3 Tips to Improve E-mail Delivery Rates
Ian Lurie Aug 25 2007
I just sent out a small, targeted e-mail to about 1400 bloggers, regarding the event I’m streaming next week. I needed to keep the message out of spam mail boxes as much as possible. Here are 3 things you can do to accomplish the same thing:
- Whitelist: Ask list subscribers to add the ‘from’ address for your list to their address book. Most e-mail software will automatically not flag known addresses as spam. So, provide whitelisting instructions to your users. Something as simple as â€œPlease add ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ to your address book’ will do the trick. This improves delivery by at least 15% across all of the ‘house’ e-mail lists my company manages for clients.
- Track bounces: Make sure you are notified when an e-mail doesn’t arrive at its destination. These ‘bounces’ will often come back to an address you specify. Many of these bounces may be e-mail systems asking for a human verification that you’re not a spam server cranking out cialis ads. If you click the ‘verify your address’ link, then future messages will arrive in the user’s inbox. I’ve seen this improve delivery by as much as 10%.
- Use a plain text e-mail, or at least minimize images. An e-mail that’s all or mostly images will likely get flagged as spam. I can’t point to any hard evidence of this, but years of experience has shown me that text e-mails perform better, as far as deliverability.
There are higher-tech issues, such as IP address ‘blacklists’, too. But the above 3 tips will help a lot. Plus, it’s Saturday night, and there’s no way I’m getting that technical on a Saturday night.
Ian Lurie is CEO and founder of Portent Inc. He's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Forbes.com and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, SIC and ad:Tech. Follow him on Twitter at portentint. He also just published a book about strategy for services businesses: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle. Read More