How to Improve Your Email Deliverability in 2020 with Adrian Savage

The game has changed when it comes to how email deliverability works. In fact, email marketing has changed forever. The problem is most marketers and business owners haven’t been keeping up with these changes.

If you’ve thought to yourself recently ‘email isn’t working nearly as well as it used to for my business…’

Or ‘my open and click through rates are getting lower and lower’ and you aren’t sure what to do about it…

This video will help give you some expert answers about what you can do about it. In this new video interview and article, Adrian Savage shares what’s changed with the way that email deliverability works.

Adrian has worked with top marketers like Neil Patel, Lisa Sasevich, Eben Pagan (and many others) to improve their email deliverability.

He also shares his best advice on how you can improve your open / click through rates and email deliverability with your email list. Along with a new, free tool you can use to measure your “email health score” and get other useful reports for tracking your email lists engagement with Infusionsoft, Keap, ActiveCampaign, Hubspot or Mailchimp.

It’s no longer about the size of your email list. It’s all about the quality and engagement of your list. To find out what that means and get Adrian’s advice on how to get email working better for your business check out the full video above.

We’ve included the most valuable nuggets of info from the video below for you…

Three Things You Can Do Right Now To Get More Emails Into Your Lists Inbox


Improve it by not mailing contacts who don’t open your emails

. Adrian has a free tool you can use to check your “email health score” and run other reports you can use to measure and track your lists engagement that CRM’s don’t give you in their reporting.

Currently works for Infusionsoft, Keap, ActiveCampaign, Hubspot and Mailchimp.

Sign up for a free account here to get your “Email Health Score”

“Whitelisting Instructions” explain how your prospects or customers can tell their email provider they want to get emails from you. This ensures your emails will be delivered to their primary inbox.

There’s a great site that autogenerates whitelisting instructions that you can use.

You can generate your own instructions easily at: http://whitelist.guru

Scrubbing your list can help clean up any spam trap email addresses, incorrectly formatted emails, undeliverable email addresses and identify other emails that can cause problems for you.

Scrubbing your list is really easy to do with Adrian’s tool in Deliverability Dashboard. You can scrub your list with Adrian’s free integration in Deliverability Dashboard

 (Klean13 List scrubbing fees apply).

Sign up for your free Deliverability Dashboard

 Account Here to Scrub Your List

Image Credit: Klean13

Ask Adrian any questions about your email deliverability, stay up to date with new info that Adrian has on improving your email open rates and talk with other business owners about email deliverability related issues in Adrian’s Facebook group, the Deliverability Dashboard User Group.

What matters most when it comes to improving your email engagement with Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign, Hubspot or any other email marketing platform? Engagement!


The more Google thinks someone on your list is disengaged, the more likely Google is to send your emails to someone’s spam box.

By “disengaged” this means when someone hasn’t been opening or clicking any of your emails over an extended period of time.

This is the reason why you need to be ruthless in managing your list and cleaning it up.

Adrian’s Best Piece of Advice On How to Improve Your Email Deliverability…

The most important lesson for you to take away from this to improve your email deliverability is to stop emailing people who don’t open your emails after 90 days.

Adrian recommends if someone doesn’t open your email for 30 to 90 days then After send them to a re-engagement campaign.

Your re-engagement campaign could be 2-3 emails saying something along the lines of ‘Hey, I noticed you haven’t clicked or opened any emails lately, do you want to still receive emails from me? Click this link if you do…’

If someone doesn’t click any of those re-engagement emails, then you’ll need to remove them from your list.

A last option is to send them off to a retargeting campaign to try to get them to opt in again, or if they’re a current customer you can segment them into a special list that you won’t email and still keep opted in just in case.

Ultimately you’ll get more people seeing your emails even though you’re sending them to less people.

Otherwise you risk your emails going to the spam folder and Google not viewing your emails in a positive way.

The more you email people on your list who haven’t engaging with your emails for 90+ days, the more Google and other email providers will start to identify your emails as “spam”.

Video Transcript

Andrew
Hey there, this is Andrew with Memberium today, we’re joined by our good friend, email deliverability and automation expert Adrian Savage. Adrian’s going to share some really useful tips and advice on how to improve your email deliverability and make sure more of your emails actually reach people who are on your list. He’s also going to tell us about a huge change in the way emails are being handled by email providers, not that many people are openly talking about this, and it has a huge impact on everyone’s business, which is why we wanted to share this with you today.

Andrew
Adrian, thanks so much for joining us.

Adrian
Andrew. Thanks for having me. It’s great to be here.

Andrew
We’re excited for you to share what you have to share with us today. So why don’t you take it away?

Adrian
OK, will do. Thanks very much. So very briefly, introduce myself. I’m as it says, I’m a dad. I’m a geek, an entrepreneur. I’ve been a geek since I was about seven years old when my dad brought home an Apple 2 computer. For people old enough to remember that I’ve been involved with Infusionsoft for the last eight years or so. And the main focus now is on all things to do with email deliverability. And I’m the founder and the head geek of my deliverability dashboard software that I’ll mention later on.

Adrian
I’ve worked with some really big names to help them get their emails delivered, and I’m one of the very few people that specializes in email deliverability for small businesses. So that’s like Infusionsoft users, active campaign users, HubSpot, MailChimp, that kind of thing. There’s plenty of people that work at a corporate level, but the only people that I know right now are doing email deliverability in this space are people like myself, Evan Samuri, Mark Penny, very few other people.

Adrian
So it means that what I’ve got is is very specialised and is based on what I’ve been doing for about the last five years. And what I’m going to talk about today is how email marketing has really changed forever. And you mentioned that already in the intro. We’ve got three giants that now dominate the email world. And I’ll talk about what the greatest challenges are that everyone’s facing that most people don’t know. I’ll talk about how to win what I call the email race to the inbox.

Adrian
I’ll explain what RACE stands for. And I’m going be sharing the three things that you can do right now to get more emails into the inboxes of your audience. And I think probably it rolls into a Q&A at the end if you want to stop me as we go through. Andrew asked me as many questions as you can and we’ll see if I can answer that. I have a bit of a two way thing I don’t like. I don’t like monologues, so I’m hoping that you can give me plenty of questions as we go through, if that’s OK.

Andrew
Sure. Yeah.

Andrew
And a lot of people have been asking a lot of questions about this past year.

Adrian
So the starting point will be what I’m saying, who are you here? What I guess the question I’ve got for you Andrew, can you just let me know exactly who I’m talking to? I know it’s people that I your on your email database to know about Memberium. They might be using Infusionsoft. They might be using ActiveCampaign. What else have you got to tell me about the people that I’m talking to and the kind of questions that I should answer today?

Andrew
Sure. Yeah. I mean, they’re using Infusionsoft or Keap or ActiveCampaign to sell some types of online products. Um, membership sites, courses, info type products and email marketing is probably going to be their most effective marketing channel. And one thing that we’ve probably noticed is over time our open rates and clickthrough rates are gradually declining. And so going to be interesting to know kind of what’s going on with that. How can we get more emails into their at least primary inbox and increase our deliverability?

Adrian
OK, perfect.

