Episode Description

Ep. 89 – Adrian Savage joins Chris in this week’s episode to discuss how you can make sure your emails land in the inbox instead of the spam or promotions folder. Adrian is the founder and creator of Deliverability Dashboard and over the years has helped many well-known names in the online space improve their email performance. Get ready to take notes and pay close attention as Adrian breaks down all the factors that go into avoiding the spam folder and increasing your email deliverability.

Check Out Our Show Notes

Narrator  0:00  

You’re listening to the All systems go podcast, the show that teaches you everything you need to know to put your business on autopilot. Learn how to deploy automated marketing and sale systems in your business the right way with your host, the professor of automation himself and founder of automation bridge, Chris Davis.


Chris Davis  0:31  

Welcome to the All systems go podcast. I’m your host, Chris L. Davis, the founder and chief automation Officer of automation bridge the place online to learn about Small Business Marketing and Sales Automation, where we focus on turning digital marketing professionals into automation service providers. And if you’d like to become one already, like hey, like it already, show me the way or if you want to find out more you can visit automationbridge.com/asp. If you’re new to the podcast, make sure after you listen to this podcast in its entirety this episode in its entirety. you subscribe, share and leave a five star rating and review at the time of recording this all systems go podcast is free to subscribe to. So at no charge, you can SUBSCRIBE and find us and all of your main podcasting apps like Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, you can even subscribe on YouTube. Okay, Every Thursday we publish a new episode. And if you’re a listener, and you just haven’t got around to leaving a five star rating and review, please do so now. I would greatly appreciate it if you’re finding value as I know you have you are if you’ve listened to multiple podcasts as a key sign and you haven’t left a review, please leave a five star rating and review it helps get the word out and let other people know and learn about us here. Over at all systems go at the All systems go podcast. If for whatever reason you run into issues trying to post a review, we’ve got you covered you can go to automation bridge comm forward slash review and we’ll handle the posting for you. Okay. In this episode, I discuss how to make sure your emails land in the inbox, not the spam or promotions folder, but actually getting your emails into the inbox so that they can be opened and read. This is also known as deliverability. And you’ll want to pay special attention as Adrian breaks down all the factors that go into getting your email seen. Okay, Adrian? Adrian Adrian savage is a dad, a geek and an entrepreneur he left the corporate world about 10 years ago, and now specializes in email deliverability, how to avoid the spam folder and double your open rates. He’s helped many well known names such as the Sharpe group, Neil Patel improve their email performance, and is also the founder and creator of deliverability dashboard, which quickly simply shows how well your emails are performing and how you can get even more people seeing and opening your emails. If you are wondering how to get the most out of your email marketing efforts, look no further Adrian is the man to agnostic fees to the the strategies and the the knowledge that he drops on this podcast. It doesn’t matter what email marketing platform you’re using, this will work. Alright, so enjoy. Enjoy this episode with the conversation between Adrian and Adrian. Welcome to the podcast man is good to have you on longtime friend and in partner like brother in arms on the forefront of small solving small business problems, small business technical problems, and helping marketers get the most out of their marketing man. How are you doing?


Adrian Savage  4:00  

Hey, Chris is great to be here. And it’s been so long, hasn’t it? Since we were actually face to face, there’s been some crazy pandemic in the way. And yeah, I’ve been having a lot of fun. There’s a lot going on at the moment. People still want to get their emails delivered for some reason so well and truly out of trouble. And I’m trying to work out how many years have we known each other now? It’s like, Oh my goodness. 678 910 I mean,


Chris Davis  4:28  

it’s in there, man. Because way back at Lead pages, it’s uh, we just been connected, you know, icon. I call it 20 something right? Wow. It’s been great. And what’s been even better is just to kind of see your progression and more so you taking ownership and really dominating the space of deliverability. But let me not get ahead of myself. Let me let you introduce us, yourself and your business.


