Did you know that your email deliverability could make or break your email marketing campaigns?
In today’s highly competitive digital landscape, it’s crucial to ensure that your emails land in the right inboxes, at the right time.
In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the comprehensive email deliverability checklist for 2023 that will help you maximize your email deliverability and achieve better results with your email marketing campaigns.
- Email deliverability is a crucial component of successful email marketing campaigns, and involves setting up authentication protocols, using a dedicated IP address, optimizing subject lines & preheaders and encouraging engagement.
- Maintaining compliance with email regulations such as CAN-SPAM & GDPR is essential for positive sender reputation.
- Warming up new domains/IP addresses requires gradually increasing volume over time and engaging with existing contacts to optimize deliverability.
Understanding Email Deliverability: The Basics
Email deliverability is the cornerstone of successful email marketing campaigns. But what is it exactly, and why is it so important? In its simplest form, email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to reach the intended recipient’s inbox.
Think of it as the bridge between your email marketing efforts and the inboxes of your target audience. Improving your deliverability rate is possible with a comprehensive deliverability checklist. This ensures your messages bypass the spam folder, landing directly in your prospects’ inboxes.
Now, let’s delve into the essentials of email deliverability.
What is email deliverability?
Email deliverability is all about ensuring that your emails are successfully delivered to the recipient’s primary inbox rather than their spam folder. To achieve this, you need to authenticate your emails by setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, which help verify to Email Service Providers (ESPs) that you are a legitimate sender, and your email messages should be delivered to your recipient’s inbox.
Adhering to email deliverability best practices multiplies the chances of your messages reaching your target audience, thereby boosting the overall success of your email campaigns.
The difference between email delivery and email deliverability
While email delivery and email deliverability might seem similar, there is a crucial distinction between the two. Email delivery refers to the successful transmission of an email to the recipient’s mail server, whereas email deliverability is the successful delivery of an email to the recipient’s inbox.
In other words, email deliverability is the next step after email delivery, and it ensures that your emails actually reach the intended recipients. Adhering to proper authentication protocols and best practices allows you to maximize your email deliverability and lessen the risk of being flagged as spam.
Why email deliverability matters
Email deliverability is essential because it determines the success of your email campaigns. If your emails don’t reach your recipients’ inboxes, all your efforts will be in vain.
A solid email deliverability strategy helps ensure that your emails are delivered to the right inboxes, increasing the likelihood of engagement and desired actions. You can monitor your sender score and IP reputation, as well as use tools like MxToolbox and Talos to check your IP and domain reputation.
Maintaining your email deliverability not only helps you uphold a positive sender reputation, but also amplifies the impact of your email marketing efforts.
Establishing a Solid Technical Foundation
A solid technical foundation is a key element in ensuring successful email deliverability. This involves setting up essential authentication protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, using a dedicated IP address, and implementing a custom tracking domain. By employing domain based message authentication, these steps authenticate your sender identity and guarantee that your emails are received by the intended recipients, ultimately boosting the success of your email campaigns.
Now, let’s discuss establishing a robust technical foundation for your email marketing efforts.
Setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records
Setting up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records is crucial for email deliverability as they authenticate your emails and help protect against phishing and email spoofing. SPF allows domain owners to specify authorized IP addresses and domains to send email on behalf of the domain, while DKIM, also known as domainkeys identified mail, provides a signature in the header of outbound emails, allowing the sender to take responsibility for its content.
DMARC, on the other hand, combines SPF and DKIM and provides instructions if neither of these authentication methods passes. To configure these records, you need to add an SPF record to your email server configuration and a TXT record for DKIM in your DNS records, and set up a policy of p=reject for DMARC.
This way, your emails are authenticated, increasing their chances of landing in your recipients’ inboxes.
Send from Google Workspace or Office365 mailboxes
From our data, sending from Google Workspace give the best results in terms of reaching the inbox. Office 365 accounts own the 2nd position. These are the most human ways of sending emails. Having a human behavior is crucial.