Adrian
So I guess it’s fair to say that for the majority of people, then the amount of revenue they can make is directly linked to how well the emails are getting into their audiences inboxes. Is that a fair assessment, that it’s OK, perfect. So let’s start by smoking out the enemy. And this is a statistic that company called Talos Intelligence Release. So they’re part of Cisco. And what they do is they provide software and services that help spam get detected and avoided for many big corporates, things like that.

Adrian
But look at the numbers there then. Just this is numbers for October 2019. And in that month, they are saying that there were four hundred and twenty seven billion spam messages being sent on a daily basis around the world, which is absolutely insane. It’s a massive number that I can’t get my head around, but that pales into insignificance compared with the numbers of emails that are actually sent that are legitimate, which is very small. We’re talking only 15 percent of all the emails being sent every day are legitimate, more than 85 percent of spam.

Adrian
So that just goes to show the email providers that Gmail is the Hotmail of this world. They’ve got a very big job to do because obviously for most of us, we’re very lucky that we don’t see that level of spam landing in our inbox. The difficulty we’ve got, though, is that means that sometimes when we send emails to our audiences and sometimes when we’re on the receiving end, then emails are going into the spam folder when we don’t really want them to.

Adrian
And this explains why it’s very, very difficult for the email providers to get this right one hundred percent of the time. And that’s why we have such a challenging market, is just getting the emails into the inbox. Now, I’m going to start with a true or false question. I’m going to put you on the spot for this one, Andrew. So the statement is email deliverability is the responsibility of my email provider. Now, what do you think that is a true statement or a false statement?

Adrian
What do you think about that?

Andrew
That is false.

Adrian
OK. And it is, it’s pretty much false now. It’s a little bit of an unfair question because it’s not a completely black or white. But what we’re seeing now is that if you if you run the clock back five years longer than that, then the server that the emails came from played a very big part on whether or not your email was going to make it into the inbox or not. But as I mentioned a minute, things have changed now and it is no longer the responsibility of your email provider to make sure your emails get into the inbox.

Adrian
Yes, they have a part to play. I’ll explain a little bit about that. But what we’re seeing now, this is my estimate, is pretty 90 percent of the different factors that determine whether you hit the inbox or not are based more on what you do as an email sender rather than what your provider does as the technology provider. So very, very important there. And a little follow up there. This is this is a question that comes up time and time again, particularly on the various Facebook groups.

Adrian
And things like that is there’s this there’s this belief that people have I’ll get a better deliverability if I switch email providers. Now, again, do you think that’s true or false?

Andrew
Well, knowing what I know now, I know that’s false. I’m excited to hear what you have to share about this topic, as I’m sure a lot of other people listening do as well.

Adrian
Yeah, totally. Know, this is the one probably this is the biggest misunderstanding that I see out there, is that people are expecting that they’re going to get much better deliverability, better open rates if they switch from provider X, provider Y. And the sad thing is that that isn’t the case anymore either. In most cases, when I’ve seen people switch from one provider to another, there’s actually a drop in deliverability initially and sometimes that drop doesn’t even recover. And the reason for this is because the email providers are looking where the emails come from.

Adrian
And if they see you change your spending habits by sending from a different place or something like that, that’s one of the indicators that the emails aren’t quite as legitimate as they could be. So it means that there’s always some kind of dip when you move providers and sometimes unless you manage things very carefully, then you don’t recover. But I would say that in probably 99 percent or more of the cases, then when you switch email providers, if you’ve got a problem already, it’s going to follow you there.

Adrian
And I’ll explain why now, because as I mentioned earlier on, email marketing really has changed forever. I mean, I’ve been around for a while, not as long as some people, but eight or nine years now. And when I got started in this business then, it was very, very simple. You built the biggest list that you could and then email the hell out of it. And you kept ailing them until until someone buys, until they die, until they unsubscribe.

Adrian
And that was nice and easy. And you’d get reasonably open rates and everyone was happy. Unfortunately, things have evolved a lot in the last few years. In the last 12 months, there’s been some massive changes. So the first thing is that the Giants have really taken control. So that I was showing there is a simple example of a typical clients email database. And in this case, you can see that the big three, that’s Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!

Adrian
AOL, then they’re dominating that list. We’re saying that in this case, Google has got more than 60 percent of the list is nearly two thirds. Microsoft in that 15 percent. Yahoo! And AOL are in there at 12 percent. And typically your your average B2B or B2C list will be very similar. There’s going to be maybe around 50 percent. Is Google sometimes more than that? Anything from 10 to 20 percent is Microsoft. And about the same for Yahoo!

Adrian
And AOL and sometimes are some very niche audiences out there where it might be financial services or education or government or something like that where this doesn’t apply. But I would probably say that 96, 97 percent of all the different clients that I’ve worked with, they have a database that looks something like this, which means that we’ve got three big giants out there. We’ve got the 800 pound gorilla that is Google and we’ve got Microsoft and Yahoo! And you’ve got to play by their rules.

Adrian
If you don’t, your email is not going to get delivered into the inbox. I think that’s the most important thing.

Adrian
And like I said before, is no longer about the size of your mailing list. This is about the quality. And we’ll talk a lot about what quality means. And like I said, where you send the email from matters a lot less now, because as things like authentication, I’ll talk about the actually links things back a lot more to you personally rather than the software that you’re using. So I think all of those things show that.

Adrian
And although sometimes there’s some exceptions to this, then I’d say almost all the time. And the majority of the people listening to this right now, it’ll affect them that you’ve just got to be very clear on who is in your audience. And assuming that it is Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! AOL, like most cases, then you’ve got to play by their rules. And even if it makes even if the make of your audience is slightly different, you might have more government or more custom business and stuff like that.

Adrian
Then you’ll find that you’ve still got to follow the same rules in principle, because pretty much everyone is looking for the same things. They’re looking for engagement management, looking for managing your reputation, lots of other things. So we’ll come to that in a bit more detail as we go through this presentation. Anything that I’ve missed out so far that you think I need to fill in on before I move on? Andrew?

Andrew
No, no, I guess that’s you nailed it.

Adrian
OK, perfect.

Adrian
So I’m going to share some of the greatest challenges that the majority of people don’t know, because we talk a lot about deliverability and people don’t always understand what deliverability means. You talk about deliverability, you talk about inbox placement, and people have got different definitions of some of these terms. So. The best way to look at it is there are two different stages in the process here. The first stage in the process is the bit that the that your email marketing provider, whether it’s Infusionsoft, keep active campaign, MailChimp, whoever it is, this is the part of the process that they own and they’re responsible for.

Adrian
And that is getting the email to the server where the recipient is getting their emails on. So as an example, I use Google, I use the G suite to manage my emails. So when Infusionsoft sends an email to me, their job is getting the email sent from the Infusionsoft server to the Google Mail server. And as long as Infusionsoft get that bit right, then they have done their job. They have delivered the email. And yes, there’s a few other bits they’ve got to do to make sure that they’re not sending garbage out.

Adrian
So that’s why Infusionsoft and everyone else will take a very hard line keeping spammers off their platform, because if they’ve got a reputation for too much poor quality email going out, they would still get blacklisted. Infusionsoft in particular that I know the guys in the email team their and the guys in the email team ActiveCampaign.

