Email deliverability has a lot of misconceptions. Here are common assumptions that trainers, consultants, and professional coaches make that are often untrue:
- The bigger I can get my list, the more money I will make from it.
A large list might make you feel better, but unless all of the people on it want to be there, the size of your list could actually be losing you money. First, you are paying to send information to people who don’t respond to it. The old and unresponsive names on your list are turning into spam trap complaints, ruining your IP reputation and degrading your delivery and deliverability potential.
- “Report as SPAM” is just a lazy way to unsubscribe
People click this button because they don’t see the value of your email. Some people believe this is the only way to safely unsubscribe. Treat SPAM complaints as an aggressive unsubscribe. Obviously you shouldn’t continue to email them but also take stock of how many unsubscribers are actually filing SPAM complaints. Too many of these will begin to work against your deliverability.
- I need to have 100 percent deliverability rate all of the time.
For the most part, this is simply unattainable. But, you – not the ISP – have complete control over this metric. If you keep your lists extremely clean and your audience is actively engaged with your email marketing campaign, you will have a great IP reputation and outstanding delivery rates and inbox presence.
- ISPs should care that my email gets through because we are not Spammers.
ISP’s don’t care about brands or intentions. They analyze what you do, not what you say you’ll do. If the people on your list have asked to be there and are interacting with your mail, it will get delivered. If you are bulk sending questionable content then it will get blocked.
- My list wants to hear from me all the time, even if they never open or click on my mail.
Put yourself in your audiences shoes. Even if they love the content of your email there is a limit to frequency. The absolute maximum you should be sending emails to your audience is twice a week. For most trainers, consultants, and professional coaches it’s likely to be monthly to weekly.
- I can make my email look transactional and send it to anyone, even people who unsubscribed.
In the U.S., sending transactional messages containing content that you need to tell people (order/shipping confirmations, order status updates, warrantee, or legal notices) does not require suppressing opt-outs. Further, including commercial content in transactional messages can be done and is often very effective. For example, messages that are sent to remind people that they forgot to buy something are most likely considered commercial and need to have opt-outs suppressed. Pretending this is transactional content will potentially raise enough complaints to instigate deliverability or even legal issues.
- Just because it’s legal, it’s OK to do it.
There are tricks to bend the letter of the law on SPAM. That doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to use them. The goal is to send communications to people that will get value from them. Treat your audience with respect and tell them targeted and intelligent things. They will reward you with their continued business.
- I bought a list of 100 million names, this will really increase the value of my lists
Buying a credible list is difficult. Even good lists will not contain engaged prospects and customers. It’s basically a crap shoot on whether there will be any interest at all and response rates will be much lower. These lower rates can be damaging to deliverability as it typically produces a wave of unsubscribes and SPAM reports. That’s a best case scenario with a good list. Imagine how much damage a list obtained by an unreputable source can do.