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Welcome back to Season Five of Deliverability Defined! Do you ever feel like you're navigating the Bermuda Triangle when it comes to understanding the latest email marketing requirements? You're not alone. Staying ahead of these changes and requirements is crucial in maintaining email deliverability.In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss the recent changes from Yahoo and Google and how they impact email senders. They dive into the new authentication requirements, the one-click unsubscribe rule, and what it means for your domain reputation. Plus, they introduce a game-changing feature from ConvertKit to help you easily navigate these changes. As the email landscape continues to evolve, it's crucial to stay ahead of the curve to ensure your messages reach the inbox.In this episode, we discuss:02:15 - Yahoo’s and Google’s new sender requirements.04:55 - The importance of domain reputation and authentication.09:39 - Gmail’s delivery delays.13:14 - Convertkit’s verified sending domain setup.16:17 - Customer compliance with email requirements.18:54 - Google Postmaster and best practices for domain reputation.Key TakeawaysEmail senders are now required to authenticate messages using their own domain instead of their email provider's domain. This is a critical step in maintaining domain reputation and a key factor for deliverability.Using tools like Google Postmaster Tools to monitor your domain reputation in Gmail is essential in optimizing your email deliverability.Domain reputation management is key for keeping spam complaints low and ensuring high deliverability rates for your email campaigns.Quotes“The best thing you can do is go back to basics. Like cleaning your list and making sure you're sending to engaged subscribers. Those things were important before, but they're going to be even more important now that you are relying more heavily on your own domain reputation.” ~ Melissa Lambert“Even if you have a great sender reputation after these changes, everyone needs to pay way more attention to their own domain reputation than you probably have in the past and make sure that spam complaints stay low and reputation stays high." ~ Alyssa DulinLinksConvertKitConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!GoogleYahooSquarespaceGoDaddyGoogle Postmaster ToolsConnect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Gmail and Yahoo have announced new sender requirements taking affect in February of 2024. You can read more here: https://help.convertkit.com/en/articles/8538056-gmail-and-yahoo-s-new-requirements-for-2024-and-what-to-expectThe 3 main steps to take:- Set up a verified sending domain in your email provider- Set up a DMARC record if you haven't already- Start monitoring your spam complaint rates within Google Postmaster Tools 
Email remains one of the oldest and most popular digital communication channels, yet content creators struggle to stand out in their audience’s email inboxes. The explosion of ChatGPT has prompted questions about AI’s role in the deliverability space. Should AI be integrated into email marketing strategies, and if so, in what capacity?  In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa talk with email marketing expert Naomi West about her relationship with AI. Naomi is a seasoned SaaS Lifecycle Marketer and creator of Email Characters, a Google Chrome extension designed to optimize email content. Naomi is not only an email enthusiast, but also an email expert, having earned the “Email Whiz Award” in 2021 at EiQ’s email marketing conference. Together, Alyssa, Melissa, and Naomi delve into the pros and cons of using ChatGPT for content creation, the future of AI, and Naomi’s advice for creators running their own businesses.Key Takeaways[04:00] - Who is Naomi West?[10:33] - Naomi’s relationship with AI.[12:33] - The pros and cons of using ChatGPT for content creation.[24:53] - Where is AI headed?[32:49] - How AI could affect ESPs.[39:06] - Naomi’s tips for creators running a business.[41:45] - Where to find Naomi (@emailfromnaomi)Quotes[08:18] - “I tried to get into marketing in university for three years straight. And the business school of my university rejected me for three years straight. And I was like, ‘Well, I guess I'll do an arts degree and I will write a lot of papers. And then I graduated and I immediately did marketing. And here I am.” ~ @emailfromnaomi[39:41] - “[Email] is this completely interconnected space. When you are sending email you have to be cognizant of what’s going on on your other channels as well as recognizing that email is not just you. The inbox is so overwhelmed these days with senders, everyone's doing email. So just be aware that you're not the only individual in the space, but you can still provide unique value.” ~ @emailfromnaomiLinksNaomi West | Twitter | @emailfromnaomiNaomi West | WebsiteNaomi West | LinkedInParcel.ioSlow emails volume 8Email CharactersChatGPTGrammarlyNotion LoomSpreadsheet Girl (@spreadsheetgirl) | TikTokKlaviyoAmnesty InternationalSubscribe to the Marketing Design DispatchSubscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Ask Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
As a creator, you are never going to feel “ready” to build something. The hardest part is getting started and accepting that creation is an iterative process, and the mistakes you make along the way will lead to stronger content over time. In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa talk with Dylan Redekop, Growth Currency Newsletter Strategist and Product Marketer at SparkLoop, about his journey building his newsletter from scratch. What started as a multitopic newsletter niched down into a newsletter that helps creators and solopreneurs start, grow, and monetize their own newsletters. Dylan delves into the best ways to keep lists clean and audiences engaged, even if your newsletter is still in its nascent stage. There’s no need to wait until your audience reaches a certain threshold to seek monetization opportunities.Together, they discuss Dylan’s process in choosing his niche, tips for growing and monetizing newsletter content, and the power of referral networks in gaining high-quality subscribers.Key Takeaways[06:40] - An introduction to Dylan.