Adrian
And they both do a really good job making sure that they stay off the blacklist as much as possible. And if there is a glitch and let’s face it, nothing’s perfect. Occasionally something will go a bit wrong, then they will work very quickly, whether it’s Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! One of the spam blacklist providers like Spam House, they will work very, very quickly to get those blacklist entries removed. And obviously, they will very quickly kick the spammers off their system as well.

Adrian
So that is the that is the step where they’re actually the email is delivered from Infusionsoft to Google, Microsoft or whoever. And the way that works in a bit more detail is Infusionsoft to actually open a connection to the Google server, Microsoft server, whoever, and they will say hello, I’ve got an email for Adrian and then Google server reply saying, OK, send me that email. Infusionsoft sends the content email through and then Google reply saying, thank you.

Adrian
I’ve got that. Thank you very much. And then Infusionsoft goes away and sends the next email.


Now sometimes Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, whoever they might choose to say, I don’t want to receive this email for Adrian because I don’t trust you because I think you’re a bad sender. And they might do that based on the coming from the Infusionsoft server. Very rarely. Sometimes they might do it because they don’t like the person who is actually sent an email. And I’ll talk about that in more detail afterwards. But let’s assume that most of the time and you hear these statements like Infusionsoft has got 99 percent deliverability or whatever, that is what they’re referring to here.

Adrian
They are saying the Infusionsoft is able to deliver the email from their server to the recipient server, ninety nine point seven percent of the time. And mostly the reasons the emails don’t get through is because things like the email, the email address you’re sending to has gone away or might be email the mailbox, Motley Fool or something like that. You know, there’s plenty of legitimate reasons why the emails don’t get through, but despite that, they still manage ninety nine percent or more deliverability.

Andrew
And that’s of course, I’m sorry to interrupt you there, Adrian. And that’s considered pretty strong compared to other platforms, correct?

Adrian
I’d say that they’re all pretty much at a similar level these days because, you know, as far as whether it’s MailChimp, Infusionsoft or whoever, then they’ve got one job these days and it’s to get the email delivered.

Adrian
And they have put a lot of resource, a lot of investment into this. And I’d say that certainly Infusionsoft are no worse than some of the other platforms. They’ve got a few extra kind of special tricks up their sleeve that I mentioned later on that make that make it more likely for some emails to get through. And as it stands right now, Infusionsoft is slightly more evolved, for instance, an active campaign. But because every provider is constantly evolving and improving their technology, that I’m sure the ActiveCampaigner working on improvements in the background.

Adrian
And it’s a bit like a game of leapfrog, there’s always someone jumping ahead. And then when someone adopts a new bit of technology, a new strategy, everyone else is catching up. So it’s like a year or two, several years back, I think MailChimp created this technological omnivore where they try and detect if you’re importing scrapeless and bootless and things like that. And then surprise, surprise, it wasn’t that long before other providers came along and started doing similar things.

Adrian
So it’s a bit like an arms race. This is just like everyone’s trying to outthink everyone else, but they’re always going to be catching up. So Infusionsoft has got some very clever tricks right now. Other providers have as well.

Adrian
But I think it’s just it’s worth bearing in mind that we’re talking about tiny, tiny differences here. It’s just it’s not enough to justify switching from one platform to another based on that. I think that’s the important message, because at the end of the day, the majority of the work is actually what happens when the email has been accepted by Google. And that’s the bit I’m going to talk about next. And this is very similar to whether it’s Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, your favorite local Internet provider.

Adrian
It doesn’t matter. They’ll all do something similar. And what they’re going to do is they’re going to start looking at literally thousands of different data points. They’ve got very, very complex, very, very proprietary algorithms. And I know that Google used. Machine learning and AI now and I know that the other providers are going down that route as well. And what that means is that we we do not know exactly how they decide what happens to those emails.

Adrian
It’s a bit like black magic, just the way the search engine optimization is, where all we can do is experiment and see what happens. And we can do the best we can to play by the rules. But we don’t know what the rules are, because what Google would do in particular, use them as the example, because they tend to be the most evolved here, is they will start to look at things like what what what is the content of the email that hasn’t changed?

Adrian
But they’re also looking a lot more and more. What is the behavior of the people that this email is being sent to? Just a little aside here, because I’ve mentioned this and it’s worth covering now is like I said, it’s difficult for us as end users to measure deliverability. Infusionsoft can measure it because they’ve got the stats that say what percentage are affected so well accepted by an email server. But it’s virtually impossible to measure inbox placement because as marketers and people sending emails, we haven’t got a clue where those emails we will go.

Adrian
We don’t know if they’re go to the inbox, the promotions tab folder, the clutter folder, the spam folder. In some cases, the emails could actually be just thrown away in the garbage and not even go to spam. And I’ve seen that happen, particularly with Microsoft sometimes.

Adrian
So what you also have to bear in mind here is that just because an email goes into one person spam folder or one person promotions tab or inbox or whatever, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to go into someone else’s, because what’s happening now and again, Google are ahead of the game most with this, but as are Microsoft, Yahoo doing similar things is they are customizing the way the emails are managed on a per sender and on a per recipient basis.

Adrian
So that means that let’s say that Micah sends lots of emails to me as an example. Now, if I open every single mail that he sends me, then those emails are going to continue to go into my inbox because I’m showing Google that I’m interested in his content, but that’s opposing the market quite well. You might decide that you don’t need to read his emails. So you might find that if you’re ignoring all the emails that Michael is sending you, they’re just staying unopened in your inbox.

Adrian
Then you might find that Google starts to put those emails into your Promotions tab or even the spam folder because you’re not engaging. So even though there are mail testing tools out there that will tell you whether or not your email is going to the primary inbox, the spam traps, sorry, the spam folder, the promotions tab, whatever, that is only telling you what happens with a default user is not telling you what will happen when your audience is engaged, is not telling what will happen when your audience is unengaged.

Adrian
So it’s very, very difficult now to be able to make, I guess, broad assumptions based on what we see from any testing that we do, because every single person’s experience will be slightly different. So I think that’s really, really important to know. So just because someone complains to you that all of your email to them goes to Promotion’s tab, the spam folder, it doesn’t mean that’s the case for everybody. So you still want to look at your open rates and kind of infer what’s happening there now.

Adrian
And something else that’s very important, very interesting that people don’t always realize is when you’re sending emails and this is where Infusionsoft is actually much better, in my opinion, is an active campaign is an example. Infusionsoft will tell you how many bounces, how many unsubscribes and how many spam complaints each email broadcast that you sent have attracted. Now, the challenge that we’ve got here is that there’s two ways of reporting spam and the most common ways. If people click the spam button in their email box or if you’re using Hotmail or Gmail or something like that, there will be a spam button that you can click at the top of the email and that then gets processed by Hotmail or Gmail or whoever.

Adrian
Now, with if you if you click the spam button in Hotmail, then Microsoft will send a message back to Infusionsoft saying this person is just reported this email for spam. The problem we’ve got with Gmail is that Google do not send any kind of feedback like that back to the email providers. So if someone clicks the spam button on your email inside Gmail, you are not going to know about it, which becomes very difficult because we’ve just seen that more than half your audience is probably on Google.

Adrian
So that’s half your audience. You don’t know if they’re reporting you or not. So what happens there is when they hit the spam button, Google files that little bit of information away for future reference. And the more people report you for spam then guess what, the more likely Google is to lower your reputation and to move your future emails into the spam folder.

