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Increasing email deliverability is both an art and a science, and to really get results, you need to have some expertise in both. And of course, that’s one of the reasons that many companies pay someone to do it for them – be it an in-house email deliverability expert, an outside company such as ours, or a combination of both.

But there are some fairly simple things that you can do on your own to help monitor and boost your email deliverability. Here are three things that you can do that can make a big difference to your email delivery, and all they will cost you is your time:

1. Open test accounts at each of the major free webmail hosts, such as Hotmail and Yahoo, and add them to your mailing lists.

One of the best ways to monitor whether your email is getting to the inbox is to, well, monitor whether your email is getting to the inbox! When you pay a company to monitor your delivery, among other things you are paying them to open free email accounts at the webmail providers, and to see whether your mailing list mail is getting to the inbox, or going to the junk folder. There is no reason that you can’t do this yourself! If you find that your email is consistently going to the junk folder at one place, then you know you have something to work on. If you find that it is going to the junk folder everywhere, well, then you have some serious problems – and it’s best to know about them sooner rather than later!

2. Run your email through a spam filter like Spam Assassin before you send it!

Many major ESPs now offer “spam testing” before you hit ‘send’ on your campaign. Mostly they do this by running your draft through a spam filter such as Spam Assassin. But there is no reason that you can’t do this yourself! Have your IT person set up Spam Assassin or another spam filter in such a way that you get the information as to why it tagged your email with the spam points that it did. Then get to work on fixing the things that the spam filter is identifying as ‘bad’, because they are probably hurting your email deliverability.

3. Keep it Simple

One of the biggest problems that legitimate email senders run into is trying to make a single email do too much. So they put tons of unnecessary HTML and lots of links in their email, without realizing that the more they put in, the harder it is for that poor little email to run the gamut of spam checkers and filters, and to get to the inbox.

Think of your email as running a marathon obstacle course – the heavier the load, the harder it is for that email to reach the finish line (the inbox). The leaner your email is, the greater chance it has of successfully clearing all the hurdles and completing that obstacle course successfully.

Doing just these three – free – things can have a big effect on the deliverability of your email. Try them yourself, and see if they don’t make a difference!

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  1. Good article. In today’s tough economy, the more you can do for yourself, the more money you can save. I always recommend seeding your list with free email accounts you control so you can monitor any changes that occur with the recipient email clients.

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