Increase Your Associations Email Deliverability with These Tips

Deep Dives,

Are your emails being delivered to members?

Communicating to members via email is a hot topic in the association and chamber space -- and it's no wonder! Email marketing has been shown to have higher conversion rates than both social media and search engines. Communicating effectively with your members via email is a key marketing component to keep members engaged, promote and increase event attendance, inform about important industry information and everything in between.

But you probably know that already. So how do you it?

Your organization may already craft really great and compelling content. But that won't matter if the recipient doesn't open your email in the first place. Seemingly small things, like putting the wrong word in a subject line, can get your emails sent straight to spam or may not be compelling enough to make them want to click that open button.

The world of email deliverability can sometimes seem a bit daunting, but we've found that a little research and careful planning can go a long way.

During a Novi Roundtable discussion on email deliverability, Novi customers shared thoughtful discussion about things associations and chambers can do to improve their email deliverability, stay out of the dreaded spam box and promote member engagement with association email communications. The following summary provides some actionable takeaways so your members actually receive email that they can read and use.

Email Deliverability Tips and Tricks

The Meaning of Email Deliverability

In the briefest terms, email deliverability means the number of emails that are actually making it to someone’s inbox, the number of people that are then actually clicking to read the email, and finally the number of people that are actually following through and reading the email or interacting with content in the email. There are various factors that can impact how you assess or evaluate your email deliverability including how you manage your email lists, active members, spam filters on servers that may impact how your emails are delivered, etc.

Email Strategy for Deliverability

Emails won’t successfully deliver themselves. A combination of research, thoughtful experimentation, and a sensible strategy will help pave the way for successful email communications and campaigns. Consider the following when devising an email deliverability strategy:

  1. Click-worthy headlines and content – Creating headlines and content that avoid spam filters and contain information your audience actually wants to read doesn’t have to be difficult. While it’s important to stay up to date on current email marketing trends and research, a few tenets tend to remain constant and deliver results. Generally, avoid subject lines with all capitalization, excessive punctuation like exclamation points, and words spammers would use like "win", "free", and "urgent". The body of your email should not be image heavy as this can be captured in spam blockers. Additionally, and this is a given, spend time making sure your content is relevant and engaging. You’ll encourage your readers to continue opening your communications which will bolster your deliverability.
  2. Subscription Management – Your permission footer should ideally contain an unsubscribe link, your address, and a statement of "you are receiving this email because…".
  3. Update your email lists – Cutting the dead weight from your email lists can be very helpful. Sending emails to non-existent users can help decrease your bounce rate and improve credibility. Create a schedule and process to remove inactive users from your lists, and/or filter users who have not opened emails in a specified timeframe. Also, utilize groups to target emails to the recipients that are most likely to benefit from the content.
  4. Sender reputation feedback tools – Using tools to test, optimize, and analyze the deliverability of the emails you’re sending with tools like MXToolbox or GlockApps can help inform you “what kind of reputation you have” or provide feedback on the quality of your content.
  5. Editorial Calendar – Random email send activity can lower your sender score and can result in IP rejection. On the audience end, receiving email blasts from your organization all at once can drown out important communications. Stick to a consistent schedule that accounts for regularly scheduled communications, campaigns for events or other initiatives, and allows wiggle room to adjust for moving up priority news and announcements. Tools like Asana and Trello provide a great way to organize content. Additionally, email marketing platforms like Mailchimp feature a calendar view of previously sent as well as scheduled campaigns so team members can more easily plan.
  6. Segment your email lists – Targeted communication is important and there are tools at your fingertips to help you target the right people at the right time. For example, using Novi groups, you set the criteria, and Novi will automatically update your marketing lists in near real time. Export your groups for print pieces or let us sync the data over to your email platform.

You've spent valuable time creating incredible content, events, and information to not have it reach your members inbox. It doesn't need to be a complicated process. With attention to these key details, you'll improve your association’s email deliverability while increasing member engagement with your organization.