Adrian
So that’s something that’s very important to understand. And then the last part there is to be beware of spam traps or talk about spam traps in a bit more detail when I get onto the next section. But that is a very quick way of getting your emails into the spam inadvertently if you’re not keeping spam traps off your list. I’ll talk about that in a bit more detail.

Adrian
Any other thoughts or observations at that point before?

Andrew
That’s interesting about the the spam complaints are reported from Gmail, does the same apply to G suite?

Adrian
Yes, anything within Google gets treated the same way, so Gmail G Suite, then we see exactly the same behavior that I mentioned later on as ways that you can kind of get a slight insight into the number of spam complaints that you get. But you can’t get the detail in any way. You will never know who was click the spam in Gmail or G Suite.

Andrew
Fascinating.

Adrian
So let’s move on then and start talk about what determines inbox placement. So this is where I came up with a nice simple acronym that I call RACE, and it stands for reputation, authentication, content and engagement. And everybody wants to win the email race. We want to win the race to the inbox. So I’m going to spend a bit of time talking about the different areas here, starting off with reputation. Now, reputation is broken down into two parts.

Adrian
So I’ve already mentioned that although the majority of the reputation is based is based on what you send and who you are now, there is still a small part of reputation that’s based on the platform that sent it. So if Infusionsoft had a reputation for sending nothing but spam emails, then sooner or later they would get blacklisted and there an email sent from infuser would no longer get through it. Now, the good news is that’s very, very, very rare.

Adrian
And I’ll talk about how they actually segregate their IP addresses later on, which makes it even less likely that Infusionsoft will get a bad sender reputation.

Adrian
But it means that you do need to make sure you’re using a reputable provider. So that includes there any is a well known email platform. You’ve got Infusionsoft ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, HubSpot, Constant Contact, Get Response, Convert Kit, Drip.

Adrian
They will all have reasonable or good deliverability because that is the main thing that they have to do. So although the server reputation matters mainly because if you just suddenly set up your own email server in your in your backyard and just connected to the Internet, you’d find that you don’t get the emails delivered by anyone who’s been doing this for a long time has managed their reputation. They will get the emails through. So that’s the sender. That’s the server reputation was going to be talking about here mainly is your domain reputation and domain reputation is linked to the email address that you send the email from.

Adrian
So in my case, then, if it’s just adrian@deliverabilitydashboard.com, then the reputation is linked to deliverabilitydashboard.com. The name before that sign matters a little bit sometimes. But the main thing is, well, all the emails collectively that are coming from this domain are what Google, Microsoft, Yahoo! Are going to be looking at. And this is where there’s various traps that you can fall into that are going to actually hurt your reputation, because like I already mentioned, what Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!

Adrian
Are doing is they are looking at the behaviour of your audience. And if your audience click the spam button for lots of emails that you send them, then guess what? That’s going to hurt your reputation. There’s lots of things that your audience can do that hurt your reputation, but there are also lots of things that you can do to hurt your reputation as well. So this is where I will start by talking about spam traps. So a spam trap, the two main types.

Adrian
The first one is called a pristine spam trap. And what that is, is it’s an email address that has never, ever been used to legitimately receive emails. It’s an address has been made up purely to catch people doing naughty things with email. So let’s say that I create a spam trap address and I just happen to publish it some on a Web page. As you can see in the second point on this slide here, we’re saying Don’t Buy or Scrape Lists.

Adrian
And here’s a very big reason why is because there are people that are putting made up email addresses out there that are designed purely to catch people doing this. They’re designed to catch people that are building email lists without getting consent. And if you have got one of those email addresses on your mailing list and you can never tell if it is just by looking at it, because it will look like someone’s name or some business name or something like that. But if you send an email to a pristine spam trap, then you are pretty much getting yourself into email jail almost instantly, because what that’s showing is that somehow then you’ve got an email address onto your database that hasn’t given you permission is impossible for that for someone to actually give you that address.

Adrian
Now, a slight aside there, then it is technically possible for someone who doesn’t like you to actually nefariously sign up on your email list with a spam email address. Fortunately, there’s not many nasty people out there and it doesn’t happen that often, but it is technically possible. So that is the one reason, even if you’ve got some kind of email lead capture way, the way you feel performing, then there’s still a potential risk to that. Now, the good news is that you can protect against that if you want to by using called double optin.

Adrian
And I’m imagining that most people have heard of that the idea behind double opt in, which infusions, of course, email confirmation is that as soon as a new address gets added to the email database, then it will send out an email to that person saying, please click here to confirm you want to receive my emails. Now, the good news is most spam traps don’t actually pretend to be a real person. So if you send an email address to a spam trap, it won’t take that link.

Adrian
So you can be pretty certain that you’ll avoid pristine spam traps and also by avoiding recycle spam traps I’ll come to it in a second. And you can avoid them when they get added to your list by sending out an email confirmation. And if that link doesn’t get clicked in the confirmation email, then as long as you never send an email to that person again, then you’re avoiding the spam trap that way. So that covers, Pristine, spam traps. And I’m sure that everyone who’s listening to this has never bought a list.

Adrian
They never scraped off the Internet. If you do, then that’s what you risk. You risk actually inadvertently send the emails to spam. So be very, very careful with that. And then the second type of spam trap is what’s known as a recycled spam trap. And this is something that it is much easier to fall foul of. The good news is that if you do recycle spam trap every now and then, you’re not going to get into quite as much trouble.

Adrian
B ut if you keep sending emails to any kind of spam trap, then it will hurt your reputation long term. So you got to be very careful with that andwhat are recycle spam trap is, it’s an email address that started life as a real legitimate email address. It’s one that was receiving email and there’s a real human being managing that account. But then let’s imagine that someone decides that they’re going to switch from Gmail to Hotmail or something like that, or they change jobs or whatever it is.

Adrian
And the email address they were using suddenly stops working. It becomes inactive now, then for the next normally three to six months, something like that. Then any attempt to send an email to that address will get a bounce ever come back. So this is when Infusionsoft will speak to Gmail and say, hey, I’ve got an email for Adrian and Google reply saying, no, there’s no such user at this user at this address. And they will reject their email.

Adrian
Now, what Infusionsoft and every other email platform I’ve ever come across does in those scenarios is they will automatically unsubscribe that email address. So if you try and send an email to that person in the future, it won’t work because it’s been deactivated. So as long as you’re meeting your email list reasonably frequently, at least every month or so, and as long as you’re using a decent platform, then any time an email address goes out of use and bounces, it will get unsubscribes.

Adrian
Where it all starts to go wrong, though, is if you are not sending emails very often, because after three months, maybe six months, that email address that was legitimate and has been deactivated becomes reactivated as a spam trap, as a recycled spam trap. And the purpose of that is to catch people who aren’t keeping the list very clean. They’re not managing their engagement. They’re not sending often enough. They’re not managing unsubscribes. They’re not managing bounces.

Adrian
So if you continue to mail, recycle spam traps and it might be that you’ve just not mailed your list for three months or six months or something like that, and then you suddenly start emailing again, or it might be that you’re not managing your balances properly. Then if you keep mailing those spam traps off those six months, then that you will become potentially blacklisted as a bad sender who’s not performing list hygiene. So very, very important to make sure you are mailing your list reasonably frequently, at least every month if you want to avoid recycle spam traps.