Use a sending tool that sends from Google or Microsoft API
Use a tool that sends from Google API or Office365 / Microsoft API, that's the most human way of sending emails : with Google IPs or Microsoft IPs. Recommendations : Emelia, MixMax or Apollo.io
Using a dedicated IP address
A dedicated IP address is a unique IP address that is exclusively allocated to your email sending, providing you with complete control over your reputation and deliverability. Utilizing dedicated IP addresses helps you avoid any negative impacts caused by other senders who might share your IP address and engage in poor sending practices.
This, in turn, helps ensure that your emails are delivered to the intended recipients and maintains a positive sender reputation, which is crucial for successful email deliveryability.
Implementing a custom tracking domain
A custom tracking domain is a unique domain or subdomain used solely for tracking email opens and clicks. It plays a vital role in email deliverability by helping to avoid emails being identified as spam.
To set up a custom tracking domain, you need to create a subdomain, configure your DNS records, and configure your email service provider to use the custom tracking domain. The implementation of a custom tracking domain allows you to track email engagement metrics like opens, clicks, and more. This data can be used to optimize your email campaigns for enhanced deliverability.
Send from a human adress (not a generic one)
Don't send from a generic email address or from a brand, send from a person with a first and last name like email@example.com. Avoid info@, hello@, contact@, these prefixes increase the chances to land in Gmail categories. Bonus : women have higher open and reply rates on average => Hire women :)
Use a (really good) email warmer to generate engagement
HUGE IMPACT ! Use an efficient warming tool (like MailReach, wink) to generate engagement on your emails and teach the ESP to send your emails to the inbox, not in spam. That's game changing to raise and protect your reputation.
Improve Your Sending Reputation
Send MAX 150 cold emails daily per email address
BIG IMPACT. The fewer per day per inbox / per domain the better for your deliverability. It's backed by data. Why? Because that's a human behavior. More information here : The Best Cold Email Deliverability Sending Strategy
If you need to send more, use different domains
If you need to send a bigger volume, send from several domains. One address per domain. Sending from different domains is important to prevent spam spreading between addresses. Again, more information here.
Have a linear sending activity without big spikes
Really important. Send your emails throughout the weekdays with a relatively similar quantity each day. Avoid sending everything in a day or two.
Send throughout the day, no one shot blasts
Like the previous one but during the day. Avoid sending all your emails in a short period of a time or worst, in one blast. Send throughout the day with a delay between your emails.
Don't send send too many follow ups and space them
The more follow ups, the more spam complaints. In the long run, it's better for your deliverability to send less follow ups. 2 follow ups is fine (3 emails in total). Also, let people breath between your follow-ups. 3 days is the minimum.
Crafting High-Quality Email Content
High-quality email content is a crucial component of successful email deliverability. By personalizing your emails, avoiding spam trigger words, and optimizing subject lines and preheaders, you can create engaging content that resonates with your target audience and improves your email deliverability.
Now, let’s probe into the process of crafting high-quality email content that effectively delivers your email message.
Personalization and relevance
Personalization and relevance are key factors in enhancing email deliverability. Customizing your emails by including the recipient’s name or other relevant information helps create a more personalized experience for your recipients.
Delivering content that aligns with your recipients’ interests and preferences increases the chances of engagement, thereby boosting your email deliverability and the overall success of your email campaigns.
Avoiding spam trigger words
Spam trigger words are words or phrases that can activate spam filters and cause emails to be classified as spam. To ensure email deliverability, it’s crucial to avoid using spam trigger words in your email content.
Examples of spam trigger words include:
You can use a spam filter tool to scan your emails for any words or phrases that may be flagged by spam filters, helping you optimize your email content and avoid being marked as spam.
