Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 008

This is episode eight of the greater than business podcast and today we are going to be talking about the very exciting topic of email deliverability, which right now if you are in the Internet marketing digital marketing space, you are probably going to pull your hair out because across the board email deliverability rates are plummeting and it is completely out of our control. So services like Gmail, Yahoo, hotmail, all of the providers that most people use in order to host an email address, they are basically rejecting any emails that mass services are sending. So if you do not have a really crisp and clean sender reputation, your emails are not getting delivered. And the worst part is is that your system, whether you're using Infusionsoft or ActiveCampaign, ontraport, you name it, they're all coming back as being delivered from what you can see on your dashboard.

So your open rates are dropping. You can't figure out why customers are emailing you going, where is this email that I'm paying for? And you're pretty much at a loss because all you can see on your system is, I'm sending it, I've sent it, it says it's been delivered. Where did it go? And directing people to check their spam folder is not simply enough anymore. Emails are just actually bouncing back, but you're not even getting an alert that they're bouncing. So this issue is going well beyond just your CRM that you're using, but it's something that's actually in the hands of each individual person, on your list, email provider. So as I said before, the gmails, the hotmails, the Yahoo and any other provider that's out there, basically it's in their hands and there's very little that you can do if you have a poorly maintained list.

So back in episode seven, I was talking about the importance of building your list so that it's highly engaged leads that are on your list and keeping in mind that on the other end of every email that you send out there is a person. So with that in mind, I want to talk about list hygiene for a second. So the number one reason that people are not getting your emails is because you generally don't have your account set up for maximum deliverability. So there's several things that you need to do and these things are well beyond my scope of knowledge. So I'm not going to bring on a guest expert for this episode, but what I'm going to do is refer you to my expert that helps me with my accounts to make sure that emails are being delivered and that you have the healthiest list imaginable.

So there's various things that you need to get set up, but there are definitely a couple that need to be and there are non negotiable. So you need to have a dkm set up correctly. That is number one. And if you don't know what that is, you can try and research it as much as you can. Or you can contact my friend Evan Samarin who runs fundamental marketing. You can find and if you head over to his site, you can look at his availability for helping you to clean your list. Now, obviously there's various different tiers that you can join his program at, but I would highly recommend starting at at least hopping on the phone with him and making sure that you have all of your ducks in a row. So you need to have your dkm set up and configured correctly. You need to have your SPF records set up correctly, as well as a d mark set up correctly.

That also needs to be configured correctly with where you're sending your emails from. And that you have basically the, the fundamental set up in place so that you're not hindering the email deliverability of your own emails. So right now, because I deal with a lot of people that use InfusionsoftInfusionsoft has kind of become the big bad wolf in this scenarios. So it's easy to blame an external company and basically push all your woes onto them. But after doing some research and digging into this, I realized that it's actually something that Infusionsoft has absolutely no control over. So these are all things that you need to do yourself so that you are looking after your own domain and your own emails that you're sending out and making sure that you're doing everything in your ability basically to get your emails delivered. And if you don't have these three things set up correctly, then you're hindering your own success and that is not what you want to do.

So I highly recommend that you firstly try and set these up yourself and if you can't, I have provided you with the utmost expert in this area. I have not came across anyone that is more skilled than him. Him and I hopped on the phone for, I think we were on the phone for probably 30 minutes and within that 30 minutes he helped me set up everything that I needed, walked me through it, told me exactly what I was doing wrong and I honestly thought I was doing really well with my email deliverability. I didn't realize how messy my account actually was and I just assumed that because I was getting decent open rates that my deliverability was great. The problem was it could have been so much better if I had have just paid attention to these simple simple steps. Now I have a very small list because I have been working in a service based model up until now and for me growing my list wasn't necessarily beneficial.

