Email Deliverability Rules: How to Make Sure You Reach Your Subscribers

Email Deliverability Rules

How To Make Sure Your Emails Reach Your Subscribers

[🎧 If you prefer to listen than read, head on over to the What Matters Marketing Podcast to listen to the episode on the new Email Deliverability Rules and 8 current best practices]

Two of the worlds largest email service providers (ESPs) Gmail with 27% and Yahoo with 10.8% announced this month (December 2023), that they plan to implement new email authentication and spam-prevention policies. Starting from February 2024, the two major email providers will begin to block and aggressively filter incoming email traffic that doesn’t meet domain authentication and procedural requirements for businesses who send 5000 or more emails per day. 

⏳ Wait a minute - before you click off because you don't think this matters to your business, let me give you

3 great reasons to care about your email deliverability:

1. Email marketing remains as one of the cheapest and most effective marketing tools you can use

2. Email marketing has been proven to provide an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent

3. Email marketing enables you to control

  • when you send your communication,
  • who you send it to
  • and what you offer to your subscribers - you're in control!


How To Comply With Gmail and Yahoo's Deliverability Rules:

1. Authenticate your emails

Providing you are using an Email Service Provider (ESP) such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Flodesk for your bulk email sends, you would have already completed this process during your set-up.  You can learn more about authenticating your emails here.

2. Let people unsubscribe easily... and STOP emailing them

You enable (or should) people to sign up easily to receive your emails, and with the new rules you need to allow subscribers to unsubscribe easily as well.  In Australia, we have very clear rules around Email Marketing that covers unsubscribe requirements. Be sure to follow them.

3. Be aware of your SPAM complaint rate

Complaints about spam have always been crucial for mailbox providers to assess a sender's reliability. The higher the number of complaints, the more probable it is for your emails to be diverted to the junk folder.

In general, a tolerated spam complaint rate of 0.1%, meaning one complaint for every 1,000 emails is deemed appropriate however starting early 2024, Google and Yahoo have announced they will raise this threshold to 0.3%. 

The Top 3 Recommendations To Protect Your Email Deliverability Are:

  1. Avoid sending emails to individuals without their consent or acquiring email lists.
  2. Incorporating a clear and accessible unsubscribe link in every email dispatched.
  3. Promptly removing subscribers who flag your emails as spam and refraining from contacting them again.

The above 3 recommendations are in fact a requirement under the Australian Privacy Act and should therefore be part of your ongoing email process regardless of the increased scrutiny from Gmail and Yahoo.

Now is the perfect time to also recap the best practices that you can apply for email deliverability in your business.

Current Best Practices for Email Deliverability:

1. Maintain a Clean Email List:

  • As much as this may hurt your feelings, regularly clean your email list by removing inactive subscribers, incorrect email addresses, and those who haven't engaged with your emails in a long time.  A list of subscribers who don't open is as useful as a tonne of social followers who don't engage! 

2. Use Double Opt-In:

  • Implement a double opt-in process to confirm subscribers' intent, reducing the likelihood of fake or mistyped email addresses.

3. Personalise Your Emails:

  • Tailor your messages to the interests and preferences of your subscribers. Personalisation can improve engagement and reduce the chances of emails being marked as spam. This can be as simple as using their first name in the subject line and or the opening of the email.

4. Segment Your Email List:

  • Segment your subscribers based on their behaviour, demographics, or preferences. This allows you to send targeted and relevant content, increasing engagement.  

5. Maintain Consistency:

  • Stick to a consistent sending schedule to establish familiarity with your audience. Erratic sending patterns might trigger spam filters.

6. Avoid Spam Triggers:

  • Refrain from using spam-triggering words or phrases in your subject lines or email content eg FREE. Additionally, limit the use of exclamation marks, all caps, or excessive punctuation.

7. Monitor Engagement Metrics:

  • Track open rates, click-through rates, and other engagement metrics to understand how subscribers interact with your emails. This data helps refine your email strategy.

8. Optimise for Mobile:

  • Ensure your emails are mobile-responsive. Most users check emails on their smartphones, so a mobile-friendly design is crucial for engagement.

Being Ready To Adapt To Potential Changes:

As technology evolves and email platforms update their algorithms and policies, staying informed about any changes becomes crucial. Keep an eye on industry updates, announcements from Gmail, Yahoo, and other major email providers for any upcoming modifications to their deliverability rules.

Adapting and staying updated with evolving guidelines will be key to ensuring your emails continue to land in your subscribers' inboxes and avoid being flagged as spam.

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