Email is essential in the world of marketing automation. SharpSpring provides the email tools to connect with leads quickly, intimately, and automatically.
To ensure that we provide great deliverability and maintain your reputation as an email sender, we advocate email best practices. In short, these are AUTHENTICATION, PERMISSION and ENGAGEMENT. The goal of any email sender is to start with permission, and to continue the relationship based on engagement (opens, clicks, website visits, purchases, etc).
All email should be properly authenticated with DKIM. These tell receiving mail servers that SharpSpring has permission to send email on your behalf. Major ISPs are moving to "no auth / no entry" systems, meaning that they expect email to be authenticated in order to be considered for delivery. Many anti-spam applications used by other mail servers are also configured to automatically reject email that isn't authenticated.
Email recipients should have expressly signed up with you. This is often at events, at point-of-sale, and during website visits; but there are any number of ways for a recipient to have a prior relationship with you, and for them to have granted you access to their email address. As a reputable email service provider, we don’t recommend that senders ever purchase email lists, since there do not contain the express permission of recipients. All sorts of bad things happen: poor inboxing rates, poor opens and clicks, high unsubscribe and spam complaint rates, and even blacklisting of your business domain.
Taking advantage of permission-based of methods like Confirmed Opt-in and Permission Reminders allows for higher engagement and deliverability.
- The highest standard for permission uses Confirmed Opt-in, in which subscribers are sent an email, and then click a link to confirm their interest is further email.
- Continue to verify permission within email using Permission Reminders, so that recipients can remember how they subscribed to your emails.
A sender-recipient relationship is started with permission, but it’s maintained with engagement. The goal for engagement is to create subject lines that recipients want to open, and content that recipient want to consume and click (and not flag as spam or unsubscribe).
The following data points give visibility into how recipients consume your email:
SharpSpring recommends A/B testing your email to optimize each email campaign’s engagement stats.
ISP's like to see senders who have engaged recipients, and will give preferential deliverability to them. Senders with large segments of unengaged recipients should expect to see soft bounces; after removing unengaged recipients, you should see see your email delivery speed and inboxing improve. We recommend that unengaged recipients should be removed from your regular email list, typically three months after their last interaction with you.
Practice List Management
- Remove Role Address (support@, info@, accounting@) These are known to cause issues with spam complaints and unsubscribes.
- Remove disposable domains - These are temporary email addresses used for quick signup to avoid receiving mail in their real inbox.
- Remove invalid addresses BEFORE sending to the list. Invalid addresses cause hard bounces, elevated your email stats, and lower your email sender status. Please remove invalid emails before emailing to them. Consider implementing confirmed opt-in to make sure only valid emails are added to your mailing lists. Learn more about setting up confirmed opt-in here.
Following these steps will improve overall deliverability of your mailing lists.