What is email deliverability?
The term 'email deliverability' refers to where your sent emails land: whether they end up in your contact's inbox, junk/spam folder, or some other folder. Of course, our goal is to get your messages into your contacts' inboxes.
In an attempt to help their subscribers, many email providers try their best to sort emails appropriately so that they land in the correct place. Unfortunately, the ways that email providers make these decisions are not always clear and are often outside of our — and your — control.
Deliverability rates are affected by a number of factors: from ISPs to bounce rates, email content to sending volume. We've included some tips on taking control of the factors you can control in this article.
Looking to learn some more about the wide world of email deliverability and sorting? Below are some in-depth articles that shed some more light on this complicated topic:
- Email Delivery vs. Deliverability: What's the Difference?
- Email Deliverability Guide
- The Ultimate Email Deliverability Glossary
Bounced emails: what makes an email address bounce!?
A bounced email address is an email address to which your message could not be delivered at all — neither to the recipient's inbox nor their spam folder. That email address is likely defunct, their inbox is full or the recipient has such strict restrictions (example: an exclusive whitelist) that even your must-read message could not get through and it bounced back to you.
If you're confident that you have the correct email address for your contact, you may want to ask them to add your email address to their whitelist (aka "approved" or "safe senders list").
For example, our automated campaign and custom emails come from email01.fmgsuite.com
We recommend removing or — better yet! — correcting bounced email addresses in your contact list.
Click here to learn more about finding and updating
bounced email addresses in your contact list.
Gmail's "Tabbed Inbox"
Several years ago, Gmail added a new way to sort emails by type. Many marketers were afraid this was just another way to flag messages as spam but fear not, dear senders! These tabs help Gmail users organize their inbox, so if your email ends up in, say, the "Promotions" tab, your messages are still landing where you'd like — though perhaps it's not quite a bullseye.
Several users have reported to us that our own product update emails — sent to all FMG Suite users to announce new and improved features — have landed in their "Promotions" tab. After chatting with our email provider, we learned that the way Google sorts these messages is a bit of a mystery to email marketers.
"My contact tells me she hasn't received my email. What happened?"
Most of us have been on either end of this frustrating scenario: an email is not appearing where it should. If a sent email is not appearing in an inbox, we recommend the following:
- Check spam. Check your "spam" or "junk" folder for the email in question. If found, be sure to flag it as not spam. This way, future emails from this sender will land in the inbox!
- Check the "Promotions" and "Social" tabs in Gmail. If found, be sure to drag and drop the email to the "Primary" tab and confirm that you would like future messages from this sender to land in this main tab of your Inbox.
- Check for a bounce. If a contact of yours tells you they have not received an email sent from your FMG Suite admin, navigate to Email >> Contacts and search for that contact. Be sure the email status has not changed to "bounced." If it has, confirm the email address with your contact. If accurate, they may need to add our email address to their "whitelist" or "safe senders list."
- Provide IP addresses to "whitelist." If your emails are not making it to your contacts' inboxes, it may be due to an email firewall in place at the contact's company. By providing this list of IP addresses, an IT Department can "safelist" our servers so your communications are sure to make it to recipients' inboxes.
Increase the chances your email will be delivered and opened
You spend time crafting the perfect message for your contacts. If you're like us, you may write, re-write, and proofread (and write again?) before clicking "send."
Below are some tips on getting your emails delivered to your contacts' inboxes and increasing the likelihood that those emails will be opened:
- Send emails from your email address: take the steps to verify your email domain with FMG Suite so the emails you send come directly from your email address. Click here to learn more about this valuable step to boost your email marketing efforts.
- The Subject Line: this is the precious space you get to convince your recipient of the value of your message. This is it! You have about 70 characters available to convey the importance of your email and convert a "send" to an "open."
Be clear: after glancing at your subject line, the recipient ought to have a basic idea of the contents of your email. Are you writing to follow up on a recent meeting? Something like "Appointment Follow Up" would certainly get your point across. Does your email contain tips for staying sane during tax season? Let them know what to expect!
- Send Meaningful Messages: when you email your contacts, your goal is certainly not to elicit an eye-roll or irritated sigh followed by an "unsubscribe." Instead, you're aiming for either an immediate open or a "save for later" attitude.
The best way to get that attitude? Earn it! Don't bombard your contacts with dull emails just for the sake of staying "top of mind." Instead, set the expectation that an email from you is going to be informative, meaningful, and necessary.
- Keep It Clean: remove bounced email addresses from your contact list. If you're sending an email to 10 clients, and 3 of those email addresses have previously bounced, the chances that those remaining 7 clients will see your message in their inbox is greatly reduced. Instead, remove those 3 bad apples — or, better yet, update their email address to their current one — and your message is far more likely to land where you'd like!
- Targeted Messages: instead of sending a custom email or automated campaign to all contacts, we recommend segmenting your list so you're able to get your messages in front of the audience that matters most. Not only will this improve open rates, but it will help build your reputation among your contacts as an advisor who treats their clients as individuals!
Keep your contacts organized into groups so you have segments ready to target:
— add contacts who have previously attended your events to a group so you can follow up with them about similar workshops
— group contacts by age so you can email your millennial contacts about a new blog post that they may find more interesting than your retired clients, such as a post about first-time home buying or tackling student loan debt
— if you have multiple branches, group your contacts by location so you can send them appropriate updates about your hours, upcoming events, or new additions to your team