Adrian
Now, the good news is that even if you’re doing everything you can or even if you had a gap, maybe a few months gap before you sent another email, there’s something you can do to protect yourself against spam traps. And that’s something called scrubbing your list. We’ll talk about that in a little bit more in a little bit more detail later on. But what that’s doing basically is using a third party validation or verification service, and they work at different levels.

Adrian
And what they can do is they can they can actually identify spam traps in certain cases. So then you can then choose to remove those from your list. We’ll talk about that a bit later on.

Adrian
But the other really, really important thing to manage your reputation is to make sure you’re meeting expectations, because when people sign up for your mailing list, then if you’re doing a good job, you’re going to tell them to expect an email from you weekly, monthly, whatever it is. If you set those expectations and then you stick to what you’ve said, then people are much more likely to consume your content and not get upset with you. If you say sign up for my monthly newsletter and then you spam them every single day, then guess what?

Adrian
Some people are going to get upset with that and they’re going to complain, spam, unsubscribe, whatever. So very, very important to make sure that you’re meeting expectations and you’re sending the right content to the right people at the right time based on what you know, they want to hear when there’s so much more to talk about this. But we’ve only got so much time on this recording, unfortunately. Anything else any questions from you at this stage?

Adrian
And before I go on to talk about the next part?

Andrew
No this is all great.

Adrian
OK, perfect. So the next part in winning the RACE is what I call authentication, and this is one of the areas that has changed quite a lot in the last maybe the last kind of three to five years, something like that. Because certainly if we go back five years, then there wasn’t that much authentication where people were saying, I am the legitimate sender of this email. And that’s why something called DKIM was introduced, which stands with domain keys, identified mail.

Adrian
And the purpose of decomp is it allows you to put a digital signature onto every single email that you send.

Adrian
And what you do then is you publish a public key via your DNS server. And every time the email gets sent, then the the private key in your email is compared with the public key. And it does whatever clever cryptographic things it does that I don’t understand. But but by doing that is able to confirm that this was an email that you sent and you gave Infusionsoft to whoever permission to send this email on your behalf. And that’s really, really massive because obviously, if someone is spoofing an email on your behalf, they don’t they can’t publish a public key on your DNS, so they can’t sign the emails.

Adrian
So if the email if the email comes the DKIM signature, then particularly Google, Microsoft, whoever, they can look at that and say, yes, I can be pretty confident that this email really did come from Adrian because he has signed it with Deacon. And the good news is pretty much every email platform out there allows you to set up DKIM signing now. So there’s two main benefits for that. The first thing, as I’ve said, is it allows you to actually confirm it’s a legitimate email from you.

Adrian
The second thing is that there used to be a big complaint when you received an email from someone using Infusionsoft, then that would always be this message that sent via infusionmail.com and by using DKIM and setting that up correctly, that via infusion mail dot com message disappears. So if someone’s got that and they don’t like it, then if you set up DKIM correctly, then that would actually get rid of that. The same is issue of ActiveCampaign.

Adrian
They don’t publicize it quite as much and they actually don’t recommend that you manage your sender authentication. But I would say it’s a very, very good thing to do, particularly if you want to improve your reputation with Google. But it actually makes a positive impact for pretty much every email provider now. So if you haven’t got DKIM set up already, then it is really, really important to do that. If you’re using Gmail or G suite, it’s quite easy to check.

Adrian
You can send yourself a test email and if you click on the little dropdown next to your sender’s name that normally it will say mail by, there’s another line that says signed by and it should be signed by your own personal domain if you’ve got d’Yquem set up correctly. If not, then don’t say very much. Recommend that you do that. So that covers DKIM. Explain that well enough.

Andrew
Yeah, you have, and then so if someone wants to make sure they have their DKIM or DKIM records set up correctly, how would they go about doing that?

Adrian
So I think the best thing is, as I said, just firstly inside Infusionsoft, then under the email options, there’s an email authentication option, you can make sure it’s set up correctly there. And if not, then it will normally tell you there’s a problem. You can fix it. But the easiest way is if you just do send a test email to yourself. And when you do that, then you can actually check the level that you can check the header information inside Gmail or whatever email provider you’re using.

Adrian
There’s also various mail tester apps where you can do that as well. But the easiest thing is only just to check your email headers and your own platform that will do the trick.

Adrian
OK, so next up, we’ve got SPF, which has been around a little bit longer and this stands for Sender Policy Framework. Now, this works slightly differently because what this is doing is this is telling the world who you trust to send emails on your behalf. So this isn’t done on email by email basis, the way that DKIM works. What this one does instead is this is just publishing a list of servers that you trust to send your emails and what that actually means in most cases is that let’s say we’re using, say, Gmail or G suite to send our personal individual emails and we’re using Infusionsoft to send our bulk marketing emails, then it means that our SPF record, which is another DNS entry that we publish, the SPF record, has to explicitly state that we want to allow the world to receive emails that we’ve sent from both Gmail and from Infusionsoft.

Adrian
Now, the SPF record is very easy to fall into one trap, and that trap is you cannot have more than one SPF record. So what some people do is they create two one for Microsoft and one for Infusionsoft as an example, or it might be one for Gmail, one for Infusionsoft. If you’ve got two SPF records, then you don’t know which one is going to be looked at. And Murphy’s Law says that if you send an email from G suite, then the recipient will look at the SPF record that says the only Infusionsoft.

Adrian
So very, very important to make sure you’ve only got one SPF record is list all the different places that you can send emails from. So normally that will be your email provider. So your personal email provider, whether Gmail G Suite, Hotmail, Office 365 or whatever, and then it will be your email marketing provider, whether that’s Infusionsoft, ActiveCampaign or any other platform out there.

Adrian
So that is the that’s the important thing for SPF is to make sure that you’ve got that set up correctly. There’s there’s been a bit of debate around how important SPF is, and the theory is that it doesn’t matter as much anymore. In reality, though, that is still having a positive impact. Having an SPF record can’t make your deliverability worse and it could still make it better. So make sure you’ve got both d’Yquem and SPF set up the best way if you want to check some of these.

Adrian
Also, there’s a website called mxtoolbox.com and that will actually help you check if your SPF is set up correctly.

Adrian
Now, the third authentication method is something called DMARC, which is domain based message authentication, reporting and conformance, which is quite a bit of a mouthful and DMARC works slightly differently because what DKIM and what SPF are doing is they are just telling the world whether or not the email is legitimate. What DMARC does is it goes a step further and it tells the world what to do if the authentication tests do not pass correctly. So the best example of this probably is Gmail started this and I think it applies to Yahoo! Hotmail and so on as well, is that they use DMARC to say that if the if any email from a Gmail user hasn’t originated from a Gmail server, then get rid of it. Don’t don’t let it get delivered at all. Because what Gmail wanted is they wanted to stop people spoofing the emails because they wanted to be in complete control and make sure that only the emails that they used were sending from their platform would get through.

Adrian
So that means that because of DMARC, you can no longer rely on sending an email or from Infusionsoft if you’re sending address inside Infusionsoft is a Gmail dot com address. If you send from anything like Infusionsoft right to complain to a Gmail dot com from a Gmail dot com address or from a Yahoo dot com address, etc., then it probably won’t get through because they’re DMARC records will say, if this email does not pass, SPF, then reject it.