Adrian Savage  5:00  

Sure thing. So I’m now founder and head geek at deliverability dashboard. So that is some software that will help you avoid the spam folder and double your open rates be heard more by your audience, that kind of thing. But I’ve been, I’ve been a geek since I was about seven years old. I got into the whole automation space. We’re getting over 10 years ago now, which is really scary. I’ve been ecommerce escape the corporate world learned about marketing. And I was in one of these masterminds, where I was the only person in the room who wasn’t getting absolutely terrified when the guys were talking about automation. So that kind of, you know, it’s good to be a geek in that kind of environment, because everyone wanted my help, right. And I went through starting to see that people were having problems getting their emails delivered. So I had to start learning how that works. And you know how it is sometimes you ignore those messages from the universe that say, you got to do this thing. I kept ignoring it and ignoring it, ignoring it, and I was having a few tough times in the business. And then suddenly, two, maybe more than two years ago, now, I suddenly thought, hang on a second, let’s just actually focus on this one thing. And guess what, everything got easier. So, you know, I’ve always known deliverability upgraded software back in 2015. For heaven’s sake, it’s only more recently that I’ve really focused so I can now genuinely say that email deliverability helping people get their emails out of the spam folder into the inbox, that is all I do. I’m very lucky to be a software geek, because I can write software that helps with that. But obviously, to do that, I’ve had to really learn going right down into the weeds understanding what matters, what doesn’t, what’s the truth, what’s the myths? And hopefully today, then we’ve got about what about 22 minutes left, we got to share as much as we can in 22 minutes. So yeah, that’s a good start.


Chris Davis  6:48  

Yeah, and I remember I remember your first two, with with Infusionsoft keep now. And it added a secondary email field, I believe it was to help send through your server instead of


Adrian Savage  7:07  

back in the good old days, I’m gonna talk a little bit about how much the world of email has changed. But back, then we’re talking about 2015 2016. And then the server you sent your emails from actually mattered. And if you sent them from a different service, sometimes they had a better chance of getting through. And that was one of the things I got started in. And I’ll tell you, if things were that simple, now, I will be having a party. Thank you so much, since you know that, but that’s the beauty. I sometimes say that email deliverability is a bit like search engine optimization, you’re always trying to stay one step ahead of Google. And it is actually Google again, because most people’s email list is gonna be more than 50% made up of Google addresses. So you know, they’re everywhere. They dominate everything, and email is no exception.


Chris Davis  7:53  

Absolutely, man. So let’s start there. I don’t want to assume any intelligence of the listeners so that everybody can be on the same page. And even those of you who call yourself advanced. It’s worth just emptying the cup today, and listening and learning deliverability from the ground up. So let’s start there. What is deliverability? And why should we be focused on it?


Adrian Savage  8:19  

Cool. So it is one of these kind of almost made up words, because some different people got slightly different definitions. And there’s really actually two words that come into this because we’ve got delivery. And then we’ve got deliverability. And delivery is the easy bit. That’s the bit the you know, and you know, when we’re talking about, it doesn’t matter what marketing automation platform you use, it could be Active Campaign, keep mail, MailChimp, HubSpot, it doesn’t matter, they all have the same job to do. And that is, the most important thing that any of these platforms have to do is very simple. They go knocking on the door of Mr. Google or Mr. Microsoft or whatever. And they say, hey, I’ve got an email for Chris, will you accept it? And as long as Google or Microsoft say, Yes, we will accept your email, then the delivery has taken place. And your marketing platform has done its job. Simple End of story. That’s delivery. But then that’s where the whole deliverability story starts. Because then there’s 1,000,001, different things that can impact whether you’re going to end up in spam folder, the junk folder, clutter, promotions, focused inbox, primary inbox, and there are so many different things that can impact that. And unfortunately, the provider you’re using to send your emails from only makes it a tiny part of those factors. There are so many other things that you’ve got direct control over, but that’s what deliverability is, it’s how likely is it once it’s been received and accepted by the mailbox provider? How likely is it that the emails you’re sending and your land in the inbox or they’re going to end up somewhere else, and that’s what deliverability is, is getting the email from the mailbox providers front door into the inbox because the best analogy that I often use is it’s like if the mailman posts a letter through the door, you don’t know if there’s a crazy dog waiting on the other side to grab that letter, chew it up and go and take it away. Just because it’s been posted through, you don’t know it’s been read. And deliverability is just like that. We know that Google has accepted it. But we don’t know what they’ve done with it. And we never will. So we just have to infer things based on open stats and click status and whether people reply and stuff like that. So deliverability really is a very difficult topics to keep on top of because we’re having to almost guess we’re having to infer from data, we haven’t got 100% visibility, but that’s what deliverability is. It’s are you doing everything you can to maximize the chances of landing in the inbox and avoiding the spam folder? Simple as that?