Optimizing subject lines and preheaders
Subject lines and preheaders play a vital role in capturing your recipients’ attention and enticing them to open your emails. To optimize your subject lines, use concise and descriptive text that avoids sensationalized phrasing. Personalizing subject lines by including the recipient’s name or other relevant information can also enhance email open rates.
In addition, optimizing preheaders by providing a concise overview of the email content can further improve your email deliverability and increase the chances of engagement.
Put an easy-to-spot unsubscribe link
That's simple and proven, no unsubscribe link = more spam complaints. No debate on this. No exception. It has to be a LINK that works. Today, not having an easy-to-find unsubscribe link is like burning your sending reputation with a flamethrower. And NO, saying "reply stop so I won't bother you again" doesn't count as an unsubscribe link.
Minimize the number of links / URLs : the fewer, the better
Sometimes you can land in spam just because of one link or URL. Don't use URL shorteners, don't mask the links. Make sure the links are HTTPS. Run a deliverability test with MailReach to know if links hurt your deliverability.
Avoid using images : the fewer, the better
At least in your first email. Images can make you land in spam or promotion. And even if you like having your fancy logos in your signature, avoid them.
Don't be too pushy, minimize the risk of pissing people off
Write emails in a way that won't irritate people. The more you piss off people, the more spam complaints you get, the more your reputation is damaged.
Don't send attachments
It's considered suspect since it's used for phishing and hacking. Use a tool like DocSend instead. That's a deliverability killer. 25 Make sure you don't have any spam word - beware! Obviously, talking about money, sex, diets, losing weight, loans, big promotions, etc make you land in spam. But sometimes, even words you wouldn't suspect can put you in spam. Today, any word can be a spam word with machine learning algorithms.
Run deliverability tests to make sure your content is fine
MailReach offers a free spam test which is reliable compared to other solutions. You can do 3 free tests per 24 hours. Use it and get your spam score.
Maintaining a Healthy Email List
A well-maintained email list is the backbone of successful email marketing campaigns. By regularly cleaning and validating your email list, segmenting your contacts, and encouraging engagement, you can ensure better email deliverability and foster the growth of your brand.
Now, let’s delve into the importance of nurturing a healthy email list and the strategies to achieve it.
Regular list cleaning and validation
Regular list cleaning and validation is essential for email deliverability, as it ensures a well-maintained email list and decreases the probability of emails being flagged as spam. To ensure email list quality and hygiene, keep the bounce rate below 5%, avoid purchasing email lists with unverified addresses, and send campaigns to business addresses of individuals.
Maintaining and authenticating your email list on a regular basis can enhance the probability of successful email delivery and increase the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
If you target B2B, get your emails from LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the best source of contacts as it's up to date, complete and easy to extract. Apollo.io & Evaboot are for us the best tools to find emails out of LK.
Segmentation and targeting
Segmentation and targeting can enhance email deliverability by ensuring that emails are sent to the most appropriate recipients. By segmenting your email list based on demographic characteristics or behavioral information, you can create more personalized and relevant email campaigns, leading to improved open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
Testing various segmentation and targeting approaches, leveraging personalization and relevance, and assessing the performance of each segment are suggested practices for effective segmentation and targeting.
Encouraging engagement and interaction
Encouraging engagement and interaction with your emails is crucial for maintaining a healthy email list and improving deliverability. By crafting engaging content, optimizing subject lines and preheaders, and providing relevant and personalized information, you can increase the likelihood of recipients interacting with your emails and taking the desired action.
Spend time to correct the errors that can cost you
Do the cleaning such as the first and last names inversions to avoid the "Hi Doe" instead of "Hi John". This kind of mistakes make bad impression and can harm your reputation because of spam complaints.
This, in turn, helps to enhance your email deliverability and the overall success of your email campaigns.
Monitoring and Improving Your Sender Reputation
Your sender reputation plays a significant role in the success of your email marketing campaigns. By understanding and tracking your sender score, reducing spam complaints, and managing bounce rates and unsubscribes, you can maintain a good sender reputation and ensure successful email delivery.
