Messaging best practices are just as important to deliverability as things like engagement and list quality. To put it simply—words matter. As experts in email deliverability, we know how to craft a message that gets straight into the inbox.

Here are our 4 favorite and most effective email messaging best practices that will help you to not only boost deliverability, but master the inbox.

1 | Test your message

A test-and-learn approach is always a good idea, but practically speaking, testing your messages before a big deployment just makes sense. It’s better to be proactive and find issues before it’s too late. Besides making sure your messages are relevant, compelling, and rendering correctly, we recommend deploying spam scoring tools to ensure that no “triggers” exist in content or set-up. That way, you’re set up for success even before you hit “send”.

2 | Consider the size

It’s key to consider the size especially when you consider Gmail. The reason size is critical is because Gmail clips emails with a message size larger than 102KB. While Gmail clips the message, it also clips the 1×1 tracking pixel that is embedded at the bottom of emails, preventing open tracking. It’s best to keep message size under the 100KB. However, in the instances where it exceeds that size it is recommended to then place the open pixel at the top of the email.

3 | Optimize the “From Name”

This is your first impression and can be a determining factor whether recipients open the email or not. Additional considerations:

  • The “friendly from” name truncated by most mailbox providers at 20-30 characters, so keep it short, but as branded as possible
  • Use a brand name the recipients can instantly recognize
  • Use consistent “from name” for all your email types
  • Incorporate your company name into the “from name” for any third party sends
  • If you must use a person’s name, ensure that it makes sense within the context of the content and do not overuse it—otherwise that one-to-one relationship with the recipients could diminish

4 | Link wisely

Ensure ALL links (including hosted content, such as images) in your email use HTTPS consistently. Non-secure or mixed URLs in the message can trigger security filters & blocks, and can also trigger browser warnings and blocking on the browser-side. Some browsers will no longer load any HTTP resources. Of critical importance, do not use a public link shortener service, such as bit.ly or tinyurl. Spammers use them to hide the destination URLs from recipients and spam filters. Therefore, it’s best to avoid so that you don’t wind up sharing the URL reputation with spammers. (who use the same hostname for URLs in their emails)

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Most importantly, know your audience. Follow the best practices for messaging while you also engage them in the right place and time. To delve more into best practices on email marketing, check out our Webinar “Email Deliverability Best Practices.”