[09:26] - How Dylan chose his newsletter niche.[12:15] - Dylan’s advice to anyone niching down.[15:36] - How to grow and monetize your newsletter.[25:04] - How referral networks expand your list.[32:25] - How to keep your list clean while using partner programs.[36:43] - Where to find Dylan and his newsletter (@growthcurrency)Quotes[12:35] - “The subscribes and the unsubscribes, it's all vanity metrics. What matters is that the people that are reading your newsletter and are subscribed to it are interested in it, and you don't just want people to hang on because the numbers look good.” ~ @growthcurrency[20:13] - “You only need to have one person on your email list to sell them something, right? People get caught up in, ‘I need to have a certain amount of subscribers to make a sponsorship deal or to sell my ebook or my course or my service.’ But I don’t think you have to wait. Why wait until you have a certain threshold to start trying?” ~ @growthcurrency[26:00] - “The reason why I love [partner programs] is because it's cost-controlled and it's quality-controlled. When you create a Facebook ad or an Instagram, as soon as somebody clicks, you're paying, regardless of if they unsubscribe or never open an email. You don't have that quality control filter.” ~ @growthcurrencyLinksDylan Redekop on LinkedInDylan Redekop (@growthcurrency) on TwitterDylan Redekop (@growthcurrency) on InstagramGrowth CurrencySparkLoopThe SparkLoop Partner ProgramThe SparkLoop Partner NetworkConvertKit Sponsor NetworkSubstackCraft + Commerce ConferenceCreator WizardTinderSubscribe to the Marketing Design DispatchSubscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Ask Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Many people strive to become creators but often forget the discipline, hard work, and consistency required to build an audience. But while the task can seem daunting, it’s not impossible. The best way to learn how to grow a subscriber base is by learning from creators who have successfully done so.In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa talk with Charli Prangley, Creative Director at ConvertKit, about her experience as a YouTuber with more than 220K subscribers, and the author of the Marketing Design Dispatch newsletter with more than 15K subscribers. Charli discusses what led her to ConvertKit, why creators should take advantage of email when building their brand, and why simple designs often land best with audiences. They also discuss Charli’s digital product offerings, her different sources of income, and her advice for aspiring creators.Key Takeaways[06:00] - An introduction to Charli and her creator journey.[07:35] - What brought Charli to ConvertKit. [10:04] - Charli’s day-to-day at ConvertKit. [13:07] - Why creators should use email.[18:30] - An overview of Charli’s digital products. [20:18] - How Charli decided which products to create.[22:00] - What do Charli’s income streams look like?[25:53] - Charli’s design advice for creators.[34:26] - How Charli encourages email replies.[42:28] - Charli’s closing thoughts.[48:31] - Where to find Charli.Quotes[14:29] - “Email is powerful for directly reaching your audience.” ~ @charliprangley[25:53] - “The main thing I suggest is to keep it simple. The more simple you make it, the more refined your design is going to feel.” ~ @charliprangley[43:10] - “Don't make all of the decisions just based on business reasons, but include your own enjoyment in there as a factor too.” ~ @charliprangleyLinksCharli Prangley on TwitterCharli Prangley - Creative Director - ConvertKit | LinkedInCharli MarieCharliMarieTV - YouTubeSubscribe to the Marketing Design DispatchSubscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Ask Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Email is a universal method of communication that brings together people of all different ages and backgrounds. While some people may check their emails more than others, it remains true that everyone needs an email address to survive in the digital world. Whether you use your email to stay up-to-date on current events, manage your reservations, or collect discount codes, email is a versatile tool to stay informed and connected.Email is a more reliable form of communicating with your audience because its popularity is not as volatile as social media. As we’ve observed with apps like Vine or MySpace, no social media platform is invincible or irreplaceable. Email content is also more customizable than social media, which allows creators to connect with different audiences and curate content specific to their needs and interests.  In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss why email is crucial for your business. They cover how to customize content for your audience, how monetization for emails differs from social media, and how a good ESP can help you grow your list and find advertisers.Key Takeaways[04:14] - Why does email work?[09:28] - Why it is important to “own your audience”.[14:36] - How to customize email outreach based on your audience’s preferences.[17:51] - How email monetization differs from social media.[21:45] - How a good ESP can help your business.Quotes[07:25] - ​​“Your subscribers have the control to interact with your email when it’s best for them.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [10:34] - “We don’t always know which direction [social media platforms] are going to go in, not just the success of a platform, but also how their algorithms work.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[15:36] - “A lot of brands have become very successful because of targeted ads on Instagram. You could be making that money instead of Instagram.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[16:36] - “You want to make sure that you’re treating people’s inboxes with as much care as possible.” ~ @mel_lambert_ LinksConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Postmaster Tools – GoogleBitlyConnect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
