Why You Should Be Using Email Subdomains For Your Ecommerce Store

The biggest problem email marketers face is their emails not landing in their customers inbox. Without the right strategies, all the hard work you’re putting into your email strategies is essentially going into the trash. What’s the point of designing beautiful emails if no one’s even seeing them right? As an ecommerce business, the number one way to make money off your emails is to get them front and centre in your customers’ inbox, so they can start converting customers.  

So what’s the best way to do that?

By using subdomains!

Let’s dive in.

What is a subdomain?

Let’s start off with some basics. A subdomain is the unique identifier of a specific website, and can determine whether an ISP trusts you enough to place you in your customers’ primary inbox! In the below example, ‘hive.co’ is referred to as the parent domain, and ‘mail’ as the child domain.

It’s the prefix to the domain that indicates it’s a subsection of the larger domain, and comes immediately after the @ symbol. The great thing about subdomains is that you can put anything before the @ symbol from anima@mail.hive.co to spaghetti@mail.hive.co.

Why do you need a subdomain?

Because your subdomain is directly tied to your deliverability, and without one your emails are more likely to end up in spam. But that’s not all! If you keep using a parent domain to send all of your emails that get low engagement, ISPs are more likely to determine that you’re not a trusted sender and not worth inbox placement. By not using a subdomain, you’re jeopardizing your parent domains' sender reputation and possibly hurting the effectiveness of all your future email campaigns. That means customers won’t be receiving your sale promotions, new product release emails, or account support emails. It’s way easier to stay out of your ISPs bad side by using smart deliverability strategies like subdomains, then getting back on their good side once they’ve already decided you’re untrustworthy.

How to protect your sender reputation with subdomains

By separating out all of your different types of emails on intentionally dedicated subdomains, you protect mistakes on one email subdomain from affecting the sender reputation of the others.

Imagine you accidentally send a draft of a new marketing campaign for a special VIP promo to your whole list – it doesn’t have the correct subject, and the template is half complete. Often subscribers won’t even check to see where the campaign came from before marking it as spam. If you send this oops campaign on your marketing email subdomain, the reputation of that email subdomain will get worse, but the reputation of your other email subdomains will be protected!

Make a list of the various types of emails you consistently send to determine which subdomains you should be using. For best practice it’s recommended that you at least have separate subdomains for your marketing campaigns, and your transactional. For example, if I was sending a new marketing campaign from my Hive email, it would look something like this : anima@marketing.hive.co. However, if I was helping a customer with something on their account or a password reset, I would send emails using a subdomain like this: anima@support.hive.co.

Your account support, and transactional emails are the most important emails you’re sending and need to have the best deliverability. On average, marketing emails receive an average of 20-30% opens, while password resets and order confirmations receive an average of 80-90% opens. Since marketing emails usually have lower engagement, they naturally also have lower deliverability. If you’re sending them from the same domain as your promotional emails, you risk hurting your engagement for all of your emails, and your transactional emails possibly ending up in the spam folder.

Wrap up

Designing beautiful email campaigns, writing great marketing copy, and putting in the work to make sure your email content is engaging is only half the work. Making sure you’re using the right deliverability strategies is just as important to drive revenue with your email. Your email marketing campaigns won’t maximize engagement, or drive sales with just one or the other. Email subdomains are the best way to ensure your emails land in your subscribers’ inboxes. A few quick changes and watch your deliverability and email revenue go up, up, up!