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Understanding Your Email Deliverability Rates—While Keeping the Numbers Accurate

By  Jessica Foye
April 28, 2022

Email marketing drives wine sales. If you're looking for ways to increase open rates, elevate sales and ensure you're staying top of mind with your customer base, this blog is for you. We are uncovering the reasons you may experience dips in deliverability and restrictions to your readership, and sharing suggestions on how to help improve it.

Reasons it may be happening

We know that you spend hours writing, designing and perfecting your winery’s marketing emails, sometimes only to see less than impressive numbers in open and response rates, or to hear from loyal members that they never received the email at all. As one of the most effective ways to reach your audience, it’s imperative to get email marketing right. There are many factors as to why you may be seeing a decrease in your email deliverability and readership. In recent years, we have all become inundated with emails, especially over the last two years. Most of us spend all day looking at screens so to get a recipient to take the time to read and digest your email is a big challenge.

Your sender score is also an important component of your delivery rates. A sender score is assigned to you by the recipient’s Email Service Provider (ESP) and determines how reputable your business email is due to past content and how it was received. A low score can have your emails finding themselves in the spam folder. Elements that may be affecting your score could include: frequently being reported as spam messages, high bounce rates and sending to addresses that are no longer in use.

Although open rates are a good metric for measuring success, they are not 100% correct and you should always have a few tools in your toolkit. Last year, Apple’s release of iOS 15 gave users the option of more privacy within Apple Mail. Apple stated:

"In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location."

This means that your open rate will likely increase in contacts that use Apple Mail, giving you false data. While it is only inflating open rates for recipients using Apple Mail iOS15, you should also be looking at conversion rate, click-through rate and unsubscribes.

So, how do you get more people to open your email?

Strategies you can implement today

Set Up Email Domain Authentication

Email authentication is a tool used to validate domain ownership, providing verifiable information about the origin of email messages. Adding authentication to the domain you use to send email is an essential step, and will help you maintain and grow an engaged audience for your winery updates.

Find the perfect time to click send

It may be time to rethink the timing of your emails. Not all email lists are the same and finding the right time to send can take some time and testing. But hopefully you have the recipient's email address because they want to hear from you, so catching them at a less busy time in their day may help them become more engaged with your name and content.

Perfect your subject lines

Your subject line should be brief but should also immediately grab your subscriber's attention. It is your first and sometimes only chance at holding their focus and leaving them curious to know more about the content inside. Spam trigger words are keywords or phrases that an ESP may flag as malicious or fraudulent. Never use trigger words in your subject line (or your main email!) such as: Buy Direct, Affordable and Discount.

Beware of Spam Filters

Have you considered whether your emails are even reaching your customers' inbox in the first place? Spam filters work hard to keep unwanted emails out of inboxes. There are some easy fixes to make sure you are doing your best to avoid getting marked as spam.

  1. Always address the customer by their name using a personalization tool. WineDirect clients can take advantage of various fields of Auto-Populating Data, directly tied to the powerful CRM.
  2. Steer away from using attachments or video content. Instead direct your reader to a landing page containing additional information.
  3. Avoid using multiple images. Spam filters block image-heavy content and some recipients may be using email providers that disable images by default.

Clean up your mailing list

In order to have an effective marketing email, you should make a regular habit of spring cleaning your contact lists, made easy with WineDirect's List Cleaning tool.

  1. Don't email people who have bounced repeatedly or marked your emails as spam. Although, you may want to consider reviewing these lists before deleting them, and keeping any that you notice to be a regular customer or a member of your wine club. It’s likely that it is a mistake that your emails aren’t reaching them.
  2. Delete any contact from your list that has not interacted with your emails for the last 2 years and, same as above, double check they are not a regular customer or a member of your wine club.
  3. Encourage your customers to add your email to their contact list when they are visiting your tasting room. This will help your emails get through to their inbox rather than in their spam folder. With the WineDirect Point of Sale, just one click during checkout will opt customers into your mailing list.

Remember, your email sender score is constantly reviewed and updated, so it’s important to keep each of these elements as up to date as possible. When you have made these changes, let us know if you see a significant difference in your marketing emails!

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