Have you ever noticed your Pardot emails are displayed as delivered but receive poor open rates in return? If this sounds familiar to you, I’ll let you in on a secret. Your emails are landing in your prospects spam folder! In this post, I’m going to share how you can ensure email delivery and ultimately avoid spam filters.
Firstly, let’s get one thing clear. In Pardot the “delivered” status means the receiving server has accepted an email but it is yet to reach the receiver’s inbox. It’s up to the receivers server to decide whether an email should land in the inbox, junk or spam folders.
Of course we all want our emails to end up in our prospects inbox, however this may not always be the case. Luckily, I know a few tips that can help you resolve such issues.
Authenticating Your Email Domain
The health of your email sending domain is how Email Clients/ISPs (Internet Service Providers) determine whether to let your email in or not. Therefore, it is highly important to regularly review and authenticate your domain. There are two widely accepted authentication standards:
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – This form of email authentication makes forging a sender or email spoofing a whole lot more difficult. It tightens the loopholes used by spammers to spoof emails.
- DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – DomainKeys is an authentication system that verifies the DNS of an email sender and the integrity of the message.
Setting up email authentication is critical for achieving good deliverability. You can easily implement SPF and DKIM and ensure your domain is authentic.
Whitelist Your Pardot Sending IP
Whitelisting your Pardot sending IP address, allows only specified email addresses or mail originating from specific IP addresses to get through the mail gateway. Too technical? Make sure someone on your IT team has whitelisted your Pardot sending IP.
Avoid Spam Filters
Spam filters evaluate your email content to determine whether a message is spam. Follow these best practices to avoid your legitimate emails from triggering spam filters.
1. Keep Your Code Clean – Sloppy coding, extra tags or codes pulled in from Microsoft Word most commonly trigger spam filters. If you must copy-paste from Word, make sure to use the Paste from Word button.
2. Low Image to Text Ratio – Some spam filters will flag emails based on number and size of an image compared to amount of text. Add more text than images to help reduce this from happening.
Note! Few Email Clients block images by default, so your images may not always appear. It is good practice to include alt tags that describe your images for such situations.
3. Take Care Using Links – Avoid using URL shorteners in email. Spammers frequently abuse them by masking the true URL they redirect to. This has caused even reputable link shorteners to be on block lists. If links in your email are blacklisted, ISPs will block your email and you won’t receive the delivery rates you expect!
4. Include Opt Out Options & Physical Address – Your physical address and a way for recipients to opt out of future emails must always be included in emails. Spam filters are very likely to be triggered if these are missing. However, Pardot automatically includes an unsubscribe link in your marketing emails. No need to worry there!
Hopefully these tips have helped, but if you’re having problems with your email marketing strategy, please get in touch.