Email Best Practices
Please make sure to look at the updated date of this article. Email deliverability changes CONSTANTLY and in recent years it has exponentially gotten tighter for successful email delivery. This is a good thing, over 50% of email that flows through the web is spam so restricting/blocking and otherwise not seeing that email is a good thing!
Suggestion 1: Use your professional email!
Use your professional domain email. If you have basic email (IMAP or POP) then you will have just a simple email address to send and receive email from.
Using your professional email allows you to have a business presence in a users mailbox, and promotes YOUR brand, not “Gmail’s” or “Outlook.com’s” brand and reducing your change of having your email filtered as spam
You’re in control of the privacy of your email content and where you store it when you are hosting your email. Your web hosting provider will have varying rules & regulations that you can choose and control VS just sticking with the privacy settings in Gmail.
We recommend IMAP between the two, POP has been around since the 80s and there are a plethora of Cons to using the service. IMAP allows you to sync emails between multiple devices, your biggest contender with IMAP is server storage space. If you start running out of space or need more features like syncing contacts, calendar and files then your next step is to contact us and learn more about Office 365.
Suggestion 2: Use transactional email for your ECommerce
The one built into your website hosting is probably just fine but again, you want to make sure you are measuring key metrics to ensure your domain deliverability or “Email Sender Reputation” is at an all time high.
Transactional email services will be a fully external service with a separate connector called an SMTP Connector or an API Connector. The service providers service will be place where your email will flow out of, there are many service providers that can do this, we have a list of ones we have used in the past and recommend like PostMark and SMTP2GO and ones we don’t. Reach out to us if you have any questions.
Most providers will give you 30 day history and a TON of detail with the service, most Transactional services have ‘free’ tiers and you should be careful with them, as the free tiers will be lumped in with “everyone else”. Work with your web host or Managed Service Provider to help you get the best transactional service delivery for your Ecommerce Website.
A good Transactional Email Service will help you monitor the following things.
- Bounce Rate
- Spam Rate
- % Opens
- % Clicks
If the provider does not have a Full SSL SMTP or API connection, DO NOT USE THEM.
Suggestion 3: Use a separate email domain for marketing
Your email reputation runs off of your domain and its authenticated status in the web, IP based reputation is still valid but your domain holds a lot of weight now with rule changes and “Email Sender Reputation”
If you have a marketing list (some kind of Opt-in form on your website for marketing content) always have that run through a separate domain name. This is usually the opposite of your current domain (if your email is domain.ca, your marketing email may be domain.com). All our personalized communications for our organization runs through @wilkinsit.ca and all our system notifications, reports and other data runs through our @wilkinsit.com and our marketing domain is @wilkinsit.solutions. This segregation allows for a properly managed domain reputation. It’s a bit of work but the last thing you need is your invoices to your customers getting sent to junk because your domain reputation is down!
What if you don’t have another domain? You can choose to use the same domain but for about $30CAD/yr you can have another domain (or even cheaper if you are on a tight budget). If your marketing list is active customers and not ‘strangers’ its ok to temporarily use the same domain, but we don’t recommend it for a long period of time.
There are many marketing email services out there, like MailChimp, ConstantContact, HubSpot and countless others. You will want to choose a solution that fits your needs and it is COMPLETELY OK if those needs change, as a small business, you’re going to move along to other solutions as you evolve and grow.
Choose one and send all your marketing email, monthly newsletters and the like through that solution, it will help maintain your domain based reputation.