Ways To Ensure Your Emails Are Compliant

Darren Gordon | 06.08.18 | 0 Comments

According to Email Monday, for every one dollar spent on email marketing, you get a return on investment of 44$ (in the US). Add this to the viable prediction that the number of email users is expected to rise to 2.9 billion by the end of 2019 and you are forced to disregard all the articles which tell you that email is gradually becoming a thing of the past. However, regardless of how feature-rich your email marketing service is, if your emails don’t reach the indented recipient’s inbox (because of being non-compliant etc.), you won’t be reaping any benefits. In this article, we will first talk about the reasons why emails fail to meet the compliance standards (and are sent to the spam) and some of the techniques that can be used to prevent that from happening.

Reasons why emails go to spam

1. You didn’t get the permission

One of the first things they teach you in email marketing 101 is to get explicitly specified permissions to email. It’s surprisingly easy to purchase a collection of email addresses but by doing so, you will run the risk of a CAN-SPAM Act violation, which can also include penalties of as much as $16,000. In order to get express permission to email, you will require visitors to select that they want to subscribe to your email list. This can be done using an opt-in form and you need to make sure that you draft a suitable one.

2. Low open rates

One of the biggest factors that are considered at the spam filtering level is the extent to which your emails are being opened. If a lot of your emails or newsletter are deleted without being opened, then chances of spam-flagging increase by manifold.

3. Your IP address has some association with spam

If the sending IP address of your email has been used for spamming purposes in the past then it can make your emails likelier to get flagged as spam. For example, whenever you send an email for an email campaign, it first gets sent to your email service providers’ server. If any other customer used the same server to send a spam email then your email’s deliverability can get affected as well.

4. Low usage of mailbox

The third most usual reason for low spam-avoidance is low usage of mailbox (it affects 19% of all emails). Most of the top email marketing service providers use sophisticated spam filtering algorithms which can determine the ratio of active to inactive user accounts on your email list. If a lot of email accounts on your list are inactive (haven’t been used in a long time), then it’s likely that a lot of your emails won’t get inbox-placed.

5. Misleading subject lines

According to the CAN-SPAM act, it’s illegal to deliberately mislead someone with the subject of you email to make them view the message. Since this is a direct violation of the act, many email service providers will deem an email like this non-compliant.

Now that we have seen some of the reasons why emails can end up in the spam folder, let’s take a look at some of the ways you can guarantee high rates of deliverability:

Tips to ensure high deliverability

Understand compliance

First things first: Sit with your legal team and identify the set of compliance laws and regulations that affect your region, state or country. Some of the worth-mentioning names are the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Securities and Exchange Commission laws (SEC 17a) and the CAN-SPAM Act. Once you realize what you can’t do, it becomes easy to realize what you should do.

Get express permission

Getting permission is a really straightforward task but you can’t be nonchalant about it. Go for an email marketing provider which allows you to create compelling opt-in forms which you can use to explicitly get information from your subscribers.

Enhance security and use authentication

Email authentication goes a long way in verifying your identity. Many of the top email providers deem authenticated emails a lot more trustworthy and hence deliver them to the respective inboxes more often. Some of the methods that can be used for authenticating emails and to enhance your deliverability rates are: the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), the Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) and the Domain based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC).

Periodically clean your email list

In the bid to increase your email deliverability rates, you need to clean your email list more often. Having inactive users can make service providers believe that your emails are not worthy of being delivered to the recipients’ inboxes and hence you need to remove them periodically.

A recognizable sender name

It’s a recommended practice to send your emails using an address that comprises of your personal name along with your brand name. Not only does this help the recipients recognize you, it also helps you bypass the strict and increasingly intelligent spam-filtering algorithms that modern email marketing service providers use.

A reliable email service provider

Your email campaign will be as good as the tool you use and the tool you use will be as good/reliable as the email service provider which owns it. A reliable email service provider has high deliverability rates. Always review your choices and read as much as you can about the best options available in the market before you land on your final choice.

Don’t wait too long

Don’t let your list of valuable email subscribers go stale, because as soon as they lose their freshness, the bounce rates and spam complaints start becoming higher. So in order to get high deliverability, try to use your email lists as regularly as possible.

Final Word

Email remains one of the prime ways for businesses to reach its subscribers but low deliverability rates can affect the effectiveness of email marketing severely. In the article above, we saw some of no-no’s of email marketing and also explored some of the ways to ensure that your emails are compliant and they reach the recipient’s inbox, more often than not.

Darren Gordon
author

Darren has been working in online marketing and sales for over 11 years. Based in NYC, Darren manages a sales development team and uses applications like CRM systems and email marketing tools every day to help his team succeed. With extensive digital marketing experience he understands how to measure user needs and behavior, and he uses this knowledge to bring in leads and nurture prospects.

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