Chris Davis  10:45  

Yeah. And for those of you listening, if you need to understand like, Well, how do I know what my deliverability is? Right? If you’ve ever asked the question, How can I increase my open rates? Why aren’t people opening my emails? You’re talking about deliverability? Okay, the ESP, that email service provider has done its job of delivering it to Google outlook, whoever. And now you’re like, well, it delivered, it showed in my CRM that it sent to 1000 people, but nobody’s opening, right. And the mistake that I see people make, oftentimes, Adrian, is they think deliverability is specific to the platform. Right? So then they go with the same bad habits to a new platform,


Adrian Savage  11:30  

the number of number of times people have shifted from one platform to another. And it’s one of the most common questions I get, hey, is platform a better than platform B for deliverability. And the beauty is, now there’s a very simple answer. And I’ve got this great analogy of someone working out at the gym. So let’s suppose when you go into the gym, you’re doing a certain type of workout and you want to get fitter. Now, if we go to a different gym and do the same workout, are we going to get any fitter? Probably not, if we were going to do a different workout to get fitter and email providers like that. Now, they are just a tool, they are just like the bench press or whatever else. It doesn’t matter what you’re using, it’s how you use it that matters. And it’s the best the email sending practices that you’re following that make the difference. There’s no point switching from one platform to another, you’ll actually see worse performance on day one, whatever happens because the mailbox providers are very suspicious of change. So as soon as you switch providers, they’ll say, hey, something’s different. Chris is sending us emails from a different place. We don’t trust this. And then you have to wait while they work out that what you’re doing is legitimate. And then maybe you’ll recover again. But you know, switch switching, you know, don’t ever switch a platform just for deliverability. You switch platform, if there’s a real functional reason you need to move or you know, or worst case, maybe you just been kicked off a platform for doing something crazy. But you know, don’t, you definitely jump between email platforms at your peril. And the worst thing you can do is send emails from more than one platform at the same time, that’s going to get really bad real quick. So it’s much better to keep you know, to clean your act up, and just do as good a job as you can sending emails from the one place, fix, things become consistent. And we’ll talk about what you need to fix in a second. Yeah, so


Chris Davis  13:09  

what are some of those factors? If somebody is thinking, Okay, I like this guy. I like what he’s saying, I’m gonna get my act together. What are some of those factors that play a part that Well, let me just say this, let me let me put it in context of the gym. What are some of the workouts that people should be doing before they even think about leaving their platform.


Adrian Savage  13:33  

And the thing with this is, there’s there’s two parts to it, I guess, there’s kind of preparation. And then there’s actually what you got to do on an ongoing basis. And I haven’t ever used this analogy before. So you know, you’re getting real brand new from here, because it is like going to the gym. If you haven’t got the right equipment, if you’re if you’re not, if you’re not wearing, you know, you’re not using the right gear, the right training shoes, whatever it is, if you haven’t, if you haven’t got that right, then you’re going to end up in trouble. And it is a bit like that. And also, let’s keep keep on the kind of the whole exercise thing. I’m going to talk about winning the race to the inbox, because race is a really cool acronym that helps you remember the four main areas, and they stand for reputation, authentication, content, and then we’ve got engagement, and each of those areas will impact whether you’re going to land in the inbox or not. And reputation kind of sits above everything, because everything you do impacts your reputation, either in a good way, or maybe not so good way. So what you want to do is make sure that everything you’re doing is as sensible as possible. And a lot of this should be common sense. If it feels like you’re doing a bit of a crazy thing, then it probably is if it feels like you’re being sensible, then it probably is, you know, there’s not that many things here that are kind of super technical or anything like that. You know, there’s there’s things that you can mistakenly do like you can harm your reputation by scraping email addresses off the internet and sending emails out to a bunch of spam traps and things like that and you end up on a block list. But assuming that you’re building your email list in the right way Collecting, get people to fill out a webform. Get them to maybe confirm their email address if you want to do that. And then only send the people that have said they want stuff. And make sure that you’re mailing regularly and removing people who bounced and stuff like that, which actually your email platform should do, then your reputation should stay pretty good. And then it’s going to depend on the other bits we’re going to talk about, I’ll quickly cover authentication because this is the bit this might have in the right kit before you start. Because authentication is something that you only have to set up once, once you’ve got your authentication working. As long as you don’t switch mail platforms, everything will carry on. But authentication is really important because what sets you What sets you apart from the spammers. The spammers cannot send email pretending to be from you and authenticate it because you’ve got to have access to your domain to do this. Because you can first off you can digitally sign every email that you send bit of acronyms city here, I’m afraid. But I kind of mentioned it once and move on. Because if this is stuff that people don’t understand, then the good news is there’s plenty of folk out there that can set this up, it’s a one off thing, you don’t need to puzzle it all out yourself. Because it’s just a one off. It’s like, you know what, like, you wouldn’t you wouldn’t fix the car yourself, you take it to a mechanic because it’s the kind of thing that happens infrequently. So the first thing is digitally signing your emails or something called DK i m, that stands for domainkeys Identified Mail. And if you set that up, every email that you send out has got a digital signature that says this genuinely came from this domain with this authorization. And you just set it up in your email platform, you put something into your DNS record, and then it’s done. Simple as that. Just be careful, though, because certain platforms, they might tell you that they’re handling it for you. But the bottom line is they can’t. On the one I’ll pick out is Active Campaign, because they actually have an option saying Active Campaign will manage your authentication for you. Yeah, guess what they’re not they’re managing their authentication, you’ve got to select the option that says I will manage my own authentication, and then it will tell you how to set it up. So always, you know, whatever mail platform you’re using to send your marketing emails, then just go and look for something like email authentication, or DKM, or something like that. Bit of googling, you know, if you google your email platform name and DK aim, and you’ll find out some instructions to do that.


