How to Get Your Emails Into the Inbox
Worrying about getting your emails into your subscriber's inbox of sucks. Email is still one of the best ways to communicate with your clients, so how do we make sure our emails get into the inbox?
Back at the end of 2013, Google decided to make some major changes to their Gmail platform. Maybe they knew at the time, maybe they didn't, but Google's changes to Gmail would alter how we do email around the world.
And that's no understatement.
Today, business owners, internet marketers, bloggers, podcasters and other online entrepreneurs spend a significant amount of time trying to figure out how to get their emails into the inbox of their audience. Time spent on other tasks in 2013 is now being spent on figuring out how to work within this new environment Google has created for us.
According to Google’s senior vice president of products, Sundar Pichai, over 900 million people use Gmail. That's almost 13% of the planet and an even higher percentage of internet users. Additionally, Gmail is the #1 email service in the United States. (Source: TechCrunch)
To give you a more specific example, here's some data from my list within ActiveCampaign, the email marketing service I use.
- 63.5% of the emails I send are opened in Gmail
- The next most popular email client is the Apple email app
- The #2 most popular email service only accounts for 13.61% of my subscribers
If you're not conscientious of how Gmail is affecting your ability to connect with your clients and subscribers, you're losing out. Not only on potential revenue via marketing but in your ability to communicate and connect with the people on your email list.
So, what changes did Google make to Gmail in 2013?
Google added the Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums tab system. They also enabled the Primary, Social, and Promotions by default. Millions of Gmail users, overnight, saw a major reduction in the amount of email they saw in their inbox.
Personally, I saw my email open rates cut in half. Before the update, I was getting a 60-65% open rate. After, 35%.
Was I sending spam?
However, over the past few years, I've learned a lot about the ins and outs of email marketing and email services in general. To help you and I both get our emails into the inbox (instead of somewhere else) I've created this guide. Whether you or your recipients are using Gmail or not, this guide will give you a leg up.
At the bottom of this post, you'll have the opportunity to download my secret tips I used to increase my email open rates by 11%.
How to Get Your Emails into the Inbox
Email marketing today is not an exact science. These strategies could change over time. But for now, they're an excellent set of guideposts to get your emails into the inbox and help you improve open rates.
1: Test Before Sending
Some email marketing services like ActiveCampaign and GetResponse use a built-in spam score. Before sending every email, with the click of a button, you can see how likely your email is to be considered spam. I test every email before I ever click send.
You can also test your email using this free Gmail Tabs tool from Litmus Software. Send your emails to the randomly generated email address they provide, and they'll give you an idea about which Gmail tab your email will land in.
2: Better Subject Lines
People read emails that interest them. If people aren't opening your emails, it may be because your subject lines aren't interesting or just plain irrelevant to your subscribers. If your emails aren't getting opened, over time, Gmail will start filtering your emails out of the inbox.
3: From Address
Use the same “from” address for all your emails. If you're a small business, this email address should be a person's name, not a department. Emails from people are opened significantly more often than ones coming from “sales” or “support.”
Emails sent from a person are also more likely to land in the inbox.
Curious about which email marketing software to use? CLICK HERE to download the Top 10 Email Marketing Services report!
4: Better Email Content
Use proper spelling and grammar. If you're sending emails with spelling and grammatical errors, you're less likely to get your emails into the inbox.
Also, avoid using words like “free,” “sale,” “50% off,” “you are a winner,” and “guaranteed,” as those words are often used in spam emails and can trigger spam filters.
5: Don't Use Link Shorteners
Nobody likes typing in long web addresses. However, using link shorting services like Bitly and TinyURL will hurt your ability to get your emails into the inbox of your subscribers. Since the final destination of the link is hidden from the recipients, emails with these types of links are more likely to be seen as spam.
If you're worried about tracking clicks, turn on your email service's link tracking feature and use the full URL in your emails.
6: Your Sender Address
If you're sending emails for your business, you shouldn't be using a free email service for your email address. Any spammer with a dying aunt who has millions of dollars and needs your help can sign up for Gmail or Ymail.
7: Embed Links and Calls To Action
Every email you send should have a specific action you want the recipient to take.
Ask your subscribers to click a link to receive more information. Ask them to reply with their answer to a question. Emails that get engagement with clicks or replies are more likely relevant to the recipient and less likely to be spam. Emails with engagement are more likely to land in the inbox the next time.
Whenever you send an email, remember, you're a real person sending to another real person. Make sure your emails have a purpose.
If you thought this information was helpful, please enter your email below, and I'll send you eight additional tips to show you how to get your emails into the inbox of your subscribers and increase your open rates. And, as a bonus, I'll send you 5 things you can do to increase traffic to your blog!
- Gmail Help: Bulk Sender Guidelines
- How To Improve Your Open Rate
- A 5-Point Inspection On Email Deliverability
- Email Deliverability: Make sure your emails are received
- Why Is My Email Going to The Spam Folder? How To Improve Email Delivery
- Place Emails in Primary Tab in Gmail
- Top 10 Email Marketing Software
Over to you: How have you increase your email open rates? What's your best tip to getting your emails into the inbox?