August 19, 2019
You put so much time and energy into growing your lead generation. Then, you invest a whole lotta love into crafting the perfect message to email them.
…only to end up WHERE?!? The SPAM folder?!! Ugh.
I recently ran a check on my own email deliverability rate to find that only 54% of my email were making it into people’s inboxes. Meanwhile, one – ONE! – simple change shot that number back up to 82%.
When I checked my own SPAM folder and found a number of emails that were “anything-but” SPAM. There were a bunch of emails with offers I was legit interested in! And I missed them.This means I’m not the only one being impacted by sub-par email deliverability rates. Since my jam is to optimize your ops, this post is about getting you the hell outta the damned SPAM folder. (Ew.)
Before you go running for the hills over the numbers :: keep in mind that this is not an exact science. And that statement goes both ways! For instance, you may have a hella-high score but still get blocked and filtered more than your score suggests. Likewise, you may not have the best score yet still experience a higher deliverability than your score may reflect.
Much like your credit score doesn’t necessarily reflect how much money you have in the bank, your reputation score speaks more to your online reputation than it does about deliverability specifically. The purpose is to score how trustworthy you are as a commercial entity in the online world. Yes, this includes how people behave in regards to your emails but it also factors in things like the health of your IP address, for instance.
TOOLS YOU CAN USE
I personally got started GlockApps to run my tests and get my scores. However, there are a bunch of other services you could use, each with their own unique approaches, including ::
- Reputation Authority
- Barracuda Central
These tools will give you an overall score that accounts for all internet service providers (or ISPs). For instance, popular options among North Americans are included such as gmail.com or yahoo.com or outlook.com; but these services also assess your performance on European-based ISPs like mail.ru or Brazilian-based ones like bol.com.br.
HOW THEY WORK
While I can’t speak for all of above-mentioned services (as I haven’t used them all), the principle used by GlockApps is simple :: copy the contents of a past email campaign into a fresh new email, include a code provided by the service to track deliverability, and send this from your domain-based email to a handful of email addresses they select for you.
It took a few minutes to process but I was able to live-view the time it took for my emails to hit any given inbox… or in some cases, the SPAM folder.
But the real “dagger to the heart” moment? Seeing that every gmail.com address that had not yet interacted with my brand received a one-way ticket to the SPAM folder. Every! Single! Time! GAH!
This means that someone who signed up to my list without having interacted with Miss #GSD brand yet was 100% NOT going to see my emails in their inbox. The opportunity to introduce myself to brand new audiences?… SPAM! Double-GAH!
And, like, at least 70% of my new subscribers have a gmail.com address. Triple-GAH!
So what’s a boss to do? Umm, how’s about we fix that – real effing quick!
THE ONE CHANGE THAT BOOSTED MY SCORE BY ALMOST 30%
To fix my deliverability issue to gmail.com addresses, I started with the Google Postmaster tool. This free gem will tell you what kinda reputation gmail thinks you have, ranging from Good, Medium, Low or Bad.
The first advantage of using this tool is that it essentially verifies your domain name with Google. It’s basically like registering your business identity with the Google-universe and saying, “hey! I’m operating a totally legit business over here!”. The second major advantage is that once you’re verified, Google will straight-up gossip with you about negative impacts happening to your biz, like spam complaints. (Ew.)Verifying my domain with the Google Postmaster is the one action I did that moved the needle on my digital credibility by a whopping 35%! I can’t recommend this enough and I actually make this one of the many extras I deliver with my 1:1 clients (if only for the “OMG, you can DO that!” factor – my fave!)
HOW TO GET VERIFIED WITH GOOGLE POSTMASTER
To get verified, you’ll need to login to both the Google Postmaster as well as your web host (i.e. GoDaddy, BlueHost, etc.). You’ll authenticate your domain using the DKIM provided by the Postmaster. This will essentially label your emails for Google and allow your traffic to be analyzed.
Either watch the video or read through the steps below for how it’s done.
STEP 1 :: Go to postmaster.google.com and click the + button. You’ll be prompted to enter your domain.
STEP 2 :: Login to your web hosting and select the DNS Management for the specific domain you’re trying to verify.
STEP 3 :: From within you DNS Management, you’ll select ADD. The data to enter is:
- The “Type” will be TXT;
- You will identify the “Host” as either @ or leave it blank;
- In TXT value, you’ll paste the code provided by the Postmaster; and
- You’ll leave TTL to whatever setting it is on.
STEP 4 :: Once you have all the right things copied and pasted into all the right place :: VERIFY!
Once you get the green light from Google, you can run another SPAM test to see what improvements this has made to your reputation score. (And I encourage you to post those on Instagram and tag me @omgrowth because nobody will nerd out as hard as I will over this with you!)
While I’ve framed this as a simple action item – and it is! – that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to maintaining good credibility online. This isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing, nor is this a magical all-encompassing solution. You have the power and responsibility to get and keep yourself out of the SPAM folder.
Fortunately, most of it chalks up to doing the things that make for being an ethical online business owner. Make sure you do things like ::
- Keep a clean email list
- Set up an automation for the peeps who haven’t opened your emails in some time. Make them opt back into receiving emails from you or they’ll automatically be un-subscribed. You’ll be doing everyone a favor on this one!
- Prompt your peeps to engage with you
- When you get people to reply to or click-through on your emails, it works wonder for your credibility. Email engagement says to Google that people are picking up what you’re putting down… and increases your chances of being put down in the inbox.
- Watch your language
- If you use “spammy” words in your subject lines, let’s not act surprised when you end up in the – wait for it! – spam folder! Most email marketing services will have a “spam check” you should consult before hitting send. If that’s not an option, there are all kinds of analyzers you can use for free like spamanalyse.com.