If you are having deliverability issues with your emails, let’s take a look at the content in question. Often times it's not immediately obvious what within the email could be causing the problem, and someone may not have taken the time to explain it before. So here are some no-no’s to look for and best practices to follow in both content, and subject lines.
Does the email follow best practices for deliverability?
Does the subject line contain anything that could potentially trigger a spam filter
- Spammy words, all caps, or special characters like lots of exclamation points Here’s a good list of words to start from.
- IN THE 21ST CENTURY PEOPLE READ THIS AS YOU YELLING AT THEM… So they will be less likely to open your email to read it if the subject is all caps.
- Using a lot of special characters (@#$%&) can draw unwanted spam filter attention
Are you using a lot of images, or one huge image?
- Is the email one giant image, or a bunch of large images? Using one large image as your entire email, or too many images in general, tends to end up in recipients’ spam folders.
- Too many large images impacts the size of the email (data size) and an email that is too large will be rejected by inboxes.
- Some inboxes have a security feature where images will not display unless the recipient manually clicks to allow it. If the email is only one giant image, that means your reader will see nothing at first and you may be out of luck.
- If you have one giant PDF or image that you absolutely HAVE to use, what we recommend is to add a text box below it and reiterate the message again in the text box.
Make sure you have a good image-to-text ratio (80/20)
- You want to have more text than images in your email, ideally no more than three images and a good 80/20 mix with text.
- Gmail wants 3 or less images and 3 or less links when it comes to marketing emails.
Are there broken links or missing footer info?
- Links that are broken or lead to broken pages will increase your chances of getting flagged for spam.
- Contact information & unsubscribe options are required to be in the footer of any marketing email, so please be sure they are in there.
Does the email contain anything that could potentially trigger a spam filter?
- Spammy words, all caps, or special characters like lots of exclamation points inside the body of the email can affect deliverability just as much as subject lines.
- See link to spammy words in section 1 above.
Are you sending valuable content?
- The email may follow all the rules and still not get great open rates. Why? Well, it's entirely possible that your audience is not interested in that particular piece of content.
- Take a look at what you are sending, and who you are sending it to. Does it make sense? Are you sending an open house invitation to everyone on your list (including new homeowners), rather than targeting appropriate leads?
- Less common, but we’ve seen some things. By default, most email clients don't allow the ability to view rich media like Flash or video embeds. Instead, use an image of your video player (with a play button) that links to the rich media on a website page.
- Forms aren't supported in email across common email clients due to security risks. Instead, place a call-to-action button or a link to a landing page with a form in the body of your email.
- Very often real estate professionals treat their email like a print flyer or landing page, but marketing emails & inboxes in general play by a VERY different set of rules.
Some extra bits to know
- An email that is one large image, or a bunch of images, may have problems arriving at and being seen inside of inboxes because of the size of the email or security options of the recipient.
- Your email is not a print flyer or a landing page, please play by email marketing Safe Sender rules.
- Subject lines should entice and/or inform, they should not be vague or obnoxious.
- How you think an email SHOULD look does not necessarily equal best practices.
- Making sure the information you are sending is valuable and informative is more important than how it looks.
Best practices to follow
- Keep your emails CAPS FREE, and also avoid common spammy words - Good comprehensive list
- Keep a good balance between images and text.
- Do not use all images / one giant image.
- Remember that your email is NOT a landing page or print flyer. Marketing emails follow a very different set of rules for content.
- Make sure all of your links work and you have the correct contact information in your footer
- Make sure the content you are sending out makes sense for your audience, and if it doesn’t segment your contact database and only send to those who fit that message.
Email subject lines
- Do not use any exclamation points, or special characters like &%$#*@ (not a curse word)
- ALL CAPS = YELLING IN INBOXES, DO NOT DO IT.
- Do not make subject lines misleading or vague, this will deter future opens
- Make subject lines into a question to intrigue & pique interest, OR
- A statement that tells the reader exactly what you are providing.
- Try to keep it under 10 words