsibility to comply with the laws of any country or jurisdiction where you’re sending.

Keep it Clean

Practice good list hygiene. Remove all hard bounces, unsubscribe requests and spam complaints.

Good Company

If you’re using an SMTP hosting service to relay your messages and you have a steady monthly volume and consistent sending patterns, a dedicated IP address might help improve your delivery rates.  However, don’t assume a dedicated IP is necessary for great open and click through rates.  If you’re sending once or twice a month, a shared IP may actually improve open rates allowing you to leverage the IP reputation of a group of responsible senders.

Engaged Users

Last, make sure you are only sending to addresses that you have permission to send to. Ideally, you have double opt-in permission to send to your recipients. It is also important to periodically review your open rates and consider dropping addresses that are not engaged. Don’t be fooled into thinking the 50K address list is better than a pruned list of 4,500 recipients. Experienced senders know the value of a well maintained, concise list of engaged addresses as opposed to a large one with out of date or otherwise inactive recipients.

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