Chris Davis  17:16  

Real quick there, Adrian? Because I love this topic, because I love how you explained it did it’s your digital signature. So that the previous email server email providers know, okay, this it, it’s like a Twitter has the verify check. Yeah, right. I think Instagram has it too. So it’s like putting that verify check on every email that goes out? Do you need to? If when you’re setting up your dkim settings? Do you need to use your own domain? Or can you still you? I mean, let me put it like this, how somebody would ask it by setting up the dkim settings? Will all the emails now come from your domain instead of on behalf of your email server?


Adrian Savage  17:58  

Absolutely. And that’s a really good question. Because a lot of people see that when they start using a new email platform, you get all this on behalf of Avaya or whatever. And if you’re if you’re digitally signing your emails, then at that point that takes precedence over the platform it came from. So Gmail, Outlook, all those platforms, they will then ignore where it came from. And they will just say, it is from, you know, Chris, at automation bridge, or whatever it is. Yeah. And there’s no via. So that’s the most important reason, because it makes those emails look a bit more legitimate. So yeah, absolutely really, really important, because people don’t like that via thing. And that’s how you get rid of them. Got it. Love it. All right, so that cut that covers DK aim. And then the other one that is really important for authentication is Sender Policy Framework, which is or SPF. And that’s a little bit different, because that’s, that’s, you know, you don’t set that up in your email platform at all. It’s just literally one DNS record that you publish. And you can only have one, if you’ve got two, that’s like having none. So you only have one SPF record. And it’s, it’s done in a special syntax. And what you’re essentially saying is, here are the email platforms that I trust to send email on my behalf. So let’s say you’re using you know, G Suite to send your one to one emails. Let’s say that you’re using HubSpot to send your automated emails, and then maybe you’ve got something like Zendesk as a healthcare system, you would have to list all three of those systems inside your SPF record, so that way, then there’s no chance of any emails getting blocked on the way because they’re not on the good senders list. So at this point, you’re not talking about your domain anymore, you’re talking about the platforms that you trust, and forget one of those. And you’ll find that you’ll almost instantly end up in spam with Microsoft because they really pay attention to this stuff. And all the other platforms, they will treat you with a little bit of suspicion as well. So SPF is really important set up decom set up SPF job done. And then the other one I’ll quickly mentioned is demark, which is the third one, and it’s less important. The main purpose is to protect you against spoofing because it says if someone sends out an email that says that it’s coming from you, but Wasn’t signed or it didn’t have SPF, then demark can tell the recipient to actually get rid of that email and not even show it in the inbox. So that’s the main purpose of demark, less of an issue for most people. And, you know, it’s only really worth doing if you want to, if you want to check every single deliverability box, because it adds a little bit to your legitimacy. But the thing is, if you get SPF a little bit wrong, then maybe you’re gonna end up in spam. If you get demark. Wrong, you will totally end up in spam. So you have to be a little bit careful with it. But it is there as the third, the third. And you know that we’ve covered the whole the whole bit there, then Got it.