Now, let’s delve into the strategies for monitoring and enhancing your sender reputation.
Understanding and tracking your sender score
Your sender score is a numerical rating that indicates the reputation of the IP address or the sender’s domain used to send emails. A higher sender score reflects a better reputation, improving email deliverability rates. To track your sender score, you can utilize a service such as SenderScore.org, which provides comprehensive data about your sender score and other email deliverability metrics.
Keeping track of your sender score and making necessary adjustments can enhance your email deliverability and guarantee the success of your email campaigns.
Reducing spam complaints
Reducing spam complaints is essential for maintaining a positive sender reputation and ensuring successful email delivery. To minimize spam complaints, ensure your emails are relevant and tailored to your recipients’ preferences, avoid using words that may be flagged as spam, and optimize your subject lines and preheaders.
Adhering to these best practices can decrease spam complaints, uphold a strong sender reputation, and consequently enhance your email deliverability.
Managing bounce rates and unsubscribes
Managing bounce rates and unsubscribes is crucial for maintaining a healthy sender reputation and ensuring successful email delivery. To effectively manage bounce rates and unsubscribes, you should:
- Clean and validate your email list regularly to remove invalid email addresses
- Segment and target your emails to ensure they are relevant to your recipients
- Encourage engagement and interaction with your emails to keep subscribers interested and active.
Employing these strategies can help reduce bounce rates and unsubscribes, uphold a positive sender reputation, and enhance your email deliverability.
Testing and Optimizing Your Email Campaigns
Testing and optimizing your email campaigns is essential for maximizing email deliverability and achieving better results. By utilizing A/B testing, analyzing campaign metrics, and leveraging email deliverability tools and services, you can ensure that your emails are delivered to the right inboxes at the right time.
Now, let’s delve into the significance of testing and optimizing your email campaigns and the strategies to implement for success.
A/B testing subject lines, content, and design
A/B testing is a valuable method of comparing two versions of an email campaign to determine which one is more effective. By testing different versions of your subject lines, content, and design, you can identify which version yields the best results and make the necessary alterations to optimize your email campaigns.
Conducting A/B tests on a regular basis aids in refining your emails for optimal engagement and deliverability, thereby boosting the success of your email marketing efforts.
Analyzing campaign metrics and adjusting accordingly
Analyzing campaign metrics is crucial for identifying areas of improvement and optimizing your email campaigns. Metrics such as open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate can be used to measure the success of your campaigns and make necessary adjustments.
Monitoring and analyzing these metrics can help confirm the effectiveness of your email campaigns in reaching your target audience and attaining your desired outcomes. Additionally, you can use this data to make informed decisions on how to optimize your email campaigns and improve your email deliverability.
Leveraging email deliverability tools and services
Email deliverability tools and services can help you optimize your email deliverability and ensure that your emails are not blocked or marked as spam. By leveraging these tools, you can analyze various aspects of email deliverability, such as:
- Bounce analytics
- Inbox placement testing
- Spam testing
- Blacklist monitoring
- Reputation management
Popular email deliverability tools offered by various email providers include:
- Sender Score
Utilizing these tools and services can help guarantee the success of your email campaigns and enhance your email deliverability.
Warming Up New Domains and IP Addresses
When it comes to email deliverability, warming up new domains and IP addresses is an important aspect that is often overlooked. A well-executed warm-up process can significantly improve your email deliverability and ensure the success of your email marketing campaigns.
In this section, we’ll delve into the significance of warming up new domains and IP addresses, as well as the strategies to enhance email deliverability.
Gradually increasing email volume
Gradually increasing email volume is a crucial aspect of warming up new domains and IP addresses. By starting with a lower volume of emails and slowly increasing the volume according to a set schedule, you can establish credibility with email service providers and improve your email deliverability.
Keeping track of your send volume and making necessary alterations can prevent your emails from being flagged as spam and assure the successful delivery of your send messages to your recipients’ inboxes.
