I briefly touched on this in Get Your Email List Ready for Year-End Fundraising NOW, but email deliverability for nonprofits is not great right now. According to Validity’s 2023 Email Deliverability Benchmark Report, over 16% of emails from nonprofits either go to spam or don’t get delivered at all. That may not mean much to you, but if you look at the chart below that’s towards the bottom of this deliverability chart broken down by industry.
What Can You Do to Reach More Inboxes?
What do Mailbox Providers (like Gmail, Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo) look for when it comes to deliverability? They all have their unique requirements, but all of them want you to follow these practices:
- Authenticate your email program using Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC)
- Make sure you have permission from new subscribers
- Verify all new email addresses
- Send only to active and engaged subscribers (We’ve been telling y’all this for YEARS)
- Pre-screen all email content for spam-like factors before sending
- Promptly remove bounces, opt-outs, and complaints from your active list
- Make it easy to unsubscribe
See the full report for more specifics on some of the biggest Mailbox Providers.
Other Steps to Reach More Inboxes:
Deliverability Won’t Get Any Easier
According to the report, Microsoft has always had strict filtering policies, but Gmail and Yahoo joined them in 2022. Antispam vendors are also cracking down blocking email senders with high spam trap volumes more frequently.
If you think you can just ignore this issue and it will go away, you’re wrong. Like I said, we have been preaching this stuff for years. Years! You have to get serious about your email program now or you will start losing out on more and more volunteers, advocates, donors, or clients because they didn’t get that email.