A short guide on how to fix your deliverability after a disaster send out

Dec 10, 2021
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Black Friday email campaign can be a superior way of increasing your revenue in the final quarter of the year. However, often sending to a large audience from not properly prepared infrastructure can be damaging for your email sender reputation and your email deliverability.

Let’s pretend we have a time travel machine, and we can go back to the 25th of November, a day before Black Friday. You’ve already created a great email copy with a creative subject line, and you are all set to send it to your recipients. And, when the right time comes, you will click the ‘send’ button, and expect to see the results promptly.

Well, that’s the ideal scenario, but life can indeed be brutal. Especially for email marketers! Instead of sales, you’ve noticed a huge drop in the engagement rates. Oopsie, something went bad and your delivery is just not as good as it used to.

So you’ve messed up your deliverability, that’s okay – it happens to all of us! What is crucial now is to establish what went wrong, how to fix it before your Christmas email blast and how you can avoid such mistakes in the future.

How did you damage your email deliverability?

There is no easy way to establish what exactly went wrong, however, let’s list the typical mistakes before mass send-outs, so you might be able to spot the ones that, most likely, happened to you on that day.

Lack of email authentication parameters

Making sure that you are not perceived as a spammer by the spam filters and your subscribers should be your number one priority. One of the most crucial steps is to authenticate your emails, which proves the legitimacy of your communication.

Properly setting up SPF and DKIM records allows the ISPs to determine if your email is real or fraudulent. If your authentication parameters were not in place during your Black Friday campaign, this is most probably the number one reason why your emails were not delivered to the inboxes of your audience.

Uncleaned email list

If your list was not properly scrubbed from all the undeliverable addresses, there is a high chance that your bounce rate was too high. Sending emails to invalid addresses can seriously damage your email delivery.

If you didn’t use your list in 3-6 months prior to the Black Friday send out, the risk of having a significant bounce rate is super high.

Bounce rate is one of the indicators for the ISP’s that a particular sender might be a spammer. Those that send out spam, usually generate email addresses automatically, thus their bounce rates are high.

Legitimate senders tend to skip the task of list cleaning in their marketing plan, thus their bounce rate might indicate that their sending practices are not decent, and should be blocked from email communication.

Spam complaints increased

Every time your recipient hit the ‘Report as spam’ button, your sender score takes a hit. It is a massive indicator for ISP that you are sending spam that your audience did not wish to receive.

The next step from there is low deliverability and a blacklisted sending domain.

Nowadays our inboxes are overloaded, and people are definitely more likely to express their anger with yet another email that they are not happy with, by doing the quickest possible thing – report as spam.

Why do recipients tend to hit that button?

Misleading email subject

If your Black Friday email subject line had no correlation to the actual content, subscribers most likely felt cheated. Always make sure to provide exactly what you’ve promised. Earning the trust of your audience is extremely difficult, thus if they were keen to open your message, don’t you dare to disappoint them with the email copy.

Unsubscribe button nowhere to be found

People do unsubscribe from communication that they no longer wish to receive for a variety of reasons. They might no longer need your product, your content is not satisfying their needs, or you send too many emails. Unsubscribe button is not your enemy, but a blessing! If you were to remove this button or make it super difficult to find in the copy of your email, what choice are they left with? Reporting you as a SPAM.

Pro tip

Always monitor your unsubscribe rate, and if you will notice any sudden changes in those numbers, evaluate your latest updates of the content.

Sending without consent

The recipient that never agreed to receive communication from you, might not be the best for your business. If they have never agreed to receive your content, then they will most likely treat your email as a spam message, and report it as such.

Sending to unengaged audience

An unengaged audience is another indicator for ISPs that you might be sending SPAM. If people tend to not open your emails, it could mean that they did not wish to receive your content. Monitoring your email engagement rates is very helpful in finding those that do not engage.

You should implement a strategy to win back those that still have some potential, and remove subscribers that had shown no interest in your messages. You could implement re-engagement tactics and emails as a lost resort before removing unengaged subscribers.

