Creating Emails That Increase Your Deliverability

HubSpot Employee

There is nothing worse than creating a great email campaign, full of content that you know your contacts will find a ton of value in and will help surface those hot leads for your sales team, only for the emails to go out and not get any engagement, or to seemingly not even reach someone's inbox. I've had it before where I've called a client to find out why they never got back to those emails, only to discover it was sitting in their spam folder.  


Now imagine going through, and doing some research on your email domains reputation or sender score, to discover that your domain's reputation is far from perfect. There is nothing more disheartening as a marketer, as email is your number one tool when it comes to lead nurturing. Thankfully it's not something that you'll be stuck with, and it's something that is fully in your control to turn around. Today, I'm going to give you some helpful tips on how you can create emails which will benefit your email deliverability, and over time turn things around if you find yourself with an email deliverability issue.


Before we start, I have a confession to make, and one that I think we are marketers sometimes avoid addressing..... is hard.


I sometimes think that we find ourselves thinking that anyone can run an email campaign, because email is something that we use every day in our personal lives. We see emails all the time, we know what a good email looks like, so of course we will nail this whole email thing. But the problem with familiarity is that it causes us to miss the warning signs that things are not working, or to skip some of the basics when it comes to crafting engaging emails.  With that in mind, I'd encourage you to continue to research email marking fundamentals. After this post I'll include some great resources that I'd highly recommend taking some time to look through.  For now let's talk about emails and creating ones that increase your deliverability. 


Before jumping into the email itself, it's important to understand what it is that servers and spam filters look through when deciding if your email is one that they can accept. There are so many different factors, but some of the main ones include:


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If you look at those areas again, you might notice that I've actually grouped them together into three different groups:




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Often when we think about spam filters, we only focus on the email itself, but we forget about everything that happens before an email is sent, and we forget about what people do, or don't do, with the email once it arrives. How people engage with your emails will play a big factor in your deliverability, so it's important that we make sure we are sending out emails to people who we can be sure will interact with your emails. And don't forget, not taking an action is in itself an action. If someone doesn't open your email, then that will be seen as negative interaction by servers and spam filters. So the importance here has to be placed on creating an engaging email.


The first place to start is with your database. When you are creating your emails, ask yourself why this person should receive your email. And don't just go "Because they are in my database". Think about your own inbox, how many emails from businesses to you ignore?  So far today I've received 7 emails that I deleted without even opening them, because I know they are just trying to sell me something, including places that I'm a loyal customer with (Sorry LEGO, I don't read your emails because I already check your website enough to know what's coming out). So why are you doing the same thing with your emails and your database?


This is is where the segmentation of your database plays a massive role. If you have a list of contacts who always engage with your emails, then these are people you want to keep in more frequent touch with. If you have people who just don't open your emails at all, you might want to pull back on the number of emails they are sent. Don't forget, those contacts doing nothing impact your open-rate, which can over time affect your deliverability, so don't let them impact you! 


Once you know who you are going to email and have have a frequency or email type strategy in place, it's time to craft that email. I keep going on and on about engagement, but that's because that's what we want to encourage. So to help demonstrate what an engaging email would look, I want you think, what your asset on your website is designed to to encourage engagements?


If you said landing pages, you have gotten a virtual gold star from myself!


Think about it, a landing page is designed so that when someone clicks on a CTA to bring them there, the CTA is clear with its value proposition. The page itself is simple, states very clearly what will happen is someone submits that form, and has no other distractions to make someone leave the page. Your emails should be the exact same. Your subject line is your CTA, the email body is your landing page, and your links are your conversion point.  All of these are positive engagements, so your email so make it very simple for someone to navigate and perform an action. If you are sending an email that has no clear link to engage it, I'd challenge you to not send that email yet. Every single email, even if it's just a "Thank you for submitting our form" email should include an engagement piece. 


The four must-haves for engaging emails then are:


  • A clear and inviting subject line. 
  • Personalization.
  • Relevant content tailored to that contact.
  • A simple CTA.

If you just keep reminding yourself that your email is a landing page, then it will ensure that you are creating emails with will increase your deliverability. If you have a low reputation at the moment, then creating these types of emails and sending them out to your highly engaged contacts will help improve your score. It won't change overnight, but by working on this strategy over time you will see things improve.


Have you seen anything that helped make your emails engaging? Let me know in the comments!