Aug 31

If your message isn’t ending up in your recipient’s inbox, what’s the point of the email? Deliverability is essential in every email marketing campaign. If you’re ending up in the spam folder every time, something needs to change. Deliverability can be affected by many different variables not limited to just your email service provider.

There are hundreds of email service providers out there which give you the capability to “check for spam” in your outgoing email messages. So what is your provider doing when it’s checking your email templates for spam? I’ve put together a list of tips for optimizing your email messages for maximum deliverability.

Think like an email marketer, not a spammer

email templates
The most obvious rule of all deliverability tricks is to create your email from a business and marketing standpoint, rather than a spammer’s standpoint. Spammers are looking for little backdoor nuances to sneak their email into your inbox. Such a tactic is the manipulation and misspelling words which are generally flagged as spammer words (ie: v^i^c^o^d^i^n…look familiar?) It may seem sly, but trust me it will only hurt your campaign. Why? Spammers send out millions of emails in very short periods of time to low quality purchased and harvested lists.

To get a better idea of what I’m talking about, try this; for the next few days don’t delete the spam that comes into your inbox. Carefully analyze these emails and take notes on which tactics you think they used to get into your inbox. Also make note of whether the unsolicited email was in HTML or plain text format. Once you have a good list of 10 different messages, review and post this list near your desk. This will help you to not do what spammers do every time you blast out your email campaign!

Template Optimization

The biggest mistake I see when I watch the spam accumulate in my inbox is poor HTML email template optimization. Of all of the mistakes you could make when designing and coding an HTML email is poor slicing techniques. We’ve all seen the emails that are just one big graphic with small text at the bottom. Although these are not always necessarily spam, they will almost always end up in the spam folder your client’s email program.

I am by no means discouraging the heavy use of graphics in emails, in fact I am a big advocate of eye-catching email designs. However it must be done properly so you don’t waste your time and money blasting out useless email templates. The best peice of advice I can give regarding graphics in emails….Slice away! Your graphical HTML email should consist of at least 5 separate graphics, but don’t stop there.
html email templates
Add inline CSS so that when you’re email images are blocked automatically (ie: yahoo, gmail, hotmail), your recipient is still seeing a shell of colors of what the email looks like. Rather than a completely blank white screen with opt-out text at the bottom. Clever use of inline CSS in your email designs can convince your recipient to unblock those images, and view your message.