Chris Davis  20:33  

Got it. That’s that’s really good. And for the OSPF record that you put in your DNS, I know this is a lot of acronyms. Everybody. Know More acronyms from now haha, great. When you do that, and you’re listing the platforms, these are the platforms that are sending email on your behalf. Right. So like you said, Zendesk, you can integrate your domain so that emails come from like support at your company Comm. Yeah, just to make sure that everybody to make sure your server is aware of who’s sending on your behalf.


Adrian Savage  21:11  

Because a lot of people forget their their one to one provider so that if they’re using Microsoft 365, they might forget to put that into their SPF record or G Suite or whatever, is not just the automation platform you use, it could be any, any anything, anywhere that sending out emails from you at your domain, you need to list those platforms in your SPF record. So that’s really important.


Chris Davis  21:33  

got it got it makes perfect sense. All right, great. So that’s a we’ve got c and e left.


Adrian Savage  21:38  

Okay, so I could spend about three months talking about content. So I’m gonna keep it really, really simple. And basically, Don’t be a jerk. That’s, that’s the simple one. Don’t write stupid things. make it sound authentic. Write the way that you talk, keep it nice and simple. Don’t try and gain the system. Because guess what, Google have invested millions, if not more, in artificial intelligence, natural language interpretation, all this kind of thing. They they know what you’re saying better than you do. And if you try and disguise something, then guess what they’re going to catch you out. I remember the good old days when you could change the word free just by putting a couple of periods in the middle of the word and I’ve fr dot dot E, and I couldn’t get past the spam filters. But guess what, if you do that now you’re more likely to end up in spam. You just got to tell it as it is. Now, the good news is even if you use some kind of buzzword, I sent an email with the word COVID in it last year, and I did a test. And it only dropped my open rate by a couple of points because the split test one verse one with and one without. And as long as it’s contextually Okay, then you normally get away with it. It’s the ones that are sending the obvious phishing mails and spam emails and stuff like that. That’s what they’re really looking for. As long as you’re sending something that is useful and contextually correct. Don’t worry too much about specific words and stuff like that. Yes, there is if you go right on into the weeds, then you can tweak things. And it’ll make the difference between promotions and inbox and junk and clutter and all that kind of thing. But that’s where, you know, I I hand over to specialists like my friend Evan, who I work with, he can change three words and get an email out of the spam into the inbox. I’m not that good. But I can I can write you know, if I just write an email for sending emails my list, I’m just being me. And I’m just telling a story or sharing a tip or something like that. As long as I write Normally, it gets through, I keep them nice and plain, not too many images, not too many links. That’s that’s the main thing about content, it’s, you know, the one thing I will say is, the more graphically intensive it is, the more likely it is to look like a promotion, the thing I would recommend is make it look and sound like it’s a one on one email. And if you’re sending an email from your phone, or from your from Outlook, or Gmail or whatever, do you have lots of images at the top and banners and logos? No, you probably start an email that says, Hey, Chris, yep. So if that’s how you send a personal email, make your marketing emails look similar, have an image in there, by all means to reinforce or to share or share something along the way. But don’t put stuff in for the sake of it. Don’t make it look really pretty unless you’ve got an audience that really expects that because the fewer images, the fewer links, the more likely you’re going to get into the inbox. Simple as that.


Chris Davis  24:15  

Yeah, I’ll add to it. A lot of times people look at these enterprises and big corporations, you know, like Old Navy and all of that as the template. It’s like, oh, look how beautifully designed that is. And they don’t understand the type of servers in in for their email that they’re spending buku money on, right? Like they’re paying top dollar for these servers, and  even at that, they’re still at the mercy of if those images are too big, it will still get cut off in a lot of them do end up in the spam folder. So as small business owners, who are we fooling we, yes, automation allows us to market like the enterprises in the big corporations. But there are certain things that we just you know, put into Many images in an email, if you think that designing the perfectly, you know, designing your newsletter perfectly with branding, and this is not is going to make that much of a difference, I would submit that you should split test that version and an all text version and see which one performs


Adrian Savage  25:19  

the best two points there. So the first thing is absolutely don’t try and be something or someone you’re not be you don’t try and don’t try and imitate some big corporate when when when you’re you. But the second one is absolutely particularly with content, then, yes. What I’m sharing here is what is the truth 99.9999% of the audiences. But it could be that your audience is slightly different. So they would likely say, test one against the other. And if you’re not sure test and see which works better, but in most cases, you’ll find that few images, few links will make the difference.