The way our email inboxes operate has changed dramatically with the evolution of the internet and increased awareness and caution around email scams. Email security and privacy have become a top priority for users, resulting in enhanced protection measures and more stringent regulations.With so many changes happening in the email deliverability world, several factors could be affecting your success metrics as an email marketer or a content creator. Email strategies need to be adapted according to the sender’s needs and their intended audience.In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa cover how various factors impact deliverability, including email privacy protection, automatic clicks, link shorteners, VSDs, and DMARCs.Key Takeaways[03:50] - Are clicks impacted by Apple Mail Privacy Protection?[09:19] - What should I do if my clicks are inflated from non-human interactions?[11:36] - How do I reduce automatic clicks?[12:07] - Should I use link shorteners?[14:10] - Should I use a VSD (verified sending domain)? [19:00] - Should I set up a DMARC?[24:51] - What is my deliverability reputation score?[26:47] - What can I learn from Gmail’s Postmaster Tools?Quotes[11:32] - “Here are a few recommendations we give to reduce automatic clicks. 1) Always use HTTPS links, not HTTP links. 2) Keep your sender reputation healthy. Make sure you're cleaning your list and listening to engaged subscribers. 3) Encourage replies to your emails. 4) Pay attention to the content of your message — make sure that itdoesn't look spammy, and that the links in your emails are not suspicious.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[13:19] - ​​“As far as trying to reduce automatic clicks, using something like Bitly is not going to help you do that. In fact, it’s probably just going to increase your chance of having automatic clicks in your email because it’s not a trusted domain.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [29:45] - “These small pieces individually might not be overwhelming, but how they all work together in order to help people be the best sender possible gets tricky.  So if you feel like deliverability is overwhelming or you just don't know where to start, know you're not alone. It's very understandable.” ~ @mel_lambert_ LinksConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Postmaster Tools – GoogleBitlyConnect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Email service providers are committed to providing their users with the best possible experience, increased security and safety measures may come at the expense of content creators’ success. A content creator’s biggest fear may be their emails landing in the spam folder, but emails landing in the promotions tab is also a major worry.The promotions tab is determined by Gmail’s ever-changing and unpredictable algorithm. While these messages are not technically labeled as spam, they imply to your audience that there is promotional or advertising content inside. While the promotions tab is meant to organize users’ inboxes, creators fear that it might tarnish their engagement and the audience relationships they’ve worked so hard to build.In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss what the promotions tab is and how to avoid it, why you shouldn’t try to beat the algorithm, and what you should focus on instead to improve your deliverability metrics. Key Takeaways[07:25] - What is the promotions tab?[12:32] - Sender best practices to help you avoid the promotions tab.[15:20] - Alyssa reveals her big secret.[17:50] - Key insights from Alyssa’s experiment.[24:59] - Why you should focus on what you can control.[27:20] - One thing deliverability experts can all agree on.Quotes[14:55] - ​​“Senders can underestimate the effectiveness of just being honest with your subscribers.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [19:43] - “The primary promotions tab placement algorithm isn't a human.”  ~ @alyssa_dulin[27:19] - “Focus on what you can control and do not lose sleep over where your email is placed.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Whether you’re a consumer, business owner, or content creator, Instagram's potential to expand your reach is undeniable. With more than one billion active users, Instagram can help you connect with new audiences and engage existing ones.Although growing your Instagram following is important, it's only half of the battle. While Instagram remains a popular social media platform, its future is unpredictable. Algorithms can change and platforms can go out of business or be replaced by competitors. Therefore, it's crucial to convert your Instagram following into email subscribers to ensure that you have a more stable and direct relationship with them, one that is not subject to the platform's uncertainty.In this episode, Alyssa delves into how and why you should convert your Instagram followers to email subscribers, what to avoid when building your Instagram presence, and which best practices you should follow to maximize your audience growth.Key Takeaways[02:30] - Why should you use Instagram for your business?[06:38] - What are the best practices for Instagram?[08:50] - How to convert your Instagram following into email subscribers.[21:50] - What to avoid when building your Instagram presence.[26:34] - Why authenticity makes you more relatable on Instagram.Quotes[16:15] - “Your Instagram is building up your proof that you know what you're doing, you know what you're talking about, you are someone that can be trusted, and you have valuable insights to share.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[17:28] - “The ideal situation is that it's a symbiotic relationship. You're not asking people for a favor. You are helping them as well, and they're excited to give you their email address, and you all can build a connection and relationship, and it's a win-win for everyone.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[26:34] - When it comes to Instagram, authenticity is key. It’s not Twitter or LinkedIn. We don't really want to see that perfectionism.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksMcGee & Co.Melody McMunnConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