Adrian
And obviously. Gmail themselves control their own SPF record and Gmail will say only trust emails sent from a Google server. So then it goes to DMARC and DMARC says, right, if we don’t pass SPF, reject this email.

Adrian
Now, most people don’t need a DMARC record. The main purpose of DMARC is to stop spoofing. However, if you’ve got a DMARC record set up, then it does make you look slightly more legitimate. So it is definitely worth setting DMARC up. But if you get it wrong, then it means that nobody will receive your emails. So you have to tread very, very carefully with DMARC. So if you’re, if you’re unsure about it then don’t set up DMARC.


If you are sure then make sure you work with an expert and make sure you do plenty of testing because if you get DMARC wrong, no emails will get through. And I had one client recently, they set up a new active campaign account and they came to me saying every single email that I’m sending is going to spam now. They were lucky it was going to spam rather than just getting completely trashed. But the reason they were doing it is because they have set up a DMARC record in their DNS.

Adrian
And it was saying if there’s any emails that don’t pass authentication correctly, then so very, very important to get that right.

Adrian
I think that probably covers the you know, that’s the basics. This is something where I could talk a lot more, but I don’t want to get people’s heads to explode too much, so. Is that sufficient for this? But is there anything else that you’d like to mention?

Andrew
No, that’s great. And we’re excited to hear even more of the technical stuff to make sure there’s a lot of advanced users listening.

Adrian
Yeah. Mean, one thing that I’ll mention there as well is that if you do need more detail, there’s a lot there’s a lot of good resources out there. But be careful that it is a legitimate resource. There’s some people that are posting advice that isn’t quite right. So, again, this is where people like Evan, he will actually review and set everything up personally as a smart penny. So if you if you aren’t sure, then I’d say definitely get a professional who knows what they’re doing to help with this.

Adrian
That’s the most important thing.

Adrian
But I think now if we move on, let’s talk about content. I won’t spend too much time on content. The main reason is that it’s not as important as it used to be is still matters a lot, but it’s more that there are there is just so much that can be covered that we could be here until next Christmas talking just about content. So what I will summarize are the most important things that will mainly dictate whether or not you hit the Google primary inbox or the Google promotions type thing to bear in mind, because people often try and game the system, they will try and kind of tweak their email search, I guess, to kind of fake Google into thinking that what they’re sending isn’t a promotion.

Adrian
And the general rule of thumb is if it looks like a function, if it smells like a promotion, if it tastes like a promotion, it probably is a promotion. And Google’s artificial intelligence is very clever at working out what’s a promotion. So what I would say is don’t get too obsessive about trying to avoid the Google promotions tab if that’s where your emails are going, because many people look at the promotions tab for marketing messages. But what we have found is if you reduce if you minimize the number of images in your email, then obviously it’s less likely like a promotion because that’s supposing I’m just sending a standard email from my Gmail client.

Adrian
I’m not going be putting a nice big graphical header at the top. I’m not going to be having lots and lots of huge images all the way through. I’m not going to have lots and lots of links, the same thing as I go through the email. So it’s about if you make it look more like a personal email and less like a promotion, that’s when it’s going to go into the primary inbox. So it’s about minimizing the number of images, one or two images at the most.

Adrian
If you can help it minimize the number of links and the testing that I’ve seen people do shows. If you’ve got three or more links, sometimes that’s enough to make the difference between the primary inbox and the promotions tab, which makes it very interesting, because if people are sending out email newsletters and things like that, then sometimes they might have lots of different things, lots of different articles. I’ve seen several different schools of thought here. Some people have abandoned the traditional newsletter and they’re going a lot more down the segmentation route where they’re only sending specific articles to specific people based on their interests.

Adrian
And that’s certainly one thing to test. Other people will just send out maybe rather a regular newsletter. They’ll send out more, more frequent, smaller emails just with one link in them. And some people still do send newsletters out when they find the newsletter still get delivered. Well, so this is only one of the factors. I think that’s what I’m stressing. And also very important to be aware that your your results will be different from anyone else.

Adrian
So you need to test every last change that you make your emails to see what the impact is. How does that affect open race? How does that affect engagement? Just because one person says the emails go into promotions doesn’t mean it is for everybody else. And then I’m mentioning wording in there because there’s still a few spamming words like if you put the word Viagra into your email, then it’s probably more likely to go into spam. But the wording isn’t as much of a factor as.

Adrian
It used to be, but it still counts, so make sure that your your writing in your own voice and there’s various websites where you can Google for spamming words and spam phrases, things like that. I’d say that it doesn’t matter as much as it used to, but it still makes sense to maybe just check against some of the words that you’ve got in the.

Andrew
Now, everything you mentioned, including three links in an email, is kind of the rule of thumb. Does the unsubscribe link count as one of those links?

Adrian
It does indeed. One thing to bear in mind is that even if you include the same link more than once, the way the Infusionsoft link tracking works, and this is true for pretty much any other marketing automation platform, even if you include the same link three times, there’s a chance that it might have three different links or else in the email.

Adrian
So that means you do have to be very, very careful to minimize the number.

Adrian
So I know that the traditional sales copy in an email might have the same call to action link, maybe three or four times repeated through the email as a piece at the end. And if you do that now, then you are much more likely to end up in promotions because because of that. So what I’ve seen a lot of people do now is they might change the call to action saying click the button at the bottom of this email rather than click here, click, click here and so on so it can make a difference.

Adrian
But again, you know, I would say that common sense still prevails here just because it’s good practice to minimize the number of links, then don’t take them out. If it actually kind of goes against the message or the purpose of your email, because that still matters a lot. That’s good to know. Thank you. OK, the last thing then is just around the frequency and that’s not really the email content itself, but I thought I put it in here because obviously the more often you send emails out, that is going to have an impact on when people open them and how often they open them.

Adrian
It’s like if you send an email every single day, then it’s less likely that people are going to open every single email than if you send one a week. But equally, if you’re sending emails weekly versus monthly, then that isn’t going to affect the opening rate as much. But certainly if you send emails every single day, then it’s kind of to be expected that the email open rate will be a bit lower from that. That probably covers content sufficiently.

Adrian
Anything else before I move on?

Andrew
That’s great. OK, perfect.

Adrian
So then the final stage in the in the race model is engagement. And in my opinion then this is what matters most. Now, if you have a look at the screenshot here, this is an actual screenshot of my personal Gmail from who sometime in the last year, I think now I have of great out the name of the sender to protect the innocent. But this was someone who’s on their list. And I haven’t I just don’t open their emails.

Adrian
I haven’t open them for months or years probably. And you can see at the top of the there Google is actually giving me the opportunity to unsubscribe from because as it says, you haven’t opened any emails from this send in the last month. So what that means is that Google is giving a very clear message that they do not want unengaged contacts to keep being emails. They are giving the unengaged people the opportunity to vote with their feet and unsubscribe. And if people don’t do that, Google will still notice and they will start to move things into the into the promotions tab, into the spam folder and so on as time goes on.

Adrian
So that’s a very, very clear indicator of how much Google, you know, how much importance Google places on engagement. But the first question that I’ll quickly answer is, Will, what actually is engagement? Because there’s two definitions. The email marketing providers like Infusionsoft and ActiveCampaign have got one definition. And from their perspective, engagement is something like fitting in a web form, opening an email, click on the link and email, and that’s pretty much it.