So it kind of was something that fell to the wayside to be completely honest. And I'm now learning that that was a huge mistake and that I should definitely have started building my email list a lot sooner than now. But for my small list that I have, I was getting phenomenal rates. But the thing was is that because my list was small, I was able to cleanse it and monitor it because almost everyone on my list I was in communication with outside of just emails. So I knew, I know most people on my list. I've at least spoke to them in some way. A lot of my list building has been very, very small and organic and because of that I build relationships with people before they happen to join my email list. It's just kind of how I structured myself at the beginning of my business.

Now that I'm stepping out and I'm trying to scale growing my own personal business, I have to use tactics that I've used helping my clients build their bigger businesses. So one of the things that I've seen across the board is that people always have massive lists, but yet have a list of about 10,000 only a thousand people are opening or sometimes even less. And the reason that that's happening is because you haven't maintained a clean list. So honestly, your list should be growing at a very slow pace. And if it's growing by tens of thousands of people per year, then chances are you're not doing regular hygiene because for every 10,000 people that join your list, you should probably be removing 10,000 people from your list. So, and obviously you're not just going to go in and remove everybody, but you need to make sure that your list is hitting measurable criteria throughout the year.

And that if people are not opening, if people are not engaging and clicking and if people are bouncing all the time, then you need to remove them off your list because that is not, it's hurting you, it's hurting your deliverability, it's hurting your sender reputation and it's not allowing you to run the effect of business that you want to run. Because even at that, the people that are on your list that actually want to get your emails might not be getting them because you have spam traps or bots that have opted into your list and this isn't something that you can control. If a Bot lands on your opt in page, you're going to get 500 new subscribers in a short amount of time, but they're going to be garbage emails. They're going to be people that have never asked to be on your list.

They are going to be toxic for your list and they're going to tank your sender reputation. So you need to make sure that you are always, always, always conscious of building your list in a way that is authentic and also maintaining that list and not being afraid to do list hygiene. So you need to make sure that you're scrubbing your list, keeping it clean, removing all of those garbage people off of your list. Not saying that they're garbage people, but those garbage email addresses that you know are going to just some random spam accounts. I generally will go over my client's list and my list once a week to make sure that I'm not seeing any abnormal list behavior. So if my list is growing on a week when I'm not promoting anything or it's growing a lot for the amount of promotion that I've been doing, then chances are something's wrong.

So I always am monitoring new people onto my list. I'm monitoring the people that I'm taking off of my list and I'm making sure that there's no red lights that I'm, or red flags that I'm looking at when I am evaluating my list every week. So make sure that the people that are on my list are actually people. Chances are if you search your own email list right now, try something out for me and try searching your own name on your email address list. So for me, I use Infusionsoft so I can go into the contact records and if I search my own name, I should only be able to pull up my own contact name. However, I have seen a new trend of spam bots that will bring in your name at their email address or at a different email address. So it would be like Courtney

Well, I wouldn't have that email address. Why is my name there and why is it creating this spam account? But basically people will join your list and they'll just, in order to get the Freebie on the thank you page, they'll just type in whatever email address that they want or it's as Bot that will do it where they basically generate your name and pull it up and pop it in there. I've also seen other ones where it is five d x two seven well, I don't know about you but I don't know anyone that has an email address like that. So chances are that person is not a real person. So you do have to kind of go through and evaluate some of the leads on your list and make the executive decision if they are real people or not, especially if they have not engaged since that initial optin.

That is the biggest thing. I actually have set up a system in my business to evaluate the emails, the email addresses that come in. Whereas if they join my list and that is the last touch point that I've ever had with them after a month, I will just delete them right off my list. It is the quickest way to keep your list clean and healthy is by setting up some form of an automation that will monitor their engagement. So you definitely want to make sure that they are doing some sort of engagement because then it proves that they are real. And another thing that you should also keep in mind is doing a double opt in. So a double opt in is basically where they have to confirm their email address and if they don't confirm, then you don't send them what they've opted in for.