While creators hope their audience will open and read their emails, the first step is to ensure emails actually make it into the intended audience’s inbox. The goals of B2C audiences (business to consumer) are not the same as B2B audiences (business to business). By understanding the unique challenges of B2B and B2C subscribers and tailoring the message accordingly, creators can achieve better results in their deliverability strategy.While we have control over our personal email inboxes, B2B audiences often rely on increased security measures that can block unknown senders or direct emails straight to spam. What is an ESP’s role in deliverability for different audiences, and what kind of control does the sender have in getting these messages successfully delivered? In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss how the goals of B2B and B2C audiences differ, how to optimize deliverability to B2B email addresses and tailor your message to their needs, and why transparency with your audience matters. Key Takeaways[06:02] - How do the goals of B2B and B2C differ? [10:44] - How B2B subscriber bases skew success metrics.[12:15] - How to optimize delivery to B2B email addresses.[16:06] - Why transparency with your audience matters.Quotes[06:31] - “For B2B addresses, the main goal of those usually are for communicating with coworkers and clients and more task-oriented, business-focused. So marketing emails that land in B2B inboxes are typically treated more like spam, even if the person signed up for it.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[13:25] - “The ESP you use can help with B2B delivery, but it cannot guarantee it. There are some things that are going to be tough no matter which ESP you're using because you might be sending to a mailbox where the person who controls the mailbox does not want any promotional, newsletter, or other type of email to get through. However, using an ESP with really strict compliance will help make sure your sending IP isn't on any major block list and that you're sending from an IP and domain that have a healthy reputation. That's always extremely helpful for any deliverability, but especially B2B deliverability.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[16:20] - “Be honest with your audience. Have transparency, ask for their help.” ~ @mel_lambert_ LinksConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Creators hope to grow a following, but communicating with an audience at scale is challenging. Technology can help facilitate communication with your subscribers, especially if you’re seeking analytics on email performance and engagement.  Email service providers, or ESPs, are services that allow you to send campaigns to subscriber lists. Different ESPs have different features, such as automation, audience segmentation, template builders, A/B testing, and customer support. Not all ESPs are created equally, and the type of ESP that is right for you can vary depending on your goals.In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss what the decision-making process looks like when moving to a new ESP (email service provider). Together they discuss how to choose the right ESP depending on your goals, how ESPs impact email deliverability, and what actually happens when you switch ESPs.Key Takeaways[03:05] - How to look for a new ESP.[05:42] - Why ESPs can’t solve all of your problems.[08:47] - How the “right” ESP for you changes depending on your goals.[10:21] - How different ESPs impact email deliverability.[16:12] - What switching ESPs actually looks like.[23:09] - Why price shouldn’t be your only consideration when choosing an ESP.[25:47] - How switching ESPs affects your IP address and domain.[28:22] - Why creators might want to switch ESPs?Quotes[04:19] - “Find creators who are using the ESP and ask them their opinion. Do your shopping. Sign up for a free trial if they have a free trial. What works for one person is not gonna work for someone else.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [06:29] - “Is the problem something that switching to a new ESP can actually help with? Or are you beating around the bush on whatever the actual root issue is?” ~ @alyssa_dulin[09:42] - “You could be in the same exact space as another creator, and your needs at an ESP are completely different.”   ~ @mel_lambert_ [22:22] - “Don’t switch ESPs for a feature or price at the risk of a deliverability issue.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
When emails don’t perform well, creators will do whatever it takes to uncover the root cause of the issue and win back their subscribers. Senders can learn whether their messages could get lost in the spam folder by running an inbox placement test that predicts deliverability issues. This type of test gives creators more insight into their emails, especially if open rates have been lower than usual. Perhaps there’s a single word in the copy that’s causing the entire email to default to the “promotions” tab, and a quick revision could prevent this going forward. The test isn’t perfect, but it’s an effective way to gather data on your emails and their deliverability.In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss the benefits and drawbacks of inbox placement tests. Together they discuss what an inbox placement test is, why and how people run one, and what the results will look like.Key Takeaways[03:21] - What is an inbox placement test?[05:27] - How panel data is used.[07:07] - Why you should keep an open mind when running inbox placement tests.[07:41] - Why inbox placement tests may not always be accurate.[08:47] - The reasons people run inbox placement tests.[10:36] - How to run an inbox placement test.[13:31] - What do the results of an inbox placement test look like? [17:00] - How to know if your emails are being blocked.[20:45] - Why data-driven data people will love inbox placement tests.Quotes[07:07 ] - “With an inbox placement test, you really have to keep an open mind and not take it for the absolute because there are so many other factors  that occur in those mailboxes and with subscriber behavior.”  ~ @mel_lambert_ [07:27] - “If you're going to run an inbox placement test and try to gather insights from it, you have to use that data alongside your real subscriber data.”  ~ @alyssa_dulin[20:27] “Panicking doesn’t solve an issue. The  best thing you can do is reach out to an expert and get some advice on what changes or steps you can take next that are actionable and helpful.” ~ @mel_lambert_ LinksConvertKit Creator NetworkSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!GlockAppsKickboxInbox MonsterMxToolboxYahooOutlookGmailConnect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Word-of-mouth has proven to be one of the most consistent business tactics of all time. If someone we admire and trust recommends something to us, we are much more likely to take their recommendation seriously and take action. The same holds true for creators. Successful creators who have already built their audiences know which newsletters are worth subscribing to and which creators are worth following, and they only recommend the content they believe in to maintain their audience’s trust.  ConvertKit’s Creator Network is a place where creators can work together to grow their audience with similar interests and similar niches. One of the biggest challenges for newsletter creators is growing an audience, because the ability to “go viral” doesn’t exist in the same way it does via social media. Reaching audiences organically and ensuring they will be a good fit is difficult, but not impossible. How can recommendations give you an advantage when trying to expand your email reach?  In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss how to grow and get to know your audience organically through ConvertKit’s Creator Network, how to recommend creators that will resonate with your subscribers, and how to maintain a highly-engaged email audience by cleaning your list and being consistent.Key Takeaways[03:02] - What is the Creator Network? [06:20] - How creators can grow their newsletter lists and get to know their audience better.[08:42] - How to choose which creator will resonate the most with your audience.[10:30] - How automation helps deliverability. [13:26] - Why it’s crucial to clean up your lists.[16:27] - How to boost subscribers on your email lists.[21:05] - Why consistency is key for content creators. Quotes[07:59] - “If you're going to recommend someone to your audience, it's really important that you believe in their content. You don't want to recommend people sign up for a list that you actually don't enjoy, and then for your audience to lose that trust.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[09:59] - “We know that a lot of creators on our platform are busy running their own businesses. They don't have a lot of time to do the research. So if we are recommending people to you that we know have a similar audience, that's less work that you have to do on your end.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [14:11] - “It's gonna be more important than ever to check engagement levels and make sure that people who may not be opening your emails are either excluded from receiving certain emails or eventually removed from your list.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [20:38] - A larger creator can recommend a smaller creator and have such a big impact. It's wild. I hope a lot of creators get to partner up with each other and connect and help each other grow.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksConvertKit Creator NetworkCraft + Commerce ConferenceSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch NewsletterSubscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined NewsletterAsk Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletterConnect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
We’ve all been there: you press “send” on an email and immediately recognize there’s a mistake. Recalling an email requires quick reflexes, and unfortunately, there’s no guarantee that your request will be successful. The good news is that we are all human, and email mistakes such as typos, inaccessible links, and failed deliverability are much more common than you’d expect. When sending emails, you may occasionally have more control over a situation than others and can take preventative measures to avoid common issues. There are also scenarios where deliverability issues are unrelated to anything you have personally done wrong. So, how can you spot these mistakes, learn from them, and avoid them in the future?  In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss the worst-case scenarios when sending emails, why deliverability is not always in your control, and how to avoid deliverability horror stories of your own.Key Takeaways[05:44] - What are Alyssa and Melissa’s email horror stories? [10:30] - Why deliverability is not always in your control.[15:45] - Even Arnold Schwarzenegger has deliverability issues.[19:44] - When chef Mario Batali went viral in the wrong way.[23:00] - How to avoid email horror stories of your own.Quotes[10:10] - “Even if you have the best intention, you have to be careful with preview text being shortened. That’s just a recipe for disaster.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [13:09] - “There’s so much of deliverability that is not under one person’s control.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [23:35] - “Always send yourself a test.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksConvertKit Creator NetworkStatista | Emails sent per dayVrboLogitechSpamhausMario Batali ends apology email with recipe and the internet can't believe itVanderbilt UniversityChatGPTCraft + Commerce ConferenceSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Ask Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Creators are always looking for a way to earn income through their efforts, which traditionally evolves into sponsorship or brand deals. Of course, creators want to earn this extra income, but they struggle to keep their audiences happy; no one likes to feel like they’re being sold to when reading their favorite newsletter. Is there an option that balances the needs of creators, audiences, and sponsors alike?One solution is newsletter sponsorship. Creators spend a long time crafting relationships with their audiences to keep them loyal and engaged, and this can pay off for them in the long run once they’ve amassed a following with consistent open rates. Brands with similar target audiences strive to work with creators who have already built their readers’ trust. In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss what newsletter sponsorship is and how to use it to your advantage. Together, they delve into how newsletter sponsorship differs from email marketing, how sponsorship impacts your deliverability, and why newsletter sponsorship is mutually beneficial for all parties involved.Key Takeaways[04:27] - What is newsletter sponsorship?