Chris Davis  25:54  

Yeah, absolutely. And let me just say this, everybody, if you feel like you have to scam people to open your emails, your email isn’t worth opening. You know, I’ve seen I’ve seen so much I’ve seen people change the from sender to be like a sentence. So you the from name doesn’t isn’t a name, it’s a sentence. And then they use the subject line is kind of like the continuation of the sentence. And it does kind of, you know, like shock you and and make makes you open it in a sense, like, what is this? And then when you realize as a person like, Oh, my God, this was stupid, you know, like, it’s trickery, you know, in that event, but but tell me this agent. So let me finish my thought, everybody, clarity over creativity, and both over scam, scamming, right like, just be clear with what you’re giving and what you want people to do. But let’s say you have your domain automation bridge.come I’ll just use me. For instance, if I changed it from support, maybe one email is coming from support, another email is coming from info, does that impact in any way since it’s coming from the same domain does the from name from email impacted deliverability.


Adrian Savage  27:07  

So from a pure deliverability point of view, it makes less of a difference because the whole reputation thing is mainly on a domain basis, right? However, if someone has added a specific email address to their allowed list, and then you mix it up and change it from support to info at, and it may be that only one of those is on their allowed list. Because obviously, when when someone signs up for an email, you normally say, hey, make sure you add this address to your safe senders list, if you then Central, something that they haven’t put on their list, then you might suffer. So I think you just need to make sure that you’re pre warning people, if you’re going to if you’re going to be mixing up those sending addresses, then make sure that they know which ones they’re going to be so they can actually safe list all of them. Because you do want people to set up, you know, in Gmail, you can set up a filter that says if you receive something from this address, never let it go to spam. And if you can train people to do that, then you’re almost kind of guaranteed you’re going to hit the inbox even if Google falls out of love with you. But if you’re changing the if you’re changing any part even before that sign that will defeat that, but in general is the domain they’re looking at. So it’s kind of a bit of both.


Chris Davis  28:13  

That’s really good. Because Yeah, if I would say in that event, keep your sending email the same. But feel free to change the name, we did something similar at leadpages. Everything claim came from clay@ leadpages.net. But the from name was just dependent on who in marketing we wanted it to come from. So really good point. All right, on the E.


