Q&A: Making it to the Inbox in 2024


Navigating the email deliverability landscape is challenging, especially with recent changes that went into effect earlier this year.


We're taking the most popular questions from our latest webinar and expanding upon them so you can better understand the world of deliverability and gain insight into the ins and outs of getting your emails delivered.


You can view the webinar directly through Wistia or right here on the Blog!



Can you talk about the changes Google and Yahoo made back in February?

Very briefly, both Google and Yahoo made changes to their email security measures, particularly in the area of authentication. Any email sent without proper authentication after February 1st may result in bounced messages or placement in the junk/spam folder. Constant Contact took multiple steps to guide our customers through the authentication process before February 1st with in-account messaging and emails.


We hosted two webinars discussing the changes implemented by Google and Yahoo that go more into detail on why they made these changes and what actions you may need to take to ensure the delivery of your emails. We recommend reviewing these webinars on your own time. You also visit our Email Delivery Hub which has a list of resources related to authentication.


Q&A: What you need to know about Google and Yahoo’s new requirements

Community Ask Me Anything: Email Deliverability

When designing my email, is there anything I should consider that could impact deliverability?

We strongly recommend you avoid image-heavy emails. These can be picked up by spam filters or the image may not display at all when the email is opened. Use text blocks to your advantage by describing the image and including a call-to-action or your business information.



What makes a good subject line? Are there any words or phrases I shouldn’t use when creating my subject line?

A subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. Not only does it entice your contact to open the email, but it also has an impact on delivery. We have some suggestions for optimizing your subject line.


We suggest having the subject line be between 4-7 words and no more than 40 characters as most email service providers will cut off a subject line at that point. Use minimal punctuation and avoid spammy phrases like “free” or writing in all caps (people don’t like to be yelled at). 

Does engagement impact the delivery of my emails?

Definitely. While it doesn’t influence it as much as your sender reputation, it shouldn’t be ignored. Opens are one part of what defines engagement but what are your contacts doing once they open the email? Compare this to a customer walking through the door of your business and walking out without buying anything, or even picking an item up. You want to draw their attention to things that are of interest to them. 


Clicks are a great way to measure engagement and learn more about your contacts. Make your links visible (call-to-action buttons are a great to way draw attention to links, but don’t overdo it) or insert a Read More link. You can also automatically add contacts to a particular list when they click on a link in your email. When you add the URL to your text link or button, make sure the "Enable Click Segmentation" option is checked. You can use this to create lists based on your contacts' behavior and send more targeted emails to them later based on that behavior.

For my contacts that use Gmail as their email client, what can I do to increase the chances of my email landing in the Primary tab instead of Promotions?

Let’s talk about these tabs. Gmail moves marketing and bulk emails, such as deals, offers, and other promotional messages, into the Promotions tab. Emails sent through Constant Contact and other large Email Service Providers are typically sent to the Promotions tab. Not all Gmail users use tabs so these contacts are not a complete loss when it comes to them opening your emails. 


People who use the Promotions tab in their email accounts frequently check here for emails from their favorite stores, online shops, and other businesses whose mailing lists they joined. They know what to expect when opening the tab since they are in a buying mindset. This is good if you are in e-commerce.


Getting your email to land in a contact’s Primary tab is hard to control since it’s all up to the recipient and how they decide to organize their inbox. You can ask your contacts to add your From addresses to their contact list or have them drag your email into their Primary tab so Gmail learns to categorize your email as important. 



How can I track my sender reputation?

There isn’t a tool in your Constant Contact account that will track this. You can use SenderScore to check your sender score that'll indicate how good your sender reputation is. Please note this is a third-party tool so we cannot assist with questions regarding the tool.


How do I gather feedback from my contacts to see if they like receiving my emails or if they are valuable?

You can use the poll feature to do this if you want something quick and easy with one question. If you want to gain more feedback, consider a survey that allows you to ask more than one question with various types of questions.



Regarding the From field, how is entering the business name better than entering the name of the person who the email is from at the business?

This is something to test to see how your audience responds. In any case, you want a From name that is recognizable to your audience. You can do a couple of sends with just the business name and then with a personal name combined with a business name to see how each email performs.



I've seen research that appears to show that your email service provider can have an impact on your deliverability, whether you send from a shared IP or a unique IP. In your experience, how true is this? 

This is true! You want an email service provider that works hard behind the scenes to have strict policies on email deliverability, list quality, and other best practices built into the platform.


Constant Contact boasts one of the strongest email deliverability rates of all email marketing platforms, averaging a 97% email deliverability rate.



How do I employ a DMARC policy?

If you are sending from your domain, that is where you want to set up self-authentication and the DMARC policy. It can get very technical, so if you need some guidance, please don't hesitate to contact our support team.



Could you speak to the authentication that may be baked into certain mass email programs? Are those enough to meet the requirements?

Essentially yes. It is a base level to help you meet those requirements for Google and Yahoo. However, it is recommended you take specific actions based on how you're sending. If you're sending from your domain, that is where you want to set up self-authentication and the DMARC policy.


If you're using Constant Contact and sending from a free domain like @gmail.com, it is recommended to customize the subdomain to help you stand out from your peers.



My sending address has changed to @shared1.ccsend.com. Is this correct?

Yes. If you have not done self-authentication, we took steps to change the sending address to emails sent from a subdomain. It is recommended to customize the subdomain to help you stand out from your peers. Example: changing carlscoffee-gmail.com@shared1.ccsend.com  to carl@carlscoffee.ccsend.com 



What if you have a very high open rate, but a very low below average click rate in comparison?

Open rates are an unreliable metric due to changes made a while back with Apple Mail Privacy in which technology can register an open when the actual subscriber has not actually opened the email. Focus on trying to boost your click/engagement rates instead of solely focusing on your open rates.


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