Adrian
There aren’t that many signs of engagement. So the main thing that we care about here is the number of people that have opened the emails, because that’s one of the metrics that the email mailbox providers use as well. Because let’s say that you’re using Gmail or Hotmail or something like that, then they will look in a lot more depth around what they count as engagement. Certainly opening email accounts as engagement is less likely. They’ll actually count a link click as engagement, which is interesting.

Adrian
The reason that you should still reason you should still track your link clicks inside Infusionsoft is because sometimes people have open tracking, turned off anything. Click the link in your email. You know, they’ve opened it as well. So it’s always a good habit to make sure you’ve got very clear calls to action your emails, getting people to click things on the recipient side. So Gmail, Hotmail and so on. What they are looking for is if you’ve opened email, if you reply to an email, that’s a really strong sign of engagement.

Adrian
If you rescue an email from the spam folder, if you add the senders names, your address book, all of those things are good signs of engagement. But what they’re also looking for signs of disengagement, because if you ignore the emails, if you leave them in your inbox, if you delete them without reading them, if you report them the spam, all of those are bad things. But the more disengaged Google thinks that your audience is, the more likely Google is to send your emails into the spam.

Adrian
So that means that we have to be very ruthless as we manage our engagement. And this is where the world has changed the most. And if there’s one thing that people take away from today, then I think it should be this it you should stop sending emails to your unengaged contacts. Ideally, then you want to send emails only to the people of open something in the last 90 days. Or if you only if you’ve got a good active list where you’re getting lots of new leads, then if you can limit it to just people that opened in the last 30 days, that will make a massive, massive impact on your open rates, on your reputation.

Adrian
And ultimately you will get more people seeing your emails, even though you’re sending them to fewer people. Now, one way to actually manage that is to use a re-engagement campaign. And this is something that you can automate where supposing someone reaches 30 days or maybe 90 days without having opened anything from you, you can automatically send them an email that says, hey, just wanted to make sure you still want to receive my emails, click here. If you do otherwise, I’m going to take you off my list.

Adrian
And sometimes people will send maybe two or three re-engagement emails. And if at the end of those three emails the contact still hasn’t engaged, then you might choose to unsubscribe. And so very important to do that, give people the chance to click just to demonstrate they’re still opening. Even if the open tracking isn’t working and if there’s no engagement after that, then you should probably unsubscribe them, stop mailing to them. Little caveat. There is there are customers, something like that.

Adrian
You might need to be more careful, but. Re-engagement campaigns of managing your engagement is absolutely vital, that is the most important thing that you must do.

Adrian
Now, something else that matters a lot is what we call white listing instructions. And I’ll mention example this in a moment and show you where to find some sample white listing instructions. But what that is, is actually putting something on the thank you page after someone opt in via a Web form to explain how they can tell their email provider that they want to receive your emails. Because supposing on Gmail, if you had a what’s called a filter in Gmail to say whenever Adrian sends an email, always put it into the inbox, never send it to spam.

Adrian
Even if something happens to my email reputation, you will still that will still deliver that email to that person because they set the filter up. So encouraging people to whitelist you is very important. The last thing that I’ll mention here, that is something going back to what I mentioned earlier on is about how Infusionsoft sends the emails now, because what they will do is for every single individual contact that you email, they will choose to send that email from a different server with a different IP address, with potentially a different reputation.

Adrian
And the way that works is they look at lots of different factors, things like how well they’re looking at how recently each contact opens, an email engaged with you. They’re looking at the actual the content of the email itself. They’re looking at the overall reputation that they maintain of your account. So how good is your balance management? How low is your spam complaint rate? All of those things will decide whether they send each email from a good IP address, a medium one or a bad one.

Adrian
There’s probably more in that range as well. Lots of different things that determine that. So that means that if I’m going to send an email to you and you open an email from me yesterday and it’s high quality, high content email that will probably go from a good IP address. If I’m sending an email to someone that has an open sign for three years and it’s got the word Viagra in it, then guess what? That will get sent from a IP address with a bad reputation.

Adrian
And the reputation only gets good or bad because it makes sense that if you’re only mailing well engaged subscribers from one IP address, then that will have a good reputation because you won’t be getting many bounces. You won’t be getting any spam complaints. If you’re the unengaged people from a different IP address, then that will probably get a worse reputation because there’s not much engagement is more likely that the emails are going to bounce. And it may be that people have had enough and they can report you for spam sometimes.

Adrian
So it’s not really that they are. They didn’t originally said it would be good and bad reputations. It’s just that’s how those servers that’s how those addresses have evolved based on the content that Infusionsoft is sending out, based on the engagement levels. So that’s something at the moment, Infusionsoft does it that way. Other platforms aren’t quite as evolved as that right now. They have different ways on ActiveCampaign then they’ll send from one single group of servers purely based on your overall account reputation.

Adrian
It’s not based on the engagement level of each content at the moment. But I know that’s likely to change as well, because as I said earlier on, things are always changing. But understanding how that works and understanding that this is why you might start to struggle to get unengaged contacts to re-engage with you is because it’s a vicious circle. The less engaged people are, then, the more likely they are to be sent from a server with a poor reputation.

Adrian
So that’s worth understanding. I don’t know if I’ve ever done a good enough job there. Andrew, would you need me to clarify that a bit?

Adrian
No, that is really viable. I think that is I think you did make that very clear. What question I had is, is time spent reading an email considered a sign of engagement by the email providers?

Adrian
I honestly don’t know that myself. I think it will depend on the email platform. And if someone’s using the Google Web interface where Google can actually time that, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they are doing that. But if you’re using something like the Apple Mail clients on your phone and is reading a Gmail. Email then at that point, Google don’t know, so I’d say that it is possible, but I don’t think it’s likely to be one of the biggest indicators at this stage.

Adrian
But I think at some point it is likely to change anything like that as the providers get more and more intelligent than they could take things like that on board. A lot more, I think. So what I’m going to show next is a little example of what happens if you do and if you don’t manage your engagement well, because this is a client that worked with me for the last few months of last year. And they came to me in in about August, September, they started talking.

Adrian
And as you can see, this is this this is a graph. So this is this is one of the things that my deliverability defender software does. This is my paid for software. And what it can do is it can report on the average open rate, not just across everything. As you can see that with the blue line, because I break it down by individual providers like Gmail, G Suite, Hotmail, Office 365. So all the main providers, I’ll switch that off for this example, because it was it was the actual average that mattered.

Adrian
But you can see in September, they were down to a pretty poor around 12 percent open rate, which isn’t ideal. So they started using the defender software that helps them manage the engagement. It helps them take the contacts so they could just only send to engage contacts. And you can see that things started to improve. So by the time we got to November last year, then they pretty much doubled their overnight. They were up at twenty five percent.

Adrian
And even though they were sending fewer emails, they were still getting slightly more people actually seeing them. Now unfortunately, it went wrong in December because I don’t know whether it was a bit of foma or a bit of kind of fear of loss or something like that, but they started mailing their entire list again or they engage and the unengaged contacts. And this is where it gets quite surprising. Just I’ll just skip to the next next page. I’ll show that it does end nicely because at least they made a recovery once they started managing their engagement again.

