You’ve got the hottest product or service, and you’ve written a cold email that your prospects can’t refuse. The one thing between you and your next sale is your email deliverability. If your email doesn’t get inboxed, you’ll never have the chance to get the replies you need to make the deals you want. When it comes to deliverability, these nine tactics will ensure success in getting your emails opened and read:

1. Use the right tools.

Do your homework and make sure you’re sending your cold emails with the right software. Using marketing automation software (e.g. MailChimp, ActiveCampaign…)  is a no-no that can have a strong negative impact on your deliverability. Instead, opt for sales automation software (using your own inbox) that is designed with cold email campaigns in mind (optimized for replies, not clicks).

2. Set up a proper cold email domain. 

Sending your cold emails from your company domain is a major “don’t.” If you send from your company domain and you get blacklisted, you’re screwed. Instead, set up a separate domain dedicated to cold emails. .net or .co extensions are less scrutinized than .com, so they are a better choice for your cold email domain. 

3. Pay attention to your open rate.

There are so many analytics at your disposal that it can be hard to know what to pay attention to. For cold email deliverability, look at your open rate as a key tool to determine if your message are inboxing. Aim for an open rate of 25% or higher. Anything lower than that is an indicator that your campaign has serious deliverability issues. 

4. Be aware of your sending patterns.

You’ll run into trouble with deliverability when you follow strange sending patterns, like sending everything every Tuesday at 9am, which is an indicator that you’re a bulk sender. Shake it up and send your cold emails at different times throughout the week. 

5. Look at your bounce rate.

Bounce rate is another important analytic in the world of cold email deliverability, indicating the number of times you try to contact an undeliverable inbox. If your bounce rate is less than 5%, you’re good. Use tools designed to clean your list before sending your emails, so you can be sure that you’re only using verified addresses (e.g. NeverBounce, Brite Verify, ZeroBounce…). 

6. Plan strategic delays in sending to people at the same company.

If you’re sending cold emails to a large group in the same organization, break up your list into several batches to prevent getting flagged as spam. Staggering your sends protects your future emails as well because after you’ve been marked as spam once, it’s likely to happen the next time you send to those inboxes as well. 

7. Test with different ESPs

Testing is a key way to determine the most effective way to send your cold emails. Trying out various email service providers (GMail, Outlook, Sendgrid, Mandrill, Postmark…) will let you know if one gives you better deliverability. When you find a winner, you can stick with it for the best results, but remember to keep testing from time to time.

8. Send from the right accounts.

Be mindful of the type of account you’re sending from. Free Gmail accounts, for example, are likely to get blocked quickly. These free accounts also offer zero support to correct deliverability issues once you’ve been blacklisted. 

9. Be mindful of your sender reputation.

Knowing what kind of reputation you have as a sender is important so you can address any issues before you run into trouble. Using tools to monitor your standing helps to protect deliverability of your future emails. 

Following these nine rules puts you in a great position for getting your cold emails successfully delivered so you can start getting the opens, replies, and the results you want from your campaign.

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