Adrian Savage  28:40  

Okay, engagement. Now this is this is probably going going back to the gym analogy, this is the bit where you have to, you have to work out at this, this is where you can’t just go back to the good old days, you’d built the biggest email list, you could then just mail the hell out of it until they buy they die or unsubscribe. And the people that still do that now are probably getting an open rate of about 3%. The email that I sent out two emails last week, and I got a 57% open rate on the first one or 50% open rate on the second one. So you know, if you are sending if you’re managing your engagement, you are going to get really, really good open rates. If you’re getting 1020, maybe even low 30% open rates, you can improve it. And it shows you’re probably not managing your engagement as well as you can be. And what that means is, you know, Google in particular pioneered this Microsoft have kind of come along Yahoo, I’ve all the other mailbox providers, maybe more on the consumer side, but the business guys are looking at this as well. And they’re looking at what proportion of your audience is opening something because they use that to determine how good the quality of what you’re sending is. So if you’re getting a 10% open rate, I think, Hey, Chris is sending out garbage that no one wants to see and that will start to hurt your reputation. And this is why I often joke that I can double a client’s open rate in seconds and I can All you do is you remove half of the email database that haven’t opened for the longest, right. And the thing is, the number of people opening won’t change, but that open rate is just doubled. But here’s why that’s really, really important is Why call the virtuous circle, the higher your open rate, the better your reputation becomes, the better your reputation becomes, the more likely it is that future emails that you send will end up in the inbox. So even though your if you double your open rate mathematically, on day one, you don’t get any more people there and then, but then every time a new person signs up to your email list, then they’re going to be maybe sometimes twice as likely to see that email as they would have been. And when you just mailing the the less engaged people on your list, they’re going to become more likely. And one of the key metrics I look at is, look at all the people that signed up to your list in the last 30 days, and work out what what percentage of those who’ve opened one or more emails. And if it’s someone who’s doing a great job, you can get 80 to 85% of your audience opening something in the first 30 days. But most clients I work with on day one, they’re only opening 40% in the first 30 days. Now imagine you’re spending $10,000 a month on Facebook ads, and you’re burning half of that money because you haven’t looked after your list. And people aren’t even seeing those emails. That’s why this stuff becomes important, the better you manage your engagement, the better your reputation. And then every single thing you do after that becomes more effective, it’s as simple as that. So only send emails to the people have shown you they want them by opening recently, you know as a little little frightening statistic, Microsoft sofa, you know, if your audiences using Microsoft 365, or hotmail or outlook.com, any of that stuff, Microsoft view a contact as disengaged if they reach 15 days without opening something, which is crazy. So supposing you’re saying I’m only going to send something to people that have opened in the last 90 days, that means that let me quickly do the math. So that means 5/6 of that list are still considered unengaged by Microsoft, and they will still see you as a bad sender. So these days, you need to tighten up even further. And maybe only send two people that open something in the last 30 days. And then what we’re going to do is decide what we do with everyone else, maybe the 30 to 90 day people, we might send a lot less frequently. And then if they get to 90 days, then you know, maybe we need to give them a little tickle a little bit of a wake up call and say hey, do you still want to hear from me? Because, you know, yes, you can retarget people through Facebook or whatever else, you know, email isn’t the only game in town. But you still want to try and catch people before they fall off, if that makes sense. But the more you focus on the people that have opened something recently, that’s what’s gonna make the big difference. Most people don’t do that. So if you if you start doing that, now, you’re going to steal a march on your competitors, you’ll get much better open rates, much better reputation. And you’ll suddenly find that you don’t have to spend as much marketing money to get the same results. So there’s, there’s no reason not to do it. The only reason I ever hear is people get scared saying, hey, but someone hadn’t opened anything for 100 days. And then they open an email and they bought something. So there’s all this FOMO in there. But actually, here’s the thing, if you send an email to the people that opened in 90 days or longer ago, and exclude all the engaged people, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a 2% open rate. Probably lower than that. Yeah. And at the same time, every time you mail, all those unengaged people, you’re hurting your reputation, and you’re reducing the chances of the engaged folk from seeing your emails at all. And you might find the engage people drop as much as 10% in open rates. So do you want to try and get those one or 2% at the risk of 10% of your hottest part of your database? I certainly wouldn’t. So that’s the, you know, I can’t think of a single reason to not manage engagement, it makes such a massive difference. And the clients I’ve worked with have done this consistently, for a long time, they have seen massive changes, massive improvements in six to 12 months. So yeah,


Chris Davis  33:56  

and you know, I’ll say this, and it’s appropriate for a podcast on automation. I’ve very rarely, in fact, I’ve never found a tool that’s built in engagement management, did everything that I needed it to do. So this makes a strong case for understanding how to program engagement management and tracking into the tool that you’re using, and some are better than others. But I know I have a course. And it’s all about identifying what your engagement timeline is, and then having automation in place that applies the tags or populates to custom fields, so that you know what window these people are in so that drops them in and out of segments. So when you’re sending you can protect your deliverability and keep that rising tide effect, so that all the best performers are keeping that tide nice and high for everyone else to come in and receive that good delivery. Yeah, that’s exactly it. Yes. So listen, Adrian, this was a lot. This was a lot. I learned a lot. It’s just good like that guy. said in the beginning, it’s good to pour the cup out and just listen to it because you’re somebody who’s deep into deliverability. If there’s any, if I ever have a question, you know, I’ve sent you many messages on Facebook, if I ever have a question on deliverability, I don’t message the CRM, I don’t message. Anybody else. I don’t post in Facebook groups, I go and hit up agent, it’s like, okay, because you live it, you breathe it in. That’s the everybody listening, that’s what you need to be listening to. And following our people, or a person, an agent that knows the stuff has a team. And that’s what they do day in and day out. So with that being said, Do you have a resource for us? Adrian?


