Improve cold email deliverability

Cold email, when done right, is the most suitable strategy for generating leads. It is one of the communication strategies that entail reaching out to customers through emails. Since these customers have no idea of your existence or the products/services you offer, you should be extra careful. Hence, you should learn the best tips for cold email deliverability.

In this article we are going to discuss

  • how you can improve cold email deliverability to reach your prospect’s inbox, and
  • how to test your email campaigns before hitting the “send” button.

How you deliver these cold emails determines whether they are successful or otherwise. If you notice failure, for sure, you should take immediate action.

Tips for successful cold email deliverability

1. Your cold email is not SPAM!

Improve cold email deliverability

Since the recipients of your emails have no idea about your existence, at times they might report those emails as spam. As a result, you will experience instant and radical change in your reputation. However, as time goes by, the same recipients will include your contact on their lists.

Also, you might get replies to your emails. Afterward, your reputation will increase in the quickest time possible. This is how you avoid getting reported as spam.

i) Prospects should unsubscribe easily

Giving links where prospects can unsubscribe can save your cold emails from being reported as spam. If such an incidence happens, take it easy. Never force them to re-feed their details. Just respect their decision instead.

ii) Personalize your email and target your prospects

Sending generic emails to thousands of emails without personalization or without a target is a horrible idea. Rather, include a few personalized details to show your interest in the recipient. Just carry ou online research about them to know what information to include in the emails.

Pay attention to those prospects who might be interested in whatever it is you are selling. Your follow-ups to emails should be friendly. Your time-frame should be flexible. Else sending lots of emails within a short duration could irritate your recipients.

iii) Avoid restricting your activities to cold emailing

If you fail to get feedback from your emails, perhaps the recipient has no interest – even if they do not report you as spam.

Alternatively, if you get feedback, then you will know your credibility is high. In the end, your reputation increases. The best way to use this credibility is to include other activities besides cold emailing. For instance, use email ids to email colleagues or friends. You never know, your reputation might go even higher.

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2. Never allow internet/email service providers to flag you

How to Improve cold email deliverability

For email service provider to identify your activity as suspicious, they look at factors like entire bounce rate and volume. Therefore, ensure you create a great reputation with these service providers. Here are some guidelines:

i) Start small

Instead of focusing on lots of emails, why don’t you focus on the feedback you get from those emails? You can begin by sending around 40 emails and increase your reputation as time goes by. The trick here is to keep sending a certain volume of emails daily.

This is opposed to sending hundreds of them once a week and none on other days. As you progress, you can increase that number after creating an email id.

ii) Be careful with automation software

Automation software, such as MixMax and Mailshake, can help you with cold emailing. However, you should adjust the settings in such a way that allows you to send emails in intervals and with a daily limit.

iii) Lower bounces

Service providers rate feedback in terms of bounces. Getting fewer bounces can boost your reputation, and vice versa. Therefore, avoid more bounces because they can affect your reputation, which is challenging to get out of it.

To avoid bounces ensure you verify, clean and freshen your cold email list. Use Findthatlead and Briteverify as services to validate those addresses.

iv) Send different templates

Sending similar emails over the same period sends a wrong signal. Instead, use personalized tags such as Company and First name. Luckily, most cold email and sales tools will help you set-up several A/B testing choices. As a result, you will be using different templates each time you send emails.

v) Watch your reputation

Return Path and Sender Score are some of the tools you can use to watch your reputation. You will know if your IP’s/domain reputation is rising or dropping within a given period. Dropping reputation means minimizing the volume of emails and concentrating on how you can enhance email deliverability.

3. Avoid spam filters

Email inbox placement

As technology advances, spam filters get highly complex. The best thing is to ensure the spam filters for your recipients do not flag your emails. And this is how you go about it.

Get the right email infrastructure

Some people send cold email using their Gmail accounts through software like MixMax, Mailshake or Klenty. In that case, they do not have to worry about spam filters. Otherwise, if using Rackspace or Sendgrid to create an SMTP server on a dedicated IP, then you should be careful.

First, you should include the right DKIM records and SPF records. Second, verify you own that domain. Complying with these two steps will win the trust of your recipients.

Are there other factors that affect cold email deliverability?

Yes, these are:

  • Some recipients have advanced spam filters that track links and short URLs. The best thing to do is to do away with images and switch off email-open tracking.
  • Attachments also affect the deliverability of your emails. Therefore, avoid attachments especially in your initial emails. If it is a must, you can upload the files to Dropbox/Google docs to send that link.
  • Avoid salesy templates. Sending emails with many colors, lots of HTML, CAPS and exclamation points might make it appear as spam. Hence, your emails will be filtered easily.

How can you test your cold email?

Test cold email deliverability with the right tools

Testing email campaigns before sending them is a bet practice that helps to improve inbox placement rate. There are several email testing tools you can use for that matter.

  • Mail-tester is a tool that can help you out. This email deliverability tool will enable you to know how likely your emails will be delivered.
  • MX toolbox is another online tool  for testing how spammy your email looks.
  • Litmus is a premium email deliverability testing tool – it has a free trial.

The bottom line

As you can see, effective cold email deliverability goes down to spam. You should ensure your emails do not appear as spam by following these steps we have discussed.

Other ways you can avoid sending spam emails is to:

  • Send well thought and written emails
  • Carry out research and contact only those suitable for your product/service
  • Simplify and respect prospects rights to unsubscribe
  • Use an email deliverability testing tool before sending out a campaign

If you follow these steps, for sure, you will reap all the benefits of cold emailing.

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PS.  We’d love to help dial in your marketing automation.  If you head on over to the Done For You Email Marketing page, you’ll get the chance to speak with us one on one about getting your email automation setup!