The importance of getting into the inbox

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPTION] Today, we are going to talk about how eCommerce companies can get more people to buy from their emails. And the main thing we’re going to focus on is how to get into the inbox.

But before we get started, if you are serious about communicating with your customers and audiences, head on over to where I’ll be able to help you take all this to the next level.

How to get open rates up

So where were we? Oh yeah, so when it comes to getting into the inbox, we all know that we need to communicate with our list regularly, but a huge question that holds people back is how to get their open rates up and I get it all the time.

People are worried about seeming spammy and getting people to read their messages and getting them to click if they can even get them to open them in the first place. And it makes sense.

Your sender reputation is key

But here’s the thing, and this is going to seem counterintuitive, but if you want people to open your emails, you’ve got to get rid of all the people that aren’t opening your emails, okay?

Now I’m going to tell you what you need to do about this in a minute. But before I forget, I’m teaching a seminar that starts on April 20th and goes even deeper into this sort of thing than what I’m about to tell you. So just head over to and click on the growth seminar link to learn more.

How do email service providers feel about you?

Now let’s get back to it. So what you want to do is you’ve got to consider two things, one is how do the email service providers like Gmail, and Hotmail, and Yahoo, and AOL, and those guys feel about you.

And the second thing you’ve got to worry about is how does your email service provider Klaviyo or Mailchimp or Drip or whoever you’re using for your email, how do they feel about you?

Because here’s the thing, if either one of them don’t like you, it’s going to be bad. And the reason why it’s going to be bad is because they’re going to put you into a lower tier of quality and you’re not going to end up in the inboxes, in your customers’ inboxes or in your prospects inboxes. And here’s why.

How do consumer email providers make decisions about you?

So let’s start with Gmail, we’ll just use them as an example because they’re probably one of the smarter of the email service providers from a consumer standpoint.

Anytime somebody sends stuff to them, there is this scoring that goes on where they try and decide whether or not your stuff should go in front of people, right?

And so they’re looking at your stuff and using algorithms and judging based on the way people have engaged with you in the past and the way they’ve started opening the first thousand emails or however many, I don’t know the actual number, I’m making that up, but the first emails that hit people’s inboxes, are they engaging with them?

And if your numbers aren’t right, if they’re too low, they’re going to downgrade you into the junk folder or the spam folder or whatever the individual provider’s going to call it.

Why you end up in the spam folder

And so what’s going to happen is that if enough people aren’t engaging with your stuff, then nobody’s going to get it in the inbox. Unless they’re like really super engaged with you, unless Google just knows or the provider knows that you want to hear from their stuff, like they’ve whitelisted you or something, right?

So what happens is if your stuff isn’t engaging enough from a metric standpoint, open rate, click rate, things like that, then you’re not even going to get into the inbox, okay? And what happens is if you’re not getting into the inbox, people aren’t going to be opening your stuff and not going to be clicking your stuff and that’s going to screw you up with your email service provider.

What’s happening with the email provider you’re using?

So in a recent webinar for Klaviyo partners, they just let us know that there’s this scoring that happens internally within them, and I’m betting it happens with other email providers as well.

Where, if your metrics aren’t good enough, then you get relegated to special sending, you get this special status that makes it where your stuff is being sent with the other low quality senders.

So all of the low quality senders get sent from one place and then there’s tiers, I don’t know how many, but there’s different tiers.

And when your kind of in the same neighborhood or the same playground with other low quality senders, the ISPs like Google also see that and they’re like, “Oh man, not only do these people have bad metrics, they’re also sending with all these other companies that have bad metrics. There’s no way we’re going to put them in front of people.” Right?

How to recover from all of this

So what I’m going to do now is I’m going to teach you a way to fix all that, okay? And what you need to do is you need to create a segment within your list. Everybody does it differently. I use Klaviyo most, a lot of people use Klaviyo, so I’m just going to talk about that. I’m sure there are ways to do it with most other providers. If not, if you’ve got a provider that won’t let you do this, you need to shift because this is major important stuff.

All right, so what you do is you create a segment and that’s basically saying I want to take a chunk of my list that meets a certain criteria and you want to create a criteria where you’re looking for a couple of things.