[07:21] - What is the ConvertKit Sponsor Network and who is the target audience?[10:26] - How newsletters differ from email marketing.[15:14] - What sponsors are looking for when they pay to appear in a newsletter.[18:10] - How will your newsletter’s deliverability change once you start introducing sponsorship?[23:30] - Why newsletter sponsorship is mutually beneficial for everyone involved.[26:40] - What to do when you experience deliverability issues with a sponsor.Quotes[12:21] “Another thing that's really awesome about newsletters and sponsors and brands is that you can really clearly help brands find out where they should go to find new customers.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[20:13] - “The more you can encourage replies and that one-to-one feel in your newsletters, the better chance you have of moving those back to the primary inbox.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [21:24] - “I do recommend making sure that the ad still sounds like it's coming from you, that it visually matches your branding, and then, also, that the copy matches your branding.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksConvertKit Sponsor NetworkAthletic GreensPetcoJames Clear Pat FlynnSubscribe to the weekly Deliverability Dispatch Newsletter!Subscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Ask Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
You may be familiar with traditional newsletters, but an evergreen newsletter is a smart and automated approach to standard email newsletters. It allows established creators to step off the content hamster wheel, build a personalized journey for new subscribers, and make better versions of future email sequences based on audience feedback.  Nathan Barry, CEO of ConvertKit, has made $50K from “a secret newsletter about money.” He noticed that a lot of content existed for new creators, but not for established ones. Nathan’s “Secret Money Newsletter” is a paid $149 email sequence targeting established creators that make at least $200K annually. It currently has 500 subscribers and an impressive 87% open rate. In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa talk to Nathan about the power of transparency and providing context behind success metrics, the advantages of an evergreen newsletter, and connecting with your audience by incorporating their feedback into future email sequences.Key Takeaways[03:03] - What is Nathan’s paid newsletter about?[08:26] - Why Nathan is so transparent about his own finances, and is it worth it?[17:24] - How much revenue has Nathan’s paid newsletter generated?  [22:36] - What is the most challenging aspect of an evergreen newsletter?[29:06] - Why evergreen newsletters are a great way to showcase your expertise.[32:30] - How an evergreen newsletter can remove the pressure of wanting it to be “perfect”.[34:21] - How to keep email sequences from overwhelming your subscribers.[36:45] - What are Nathan’s plans for the future of his newsletter?[39:59] - Why asking your audience for specific feedback makes it so much easier to keep writing content.[45:16] - Nathan’s method for coming up with content for future emails.Quotes[14:04] - “By putting advice out there, and real numbers, you show people what’s possible and they can learn from the specifics. It makes a huge difference when people share actual numbers, it gives you real context.”  ~ @nathanbarry[20:35] - “I love with email how few barriers there are between your ideas and the reader.” ~ @nathanbarry[32:47] - “If you know this is going to be email #1 for a long time, that puts the pressure on it. But, good news — you can edit it. So 15 people will get that, and you can learn from it and so the version that’s going to go out to 500 people over a period of time is so much better, and a lot of the pressure comes off.” ~ @nathanbarryLinksNathan Barry on TwitterNathan Barry on LinkedInNathan BarryA secret newsletter about moneyBuy Back Your TimeSubscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Ask Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
According to Finances Online, as of January 2020, Gmail had over 1.8 billion active users. When you’ve got a mailbox provider so prevalent on your email list, keeping yourself on good terms with that provider is essential for the survival of your subscriber count. But how do you know if your reputation with Gmail has tanked? And what’s the best way to respond? While every mailbox provider cares about customers first, Gmail has its advantages for senders too. For example, Gmail allows you to track your domain and IP reputation. Gmail also sends helpful hints when your emails land in the spam folder, but it can be confusing.In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss how to determine where your sender reputation stands with Gmail, what to make of every possible inbox tip-off, how to respond when you realize your reputation has tanked, and reaching the root cause of your strained relationship with Gmail. Key Takeaways[03:28] - There are many clues and data points Gmail provides that can point senders in the right direction when it comes to fixing your reputation. [06:37] - While Gmail is the mailbox provider, the actions of your subscribers determine where you land in the inbox. Remember that mailbox providers care about their customers (your subscribers) above all else. [07:34] - Subscribers will sometimes tell you when your messages are landing in their spam folders. Keep in mind that the promotions tab is still the inbox.[11:24] - If you land in the spam folder and see a banner that reads, “Why is this message in spam?” — it usually means you’re not using a verified sending domain with an ESP.[13:16] - If you realize you have a bad reputation with Gmail, immediately stop sending to unengaged subscribers and figure out the root cause.[14:07] - Clean your list, check to see if you’ve been listbombed, and avoid sending to unengaged subscribers for two weeks. As you see your reputation start to improve, you can gradually begin re-engaging subscribers who haven’t been receiving your messages. Quotes[06:59] - “Gmail’s number one priority is their customers, who are your subscribers. So you may have every good intention in the world of helping people, sending relevant content, but if those subscribers are not interacting in a positive way, then your reputation may be suffering.