Email Deliverability: 4 Horrible Myths On The Rise
As email deliverability continues to evolve, the myths surrounding it continue to persist: confusing “delivered” with “inbox placement,” insisting that the best time to send is at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, and avoiding the word “free” in all caps are oldies, but still goodies. Here are some other myths I hear more and more today. […]
As email deliverability continues to evolve, the myths surrounding it continue to persist: confusing “delivered” with “inbox placement,” insisting that the best time to send is at 6:00 a.m. on Wednesday, and avoiding the word “free” in all caps are oldies, but still goodies.
Here are some other myths I hear more and more today.
Myth #1: I Don’t Need To Worry About Placement If I Have A High Sender Score
Sender Score indicates how trustworthy an email sender’s IP address to an email provider, ISP or filtering company. It answers the question of how likely it is that email users will think your email is spam. If you’re thinking that sounds a lot like a credit score, then you’re right.
In reality, your Sender Score is an indication of your inbox potential. At the end of the day, it’s still only one of many data points you need to determine how email providers may be junking, filtering, blocking, or bulking, your emails instead of delivering your email to inboxes.
Your Sender Score isn’t the same as your inbox placement rate. Instead, think of a low Sender Score as a higher likelihood that most, or all, email being sent from your IP address will be delivered to spam.
A high Sender Score is a lot like the TSA priority screening lines at the airport. You may be able to keep your shoes and belt on, but you still have to have to go through the metal detectors, and your luggage still needs to get scanned. For senders, a high Sender Score means that email providers will give your emails less scrutiny, but your emails will still run through some filters regardless.
Myth #2: Spam Traps Never Click Or Open An Email, So I Can Just Remove All My Inactives
Spam trap email addresses don’t belong to a real person, so it makes sense to think that they’ll never engage with an email. Email senders that have issues with spam traps often remove those addresses that have never opened or clicked on an email for a defined period of time.
Don’t get me wrong. This can be a good practice if done with good planning. (See a study and a previous column on the dangers of removing subscribers too early.)
However, it won’t necessarily solve your spam trap problem. Why? Because spam trap network operators will often open an email for further verification if an email address is truly spam, and will even follow links in the email. Rather than removing subscribers based on open and click activity, focus on engagement levels over time and adjust your content, frequency and/or cadence accordingly.
Myth #3: I’m A B2B Sender, So I Don’t Need To Worry About Email Filters
Just a few years ago, I would have somewhat agreed with this. Today is an entirely different story. As businesses move more and more to cloud-hosted email solutions like Google Apps, B2B and B2C email deliverability is finally converging.
Last time we looked at our own database, a third of all the B2B domains in our subscriber file were hosted by Google, which means that they are using the same filters as Gmail. Gmail’s spam filter looks at reputation data like spam traps, complaints, and unknown users, among dozens of other criteria. As a result, B2B email marketers need to follow the same deliverability rules and practices as their B2C counterparts.
Myth #4: My Emails Won’t Be Delivered To The Spam Folder If My Complaint Rates Are Low
Email providers calculate complaint rates by the number of emails delivered to the inbox divided by the number of subscriber complaints. Therefore, if your complaint rates are low, but your mail is being delivered to the spam folder, no one will be able to mark your emails as spam. Technically, they can only mark your emails as “not spam.”
If you find yourself asking a postmaster to deliver your emails to the inbox because of low complaints, try instead focusing on getting your subscribers to mark your emails as “not spam.”
What are some of your favorite, recent or old, myths surrounding deliverability?
Stock image used with permission of Shutterstock.com
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