If you’ve found this blog, then chances are you’re invested in making sure email marketing is delivering results for your organisation, and to do that you need to make sure your email is being seen.

Inboxes are notoriously busy places, and after you’ve put the hard work into crafting the perfect email for your prospects, you want to make sure it stands the best possible chance of converting. For that to happen it needs to make it into said noisy inbox in the first place – so how do you make sure it arrives?

A report by Demand Metric states that 30% of email marketers cite deliverability as their main challenge, so let’s take a look at how best to improve your emails chances…

Does your sender reputation precede you?

According to Statista, 9-14% of marketing emails are marked as spam, so protecting your sender reputation is vitally important. And how do you do that? Having a healthy IP address and domain means that email providers recognise you as a safe sender and are less likely to send your email to the dreaded spam folder.

If your email domain or IP address is new, then email providers will typically distrust it, so it’s important to ‘warm up’ your domain with some smaller successful campaigns to build a positive sender reputation.

If you have indulged in some unhealthy email practices, including blasting your contact list or database with a high volume and frequency of email sends, or sent irrelevant or badly formatted or suspicious looking content, you may find that your IP address has been blacklisted.

Perform an IP Blacklist check to find out your fate, and if you have been blacklisted, find out the necessary requirements to be removed from this list. As they say, prevention is better than cure, so make sure you don’t end up blacklisted in the first place and follow our suggestions below. If you’re at all concerned, ask us for advice.

Practise good list hygiene

Forgive us if we sound like a broken record, but we can’t stress this point enough – make sure your email data is as clean as possible before you start using it for email campaigns. Statista say that 2-4% of emails go undelivered, which is literally marketing budget going down the drain.

Before your next email campaign, make sure your database has had a review and consider performing a professional data cleanse. Our team can check your data for inaccurate and non-compliant data and help support your next campaign by updating you with the latest accurate and compliant data.

Depending on how much data is brought into your business, we’d recommend performing a data cleanse at least once a year to keep it clean, healthy and ready for marketing and sales use. Learn more about data cleansing here.

Now you’ll most likely have heard people say that buying email lists is a bad idea, or that it is illegal. Both can be true if you aren’t working with the right suppliers. To be clear, email addresses of corporate employees can be licensed for third party email campaigns according to the Privacy and Electronics Communications Regulations (PECR). Email addresses of sole traders and partnerships are not able to be used.

GDPR still applies but ‘legitimate interest’ can be used to process corporate employee’s personal data as long as specific criteria are fulfilled. Before using any data, you should conduct a legitimate interests assessment to ensure you can justify using the data on this basis. You can find more information on compliant data and legitimate interests on our dedicated GDPR page which contains a link to the ICO’s legitimate interest assessment guidelines.

Marketscan holds one of the largest, legally compliant email feeds in the UK. The data we supply for third party email marketing includes corporate email addresses only and meets the requirements of the UK GDPR. Purchasing anything for your business is an important decision and requires due care and attention – and the same is true if you plan to licence data.

If you’d like to understand more about licensing a dataset to use for email marketing then talk to our knowledgeable team, who are more than happy to support you.

Don’t blast your database

Hopefully this goes without saying, but if you’re planning on launching an email campaign, don’t hit send to all your recipients in one go. This is true whether you’re sending to hundreds, thousands or even hundreds of thousands of contacts.

Sending your emails in batches helps protect your sender reputation and potentially also your teams on the ground who will be taking orders or following up on your campaigns. If you have a particularly large list of contacts to email, break this down into smaller lists and send on subsequent or even alternate days over a week or more to help improve your delivery stats.

Internet service providers limit the number of emails from the same IP address to avoid virus attacks or bulk spam messages. When this limit is reached, any further emails will be held in a queue which will show as a soft bounce in your email reporting. Usually, these emails are resent by the server but this isn’t guaranteed, so better to send email campaigns like the tortoise than the hare!

Another tactic to consider is breaking larger lists into smaller segments. There are numerous ways you could segment your data depending on what makes the most sense for your business, maybe by geography or employee head count, or something as simple as product or service interest.

By managing your email sends, you stand a much better chance of reaching the people who can benefit from your message.

Build a habit

Lastly, see email marketing as an opportunity not only to sell to your prospects but as a chance to build trust. When you want to get your message out there it can be tempting to ‘spray and pray’ but your prospects are human too – they know when they are being sold to.

Rather than blasting your database with large scale campaigns, nurture them by sending useful tips and advice to build trust and show expertise and become part of their routine. Then your sales message may resonate more when the time comes.

This doesn’t mean you need to email them 3 times a week to try and keep at the top of their inbox… (yuck!) Be sure to create a consistent schedule that is manageable for you and the amount of content that you can produce to allow your emails to reach them regularly and be genuinely interesting, informative and above all, helpful.