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4 Reasons Your Emails Aren't Being Delivered

Posted on 11.24.2014

Email is an essential part of any successful digital marketing strategy. When used correctly, this channel has the potential to drive website traffic, increase conversions and recover abandoned shopping carts.

One of the biggest challenges for marketers, however, can be actually getting their email campaigns delivered in their subscribers’ inboxes. This is because there are many factors that can impact a marketer’s sender score, which directly influences the deliverability of campaigns. Read below to discover four reasons why your emails might not be being delivered:


1. High Bounce Rates

It is critical that marketers clean up their email lists from time to time, because lists that consistently produce a lot of bounced emails can impact the deliverability of future campaigns. 

When reviewing bounced emails, marketers should remove any email address that has caused a hard bounce because this indicates a permanent reason as to why the email cannot be delivered, such as an email address that doesn’t exist. Conversely, a soft bounce indicates a temporary delivery issue, such as a full mailbox. Email marketers should monitor soft bounces and if the same email address keeps producing soft bounces, the marketer should then remove the email address from their list so that it doesn’t continue to damage his or her sender score.


2. Lack of Engagement

It is not uncommon for subscribers to mistype their email address when signing up for a newsletter. Unfortunately, if not caught, this typo can result in hard bounces and damage a marketer’s sender score and deliverability rates. Additionally, some consumers may choose to subscribe to a newsletter and then never engage further with the brand, including leaving messages from the brand unopened in their inbox. Unfortunately, this lack of engagement can also impact deliverability because it suggests to the email service provider (ESP) that the content isn’t engaging, thus leading the ESP to deliver future messages from the brand to the subscriber’s spam folder.

To prevent either of these situations from becoming an issue, marketers should leverage a double opt-in email sign up strategy. With double-opt in, subscribers are required to confirm their email address before they are included onto a marketer’s newsletter list. While this strategy could result in a smaller list for marketers because it requires subscribers to take action, it will result in a more engaged subscriber list and is likely to decrease the number of bounces a marketer receives.


3. Customer Complaints

Unsurprisingly, customer complaints, including subscribers that mark emails as spam, also damage an email marketer’s sender score. To avoid complaints, marketers should aim to keep their email program consistent, which means maintaining the type of content within messages that subscribers signed up for, such as promotions or newsletters about a specific topic. Keep in mind that this type of content is what the subscriber initially signed up for, and anything else could result in a complaint or unsubscribe.

In addition, marketers need to pay close attention to their subject lines, as misleading subject lines can also increase customer complaints – regardless if they resulted in a higher open rate or not. Essentially, any change to an email marketing program can lead customers to submit spam complaints – thus damaging the marketer’s sender score and deliverability rates.


4. Inconsistency

The volume and frequency of messages sent can also impact a marketer’s sender score, which is why it is important for marketers to stay on schedule with their campaigns. This is because ESPs may implement deliverability penalties to a brand that stops sending email for a few weeks and then drastically increases its volume and frequency. Moreover, just as subscribers get irritated when they receive different types of content from a brand than what they initially signed up for, subscribers will also get irritated if they start receiving three messages a week when they only signed up for one. This inconsistency can lead to customer complaints, which can further damage the marketer’s sender score and deliverability.


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