Email marketing is a powerful tool when used correctly. However, it’s crucial to understand the fine line between effective outreach and ending up in the spam folder.
This comprehensive guide will teach you how to send amazing cold emails that consistently land in the inbox by bypassing spam filters.
At the core, spam is unsolicited communication that’s sent in bulk. However, it’s slightly more complex when you consider the digital protocols and algorithmic checks that discern between professional outreach and spam. The key to ensuring your emails aren’t flagged as spam is to understand how email service providers (ESPs) ascertain the difference.
Before creating your cold email marketing strategy, it’s essential to understand the ESP’s priorities. The ESPs’ main interest is in satisfying their users’ needs, as user satisfaction is what ultimately attracts businesses to their platform.
Ideally, every email a user receives should be relevant and engaging. Modern ESPs employ artificial intelligence and advanced filter systems to match email content with their users’ past interactions. This means that the more your email content resonates with a specific user’s interest, the higher the probability it won’t be marked as spam.
Therefore, to ensure your cold emails have a higher chance of reaching inboxes, integrate personalized content. Avoid using phrases commonly associated with spam, and focus on creating value for the user.
The anatomy of email filters used by ESPs involves a series of complex checks (refer image) to optimize the user experience.
These checks aim to promote user-friendly experiences. By understanding these filters, you can strategize your emails to align with ESP protocols, thereby increasing your chances of reaching your prospects’ inboxes.
This checklist is broken down by the stages to launch a cold email campaign. Any
mistakes made here can lead to an underperforming campaign. Some aspects of
deliverability matters more than others.
A few of the factors, such as ‘looking legit’, help your deliverability indirectly by
reducing the amount of spam complaints against your emails.
– Use multiple burner domains, but only .com unless the domain is old and has been warmed up
– Avoid long domain names, Buy max 10 domains per purchasing account
– WhoIs protection should be disabled
– Implement 301 redirect to main website
– Purchase from renowned domain sellers like Google Domains, GoDaddy, Cloudflare, Porkbun
– Ensure proper DNS records; Only 1 SPF record, DKIM with a credible selector, DMARC with a reject policy, custom tracking domain, Reverse DNS lookup records
– Set up 2 paid email accounts per domain with the profiles complete with a profile picture and other information
– Enable IMAP and SMTP
– Avoid long usernames
– Subscribe to several newsletters
– Refrain from using personal emails
– Properly format names. Only first letter capitalized, separate first and last names
– Normalize company names to make them neutral
– Verify emails against spam traps, ensure only valid email addresses
– Keep the bounce rates below 2% at all times
– Tool should allow inbox rotation, warmup, and email sending automation. Examples: Quickmail, SmartLead, Instantly, but avoid using multiple services
– No spam words or masked URLs. (Here’s a free tool to use to check it:
– Keep in line with whitelisted links
– Limit the use of images and multiple links in first email
– Use Spin Syntax and split test variations of copy
– Personalize and add extra merge fields as much as possible
– Make sure there’s a clear way to opt out of emails sequences
– Limit of 50 emails per day per email address
– Always keep warmup on with high reply rates
– Disable open tracking and link click tracking
– Use plain text, no HTML, with at least 10 minutes waiting time between emails
– Match the timezone of the campaign with the timezone of the prospects
– Avoid forwarding emails to a master inbox
– Open your email accounts manually every 2 weeks
– Fully fill out your profile i.e. office address, profile picture, 2fa, phone number, social links
– Have a legit looking website, footer with links and company info, social proof, good design
– Stop non-performing campaigns once they’ve reached out to 500 prospects
– Stop sending emails in the campaign on accounts that are having a reply rate below 2%
– Never spike your sending amount and make sure to ramp it up slowly when necessary
Several elements can significantly influence your booking rates.
POSITION TITLES: It is a noticeable pattern that lower titles in a corporate hierarchy exhibit a higher booked appointment rate.
COMPANY SIZE: Large companies, understandably, tend to have a lower appointment booking rate due to busier schedules and more decision-making layers.
OFFER: A compelling offer can exponentially increase your booked appointment rate. A lackluster or seemingly irrelevant offer, on the other hand, can negatively impact the rate.
Now, let’s delve into various issues that could potentially affect your booked appointment rates and strategies to overcome them.
If you are receiving fewer replies than expected, there could be two main reasons: your messaging or email deliverability issues.
If your messaging is not resonating with the recipients, check for spam words using spam checking tools such as this one. Additionally, ensure that your call-to-action (CTA) is explicit and compelling. An ambiguous CTA can decrease the chances of a response.
If your emails are not reaching the recipient’s inbox, check your domain for potential blacklisting. If blacklisted, refer to the documentation provided by the blacklist provider on how to improve your status. Purchasing and warming up new domains can also save you from such headaches. It’s also important to check your email volume and modify for any lack of Spintax and fix any flawed DNS records.
Low booked appointment rates could be due to poor lead quality. Regularly visit the websites of the leads in your list to ensure their relevance. Modify your offer framing if it isn’t resonating well with your target audience.
If you’re recovering a lot of emails from spam during the warm-up phase, tweak your warm-up settings and revisit your messaging.
Your account disconnection issues may arise due to various reasons, such as incomplete app password setup, logging in from multiple locations, sending a sudden high volume of emails, or being reported frequently. Addressing these factors can help in reconnecting your account to your email tool.
A high number of negative responses may indicate issues with your offer framing, irrelevant copywriting, or perhaps offensive language used in the copy. Revise your content strategy to ensure appeals to your prospect.
To avoid a high hard bounce rate, ensure that your team verifies your lead lists regularly (at least every seven days). Avoid buying pre-made lists. If your email reputation takes a hit due to high bounce rates, consider reducing your email volume to gradually rebuild your reputation.
Maintaining up-to-date knowledge about deliverability methods and cold email guidelines is crucial to your email marketing strategy’s success.
To stay informed on the latest developments, consider following these accounts on Twitter: B2BSystemsKing, Michael Gardiner, Nick Abraham, Nils from Instantly.ai, Vaibhav from SmartLead, and Eric Nowoslawski. They offer valuable insights and will keep you on top of emerging trends and practices.
Additionally, consistently referring to the FAQ section of your email sending tool can help clarify doubts and provide much-needed information tailored to your specific tool’s features and capabilities.
In case of any performance issues or the email campaign falls short of meeting your benchmarks, don’t hesitate to consult with us.
Remember, the journey to stellar email marketing is continuous – stay updated, open to improvements and ready to adapt. Happy Emailing!