12 Powerful Ways to Improve Email Deliverability

November 28, 2023
12 Powerful Ways to Improve Email Deliverability

When you start an email campaign, there's much to prepare in advance. You need a subscriber list, campaign goal, email sequences, analytics, etc. However, anyone starting an email campaign should ensure their emails reach the subscribers. 

You don't want to invest time and money into a perfect campaign only for subscribers not to get the chance to read your email.  So before starting, you must first improve your email deliverability

And what is email deliverability? It is an email's ability to reach a recipient's inbox without being marked as spam or bouncing back. It's the invisible force that determines whether your email marketing efforts thrive or become unsuccessful. With over 300 billion emails sent and received each day worldwide, ensuring your message cuts through the noise and reaches its intended target is more crucial than ever. This is why we will share the top 12 tips to improve your email deliverability. 

Top 12 Ways to Improve Your Email Deliverability

Many factors influence whether your email will be delivered where it should be, and we will now highlight 12 powerful ways to increase your email deliverability. 

1. Establish an Authenticated Email Domain 

One of the best ways to improve email deliverability and reach as many audiences as possible is to establish an authentic email domain. This is the foundation of your email-sending process and can help build trust with Internet Service Providers (ISPs). 

Register a unique domain that reflects your brand, and use a reputable registrar. Set up your email infrastructure with an Email Service Provider or your own servers. Configure your domain's DNS settings to point to these servers. Authenticate your domain by setting up records in your DNS settings, proving you're the legitimate owner. This enhances the trustworthiness of your emails and improves deliverability. 

2. Authenticate Your Email Domain to increase your email deliverability 

For email authentication, implement these email authentication methods:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM),
  • Domain-based Message Authentication
  • Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) protocols

SPF prevents sender address forgery by verifying your domain. DKIM adds a digital signature to every email you send, confirming the message was not tampered with during transit. DMARC leverages SPF and DKIM to protect your domain from unauthorized use, such as phishing or spoofing attempts. These authentication protocols enhance your credibility and decrease the likelihood of your emails being flagged as spam. 

3. Ensure Your IP's Good Reputation

The reputation of your IP address significantly impacts your email deliverability. ISPs monitor IP addresses for spammy behavior, so it's crucial to maintain a clean IP that hasn't been used for spamming. Regularly check your IP status on blacklists and strive for responsible email practices to uphold a positive IP reputation. This will help ensure your marketing emails reliably reach their intended recipients. 

4. Warm-Up Your IP Address

An abrupt surge in email volume from a new IP can trigger spam filters. To establish a positive sender reputation, you should warm up your email account, which means you have to avoid email blast and gradually increase your email volume. Start with your most engaged subscribers and slowly expand to less active ones. This method, known as "IP warming," allows ISPs to gain confidence in your emails over time, improving deliverability rates. Gradually increasing your email volume can help establish a positive sender reputation. 

5. Check your sender reputation regularly

Your sender reputation sometimes likened to a credit score for email, is a critical factor in your email deliverability. It's a score mailbox providers use, along with other information, to determine whether to allow your emails into their inboxes. By regularly monitoring your sender score, you can ensure it remains healthy and take action if it starts to decline. 

6. Make Sure Your Email List is Clean

Maintaining a high-quality email list is crucial for successful email marketing. This means regularly removing inactive subscribers, invalid email addresses, and those who have not engaged with your emails over a certain period of time. 

Having many inactive subscribers can harm your sender reputation, leading to lower engagement and higher bounce rates. Furthermore, sending emails to invalid or non-existent email addresses can result in hard bounces, which is a red flag for spam filters. 

Consider implementing a re-engagement campaign before removing inactive subscribers. This gives them an opportunity to stay on your list if they're still interested in your content. Removing them from your list is best to maintain high deliverability rates if they don't respond.

 7. One of the Best Practices to Improve Email Deliverability is to Segment Your Contacts for Better Email Delivery 

Segmentation involves dividing your email list into smaller, more targeted groups based on various criteria like demographics, purchasing behavior, or engagement levels. 

By segmenting your contacts, you can send subscribers more personalized and relevant emails. This lets you send more targeted, relevant emails, boosting engagement and improving deliverability. This can lead to higher open rates, click-through rates, and overall engagement, which in turn improves your sender reputation and deliverability.

For example, you could segment your list based on the products or services each subscriber has shown interest in. Then, you can send tailored emails highlighting related offerings or providing useful information about those specific products or services. 

Remember, relevance is key in email marketing. The more relevant your emails are to your subscribers, the more likely they are to engage with them, boosting your deliverability.

8. Avoid Spam Trigger Words When You Send Email 

Certain words and phrases can trigger spam filters, leading your emails to land in the spam folder instead of the inbox. These "spammy" words are often associated with deceptive advertising, overly aggressive marketing, or potential scams. Steering clear of certain words and phrases that can trigger spam filters can greatly enhance deliverability. 

