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Email marketing best practices to maximise inbox placement

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In our recent webinar we talked about email deliverability and inbox placement. This one singular aspect is the result of many factors within the email marketing circuit. Whether it’s list building, campaign planning, content creation, frequency and timing, email deliverability plays a major role in all these steps.

If you were unable to attend the webinar, worry not. You can watch the webinar recording video here and also go through some of the questions addressed during the session.

Q1) Do we need to complete both the processes, SPK and DKIM before publishing the DMARC policy?

A1) You must complete either SPK or DKIM before publishing the DMARC policy. It is highly recommended that you complete both the domain authentication methods of SPF and DKIM. With Zoho Campaigns you can complete the steps associated to SPF and DKIM then you can publish your DMARC policy.

Q2) What is SPAM? How to evade spam filters?

A2) When an email is considered to come from a malicious source, it is marked as spam. There are many factors that determine if an email can be considered as a spam or not. Apart from the source, the content, engagement pattern, domain and IP validation, all these are determinant factors.

Q3) How do I send emails to only interested contacts?

A3) List management is the ultimate key to knowing your contacts. Firstly aim to create organic lists and avoid purchasing or borrowing lists. Purchased and borrowed lists often contain email addresses which are spam traps which are placed to capture spammers. Sending emails to such email addresses will land you in spam traps which will eventually tarnish your domain reputation.

You can build organic lists by collecting contact information via signup forms, events and etc. Manage these lists by creating segments with common attributes among contacts. Try to employ survey campaigns and polls to gauge the tastes and preferences of your contacts. Send appropriate content to your contacts at appropriate time for increased interactivity.

Q4) What is the best way to ensure regular interaction with subscribers and know if they are inactive?

A4) There are two ways of doing this. If you are sending emails to a new set of contacts, then you need to build a rapport with them. For this you need to resort to a good welcome email series. Inform them about your brand and try to create demand for your brand. This will ensure them to make a healthy and well-informed decision regarding your emails.

If you are sending emails to subscribers who have been existing set of contacts, then you need to think clearly. Since they are already aware of the brand, you need to sustain their interests with weekly or monthly newsletters. You can also opt for RSS campaigns and inform them about all the latest developments in your organisation. This will not only continue the flow of information and communication but also help you find out the inactive subscribers.

Q5) How important is the email content in determining the inbox placement of an email?

A5) The content influences continuity, clarity and compatibility of an email. All these factors are taken into account by the recipients’ inbox service provider. Based on these factors they allow an email or reject it.

Q6) What are the best practices regarding content?

A6) While creating a content you need to be aware that even the subject line and pre header will be within your creative purview. Try to avoid using excessive symbols and emojis in this section. Provide a clear and concise subject line and pre header. They should be clearly conveying their purpose so that the reader can decide if the email resonates with the tastes and preferences or not.

Since continuity is a factor in your email template, try to stick to brand colors and web safe fonts. Keep the content simple and use less images, and make sure that you opt more for PNG images as they take less time to load.

Never forget to provide an, ‘unsubscribe’ option in the footer of your email. Make it easy to access and effective in implementation. Finally, provide proper contact information too in the email footer so as to remove any ambiguity.

Q7) What are blacklists and how to stay away from them?

A7) Blacklists are registries published online and they contain the domain names and IP addresses of spammers. This list is based on the complaints received from recipient ISPs. You need to maintain an organic list and manage it. You need to avoid using spammy elements in your content and above all follow the domain authentication methods. One more thing that determines scrutiny from ISPs is irregular email sending patterns. Always maintain a consistent pattern as a sudden spike can cause trouble.

Q8) What should I do if my domain is blacklisted?

A8) You need to check if your domain is blacklisted by any of the major blacklisted publishing platforms like Spamcop, Spamhaus, SURBL etc. All these platforms have different ways to get the domain name de-listed form these lists. Contact the concerned platform and send a de-listing request and follow the requisite methods to get your domain or IP address de listed.

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