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Send better email: A step-by-step guide to improving your email deliverability and open rates

Email is an important channel for acquiring, supporting, and retaining users. However, if not done properly, you can damage your sending reputation, meaning users won't get your emails at all.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, companies are increasingly relying on email to inform their customers about service updates, special offers, and support information.
"The increase in email volume at the moment means it's more important than ever to ensure your email sending reputation remains healthy"
Therefore, we wanted to share some advice and best practices to ensure your emails get front-and-centre placement in your customers' inbox. Here is a range of tips to gauge whether your email deliverability is in the red zone and how to fix any issues you might be seeing.

How to monitor your email sending reputation

First of all, you'll want to get a picture of the health of your email deliverability. Given that nearly everyone's using Gmail these days, checking your reputation with Google will give you a great overview of your sending reputation in general. Set up Google's Postmaster tool to monitor performance of your email. If you're having issues on Google, you can be sure you'll start to see issues elsewhere soon enough. This tool can help you to get ahead of problems before they ruin your sending reputation.

If you're an InTarget customer, you can see all the statistics of your campaigns in our Marketing Module:

3 tips to improve your email open rates

Next you'll want to consider improving your open rates. The average automated email sees an open rate of 20-30%. Some industries see higher or lower rates, but this should be the target range. If your open rate is way below industry average, you might be sending irrelevant content or worse, your emails might be going straight to the spam folder.

⚠️ If your emails are going to spam folder, reduce your audience to users who have opened your email within the last 30 days and expand it slowly until your open rates improve.

1. Don't email disengaged users

It's super tempting to email your entire user base in hopes of weeding out a lost opportunity or two, but invariably you'll get caught in spamtraps instead. Sending every email to your whole userbase can actually damage your brand and your sender reputation. Our Analytics team have shown that if customers haven't opened your last 10 emails, the likelihood of them opening the 11th is less than 2%. That likelihood drops to 1% after 14 emails.

2. Make your content personal

If an email isn't relevant and personal to your customers, it won't get opened. People shouldn't only open your emails in order to unsubscribe. We recommend you trigger messages in response to user actions. This ensures users receive content relevant to their actions in your product, which ultimately leads to better engagement.

3. In defence of clickbait…

A catchy subject line can make all the difference between archive-without-reading and open. You can beat out all the competition in the inbox by grabbing your audience's attention – be creative and personal, and avoid overused, inauthentic subject lines such as "We miss you!" To ensure you pick the best subject line for your users, why not A/B test?

A tip to decrease unsubscribe rates

If you're seeing a high unsubscribe rate, that typically means your emails aren't relevant to users or that the frequency of your sending is a little off.

Investigate frequency of sending

If you're messaging users too often, on a strange schedule or out of the blue, they are more likely to see the content as irrelevant. Best to send with a consistent schedule.

Adobe's Consumer Email Survey showed that the thing users dislike most is getting email too often:
Sending bad emails shrinks your mailing list, and wastes everyone's time. Try harder.

Source: Intercom