Sending from a cold domain

If you’ve recently added a new domain that you did use to send out your BF campaign – it might be where your troubles begin. A domain that is not properly warmed out will not get your email delivered to the inboxes. First, you need to send just a few emails per day from it, so it can start building up the sender score.

It is a big ‘no-no’ to use new domains for mass send-outs, as emails will not get delivered, plus you will most likely get it blacklisted.

Lack of regularity in your communication

A huge red flag is a lack of regularity. ISPs closely monitor how often you send out your campaign and how many emails. They’re looking for the kind of erratic schedules that is typically used by spammers.

If you’ve decided to send your Black Friday campaign to all your contacts, even though you didn’t reach out to them in almost a year, well this might look suspicious. Implement a regular newsletter on a specific schedule to appear as the legitimate sender, that you are!

If you didn’t do any of the above, but still had a disaster delivery of your BF campaign, you can reach out to Email Consul deliverability experts to look into it for you. They will help you establish what happened and provide guidance and recovery recommendations.

 

How to fix your email deliverability issue?

As with everything in the email marketing world, there is no easy answer to this question. As there might be multiple issues with your deliverability there also will be quite a few solutions to fix those.

Email deliverability experts

Searching for answers might be a real hassle, as this isn’t an everyday occurrence to deal with email deliverability struggles. Rely on email deliverability experts and consultants that have sufficient tools and knowledge to quickly resolve your issues, and to advise you on how to keep your emails delivered in the future. 

Email deliverability audit

We are super lucky that we live in such a technically developed World. There is a tool for everything now, and email deliverability is no different. You can now simply run the email deliverability audit with an email deliverability specialist, and then based on the results of your audit plan the next steps on how to get your emails deliverability fixed.

We can definitely recommend EmailConsul’s tools and consultations. Their audit tool is super simple but so powerful! To find out what is wrong with your delivery, just go to their Free Emal Deliverability Audit page, and type in your email. Once you’ll activate your account, you will need to send an email to a list of addresses that EmailConsul will provide you with. And that’s it! You can view the generated report and find out if your authentication parameters were implemented properly or if you’ve been blacklisted. 

Email deliverability consultation

The next step would be to schedule a consultation with an email deliverability expert, to discuss your results and plan recovery steps. You might decide to do it on your own, however, we will strongly recommend relying on the consultant, if you would like to get your emails fixed fast and properly. 

 

 

How to get your next email campaigns delivered?

To start off, learn from your mistakes and avoid making them again.
Here is a quick list of good sending practices that will help you keep your emails delivered:

Email authentication is key!

This is essential to keep your emails delivered! Using these protocols proves that your email comes from a trusted source and protects its subscribers.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
Sender ID
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
Domain Message Authentication Reporting & Conformance (DMARC)

Take the highest care of your sender reputation/sender score

Interner Service Providers use advanced algorithms that allow them to establish how reliable and trustworthy you are as an email sender. They monitor all your email sending practices, so make sure that you do your best to build a great score.

Use dedicated IP addresses and business domains

Don’t send from free domains like gmail.com, or yahoo. Use your business domain instead. If you are using an ESP for your marketing, then select a dedicated IP address, don’t use a shared one.

Make it easy to unsubscribe

Keep the unsubscribe button visible in your email design, and make the whole process of unsubscribing super-easy.

Keep your email lists clean

Remove unengaged and invalid addresses before every email campaign. It’s an easy step that will make a major difference. You can use an email verification service like Bouncer, to quickly establish which emails should no longer be on your list.

Relevant content to an engaged audience is your goal

Keep your open and click rates high, by providing a relevant email copy to well-segmented lists. Personalize emails and measure the results of your campaigns.

Constantly monitor and optimize your email marketing

Watch out for any abnormalities and act accordingly. Optimize your campaigns and keep on testing what works best for your audience.

Follow the best sending frequency

Finding out how often you should email your subscribers plays a big part in your email deliverability. Don’t oversend, but at the same time, don’t just leave your audience waiting for more.

Keep Email Consul and Bouncer in your saved links, and remember that you are not alone 🙂

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