And I know that a lot of people that run tens of thousands of dollars worth of Facebook ads in a month, they're going to be like, oh, but I paid for that lead. But the thing is is that you paid for a spam Bot lead nine times out of 10 if someone has opted in and they haven't taken that next step, they're not an engaged lead to begin with. So why would you allow them to hang around on your list and effect the deliverability to other people that actually want to get your emails? Even though you've paid money to add that person to your list, you need to make the executive decision that you have to remove them because they're not actually a person. So having someone double opt in basically proves that they are a real person and that they have engaged beyond the first initial signup. It is really easy to program a Bot to just land on your page and subscribe, but it's really hard for them to answer those like skill testing questions and stuff like that.

So that is why those have been put in place so that you can't get bots landing in and ending up on your list. Now, there are ways to bypass that. If you don't have that setup, obviously then that's a really easy bypass for the Bot. But the second thing that you can do is just make them confirm that their email address is actually real. So this is a good thing for if someone mistypes Gmail for example, if they mix up the g and the M, so it's m gale instead of g mail, then they have obviously joined your list at the wrong email address and from here on out it's always going to bounce this person on the other end. If they're a real person, will most likely email you and say, hey, I never got that guide that I signed up for. Then you can figure out why didn't they get the guide and then you can see that they simply miss type their email address.

Once you've conditioned your list and your people to know enough that if they opt into your list and they have not done that extra step in confirming their email address, then that's another, it's, it's kind of a secondary method that you can check to make sure that they are a real person. So obviously someone that's mistype Gmail, you are going to know that, oh they just screwed up and that's why they didn't get it. You just switch it in the system and everything's fine and then re send them the confirmation email. When they click that, then they will get the guide that they've opted in for it. So there are ways where you can automate that as well. I actually have an alert set up in my Infusionsoft account. If someone spells Gmail wrong, I will get an alert so that I know that if someone on my list has any form of Gmail spelled incorrectly, I can reach out to them and ask, “Hey, just wanted to verify, is this your real email address?” 

We got a request for you to join our list because you all wanted to opt in for such and such guide. And I noticed that Gmail was spelled incorrectly. I just wanted to confirm that this is your right email address and I will just send these personally from my own email. Just so that I know that be basically just kind of giving them the of Hey, I noticed you did a Typo, is this correct? But that's one of the ways that I make sure to stay on top of my list. So as I was mentioning before, I have a little bit of a hidden gem that I use for sure.

Sorting out email deliverability. I am not by any means an expert on this topic. Honestly, I need to have Evan on the show here so that he can go over everything. Talk to you guys about it, but I want to make sure that I presented you with this resource and let you know that he exists. He's amazing at what he does. He will be able to help you in so many different ways with building up your email deliverability, educating you on what you're doing wrong with your list and how you can make it right and he's got several packages available that you can, they range from $250 to $5,000 depending on the state of your account and I highly recommend that if you are just starting out, hop on the phone with him, get this sorted so that you can at least get your proper infrastructure set up for delivering emails correctly. Obviously if you are further along in your journey in your business and you have a bigger list, obviously the price tag is going to go up from there, but it is well worth it. If you are spending hundreds of dollars a month or thousands of dollars a month on Facebook ads and you're not getting traction, you need to hire a professional to come in and clean your house because that is exactly what evidence is going to do. So I cannot recommend him highly enough. He is absolutely amazing at what he does and honestly, I never imagined that I would host a podcast and spend 20 minutes talking about email deliverability because it is definitely not in my realm of expertise. But because I have been speaking with Evan and watching the struggles and dealing with the struggles of email deliverability recently, I know absolutely how powerful it is and how amazing Evan is at being able to dissect the tech of your business and your email list and he can let you know exactly what needs to be changed in order for you to get that peak deliverability that you want.