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [17:43] - “You have to give them time to build that trust back. And you want to make sure that in that process, when you’re building it back, you don’t do anything that would cause more negative signals to show up. Don’t try and re-engage your list too fast. You want to do all that really slowly and try to make sure that the most things they’re seeing when you send messages are those positive engagements like opens, and clicks, and replies.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[19:22] - “Even though reputation issues can be scary, at least at Gmail there are a decent amount of tools, signals that you can use to be able to work on certain aspects of your list and your sending habits, and they give you an opportunity to get better.” ~ @mel_lambert_ LinksSubscribe to the monthly Deliverability Defined newsletter!Monthly deliverability reportsStarbucksSlackGmailHotmailYahoo MailFinances Online reportGoogle Postmaster ToolsDeliverability Defined 0222: Ask Our Experts: Help, My Emails Are Landing in the Promotions Tab!LinkedInAsk Alyssa & Melissa questions or suggest content for our next monthly newsletter!Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
How to Clean Your List

How to Clean Your List

2022-03-0125:33

From likes to follows to subscribers, when everything feels like a numbers game, the idea of actively deleting your subscribers can feel counterintuitive and downright terrifying. But there’s power in deleting people from your list who aren’t opening or engaging any longer. List cleaning saves you money and saves your reputation, a gift to yourself and the subscribers who matter. Well, at least the subscribers opening your emails. But how exactly do you clean your list? Is the best list cleaning strategy the same for everyone? What really defines an unengaged subscriber? Depending on your niche, your followers, and your current deliverability health, the steps may differ. Nevertheless, one thing will always remain the same – list cleaning is an essential step for every creator, regardless of your audience size and regardless of your email strategy. In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss why list cleaning matters, tips for a top-notch re-engagement campaign, why less is more when it comes to opt-in confirmation emails, and knowing when to pull the plug and part ways with the people on your list. Key Takeaways[02:12] - List cleaning is so important because unengaged senders will damage your sender reputation by sending negative signals to inbox providers. That damaged deliverability can ultimately prevent engaged subscribers from seeing your emails. [04:13] - A re-engagement series ending with an opt-in confirmation email is a great list cleaning strategy for a sender who isn’t struggling with deliverability issues. [05:55] - If you are struggling with deliverability issues, sending a single opt-in confirmation email or simply deleting unengaged subscribers from your list are better options. [09:31] - For the best results, send 1-3 re-engagement attempts and make sure those emails contain your best high-value content. [12:27] - Strong opt-in confirmation emails are straight to the point with a clear action item. Fluff is unnecessary and distracting. [18:14] - Senders should run re-engagement campaigns every 3-6 months. Avoid going more than 6 months without cleaning your list. [20:24] - Unengaged subscribers are defined as subscribers who haven’t opened an email in 90 days or have been on your list for 30 days and haven't opened anything. You should always consider removing subscribers who haven’t engaged in six months. Quotes[03:23] - “This is the reason why we have this episode, why it’s so important to regularly clean your list of unengaged subscribers because if you let them sit there on your list, they’re going to start damaging your reputation and causing your messages to land in the spam folder.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[07:43] - “A lot of senders don’t love to watch their numbers go down, especially when there’s a few thousand sometimes cold subscribers that need to be deleted, but you’re paying for those subscribers. And if there’s no interaction, if there’s no engagement, it’s probably not worth paying for those subscribers.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [08:13] - “You have to look at the big picture and recognize that, even though it’s hard to cut ties with people, they can always come back. Just because you delete them off your list because they’re not engaging, doesn’t mean that they don’t have the opportunity to come back some day if they really want to.” ~ @mel_lambert_ LinksFacebookGmailConvertKit Creator ProSign up for our monthly newsletter! Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Many creators know the ins and outs of authentication, spam traps, BIMI, and listbombing. And if you’ve been creating for a while, you probably understand best practices for email strategy and creative tips for encouraging engagement. But what about the basics? Do you really understand what happens to your email after clicking “send”? Most creators don’t, and there’s a strong case for shifting that statistic. When a tool helps you earn a living, it’s important to have a general understanding of how that tool works from a technical standpoint. Email is no different. The inner workings of email are complex and understanding those complexities helps you improve your strategy, ask better deliverability questions, and stay calm when unexpected issues arise. So if you think technical know-how is irrelevant and only for the computer programmers of our world, think again. In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss technical complexities behind clicking “send”, how inbox providers determine where your email lands, what ESPs like ConvertKit really can control, and why understanding email basics sets you up for deliverability success. Key Takeaways[03:22] - Knowledge is power, and when you’re a creator depending on email for your livelihood, having a technical understanding of email can only help you.