5 Tools For Improving Email Delivery Rates

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email_emailMarketers can spend hours crafting the perfect e-newsletters and researching the most opportune times to send their messages out, only to have their emails get bounced before they reach their subscribers’ inboxes. Marketer emails accounted for 60% of all spam trap hits in 2012, and 70% of the messages consumers routinely mark as spam are actually “legitimate newsletters, offers, or notifications” that they signed up to receive.

As inboxes get tougher to penetrate, marketers are looking for new ways to ensure their messages get through. Here are five tools that marketers can use to improve their email delivery rates.

1. Yesmail: Verify email addresses before sending any messages.
Yesmail is a data intelligence platform that marketers can use to verify email addresses during the onboarding process and ensure their subscriber lists aren’t populated with non-existent or inactive email accounts. Yesmail calls its periodic subscriber cleanout process “data hygiene,” and says marketers can use its platform to improve their brand reputations and boost ROI when sending e-newsletters and other digital offers. Businesses can contact Yesmail directly for specific pricing options.

2. SocketLabs: Use an SMTP server to avoid getting blacklisted.
The worst thing that can happen to an e-marketer is to get blacklisted for sending too many outbound emails. SocketLabs helps businesses stay off ISP blacklists by authenticating senders, encouraging whitelist subscriptions, and fostering relationships with major ISPs. Emails sent through the platform are “contoured” for each ISP. If a particular message is raising red flags with AOL or Hotmail, for example, then SocketLabs will adjust the timing to ensure its clients’ messages don’t get filtered out as spam. Pricing for SocketLabs ranges from free to $799 per month.

3. Return Path: Find out where your emails are ending up.
Return Path can be used by marketers to maximize the placement of their messages within their subscribers’ inboxes and boost overall ROI. The company’s Placement.EQ tool provides data showing where a campaign was delivered, what a marketer could have done to improve inbox placement rates, and why particular emails are getting filtered by ISPs. Marketers who use Placement.EQ together with other tools in Return Path’s Email Intelligence Solutions toolbox can increase email delivery speeds, bypass email filters, and block phishing attempts. Return Path charges an annual fee based on the number of emails a marketer sends.

4. LeadSpend: Reduce bounce rates before clicking “send.”
Marketers who regularly send emails to inactive addresses are at an increased risk of getting blacklisted from Yahoo, Gmail, and other popular ISPs. LeadSpend is an email validation and verification service that businesses can use to ensure their email messages are actually being sent — and received — by real, live people. By validating emails at the point-of-collection (using LeadSpend’s validation API), businesses can protect their reputation and improve their inbox placement rates. Pricing for LeadSpend starts at $0.01 per address.

5. Strongmail: Optimize the deliverability of email campaigns.
Marketers looking for ways to track where their emails are placed on major ISPs and preview what their messages will look like on many different types of mobile and desktop email readers can use StrongMail’s StrongDelivery tools. By identifying the email clients most frequently used to open their e-newsletters, marketing professionals can better tailor the messages they send. StrongMail also offers tools that businesses can use to keep their domains or ISPs off of email blacklists. Marketers can contact StrongMail directly for specific pricing options.

Know of other tools marketers can use to improve email delivery rates? Leave a description in the comments.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.