Engaging with existing contacts
Engaging with existing contacts is another important aspect of warming up new domains and IP addresses. By sending emails to recipients who have previously engaged with your content, you can demonstrate to email service providers that your emails are relevant and valuable. This, in turn, can help improve your email deliverability and ensure the success of your email campaigns.
Make sure to keep an eye on your emails’ engagement metrics during the warm-up process and adjust as required to optimize your email deliverability.
Monitoring performance and adjusting as needed
Monitoring performance and making adjustments as needed is essential for a successful warm-up process. By tracking key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints, you can identify areas for improvement and make necessary adjustments to optimize your email deliverability.
Consistently reviewing your email performance and making decisions based on data can ensure the success of your warm-up process and enhance your email deliverability.
Staying Compliant with Email Regulations
Adhering to email regulations is essential for maintaining a positive sender reputation and ensuring successful email deliverability. In this section, we’ll delve into the significance of grasping and adhering to email regulations like CAN-SPAM and GDPR, as well as implementing best practices such as double opt-in and easy unsubscribe options for improved email deliverability.
CAN-SPAM and GDPR are two of the most important email regulations to understand.
Understanding CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and other regulations
The CAN-SPAM Act and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are two major regulations that govern email marketing practices. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these regulations and ensure that your email marketing campaigns adhere to their requirements. Failing to comply with these regulations can result in hefty fines and damage to your sender reputation, ultimately affecting your email deliverability.
In addition to CAN-SPAM and GDPR, be mindful of other regulations such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
Implementing double opt-in and easy unsubscribe options
Implementing double opt-in and easy unsubscribe options is not only a best practice for email marketing, but also a requirement under certain email regulations. A double opt-in process ensures that your subscribers have explicitly granted permission to receive your emails, minimizing spam complaints and improving your sender reputation.
Additionally, providing an easy unsubscribe option helps maintain a positive relationship with your subscribers and ensures compliance with email regulations. Implementing these best practices can help uphold a healthy sender’s reputation and ensure successful email delivery.
In conclusion, email deliverability is a critical aspect of successful email marketing campaigns. By understanding the basics of email deliverability, establishing a solid technical foundation, crafting high-quality email content, maintaining a healthy email list, monitoring and improving your sender reputation, testing and optimizing your email campaigns, warming up new domains and IP addresses, and staying compliant with email regulations, you can maximize your email deliverability and achieve better results with your email marketing efforts. Remember, a well-executed email deliverability strategy is the key to unlocking the full potential of your email campaigns and fostering the growth of your brand.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I check mail deliverability?
To check mail deliverability, you can use tools like Mailtrap Email Testing, Mail-tester.com, GlockApps and SendForensics to accurately get a score for your message by sending a test message to the provided address.
This will tell you what SpamAssassin, a spam checker developed by the Apache Software Foundation, thinks about your message.
What are the metrics for email deliverability?
Email deliverability is largely based on the delivery rate, open rate, click rate, spam rate, bounce rate, and spam complaints rate.
Keeping these metrics in check ensures your emails have a higher probability of reaching inboxes and are better tailored to your target audience.
Which factors determine the deliverability of emails?
The key factors that determine email deliverability are IP address reputation, sender reputation, email subject line and content, email service provider, contact list quality, email timing, email volume, and email content relevancy.
What are email deliverability tools?
Email deliverability tools are dedicated solutions that provide insight and features to ensure your emails reach their destination without being marked as spam.
These tools can help you monitor your email campaigns, track delivery rates, and identify potential issues that could cause your emails to be marked as spam. They also provide features such as automated bounce handling, blacklist monitoring, and more.
What is the difference between email delivery and email deliverability?
Email delivery is the successful transmission of an email to the recipient’s mail server, while email deliverability is the successful delivery of an email to the recipient’s inbox.
Thus, email deliverability ensures that your emails reach their intended destination.