Interviews

Email Deliverability with ZeroBounce COO Brian Minick

In this interview we talk with Brian Minick about email deliverability and preventing your messages from hitting spam folders.

First published

27.07.2021

Last edited

05.08.2021

Read time

5 minutes


By James

James has five years' experience as a Content Marketer, bylines on Left Foot Forward, Submittable, and INOMICS, and a Master's in History. In his free time he likes to read, play guitar, and write for his personal blog.

For anyone who relies on sending emails for their business, the battle to get your emails read sometimes seems impossible. Sending emails and having your emails read are not one and the same, and challenges range from ensuring accurate and active email addresses to testing, monitoring, and optimizing each send. This is where email deliverability comes in.

But never fear – there are proven strategies to improve your chances of winning the battle for the inbox and increasing email revenue. ZeroBounce’s COO Brian Minick is here to share some of these strategies with you.

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What do marketers mean by “email deliverability”? What exactly is deliverability – and what is it not?

There’s a bit of confusion around this term and you probably see it used interchangeably with “email delivery.” Here’s the difference:

  • Email delivery is the ability to deliver an email or electronic message. It is simply getting the message from point A (your sent folder) to point B (someone’s mailbox).
  • Email deliverability is when your email reaches your recipient’s inbox, rather than their spam folder. Making sure you get to the inbox is an important step, and easier to achieve once you understand it.

Deliverability is not just the content or images you have in the message. It is not only how often you send. It is how good you look while manoeuvring from point A to point B and also making sure that point B (the end user) exists!

Why is email deliverability important?

It’s not just ‘important’, it is probably the single biggest piece of email marketing. If you send 1 million emails and none reach the inbox, it was all a waste of time and budget. You have to do everything in your power for your messages to be delivered to the inbox.

How does email deliverability drive more revenue?

To drive revenue from email marketing, you have to be seen first. Without inbox placement, your campaign cannot perform at its best. In making sure you land in the inbox, sometimes you have to evaluate your list and double-check that you’re sending to good contacts. Once you’re delivering, your open rates will increase and you can drive more revenue.

What do you believe are the biggest myths about email lists?

That having more subscribers is better. Having a list of 1 million contacts is great, and an accomplishment. But how long did it take you to accumulate that? Did you get the contacts in the right way? Most likely, out of those 1 million contacts, 20-40% of them are bad now.
Sending to 1 million with 20% bad contacts is much worse than sending to 800,000 clean contacts in the first place.

Why is that – apart from the obvious financial loss?

It’s because getting bounces, hitting spam traps or getting spam complaints cause your sender score to decrease. Internet service providers use this score to direct your email to either the person’s inbox, the spam folder, or to not deliver the email at all. This is when your results plummet. Email senders can’t afford to have their reputation tarnished. And the easiest way to ruin your reputation is to ignore data decay.

Your list decreases in quality every single day. You add a new contact to your list today and tomorrow that email may not be good anymore. It’s frustrating. At the same time, keeping your list fresh isn’t that hard. The reward is worth it: better reputation and inbox placement, higher metrics and a better ROI.

What are the best practices in ensuring better inbox placement?

Build your list the right way. Collect emails by using double opt-in procedures, to ensure the person giving you the email address is real and actually wants your emails.

Make sure your sending reputation is in good shape. Check for your domain on a blacklist, or your IP address. Also, check your mail server configuration. If there are critical errors, fix them. Validate your list and remove the bad and risky contacts. They’re not worth it.

Give your customers good opt-outs/unsubscribes. If I don’t see an unsubscribe button, I mark you as spam. This is really bad for your reputation, and no, I don’t feel bad doing it. It’s fine that you sent me a message, but when you send me something that has no relevance and you don’t give me a way to stop getting it, I have no remorse. Unsubscribes play a crucial part in your overall engagement rates. The mail servers see it just as any other click. So, give people easy ways to opt out.

What should marketers look for when choosing an email service provider?

Make sure you are using a reputable sender. They should also have good support and know how to guide you to make sure you’re as successful as possible.

Send test emails and make sure that they are checking the boxes and getting into the inbox. If you have to pull your own emails out of spam, so do your subscribers. So, see if you should maybe find another provider.

What would you say to anyone who feels like their email marketing isn’t working?

I’d say: don’t worry. It doesn’t always work for everyone right away. Start looking at every little piece to understand what you might be missing. Is it your list – maybe it needs pruning? Could it be your content? Or perhaps you didn’t choose the best email provider?

Whatever it is that’s holding you back, you can fix it. And if you can’t, ask for help! You can always reach out to me and our team at ZeroBounce. We’re available 24/7 to guide you, not just on cleaning your list and landing your emails in the inbox. Drop us a line in the live chat and someone will help you right away.

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Brian Minick is Chief Operating Officer at ZeroBounce, an email validation and deliverability platform. An Inc. 5000 honouree and number 40 in the top fastest-growing companies in America, ZeroBounce helps more than 100,000 customers land their emails in the inbox.


Related: ZeroBounce CEO Liviu Tanase talks about his career and living in California

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