13 Mar 2019

Improve Email Deliverability With These Four Mailing List Tricks


If you’re frustrated that loan application numbers haven’t rebounded as fast as the recent drop in mortgage rates, you’re not alone. Many in the mortgage loan industry are trying to find ways to draw hesitant buyers off the fence as spring nears.

While no one can make buyers materialize from thin air, recent rate declines could be a reason to target prospects with convincing, creative email marketing. But since marketing can’t persuade anyone who doesn’t see it, this is also a great opportunity to consider which strategy will improve your email deliverability.

Deliverability, put simply, is how you ensure your emails reach the intended recipient’s inboxes. That means avoiding filters designed to protect people from unwanted messages. Those filters divert suspect deliveries into spam folders or stop them from being delivered at all. This happens to about one in five emails.

You’re probably familiar with many email deliverability best practices: using validation tools like SPF, DKIM and DMARC, avoiding spam trigger words and not buying address lists. But what affects email deliverability most is having your messages opened, read and never marked as spam. So, you should only send emails to people who want to hear from you.

Here’s what helps:

Clean up your mailing list

It may seem counter-intuitive, but one of the best ways to get your emails seen by more people is by sending them to fewer people. Again, the key to deliverability is having your messages opened and read, so why keep emailing people who never do that? Purging the addresses of people who don’t engage could give you a much higher open rate.

You especially want to dump addresses that result in hard bounces. This happens with people who signed up with typos, fake names or accounts they don’t use. They’ll never open your messages, so having them on your list only hurts you.

Double opt-in and preference centers

Once you’ve purged the deadbeats, you’ll want to ensure the integrity of your next sign-ups. A double opt-in has recipients confirm they want to hear from you, usually by clicking an activation link in a welcome email. The extra step may cost you a few sign-ups, but those people were unlikely to engage anyway.

Preference centers are subscriber pages that let recipients set parameters for the types and frequency of emails they want. They’re less likely to mark your emails as spam if you send them as requested.

If people do change their minds and ask to unsubscribe, remove them before your next mailing. Any mail received after an unsubscribe request risks being marked as spam. Letting this happen is an avoidable error.

Ask to be a trusted sender

When recipients whitelist your “from” address, it’s like giving you immunity from the spam folder. Ask your recipients to add you to their address book, actively in your welcome message and passively as part of your regular email signature.

Not everyone will, but it’s a low-risk, high-reward request. It sure doesn’t hurt to ask.

Tempting subject lines — with content to match

The steps above should generate a mailing list of people interested in your message. Now you have to keep them engaged! Write compelling, irresistible subject lines that get your emails opened.

Once inside, make sure readers find good offers and helpful information. No one likes a bait-and-switch, and people who you’ve already won over are the last ones you want to annoy.

The Bottom Line:

Deliverability helps your emails get seen. A quality address list is the tool to get you there.

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