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Are email links sinking your deliverability?

email links

Happy Thursday, good people. I’ll be mentally checking out today at noon, hope you achieve 

similar success.

Right now though, we’re gonna go over how email deliverability can suffer due to… links. Harmless hyperlinks, you say?

They’re not harmless if their sketchy reputation stains your rep due to guilt by association. Damaging links come in many forms, so let’s make sure your links are not keeping your emails from being delivered.

Worst Email Link Types “Every domain you link to in your email will have its own reputation. Any time you link to a domain outside of your control, you actively take on deliverability risks. This is because your sender reputation (another major influencer on your deliverability) is partly based on the reputation of your domain.”

Being a decent mailer, you’d never put malicious links in an email. You’re not crazy.

But are you checking links to be sure they’re not malicious? All of them?

What if the link becomes malicious weeks or months later and your email with the link lives on in a blog post?

More to worry about. Sorry but…

Somebody had to warn you because readers connect your brand to links you post.

Link: an identifier attached to an element. (One of Webster’s definitions)

Link’s a Lil Sketchy

email links

Sites don’t have to be malicious. 

If they smell of spam or sketch, they may get dinged with spam designations.

That can hurt innocent bystanders→ like you and your organization. 

Just because you love’s interesting blog posts doesn’t mean they have a perfect reputation. I didn’t provide a link because I don’t need horse therapy (yet) and I didn’t check it for safety!

Did now…

Valuable vs. Ok

Further down the chain are links perfectly safe to visit.

Probably like

Safe links can still tank your deliverability though.

How? If they don’t help your email subscribers.

  • Long tedious reads (authored by AI or Harvard grads)
  • Errors splattered all over the page
  • Questionable stats / facts
  • Info everyone knew 3 years ago
  • Awesome intel – but not for your audience

Insert super-helpful links. Omit ‘ok’ links.

*Pro tip – Peel back layers and you’ll find info to share that most mailers won’t dig up because they’re too attached to naps, recliners, and rampant sloth.

Other Email Links that Hurt Deliverability

email links

Your deliverability and mailer reputation rise when subscriber clicks rise.

It’s crucial to make sure your readers know where links will take them though. 

Or they won’t click. Same reason they turn down rides with shadowy Uber drivers in ninja outfits.

“Horse Therapy.” If that were linked, would you click? Only if you knew a little about the topic. And cared.

But remember, those two words could lead to anything:

  • Petitions to ban horse therapy
  • Horse injuries
  • Tutorials on how to counsel a horse
  • Muscle cars with 500+ horsepower
  • Drive-by download malware 

Yeah, the last one is totally unrelated. My point. Linked words / phrases need to describe the destination exactly. 

Give confidence to your clickers (subscribers).

Each time you give them a solid link, you’re building readers’ confidence and trust. Their trust bleeds over to ISPs.

All of which improve your email deliverability.

Short Links

I’m unclear why short links would ever be used in emails now.

But I’m not here to judge (no time, mentally checking out soon😎).

Short links have issues:

“Without access to the program that shortened the URL, there is no way for the ISP to know the code behind and often cannot trace the hosting domain and simply block the email containing such URLs.” ~ e-shot

I’ve been a Bitly fan for years. Nonetheless. Avoid shortened links in your emails.

*Short URL services with deep pockets, do not approach me with bribes. I’ve changed.😅

**Rebrandly may have a solution if you are determined to shorten links

Deliverability Tools

Since you don’t have time to check all the factors potentially wrecking your deliverability, tools are a must.

Deliverability checkers save you from hassles and unknown issues that can sideswipe you into spam folders.

I’ve listed a couple of link checkers at the end of this post.

But the tools below are for overall email deliverability. 

Inbox Mailers keeps your deliverability strong due to positive signals from high open rates (up to 70%) and clicks. Schedule a demo to learn more.

I know. Open rates and click rates rank #1 in most mailers’ minds. But if emails don’t make it to the inbox, studies show→ readers cannot open nor click.

Plus, ignoring any aspect of email marketing best practices can land one of these in your inbox!

Whoa… did you freaking click on that mystery link? Caution, people! Lucky for you it’s a link to poor sending practice warnings from the friendly folks at Spamhaus. 

Email Links Summed Up

What have we learned, Inbox Hackers? 

Your links must match the content you produce.

Links should be just as trustworthy. Just as valuable.

If not, you can lose subscriber trust. 

Or simply underwhelm readers into not opening your emails then eventually unsubscribing.

So add link checking to your pre-send checklist✅. Check for safety, destination clarity, and value.

*More reasons to use caution in links→ Cyber-threat stats 

Knowledge Base

Knowledge is power, but first a little freedom motivation.🦊

Donate more time to ramping up your non-profit’s marketing structure. 

Litmus brags on last month’s top emails (Slack edged Inbox Hacking by an inch)

Seeking more leads in 2023? Using all 10 of these techniques?

Cage fight: Email vs. other marketing channels. Why email wins.

Self  Help 

It’s not just Seth Godin hyping generosity.

A recent study shows acts of kindness help shed the heebie-jeebies (technical word 🙂 for negative emotions).

Being kind for no reason at all can help fight off depression. 

That’s what we get” for being generous. Even when we don’t get” anything else.

Helluva good deal, I’d say.

*Shout-out to Inbox Hacking Subscribers →

🎸Rose at Barnett Productions (events) 

🏠 Julie at Keller Williams (realty)

Facts and Stats

  • Email marketing has a 2x higher ROI than cold calling (MarketingSherpa)
  • 70% of salespeople give up if they don’t receive a reply to their 1st email (Yesware)
  • Almost 1 in 5 employees are likely to click on emailed phishing links

*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa 2015… “Perfect timing is reminding your partner what you want for Valentine’s Day when they have their phones out. Ad bots can eavesdrop then remind your partner with 406 ads.”

~ Rick ‘Flat Earth’ McGirt

Marketing Musings

Am I on the influencer marketing bandwagon?

No, and you can’t make me. Or influence me. 

However, I’d love to hear your success stories. Horror stories, just as good.

Hit reply. I wanna hear the results.

You’re also welcome to just give us your take on influencer marketing. 

HubSpot makes it sound promising.

  1. 50% of Millennials trust influencer product recommendations vs. 38% trusting celebrity recommendations.
  2. 56% of marketers who invest in influencer marketing work with micro-influencers.
  3. A TikTok from a macro-influencer (100,000 to 1 million followers) receives 38,517 views on average. (Some might even be human 🤖)

See all 31 stats. 

#1 Takeaway: Platforms vary on which type of influencer gets the best engagement. Ex. Streaming Gamers aren’t dominating Instagram. 

Get Hacking

Create a system for checking all links inside your email campaigns. Checking one link at a time is a grind. Especially in newsletters with tons of links. 

This tool checks up to 20 links at once. I checked the tool’s URL in Google’s Transparency Tool and it passed the test.  

You can also check links for the “lock logo🔒” to the left of “https” in the address bar. Do this when testing links to ensure linked pages load correctly (you’re checking that already, right?🙂)

*A bonus deliverability tool list for ya…

📝Please click on survey below. It doesn’t bite, anymore.

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