Back in March, Gmail made some changes in their spam filtering algorithms (again!)… This was also around the same time that they began looking at whether or not incoming mail was encrypted (and added a little icon in their webmail client when the mail is properly encrypted).
But now that the dust has settled, it seems more and more mail - industry-wide - is finding it’s way to the spam folder.
So.. what can you do about it?
First off… your CONTENT and your LIST are key indicators as to what’s going to happen with your mail.
Let’s revisit a few best practices that you may want to pay attention to.
1. Reputation (IP AND Domain). The domain is becoming more and more important in determine where your message ends up. Not so long ago in real time, but what seems like centuries in Internet time, it was all about the IP address. The domain is MUCH more important now. So we’re seeing high IP reputation scores using services like Return Path (or senderscore.org) for instance, but still finding deliverability issues. Often, this is simply because the reputation is now largely based on the domain. (Probably because it’s harder to just swap out a domain than an IP address). In other words, Gmail (and other ISPs) are watching how much mail is coming in from domains and seeing how the complaints correlate as well as how many people are actually engaging the messages versus simply ignoring them.
The reputation of your domain is based on bounces, complaints and engagement.
2. List hygiene. We discussed this a couple of weeks back in greater details, but in a nutshell… be sure to get rid of bad addresses, role addresses, duplicate addresses, non-responsive addresses, etc. Yes you should try a re-engagement campaign and possibly other sources of re-engagement such as social media prior to totally ditching the records!
3. Engagement. Get subscribers to actually engage with your emails more. Consider getting more creative, adding incentives (like surveys, coupon codes, contests, etc.). Be sure to add instructions in your emails, especially your welcome email as to how to whitelist you.
Ask them to reply to the email that they’ve received (be sure you monitor the mailbox and respond as necessary). Maybe send them a special coupon code for replying or give them an extra bonus. This is a VALUABLE method of engagement and VERY easy to implement.
Ultimately, the ISPs are getting smarter and smarter and it’s critical that we, as marketers, up our game. It’s not enough to simply collect as many email addresses as possible, regardless of when or where they came from, and then mail them until they eventually “buy or die!” Your overall email program will suffer and your reputation will start to decline, which translates into your bottom line.
For over a decade Heather Seitz used email marketing to build successful companies and had to solve the biggest barrier to consistent profitability: deliverability. Today she is the Co-Founder and CEO of Email Delivered.
If you have Gmail questions and looking for tips and tricks, visit http://www.emaildelivered.com/tag/gmail/. Remember to sign up for the FREE Email Delivered Pulse newsletter for articles, tips, and recommended resources for email marketers.
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