Do's and Dont's of email sending
Email deliverability is one of the most important parts of email marketing. Good deliverability means getting most of your newsletters delivered to the inbox. Getting into the inbox and not the spam/junk folder is driven by your reputation as a sender.
- With a good reputation, most of your newsletters will go to the inbox or the promotional tab in Gmail.
- With a bad reputation, most of your newsletters will be sent to the spam/junk folder or not delivered to the subscriber at all.
So, what can you do to build a good reputation? Follow the Do's and Don'ts of deliverability below and let Seguno be your partner.
What goes into a good sender reputation?
How do you get and maintain a good sender reputation?
Only send marketing emails to contacts who asked for them and only send content they asked for.
Demerits against your sender reputation are driven by:
- High bounce volume - Emails being rejected by receiving email servers.
- Low engagement - Your emails are not being opened by your subscribers. Yes, the receiving email services are watching.
- Complaints - Complaints are when your subscribers mark your Newsletters as spam.
- Poor technical setup - DKIM, SPF, PTR blah blah blah. Seguno manages all this technical stuff, so you only need to focus on bounces, engagement, and complaints.
Not sure how to avoid those? Follow the "Do's and Don'ts" below and send excellent content to keep your reputation high and enjoy the fast track to good deliverability and successful email marketing.
- Do - Set your From name to identify your newsletters as clearly coming from your shop.
This is where most recipients look to identify who a message is from. Set this to be something the subscriber will remember from when they opted into your email list.
- Do - Set your From address and do not change it.
Changing your From address looks suspicious to receiving email boxes and can lead to inboxing issues.
- Do - Set your reply address to a working email box and encourage your subscribers to reply.
Be sure your customers can get in touch with you by replying. This engagement is very favorable in the eyes of receiving email boxes as well as a good customer experience.
- Do - Understand it's a good thing to be in the Promotions Tab for Gmail.
The Promotions tab in Gmail is where marketing and commercial newsletters belong. Gmail selects how emails are put into the Promotional tab, and there is no reliable way to avoid this placement. The promotional tab is your friend because it keeps your messages out of the spam folder and does not trigger a notification when the email arrives. Notifications for marketing emails lead to unsubscribes and complaints (marking as spam). As individual subscribers engage with your emails, your emails may move into their inboxes. Gmail-detected promotions are placed in the inbox for other email apps (such as Apple Mail.)
- Do - Get a Gmail address and use it to test your messages.
Gmail is the most popular email service, and it will clip messages that are too long. Messages that are clipped make it harder to find the unsubscribe button. When a contact can't find the unsubscribe button, they mark the message as spam, leading to blocks. Seguno will warn you when a message is getting too long while editing, but it is also good to test your messages with Gmail to see how they look.
- Do - Watch your email engagement rates (Unsubscribe, Complaint, Bounce, Delivery, and Open Rates)
If your rates exceed the thresholds below for consecutive newsletters, please open a support ticket so your deliverability analyst can examine your subscriber list and email program for you at no additional cost.
- Do - Reach out to our support team if you ever have any questions about Seguno or email best practices.
We work hard to be the best partner for your email program that we can be. If you're following these Dos and Don'ts, we will always be happy to help you. If you're not sure if something is a Do or a Don't, please reach out beforehand. Prevention of issues is much easier and faster than remediation.
From Name, From Address, and Reply Address are set on the Sender Details page.
Open a support case if your metrics exceed these thresholds for more than 3 consecutive sends:Unsubscribe rate: > 0.5%
Complaint rate: > 0.5%
Bounce rate: > 5%
Delivery Rate: < 95%
Open Rate: < 15%
The practices below will lower your reputation, which can easily trigger a full block and keep your actual subscribers from getting your emails.
- Don't buy, rent, borrow, or harvest lists. This includes partner lists and lists from other shops you own.
Contacts on these lists are not expecting emails from your shop and will mark them as spam. This will lower your reputation, which can easily trigger a full block and keep your actual subscribers from getting your emails.
If you are promoting a partner shop, send a promotion from that shop introducing the partnership and include a link to your newsletter form so that the interested contacts subscribe. Please reach out to our support team if you have questions.
- Don't subscribe contacts that unsubscribed or did not opt-in to your Newsletters.
These contacts are not expecting emails from you and will mark them as spam.
- Don't send to your contacts too much.
Saturating your contacts with Newsletters will cause them to unsubscribe or ignore your emails. Even worse, this could cause your contacts to mark your Newsletters as spam.
Most brands (even the big ones) find the sweet spot for email sending cadence to be 1 to 3 newsletters per week.
- Don't send to your contacts too little.
Believe it or not, you can send to your contacts too little. If you send too infrequently, your subscribers might forget they opted-in and mark your newsletters as spam.
The minimum recommended sending cadence is once a month. If you do only send once a month, try to send the same day of the month. The consistency helps. You should also use automations to supplement your newsletters at key times.
- Don't use misleading subject lines.
Always use a subject line that is directly related to the content of the message. Never use subject lines that include "RE:" or "FW:" or mislead recipients into thinking this is a transactional email. Check out our 3-minute video on 3 Rules for Creating Good Subject Lines.
- Don't use 100% image-based emails.
Spam filters "read" incoming emails as part of their inspection to determine placement (Inbox vs. Spam vs. Blocked). If the scanner has nothing to read because the text is actually part of an image, it is more likely to flag the message as suspicious and reject it or put it in spam.
Don’t worry about it:
You may run into a whole alphabet soup of technical terms when researching your email marketing strategies. The good news is that you do not need to worry about these because Seguno takes care of them for you.
- PTR - A PTR is a pointer that a receiving email box uses to verify that an email is coming from the IP address it claims to be coming from.
- RDNS - RDNS is the same as PTR.
- IP Address - An Internet protocol address is the actual address of the computers that, in this case, send your emails.
- SPF - A sender policy framework is a record that authorizes an IP address to send an email on behalf of a domain name.
- DKIM - DomainKeys Identified Mail is a system that ensures that an email has been sent by the person who claims to be sending it and that it has not been changed in transit.
- Return Path - The return path is like a return to sender address. This is used to notify Seguno why a receiving email box rejected a message.
- MTA - A mail transfer agent is the software that actually sends the email.
- SMTP - Simple mail transfer protocol is the "language" email servers use to send an email.
- Feedback Loop - A feedback loop is a mechanism that sends a signal back to Seguno that a subscriber marked your message as spam. We use this information to unsubscribe the contacts so they will stop marking your Newsletters as spam.
- Optimized For Mobile - All of Seguno's email editor sections are optimized to be mobile-friendly by scaling or stacking the contents to fit on any screen size from your phone to your big screen. The only time to worry about this is if you're using primarily image-based emails as text on images will be harder to read when the image is reduced for smaller screens.
- One-Click Unsubscribe - Having a simple, timely unsubscribe method is not only the law, it is crucial to not getting blocked by receiving email boxes. All messages sent by Seguno include an unsubscribe button that automatically sets the contact to unsubscribed status for you. A contact unsubscribing is 100% better than them marking your email as spam.
- DMARC - DMARC stands for Domain-based Message Authentication. OK, so this one is not 100% managed by Seguno, but you still don't have to worry about it. DMARC is a security feature that allows you to define how messages sent from your domain are treated if you did not actually send them. Unless someone is actively spoofing your email address, DMARC is not needed. However, if a bad actor is spoofing you, please open a support case, and your deliverability analyst will get you started setting up DMARC. Unfortunately, DMARC setup can be complicated and is outside of Seguno, so we can get you started, but we will only be able to consult.