The loosest level that I would recommend would be that you create a set of filters for a segment that says, “Okay this person isn’t suppressed or they haven’t unsubscribed. They have received at least 10 emails from me over all time. They have never opened. They have opened zero of those emails overall time. They’ve never opened an email from us. They’ve never clicked on an email from us.” And you want to do both of those because sometimes the email service provider can’t tell whether or not they’ve opened it because maybe there are privacy things in place making it where that’s not getting reported back. But they can always track if it’s been clicked.

So …

  • not suppressed
  • received at least 10 emails over all time
  • never opened
  • never clicked

Okay? And you create that.

Here’s a real-life example

There’s a project I was working on just earlier today and that’s what kind of made me think about this and want to be able to share it with you. And on this project I went into create this kind of filter, I wanted to see what the unengaged portion of the list looked like, that’s what we call this segment, right?

And so I created the exact segment that I just told you about. You would not believe it, but 27% of people on the list, on this e-commerce vendors list, right?

They’re a small e-commerce company, and 27% of their list had received at least 10 emails from them over all time, had never opened a single one and had never clicked on a single one, okay?

So what we do is we take that unengaged list and we either unsubscribe them or we delete them or whatever, you don’t need them anymore.

You could send to them a hundred more times and they are probably never going to open or click on any of your emails.

But do you really need to delete them?

And I know you’re thinking, “Well, this is my list. The money’s in the list. I spent all this time and money and effort trying to build up my list.”

This is not your list. This is trash that’s hurting your list, okay? You need to get rid of these people.

Because what happens is with that project, once we get rid of the 27% of people who are holding the list back, then what happens is the inbox rate, the open rate, and the click rate will have a higher percentage with the email providers like Gmail.

So let’s say that they have 10,000 people on the list, I don’t remember the exact number, but let’s say it’s 10,000 people, right? We just got rid of 2,700 people who are never going to open their stuff.

So now the fact that we’re only sending to 6,300 people, okay, 6,300 people, now we don’t have the 2,700 people holding the open rate back. So maybe the open rate was at like 12% before, now it’s going to jump to, I don’t know, I’m making up these numbers, I’m not doing the math in my head, but not jumps to 15 or 16%, right? Just because all of the trash is gone.

All your metrics will climb and so will your reputation

And what that does is that boosts the open rate, it boosts the click rate, it boosts the engagement rate, which is going to help you, A, with the email provider or Gmail or whoever.

And it’s also going to help you with the account that you’re sending from. Because if you have been relegated to a lower tier after a week or however long… Klaviyo said they refresh it once a week, right?

So after a week they’re going to look and they’re going to say, “Oh wow, this person’s engagement rate has gotten a little better. Let’s bump them up a tier.”

Now you’re playing in a better playground with other more reputable merchants and so you’re going to get a higher inbox delivery rate just from that.

Now you’re landing in the inbox more often

And so as these things happen, now you’re getting into the inbox more, right? And now that you’re getting back into the inbox more, more people are going to see your email, which means more people are going to open your email, which is going to increase your engagement rate, which is going to make everything climb again and again and again.

Do you see how that works? So you have to take out the trash, you’ve just got to get rid of it, all right? If you need some help figuring out exactly how to put this in place for your company, just go to and I’ll be able to help you even more.

TLDR; Summary

But to wrap it all up, here’s what you need to do …

  • create a segment
  • get rid of anybody who is not unsubscribed, they’re not suppressed
  • they’ve received at least 10 email messages from you over all time
  • they have opened zero emails and they’ve clicked none of your emails

Create that segment, take those people and delete them.

Heck, if your email provider charges you based on the size of your list, well you just saved some money right there, so you’re welcome. I just saved you, who knows how much money on your email provider account, okay?

So that’s what you do. You’d go through, you create the segment, you delete the people, and just doing that alone is going to start moving you higher up, okay?

And then you can start worrying about things like AB testing, and what time of day you’re sending, and different types of things to make sure that you’re getting the maximum engagement from people. But that is, I’m telling you it’s your first step, you’ve got to do it.