Common spam trigger words can include phrases like "Act now!", "Congratulations", "Debt-free", and "Increase sales". However, it's not just about avoiding certain words. It's also crucial to ensure your email content provides real value, is relevant to your subscribers, and doesn't come off as pushy or too salesy. 

Using natural, conversational language can help avoid triggering spam filters. Also, personalizing your emails and segmenting your audience can make your emails more relevant and less likely to be marked as spam. 

9. Use a Reputable Email Service Provider (ESP)

Reputable email providers play a significant role in your email marketing efforts, particularly regarding deliverability. 

High-quality ESPs have strong relationships with major Internet Service Providers (ISPs). They adhere to best email practices and standards, ensuring that their servers are not blacklisted, and emails sent through them are less likely to be marked as spam. Moreover, they provide essential features such as authentication protocols (like DKIM, SPF, and DMARC) that validate your emails and improve deliverability. 

They also offer tools for managing and cleaning your email lists, testing your emails against spam filters, and analyzing your email campaign performance. These features can help you optimize your emails for better engagement and deliverability. 

In addition, a reputable ESP often provides guidance and support to help you navigate the complexities of email deliverability and stay up-to-date with the ever-changing rules and regulations of email marketing. 

Therefore, while choosing an ESP, it's vital to consider their reputation, deliverability rates, feature set, and the quality of their customer support.

10. Include a Clear Unsubscribe Link in your Emails

Providing an easy and obvious way for recipients to unsubscribe from your email list is a best practice and a legal requirement in many regions, including the European Union (under GDPR) and the United States (under the CAN-SPAM Act).

Including a clear unsubscribe link in every email you send serves multiple purposes:

  • Maintains a clean list: When users can easily unsubscribe, you're left with an email list filled with genuinely interested individuals in your content or products. This can lead to higher engagement rates and better deliverability because ISPs see that you're not sending emails to people who don't want them. 
  • Shows respect for your recipients' inbox: By allowing recipients to stop receiving your emails, you show that you respect their inbox and time. This can enhance your brand's reputation and increase the likelihood that your remaining subscribers will stay engaged.
  • Avoids spam complaints: If users can't find your unsubscribe link, they may resort to marking your emails as spam. Too many spam complaints can harm your sender reputation and, consequently, your email deliverability.

So, make sure your unsubscribe link is easy to find and use. And when a user chooses to unsubscribe, honor their request to opt-out from your email promptly to maintain a positive relationship and comply with the law.

11. To Improve Email Deliverability, Consistently Monitor your Email Analytics

Monitoring your email analytics is crucial for maintaining and improving your email deliverability. Monitoring metrics can help you quickly identify and address potential deliverability issues. 

Key metrics to monitor include: 

Open rates: This shows the percentage of recipients who opened your emails. A decrease in open rates could indicate that your emails are not reaching the inbox or your subject lines are not compelling enough. 

Bounce rates: This refers to the percentage of emails that could not be delivered. A high bounce rate can damage your sender reputation and affect your deliverability. Regularly cleaning your email list can help reduce it. 

Click-through rates (CTRs): This shows the percentage of recipients who clicked on a link in your email. Low CTRs may suggest your email content is not engaging or relevant to your audience. 

Unsubscribe rates: This indicates the percentage of recipients who opted out of your emails. A sudden increase in unsubscribe rates could suggest your content is not meeting your audience's expectations. 

Spam complaint rates: This is the percentage of recipients who marked your email as spam. Keeping this rate low is essential for maintaining a good sender reputation. 

You can track these metrics using email analytics tools and gain insights into your email performance. You can then use this data to optimize your email timing, content, frequency, and other factors, improving your deliverability. 

12. Check and Remove Your IP from Blacklists Regularly

Email blacklisting is a common practice by ISPs to protect their users from potential spam or malicious emails. If your IP address gets blacklisted, your emails may not reach your recipients' inboxes, negatively affecting your email deliverability. 

To ensure your IP is not on a blacklist, you can use various online tools that check your IP against multiple DNS-based blacklists. These tools scan your IP address through numerous DNS-based blackhole lists and IP reputation services, facilitating the detection of any involvement in malicious activities. 

If you find that your IP is blacklisted, you better take immediate steps to be removed from the blacklist. This usually involves identifying why you were blacklisted, resolving the issue, and then contacting the blacklist operator to request removal. 

Regularly checking your IP for blacklisting and addressing any issues promptly is one of the best practices if you want to improve email deliverability. 

Maintaining good email deliverability is a multifaceted process that requires consistent effort and attention. From crafting engaging content and subject lines to monitoring email analytics and ensuring your IP isn't blacklisted, each strategy plays a crucial role in ensuring your emails reach your recipients' inboxes. Remember, the key to successful email marketing lies not only in the number of emails you send but also in their quality and relevance to the recipient. By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your email deliverability, engage your audience more effectively, and ultimately achieve your marketing goals.

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