We’ve often been asked for tips on how to improve open rates, inboxing and all that jazz. Well, this is our recommended checklist.
So, here are the steps that you need t follow to improve your deliverablity:
Step 1: Preparation
Setup Google Postmasters if you haven’t already. It’s how you follow your reputation with Gmail. Quite important!
Domain reputation. If you haven’t been involved in any shady tactics, your domain will most likely be fine. That should be reflected in Postmasters and in the previous GlockApps test.
Test one campaign with GlockApps. This is a tool we use every single day. It’s also the only paid tool in this list. It provides us with an overview of inbox placement, checks for IP and domain blacklisting and more.
IP reputation. If you use a provider like MailChimp, Active Campaign, Klaviyo or so on, there’s a big chance the IP is medium reputation. This is manageable and normal, but if the reputation is bad you’ll have to change the IP.
Step 2: Techie action steps
Setup SPF and DMARC. Slightly more complicated but also very useful. Whatever software you are using, once you set this up there’s full alignment that the emails are coming from your domain. You can also set it so that anytime authentication fails on your domain, it is rejected or quarantined.
Setup and verify DKIM. All mail software should support this. It’s a way to authenticate your domain and prove you are the rightful owner sending from that domain. It’s a simple DNS entry.
BIMI and Gmail avatar. BIMI is a relatively new way to authenticate your domain while also helping you to stand out in inboxes with an avatar. In short, it shows a profile picture you choose. Gmail is still only testing this, but in the meantime you can also set your email address as a G Suite account and set the profile picture there. Helps open rates!
Step 3: Non-techie action steps
Whitelisting and dragging to Primary. You’ll remember this request from almost everyone. We also regularly ask for this because it’s just so freaking important. Ask nicely and it will help.
Clicks. Engagement, especially for Gmail, is extremely important. If your subscribers whitelisted you and regularly click in your emails, the chances of landing in Primary are much higher.
Replies. Bigger than clicks, if you can regularly encourage your readers to reply, it helps massively.
Compress images. The newer your domain and list are, the more you have to limit images and compress them. If you have a highly engaged list that’s been active for many years, you will be able to use images more freely.
List hygiene. There’s no way around it… If people don’t want to be on your list but still refuse to unsubscribe, you have to do it for them. Segment out inactive recipients and watch as more and more people open your emails.
Implement all those steps and monitor your numbers for the next 5-10 campaigns. You should start to see an improvement. It’s not a one-and-done activity, continue to do the above regularly. It’s what helps us achieve a ~45% open rate on this newsletter!