Adrian
But what actually happened and this is a snapshot of Google postmaster tools, which if you send enough mails, you can use this yourself to monitor your own domain reputation. And this is what Google thinks of you as a mail sender. Now, what I will say there is if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing here, then don’t spend too much time looking at Google postmaster at all because it can get frightening. And there’s some other stats that don’t necessarily mean what you think.

Adrian
I mean, but the domain reputation is probably one that you can actually look at, because if your reputation is high, then you’re going to go into the inbox. If medium, then you still probably will, but not as much lower than you might go to spam. If you’ve got a bad reputation that your emails are going to go to spam and you need to take some fairly evasive action to improve things quickly. But what you see here is the data point there.

Adrian
Well, not with the mouse will show up on the screen or not. But the very last point before it drops from high to meeting, that was the fifth of December. And that was the first day that they sent an email broadcast to their entire list after having managed their engagement before that.

Adrian
Now, they would have probably got away with that. But then two days later, on the 7th of December, they sent another broadcast, their entire list, only two days apart. And as you can see there, that was the date that Google immediately downgraded them to medium reputation and even out into the start of January, even though the Clean Air Act up again at the start of January, it wasn’t an immediate improvement on this. Screenshot is a little bit old now.

Adrian
The good news is by the end of January, they had rescued their reputation. It went back up to high because they were managing their reputation. But this is a very good visual example of what happens if you don’t manage your engagement properly. And a lot of people aren’t necessarily doing that. So I think that is really, really important to understand how quickly you can upset the apple cart if you don’t manage your list properly and how long it takes to rebuild it.

Adrian
So what I’m going to share now is the top three things that you can do right now to get more emails into the inbox of your audience. Now, the first thing I’ll talk about that in a little bit more detail in a second is to check your email health score. And that’s actually a free tool that I’ve developed to give you a very quick, easy to understand measure of how well you’re managing your engagement right now. So we’ll come back to that one.

Adrian
The one that is worth talking a lot more right now is about putting the white listing instructions on your own website. So if you see the right hand side of the screen, that’s an example of why white listing instructions can look like where effectively you’re saying click on the click on the email provider that you’ve got and then it will show the specific instructions for that provider. And this guy called Chris Lang, who knows an awful lot about email deliverability, and he has created this email whitelist instructions page.

Adrian
And if you go to the link that’s showing on the slide, which is http://whitelist.guru, you can actually put your own name, your own email address in there, and it will create a personalized set of white listing instructions that you can copy and paste onto your website. And you can you can use that on your thank you pages and show people how to whitelist you. And to be fair, not everybody is going to want this job.

Adrian
But even if 20 percent of your audience whitelist you, then that’s going to help your reputation. It’s going to help your deliverability, because even if something changes and things don’t work in your favor in the future, then you can still get the emails delivered. And then the third thing I mentioned earlier on is scrubbing your list. Now, deliverability dashboard is the set of tools that the email health check is part of. And one of the things that we offer, and this is a free integration, is we’ve linked Infusionsoft up and we’ve linked to come up with Clean 13, which is a paid for scrubbing tool.

Adrian
Now, the way that this scrubbing normally works is you download all your contacts with CSV file, you upload them to the list scrubbing service, you download the results, then you have to integrate that back into Infusionsoft, that campaign or whatever.

Adrian
So with the integration of got, it’s a free integration. You start to pay for the clean thirteen credits, but it means that everything is done in place. You just literally select which contacts you want to scrub. You press a button and then deliverability dashboard sends all the data across the clean 13. It checks the contacts and then it applies a tag for each contact so you can see which contacts are verified, which ones are spam traps, which ones are role accounts like info or sales or whatever.

Adrian
And I’ll give you a whole different set of statuses that you can then decide which ones are safe to deliver and which ones aren’t.

Andrew
That’s great. Yeah, I’m really glad it was really easy when we scrubbed our list through their integration that you set up and then so if somebody is interested in checking their email, how score how do they go about doing that?

Adrian
OK, so if they want to do that, then we can move on to the next slide here. So the link here to the https://emailhealthcheck.net. So nice simple address, you just email, healthcheck.Net. And I’ve got a screenshot of two different outcomes that you can get because it really is this simple. You just register for the health check. You receive an email with the with username and password to log into the site. You connect up Infusionsoft active campaign.

Adrian
It also works with Keap, MailChimp and HubSpot. And I’m adding some more systems in as well. And then it will go away, download the information from your account and then it’ll come back as quickly as possible with a nice simple score, somewhere between zero. If things are really bad or one hundred things are absolutely amazing. And then depending on your score, it will explain what that means and how you can start to improve it. And the thing to bear in mind here is this is only measuring things that are within your control.

Adrian
So it’s going to be showing you things that you can do. So so if you are improving the way you manage your engagement, you will improve your health score. And then the net result of that will be that you actually are more likely to hit the inbox if that makes sense. Yeah, there’s a lot of other really useful stats you have in there for helping to measure your deliverability and measuring how your list is doing over time. Yeah, absolutely.

Adrian
So, you know, within deliverability dashboard itself, then we can look at your audience. And so you can see how many are Gmail, how many G suite, how many Microsoft Office 365 and so on. Very important one is looking at your new contact engagement, because how how your new contacts engage with you over the first 30 days is a really big barometer of your reputation, because if only 10 percent of your new contacts open something, you’ve got a problem.

Adrian
Typically, you can get 70 to 80 percent of your new contacts opening something. And this will tell you that. And it breaks it down again by providers. So you can see, are you working well with Gmail, G Suite, Hotmail, Office 365 and so on. I mentioned the list, growing integration. And the thing is, there’s lots more coming with this as well. So I mentioned there’s there’s the paid for Defendor software that goes one level further.

Adrian
And that’s mainly there is a time saver because it will automate a lot of the a lot of the tasks that you might have to do manually. And then also, if you’re in a real sticky situation and we can provide other consulting paid for services, we do email deliverability audits and we do other consulting as well. So although the majority of people don’t need that, I think it’s always good to know is there is an option. But I would say that anyone listening to this, if you’ve got Infusionsoft account at your campaign or any of the other platforms, then it’s worth doing an email check for free just to see how you stand, because sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know.

Adrian
I think that’s I’ve had a few people take the test and they were surprised how low the score was, but they were even more surprised when they made a few changes and suddenly saw their opening rate started to go up as a result. That’s great. And then if anybody has any questions that they want to ask you directly, what would be the best way to get a hold of you?

Adrian
Yes. So one way is to join the deliverability dashboard Facebook group. So if you sign up for the dashboard, then there’s a link to that inside the health check page, inside the dashboard or welcome to find me on Facebook. Just Facebook.com so our agents save them as friend and I’m always happy to answer questions on there as well as if it’s not too complex and if there’s any way I can help, then always happy to answer as many questions about account deliverability.

Andrew
Awesome, and we’ll have links directly below this video to all of those resources, perfect. And then thank you so much for joining us today and sharing this with us, Adrian. We really appreciate it.

Adrian
Pleasure. Thanks. It’s been really, really good to share it and hope everyone finds it useful.

Adrian
All right. Thanks, Adrian. Thank you.

 

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