23% of your emails go to spam; bounces should only be 1.5% and how to get above the 16.8% average open rate

Tom Sather, is an email expert/nerd with 20+ years of experience helping companies like AT&T, Experian, and Nokia get their emails delivered and opened! Here are 7 tactics he shared during his session to improve deliverability and open rates!

 Well, I don’t think...I have a problem with deliverability

You do; spam filters catch more than 1 in 5 emails from 'good' lists and Tom, says it is getting worse. No, this does not include your bounce rate, and your AI email tool isn't helping. Fun Fact: Tom's survey found that companies using AI reported below average open rates.

How can I check my deliverability score? →

Sender Score

1. Win back emails for the win

Anyone on your list that hasn't opened your email in the past 90 days needs a win back email. You may think that they won't respond to this either, but they respect it. Tom found that up to 20% respond and re-engage.

Templates for a win back email

Mailchimp Template

Event Notes Template

2. List hygiene- no one likes a dirty list

Eliminate all role accounts from your lists such as Info@, Postmaster@, and Webmaster@. Emailing group accounts kills your deliverability score. Also, watch out for misspelled domains because these could be spam traps. Email providers create decoy accounts to catch spammers, and they are often on purchased lists.

How can I see the health of my list?


Free List Check

3. Complaint volume rate

A complaint can be someone marking you as spam or getting blocked. Email service providers track the percentage of complaints received on an hourly basis. Sending emails midday and spreading them out over multiple days can help keep your percentage low.

4. No opens, no more emails

This should go without saying, but remove anyone's address that has not opened an email in the past 6-9 months. Yes, it is hard to cut back your email list willingly, but if you don't, those unresponsive addresses are hurting your deliverability.

5. Segment by open frequency

I know you would love to receive your own email every day, but not everyone is as cool as you. Tom suggested reviewing the open rates by person and creating multiple categories based on each subscribers' open frequency. If you send weekly emails and they are opened 90% of the time, then keep sending them weekly or increase to daily. If they are just opening one of your emails per month, then switch to monthly. Not rocket science, but it will make a big difference with deliverability.

6. Spy on your competitors

See what is working by monitoring other companies' emails. You can learn a lot about what is working by their subject lines and content styles.

How can I easily track competitor's emails?

Email Insights

7. 10-min subscriber interviews, look for patterns

Tom mentioned this, but we wanted to add our spin since we do this every day. You have to get to know your subscribers, and we do it through a 10-minute interview using Zoom.Us that is scheduled via a Calendly email link. We try to understand why someone agreed to sign up, what they thought as they read a recent email, and what they did right afterward.

How can I get started?

Interview Request Email Template

Interview Questions