Time and time again I’ve seen this be a major bottleneck for brands.
The issue is that it’s an extremely technical problem that requires a deep knowledge of how Klaviyo works – something that most founders simply don’t have the time, energy, or expertise to fix.
So I thought it would be valuable to show you how. This will improve your reputation with whatever sending platform you use (Klaviyo, Active Campaign etc), give you a better customer experience, build more trust and obviously increase CTR and conversions because your emails will actually get seen.
Or you can stop reading now and have your emails stay in spam forever (up to you).
But before you even think about fixing your deliverability issue, it’s crucial to understand why they’re landing in spam in the first place.
Recently, there’s been a major crackdown on email scammers and “Nigerian Princess” trying to rob grannies of their last via email. Thank God because I don’t know if I can handle anymore calls from my Nan asking if “this email looks real”.
You’ve probably seen it before… A random email popping up in your inbox from unknown addresses requesting you click some link to unlock “infinite monies!”
These scams are very real and as a result, email inbox providers (like gmail and yahoo) have cracked down on scam emails and are a lot more strict now than ever before.
Less emails are getting let into the primary tab overall… which has led to a lot of frustration for brands who just can’t manage to figure out the issue.
So why are your emails landing in spam if the content is valuable?
Think about email deliverability like a point system.
Every time someone opens, you get a point.
Every time someone clicks, you get a point.
Every time someone replies, you get a point.
Same is true for the opposite – every time someone doesn’t engage, you lose a point.
Get the point?
Over a long enough period of time, if your list doesn’t engage with your email content… you’ll dip into the negatives – where Gmail will start placing you in spam. Not the place you want to be.
You need to integrate with Gmail and show them that you’re a positive influence.
You can’t fight with the tech, you have to be one with the tech. See image:
Whilst the point system isn’t literal, it gives a good idea of how the Gmail system actually works.
You want to be one with the tech and get the best deliverability possible, so therefore you will want to put most of your time into the Gmail aspect rather than other providers.
What you’ll find is, Gmail subscribers make up the majority of your list – so your time is best spent focusing on the deliverability issue there.
Gmail will also analyse your emails content such as images, body copy, from name, subject line, links and more.
Every single piece of content inside the email has an incremental effect on inbox placement.
It’s for this exact reason that we advise brands to NEVER upload pure image slices as their emails.
This is a sure way to land in spam for the rest of human existence.
Gmail analyses content rigorously – it knows what emails are marketing emails based on the content.
For example, when two (normal) people email each other back and forth, they aren’t sending a bunch of images.
So when your marketing emails are all image slices, it immediately scream’s “marketing email”. Simply because, scammers looking to make infinite monies use all image based emails too.
As a result, in general, Gmail does not like image based emails.
It’s crucial that you feature some live buttons and text (HTML), even if it is just a few. See above.
If you do include this then you will show gmail that you aren’t a scammer and can be trusted to be put in at least the promotions tab in the worst case scenario.
If you don’t include this then you can guarantee that you won’t ever be trusted by gmail and forever fight an uphill battle with driving revenue from your email campaigns.
If you do this well then you will consistently land in the primary tab and rain make every time you send and email campaign.
If you do this poorly then you will struggle to land in the primary tab and bounce from primary, to promotions, to spam. Every time you email your master list and don’t get a perfect engagement… your results will tank.
Gmail will also scan your emails for anything that may appear as spammy and place your emails in either Primary, Promotion, or Spam based on the scan.
** Spam content analysis from deliverability test.
** Trigger words will set off spam filters.
Despite this, the main determinant of deliverability and inbox place ment is the health of your domain.
An unhealthy domain means you’ll be flagged as untrustworthy by Gmail.
Whereas a healthy domain means you’ll be trusted by Gmail.
To fix this, the first step in the process is to double check you’ve set up your MX, SPF, DMARC, and DKIM records on the domain you are using to send email. This is a basic rule that applies to all email domains regardless if you are sending marketing material or not.
If that all sounds like gibberish to you (it did to me at first), these are basically just text records hosted in the DNS settings of your domain.
Think of it like your domain’s passport.
It essentially flashes up to say “I am not a complete scammer and you should let me get into the primary inbox” when you send an email.
It establishes and certifies the connection between the emails you are sending, and a reputable source, so the providers can be confident that you won’t be sending Nigerian Prince style emails.
At the base level, they help authenticate the sender which prevents the spam filters from blocking the emails.
You’ll probably find that they are already listed in your DNS settings, however, you’ll need to double check because if not… there is ZERO chance of getting placed in the primary inbox on Gmail.
This is step one.
Once you’ve validated that you have all of your DNS settings configured properly, it’s time to start getting points on the board.
The solution to getting your emails out of spam folder is by adjusting your sending patterns to start earning more points than what you’ve been losing in the past, (think of it like making a comeback in sports).
We want to consistently tell Gmail that the emails we are sending are actually interesting and are being received well by our recipients.
You will need to become a Gmail Whisperer and show the platform you can deliver exactly what it wants (a good user experience).
This is what we are doing when we are increasing the volume of positive points and decreasing the amount of negative ones.
We do this in two ways…
- Segmenting campaigns.
- Only activating very high engagement emails
Let’s talk about campaign segmenting first.
Create a segment of Gmail subscribers and for the first 30 days, we excluded these Gmail subscribers from your campaign sends.
If you are landing in spam on a specific mailbox provider, you want to cease sending to subscribers who use that provider until the deliverability issue is solved.
You’re going to create a segment of highly engaged Gmail subscribers and, for at least 30 days, only sent campaigns to these Gmail subscribers.
Segment out ALL gmail subscribers from your main send, duplicate the campaigns, and send only to highly engaged gmail subscribers.
These are the people that are going to positively interact with our emails which is exactly what we need. Enough of this over an extended period of time will assist in getting emails delivered back into the primary inbox.