[03:57] - There are many steps between when an email is “sent” and when the email reaches the inbox of your subscriber. This back-and-forth conversation between the sender and the recipient is complicated but only lasts several seconds.[06:34] - Once a message is sent, there are still things on the recipient’s end that can cause deliverability issues. Once sent, an email is either accepted (delivered) or rejected (bounced). [10:32] - Once delivered, the mailbox provider has to consider several factors before determining where your email will land. [18:48] - Once a message is delivered, you can track how subscribers react to that message through open tracking, although it’s important to look at open rate trends over time versus day-to-day open data. [24:47] - Spam complaints are another great data point for senders searching for feedback. Quotes[26:48] - “Being able to break down every step of email, in general, will help highlight how it all works together because it’s definitely not a to and from, easy send, one-sided piece of mail. Even with the post office, when you take a letter to the post office, it’s not just being magically delivered instantaneously to that person, it’s going through a lot of work to get there.” ~ @mel_lambert_ [27:34] - “I think one of the best outcomes from this episode is at least maybe you have a better understanding of how complex email is and whenever you do have a subscriber bounce or someone says their message went to the spam folder, it will feel a little more like, ‘Ok, I get that there’s a lot of moving pieces going in here, let’s take a look, let’s not panic.’” ~ @alyssa_dulin[28:13] - “Our whole goal at Convertkit is that you’re earning a living from your emails, from your products that you’re selling, things like that. So when something is the cornerstone to your business, you should have a general understanding of how it works.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksHappyLightGmailMicrosoft OutlookYahoo!DMARCBitlyDeliverability Defined 0310: Top 5 Email MythsDeliverability Defined 0207: How To Avoid Automatic Clicks and Opens From Skewing Your MetricsWhy Are My Emails Being Automatically Opened or Clicked? ConvertKit Creator ProiCloudMicrosoftComcastSign up for our monthly newsletter! Connect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing. 
Rejection is a terrible feeling. Especially when you’re pouring everything into a business and yearning for the approval of a new audience. But there are things to learn from every negative in life, and unsubscribes are no different.So if you’re feeling down about your unsubscribes, consider this: the unsubscribe button is an automated list-cleaner, allowing subscribers the option to opt-out themselves, saving you the hassle of removing them manually when your deliverability starts to wane. And by implementing tools like exit surveys, you’re turning that unsubscribe into an invaluable insight. Not to mention, unsubscribes are an unavoidable fact of email marketing. As our lives change, so do our email preferences. Plus, with a new feature from ConvertKit, you can send every unsubscriber a survey on their way out the door. While responses are never an exact science, there’s knowledge to be gained from every answer. In this episode, Alyssa and Melissa discuss why an unsubscribe option is a win-win, what you can learn from every exit survey, how not to position your unsubscribe option, and why trying your best to avoid them can turn a minor loss into an email catastrophe. Key Takeaways[04:47] - Legally, all bulk emails are required to have an unsubscribe button, and morally, including an unsubscribe option is respectful to everyone. [08:47] - Don’t make the unsubscribe button difficult to find. If you make it extra complicated, subscribers may mark your emails as spam to speed up the process. [11:48] - Subscribers removing themselves from your list is beneficial to you because unengaged subscribers will ultimately damage your deliverability.[12:11] - Surveys are a great way to learn from unsubscribers, and a new feature from ConvertKit sends your unsubscribers an exit survey. [17:09] - If someone responds, “I no longer want to receive these emails”, most likely, they’ve simply outgrown your services. [20:26] - A lot of “I never signed up to receive these emails” responses indicate that you’ve been a victim of listbombing. [23:00] - Responses that your content is “inappropriate” may mean subscribers are surprised by the content they’re receiving. Be transparent with your subscribers about what they’ll be receiving from the get-go. [26:51] - Multiple responses that your content is “spam” is also concerning. It may be an email frequency issue. [28:46] - When someone marks “other”, there’s not much to be learned. It may be that you’re sending too much, the emails are no longer relevant, or maybe that subscriber just didn’t feel like explaining themselves. Quotes[11:07] - “Deliverability is one of those things where you really do have to follow the rules or you’re going to end up putting yourself in a hole. There are not a lot of ways you can get around doing things you don’t want to do. You have to do the right thing or you’re not going to have success.” ~ @mel_lambert_[11:51] - “Unsubscribes are not personal, but they’re beneficial to both the subscriber and you. If someone doesn’t want to be on your email list, you don’t want them there. Having people on your list who don’t actually want to be there is guaranteed to damage your deliverability, ultimately hurting your ability to reach those people who do want to be on your list.” ~ @alyssa_dulin[22:26] - “We’re here to help you reach the inbox and emailing people who didn’t sign up for your list is not going to get you there. Make sure that any list you’ve imported comes from sources where each individual opted in to receive emails from you specifically.” ~ @alyssa_dulinLinksSign up for the Deliverability Defined newsletter!The Deliverability Defined podcast archivesMonthly deliverability reportsConnect with our hostsAlyssa DulinMelissa LambertStay in touchApple PodcastsSpotifyTwitterFacebookInstagramDeliverability Defined WebsiteTry ConvertKit's deliverability in actionIt's now free to use ConvertKit with an audience of 1,000 subscribers or less! Start building your audience and reaching their inboxes: convertkit.com/pricing
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