A Beginners Guide to Deliverability and Privacy

What is deliverability and privacy?

Email deliverability is all about maximising the potential number of emails that reach the inbox. The deliverability rate depends on how your email organisation:

-   Manages it’s email sender reputation

-   Manages lists

-   Ensures a quality database i.e. where your email list is from and how you manage bounces.

When we’re talking about email, privacy is about safeguarding the personal information contained in your mailing database. This includes honouring unsubscribes.

Why do deliverability and privacy matter?

These matter more than ever. First of all – it’s the law. There are strict laws surrounding how to use email marketing data which must be adhered to, to avoid a hefty fine.

Secondly, email marketing is a competitive world. As a result you need to master deliverability so that your email rises above the ‘noise; generated from social media, other marketers and new techniques.

Why do we need to understand deliverability and privacy?

- Getting your message delivered in vital to generate income, after all if your email isn’t delivered, then you’ve wasted a lot of time and effort.

- As a marketer you’ll be continually collecting personal information through landing pages, web forms and registrations. You’re responsible for developing a privacy policy and notifying individuals about how you collect, use and protect their data.

- Your reputation as an email sender impacts your potential reach as a marketer. The following can bring your deliverability score down:

Lack of adherence to an email privacy policy

Poor list management

Frequency and relevancy of sends

Complaints from recipients

Number of blocks

Spam trap hits

- Keep track of active and inactive recipients in your database. If you don’t, you’ll be sending emails to people who don’t engage, making it hard to understand how effective your communications have been. After all, if you send relevant emails you’ll know more about your prospects.

- Furthermore, if your email is seen as spam, your IP address will be labelled as a spammers IP, preventing you from getting into the inbox.

- Once the data is in your hands, you are responsible for the collection, use and transfer of that data. This can be problematic for bigger organisations especially those with a bigger marketing department as they tend to use different systems and databases – so be careful.


Deliverability and Privacy Best Practices


Step 1: Manage your reputation

- Know your sender score.

There are online services available for you to check your sender score for free. All scores are based on a scale of 1 to 100 (0 is the worst and 100 is the best possible score).

- Authenticate your email IP address.

Create separate records for each type of email communications i.e. newsletters or promotional.

- Control complaints.

Monitor complaint trends throughout each email campaign and avoid getting on blacklists.

- Gain recipient permission

Only send to those who have explicitly requested an email from you. Re-engage inactive contacts by confirming their subscription once or twice a year. Send only what the subscriber agreed to receive.

Step 2: Manage your email distributions lists

- Validate list sources

Ideally your list should be generated from your own contacts and leads, but here in the UK you can buy data from data houses. Make sure you trust the list provider, and again in the UK use a DMA approved data house.

- Warm your IP before launching a campaign to new IPs.

Send your campaign to all addresses in a phased manner and then remove hard bounces. Only use recent information and consider segmenting data by age.

- Process bounces

Remove hard bounces immediately – do not continue to send emails to those address that hard bounce. Try to keep your hard bounce rate under 3% for each campaign.

- Segment by recipient activity

Split your list and target your offers based on online behaviour. Filter your contacts if they haven’t opened or clicked on an email within the last 3 – 6 months – focus on quality not quantity.


Step 3: Optimise your content

- Reinforce email expectations

Communicate your privacy policy in a clear way and the type of content you send and when it will be sent. Send a welcome message to new sign-ups explaining how they can ensure the emails get delivered. Check in with your contacts every now and again to confirm they are still happy to receive communication from you.

- Optimise relevancy and frequency

Use automated programs to test frequency and determine the optimal mix for your audience.

- Review and refine

Generate reports that give insight into bounces, complaints and unsubscribes. Your bounce rate needs to be lower than 3%. Keep complaints under 0.01% by monitoring spam unsubscribes.

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