And ultimately by investing in something like this, you are only going to increase your business as a whole. A lot of people now in the online space are relying on emails to be delivered in a timely and effective manner and everyone seems to be blaming the Infusionsoft, ontraport, you name it, everyone is throwing blame at those services. And honestly it comes down to you as the business owner being responsible for setting up these systems before you start marketing to a list. And another big thing is having the ability to clean your list and not view that as tearing your business down. Basically what I'm saying here is if you have a list of 5,000 people and only a hundred people are opening, then really you only have a list of a hundred people. You may have a hundred contacts in your debt or sorry, 5,000 contacts in your database, but your list is only as good as the amount of engagement that you're getting on your emails.

So as much as you say you have a list of 5,000 you really are using that as a vanity metric and I'm sorry, but that's, that's all it is. You don't have a list of 5,000 people. You have a list of however many engaged people are on your list. So that was a kind of a bit of a harsh wake up call for some people, but I need to be super, super real with you that if you are claiming to have a big list and your emails are not being delivered and your open rates are tanking, then you need to take a step back, reevaluate your list as a whole. You need to start doing weekly list hygiene. You need to set up and make sure that your emails are set up for maximum deliverability and you need to make sure that you clean up your own house first before you start blaming everyone else for your messy house.

That's, that's kind of the analogy I'm going with here, but you need to take a real hard, deep look at your list and it's going to hurt because deleting 5,000 people off of your list is painful. You have paid money for those people you have put in time and energy and effort to get people on your list. But if they're on your list and you're strictly just using it so that you can say you have a list of 5,000 people, when really only 10 of them are opening, then what's the point of having them there? You need to make sure that you are keeping everything clean and tight and pretty basically. So if you need help contact Evan in the show notes over at I am going to basically list out all of the ways that you can contact Evan. I will link to his sales page.

I'll link to his call link booking page. But if you have not yet got your list under control, if you are having deliverability issues, if you don't know what a Dekam and SPF or a d mark is, then you need to talk to Evan right now. I cannot sugarcoat that in any way, shape or form, but you need to basically get your ducks in a row in order to maximize your email deliverability. Also, I believe that Evan only works with Infusionsoft clients, so please, if you are using another service other than Infusionsoft, by all means maybe reach out to him before you book a call just to make sure that he can help you. But his expertise is definitely in Infusionsoft email deliverability. He is the number one goto person. I can tell you in our partner circles, he is the Goto Guru for this.

Everybody turns to him and he is absolutely phenomenal. I cannot recommend him enough. And please do yourself a favor and at least look into cleaning your list. I'm going to be creating episodes later on that deal with directly how I do a list hygiene, how I track my list health and all of that other stuff. But the main building blocks that you definitely need to have in place are those three things that I mentioned. DKIM, SPF and DMARC, if you don't have those in place, and if you don't know what I'm talking about, please do some research or to save yourself the time, the headache, the heartbreak, just contact Evan. I hope that this episode has been helpful. I hope that it kind of gave you some insight on list hygiene and why it's so important to your email deliverability. I hope that it's also kind of been a mindset check because honestly having a big list is useless if it's not clean.

You need to have it to be, you need to have it in order for it to be effective. And I hope that just even me talking this out with you has been beneficial. There hasn't really been any clear call to actions in this episode. It wasn't about that. It was more so about if you haven't already looked at your email deliverability and your list hygiene, you need to start and I've given you the vast resource that I can, which is Evan and I highly recommend that you get in touch with him. So next week we are going to be talking about setting your life goals to align with your business. I hope to see you next week and I honestly do hope that you enjoyed this episode. It's a little bit different, but I hope that you were still able to get a lot of value out of it, even though the main call to action was to go speak to someone else and speak to our professional. But sometimes that is honestly the best advice that I can give is go find someone that knows the topic that you're struggling with and ask for their help. And honestly, I am not the best person to ask about email deliverability, but I've given you Evan and he's fantastic. So enjoy, and I'll talk to you guys soon.

Greater Than Business Podcast – Episode 008



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