Adrian Savage  35:39  

I certainly do. So I’ve got a nice little PDF. I call it the race method checklist that goes through the whole reputation authentication, content engagement thing, just the most important little bits for each, you can get a free copy of that deliverabilitydashboard.com/checklist, go there. And put your property details in. And you’ll get it sent straight to you. And there’s loads of useful stuff there that will make all the difference.


Chris Davis  36:04  

Great. Well, that link will be in the show notes. Adrian. Thank you, man. Thank you for coming on. Patiently, waiting the day where we can see each other face to face again. Right. But until then, again, man, thank you for coming on to the podcast and helping the audience out. It’s a pleasure. Thanks, Chris. What a wealth of knowledge, right, Adrian. And of course, I primed you all, Adrian really knows this stuff. It’s somebody, you always want to listen to people who are passionate about the topic at hand. And as technical as deliverability is, it is so critical that our emails don’t just land in the inbox. So they did get delivered. But they let me let me say it’s not just important that our emails get delivered, but that they get delivered to the inbox with the highest probability that they will be seen and opened. Okay, so make sure that you do all of the steps outlined, that Adrian mentioned, regardless of the tool that you’re using, okay, so make sure you share this episode this episode with anybody you know, using MailChimp Active Campaign, Infusionsoft, ConvertKit. If they’re using those platforms, send in blue. Okay, Miller Lite. If they’re using any of those email marketing platforms, or ones that I haven’t mentioned, make sure you share this episode with them, so that they can ensure from a technical perspective, they have all of their bases covered to ensure that they’re getting the maximum email deliverability. Okay, if you found value in today’s episode, now’s the time, now’s the time that you subscribe, you share, you leave that five star rating and review. Let me just say it’s greatly appreciated in advance here at automation bridge. We’re dedicated to training digital marketing professionals to become automation service providers. These are digital marketers that that specialize in scaling profitable efforts that scaling your profitable marketing efforts online. and small businesses, they need this they need people who can navigate the strategic marketing realm, the technology round, bring them together and deploy automated systems for rapid growth. Okay, so that is our specialization and we’ve made it easy for you to access everything that you need. So if you go to Allsystemsgopodcast.com you’re not only get access to the latest episode, you’ll be able to explore our amplify my automation package that is geared to put marketing automated marketing and sales systems in your business. Over the next six months. We’ve got a free Facebook group you can join you can request our refer someone to be a guest on the podcast, and any resource or training mentioned on this podcast. You will find it there we’ve we’ve simplified it. One URL gets you access to it all. And that’s allsystemsgopodcast.com no spaces, no hyphens Allsystemsgopodcast.com. Thank you for taking the time to listen to this episode. And until next time, I see you online. Automate responsibly, my friends


You'll Learn

  • [5:00] How Adrian got into the automation space over 10 years ago
  • [8:06] What deliverability is and why we should be focused on it
  • [10:45] One common misconception about deliverability
  • [13:09] Factors you need to consider in order to win the RACE to the inbox
  • [17:16] Adrian clears up a frequent question around DKIM settings and explains how this can improve your deliverability
  • [21:38] Why you shouldn’t overdo, overcomplicate or overthink your email content
  • [24:15] Chris and Adrian discuss if you will see better performance from an email with many images and branding customization or a simple all text email
  • [28:40] How to quickly improve your open rate and why having a low open rate will greatly effect your email reputation
  • [29:54] Adrian explains what he calls the Virtuous Cycle in regards to deliverability
  • [33:56] The importance of understanding how to program engagement management and tracking into the tool that you’re using
  • [37:56] How to become an Automation Service Provider™

Today's Guest

Adrian Savage is a dad, a geek and an entrepreneur. He left the corporate world 10 years ago and now specializes in email deliverability: how to avoid the spam folder and double your open rates. He’s helped many well-known names such as the Shark Group and Neil Patel improve their email performance and is also the founder and creator of Deliverability Dashboard, which quickly and simply shows how well your emails are performing and how you can get even more people seeing and opening your emails.

Resources Mentioned

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About the Show

On the show, Chris reveals all of his automated marketing strategies he has learned from working in fast growing marketing technology startups so you can put your business on autopilot quickly and without error.

Discover how to deploy automated marketing, sales, and delivery systems to scale your business without working long hours to do so.

Chris L. Davis - Chief Automation Officer

Chris L. Davis

Chris is an Electrical Engineer turned entrepreneur who is the Founder of Automation Bridge, an international speaker and facilitator, and startup consultant