The first step in creating a successful email list is to attract subscribers. The second is to ensure your emails are actually reaching those subscribers.
It can be really exciting to finally begin growing your list — but it’s important to keep track of your email list’s overall health before sending out tons of emails that may not be getting read at all. One in every six messages failed to reach subscribers in 2019, according to a recent study on email deliverability. Imagine if one in every six of your contacts never received any of your emails?
The good news is there are ways to ensure that the emails you’ve put in the effort to create are actually landing in your audience’s inbox. In this post, you’ll learn five ways to not only track but also improve your email deliverability.
Why Is Tracking Your Email Deliverability So Important?
The more your audience opens, clicks and saves your emails, the better your email deliverability becomes. In other words, your email deliverability rate is a direct reflection on how engaged your email audience actually is.
Tracking email deliverability can tell you if all the work you’re putting into your email campaigns is actually bringing you a decent ROI. You know there’s room to improve email deliverability if your contacts aren’t actively opening and reading your carefully crafted emails.
Using Domain Authentication To Track & Improve Email Deliverability
One way to track and improve email deliverability is through domain authentication. By default, ActiveCampaign manages the DKIM and the Sender ID for you. However, it’s best practice to set this up on your own domain as your email list grows over time.
To do this, you’ll need to head over to where your domain was purchased — this is usually your site host, such as GoDaddy or SiteGround — and add a specific “text record.” You can find this text record (usually a long string of letters and numbers) on ActiveCampaign. Most domain providers can set this up for you on their end, as long as you provide them with the correct text record.
Once that’s set up, you should head to the ActiveCampaign authenticator website to make sure everything is up and running. I like to check this on a monthly or quarterly basis. There may be multiple people working on your domain settings, and it’s a good idea to often check that things are running smoothly.
How To Monitor Your Email Engagements
Another way to track deliverability is to monitor how your contacts’ engagements with your emails.
While you’re able to check open and click rates on ActiveCampaign, I recommend using the Deliverability Dashboard to track engagement over time. Deliverability Dashboard gives insight on how your contacts interact with your emails during their first 30 days, after 90 days, and even a year later.
This can be a helpful tool to improve email deliverability, too. For example, if you notice that your engagement score is low during the first 30 days, then you know you should change your welcome series or first email promotion.
I personally like to run a site check at least once a month, if not every other week. This helps ensure that my split tests, new campaigns, and automations are running effectively.
Keep Your Email Secure To Avoid Blacklisting
One thing you want to avoid at all costs is having your domain blacklisted. When a domain is blacklisted, it’s slapped with a bad rating and even risks getting shut down by some email service providers.
This can happen if your account is hacked by spammers who spam your contacts with nonsense emails. It’s important to keep your account as secure as possible by using multi-factor authentication to keep hackers out.
You can use the site HetrixTools to check if your domain has been blacklisted anywhere in the world. It’s a quick test that I recommend doing about once a month.
Ask Contacts To Whitelist Your Email
Another way to improve email deliverability is to ask your contacts to whitelist your email. When your email address is whitelisted, it ensures your email provider that a specific contact wants to receive your emails.
A contact can do so by saving you as a contact or starring your email in their Gmail inbox. You can also give your contacts a subscription management form, which allows them to pick and choose the kind of emails they wish to receive.
Or you could use this handy website to create your own custom whitelisting directions to include in your welcome series.
Warm Up Your Audience Before Sending Mass Emails
The final strategy to track and improve email deliverability is more of a preventive measure.
If you’re starting a new account or migrating an existing one, your new IP address needs time to build up its sending authority. This is why I recommend starting slow, rather than mass emailing all of your contacts at once. For example, if you are migrating a list of over 50,000 contacts, it’s best not to email them all at the same time. Instead, you could start by emailing the first 5,000 contacts, and then work your way up to 10,000, 20,000, and so on.
If you send an email to everyone at once, it may never make it to hundreds of inboxes. This could totally crash your deliverability. Starting out slow and taking the time to build up your sending authority ensures that doesn’t happen.
A Few Final Tips To Improve Email Deliverability
The five strategies described in this blog post are a sure way to improve email deliverability. That being said, I have a few additional tips to ensure your email list is in tiptop condition.
The first is to forget about your disengaged contacts. People who aren’t opening, reading, or clicking on your emails are not helping grow your email list. Don’t be afraid to stop sending them emails.
You should also be split testing your emails to better understand your audience and what they’re interested in. Test your subject lines, content, and segmented campaigns to see what resonates best with your contacts.
My final tip is to generate positive deliverability from the start! Recovering from a negative score is more difficult than creating a positive one from the get-go.
I hope you’ve found these five tips to track and improve email deliverability insightful. Do you routinely monitor your deliverability? What tools have you used? Let me know in the comments below!