Have you noticed that your email marketing open rates aren’t what you’d like? Maybe you’ve tried your best to build a fantastic email list, but your deliverability seems like it’s muffled and in the tank?
Can you relate? Have you ever felt discouraged because you write awesome emails, but then nobody opens or reads your content?
Or maybe you have a secret suspicion that your emails are landing straight in the spam box of your subscribers.
The bad news is that these days, not even the best email service providers can guarantee a 100% email inbox deliverability.
That said, there’s one nifty trick that can help steer you in the right direction. At the very least, you can help spot email deliverability problems so you can hope to address them.
The method we’re discussing is to insert email marketing seeds into your email newsletter and email subscription base.
What’s An Email Marketing Seed? And How Could They Help Spot Email Marketing Deliverability Issues?
An email marketing seed is when you register for various email accounts for the sole purpose of “spying” on and testing your email deliverability across varying services.
So, you register for your email newsletter using those test accounts. You can then see how your emails are behaving and performing across different email service providers.
Seed emails are helpful so you can not only see if you’re landing in the inbox, but they also rock to see how your emails look across different email service providers and clients.
What Causes Bad Email Deliverability For Email Marketing?
Everyone has their private theory regarding email marketing deliverability and inbox rates. In my opinion, there are three or four major variables that help determine whether or not your emails land in the inbox. There are also variables outside of your control.
Here Are Some Email Deliverability Variables:
- # 1 – Your email’s body copy spam score
- # 2 – Your email open rate
- # 3 – The number of blocked senders, fake, or inactive email accounts (known as hard and soft bounces)
- # 4 – The percentage of subscribers who mark you as spam
- # 5 – Private spam algorithms from the email service providers
Therefore, I propose that you only know for sure if your emails are hitting the inbox if you test. That’s the purpose, beauty, and power of email seeds.
Here’s How Email Marketing Seeds Can Help Diagnose Inboxing Problems
In the absence of an email marketing seed list, you would never know that your emails were not hitting the inbox of a particular service.
You would realize that your open rates are dismal, or declining. However, you would be unable to verify the root cause of your low open rates. Email marketing seeds provide valuable insights, and a chance to correct the problem.
Here’s How Email Marketing Seeds Can Help You To Increase Your Email Deliverability
When you begin experimenting with email seeds, pay attention to what you see. Do your emails appear as they should? Do any graphic components look correctly across different services and devices?
Most importantly, are your emails landing in the inbox reliably? Are you avoiding the spam box?
These are critical questions that email seeds help you answer.
Seed emails allow you to see with your own eyes that your emails are landing in the inbox or the spam box. But, what happens if you know for a fact that your emails are landing in the spam box. What’s your next step?
From there, one of the best first steps is to contact your email marketing service provider. Tell them that you have tested two seed accounts. Let them know that your emails land in the spam box.
Hopefully, if your email marketing service provider knows their stuff, they can take a look at your campaigns and give you deliverability pointers.
Do Seed Emails Always Work? What If Something Goes Wrong?
What happens if your marketing emails are going into your spam folder? It might be a great idea to double-check on a second seed account.
Why is that a good idea? Because in my paranoid mind (lol) I would worry that there’s something within the settings of the account that is, for some reason, flagging the emails as spam.
That’s why I would double-check using a different account. Preferably, an account created on a new device!
Because, that way, I will be fairly certain that two different accounts are now unable to receive my marketing emails. I know for sure that there’s a problem that needs additional attention.
Another Cool Benefit Of Seed Emails For Email Marketing
If your email subscribers use different email service providers, then I’m always worried that emails will look slightly different.
Will that banner or fancy graphics look good across different email service providers? Maybe one email provider won’t like the email and they won’t load correctly?
That’s why I always love to test my marketing emails and autoresponder across different platforms. That way, I can see if any popular email service renders graphics glitches or if I notice any irregularities across platforms.
Email Marketing Deliverability FAQ
I’ve racked up quite the stack of email marketing experience over the years. I’ve also researched email marketing ad nauseam. That said, I’m happy to answer some of the most popular email marketing and deliverability questions, should you wish.
# 1 – What’s The Best Way To Diagnose Email Deliverability Problems?
In my opinion, email seeds are the single best way to spot and diagnose email marketing deliverability problems.
However, let’s be clear. There’s never a guarantee that your marketing emails will hit the inbox. However, if you know for sure that one particular email service is throwing your emails into spam, you can at least try to resolve the problem.
I advise most email marketers to followup with their email marketing service provider for advice. If your email marketing provider is worthy, then they have an abundant wealth of experience inboxing and sending emails. You’re paying them for service, so it’s shrewd (and wise) to ask for their help.
You can also find various email deliverability apps and services for free or cheap. Try searching for things like “free email deliverability test”, “email inbox test”, et cetera.
# 2 – My Email Leads Aren’t Opening My Emails Anymore. Should I Remove Inactive Subscribers Who Don’t Open Or Read My Emails?
Yes! I honestly think that your email open rate is a huge variable that determines your deliverability.
If all of the popular email service providers notice that nobody is reading your email, or even worse, marking your emails as spam, then it’s bad news for your deliverability.
It’s usually a smart email marketing practice to remove your subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in some time.
So, how long is too long? I think that if your subscribers haven’t opened your emails in several months, then it’s a good idea to consider removing them. They probably don’t want to read your emails anymore, and you’re not doing them any favors by continually sending content they don’t want.
If your subscribers forget who you are, they might mark your emails as spam, which is terrible for your deliverability!
# 3 – What’s The Best Email Marketing Service Provider For Newbies?
These days, there are at least a dozen fantastic email marketing platforms that are great for newbies. You’ve never had this many low-cost options!
I’m partial to AWeber because I’ve been using them for years and they’re very reliable. Their support staff also rocks and I’ve been satisfied every time I contact them with a question.
AWeber is also straightforward to use, and you don’t need any fancy tech or graphic design skills to quickly deploy beautiful email newsletters.
Another thing I love about AWeber is their email deliverability! Knock on wood; I’ve never had significant inboxing problems after using their service for years.
There are other options too! I’ve experimented with MailerLite, MailChimp, and GetResponse and happily recommend those apps to email marketers of all skill levels.
# 4 – Does Spam Score Impact Email Marketing Deliverability?
Yes! Any decent email marketing autoresponder will have a built-in spam-score that can help you to minimize or eliminate language that’s deemed to have a “high risk” of getting caught by spam filters.
Try your best to keep your spam score as low as possible! I’m not happy unless the spam score of my email copy is ZERO percent.
It’s important to note that the spam score isn’t everything. However, it’s a great starting point and something to consider as you write and test campaigns.
# 5 – Does Email Marketing Even Work These Days? My Open Rate Seems So Low!
Yes! Email marketing still works! However, as you know, at times, it’s difficult to cut through all of the noise out there. Competition has never been so fierce, and your subscribers are busier than ever. That’s why I’m a huge fan of practicing good email list hygiene and removing inactive subscribers.
In my opinion, a great open rate sends signals to your email service providers that people want your content. Hopefully, this can contribute to your emails landing in the inbox, and not the spam box.
I want to thank you so much for reading this blog post.
After email marketing for a while, these are some of my favorite tips and tricks to help your email deliverability.
I hope that this content finds you well!
If you ever have questions about email marketing or deliverability, then please never hesitate to give me a buzz.
Thanks again for reading, and take care!
Cordially and humbly…
Mike “The Inbox” DeVincent