How to Improve Email Deliverability – Best Practices

Have you ever sent an email, only for it to disappear into the internet without reaching the recipient inbox?

Email marketing remains one of the most powerful tools for businesses to engage with their audience and drive conversions. However, ensuring that your emails reach your subscribers’ inboxes can be a challenge amidst crowded inboxes and ever-evolving spam filters. This is where email deliverability comes into play.

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to successfully land in the recipient’s inbox rather than being relegated to the spam folder or, worse, being blocked altogether. Achieving high email deliverability rates is crucial for the success of your email marketing campaigns, as it directly impacts your ability to engage with your audience and drive desired actions.

In this article, we’ll explore the best practices to improve email deliverability.

Best Practices to Improve Email Deliverability

Enhancing email deliverability is essential for the success of your email marketing campaigns. Here are ten effective best practices to help you achieve better email deliverability:

Build a Quality Email List

When it comes to email marketing success, the quality of your email list is paramount. It’s essential to focus on organically growing your list with engaged and interested subscribers rather than purchasing email lists. Below are some effective strategies to help you build a high-quality email list:

Optimize Sign-Up Forms: Design user-friendly email sign-up forms that are prominently displayed on your website, landing pages, and social media profiles. Clearly communicate the value proposition of subscribing to your email list, highlighting the benefits subscribers will receive.

Offer Incentives: Encourage visitors to join your email list by offering incentives such as discounts, exclusive content, or freebies. By providing value upfront, you can attract quality subscribers genuinely interested in your products or services.

Segmentation: Segment your email list based on various criteria such as demographics, purchase history, and engagement levels. This allows you to send targeted content that resonates with specific segments of your audience, increasing relevancy and engagement.

Confirmation Emails: Send a confirmation email immediately after someone subscribes to your list. This verifies the subscriber’s email address and sets expectations for future communications.

By implementing these proven strategies, you can attract engaged subscribers who are more likely to open and interact with your emails. As a result, you’ll improve your email deliverability and drive better results from your email marketing efforts.

Create a Unique Brand Identity

Creating a unique brand identity is essential for boosting engagement with your email campaigns, which is crucial in improving email deliverability. Here are some strategies to enhance your brand identity:

Use Your Custom Domain: Instead of relying on free email domains like Gmail, use your custom domain for sending email campaigns. This adds professionalism and credibility to your brand.

Maintain Consistent Email Fields: Ensure consistency in the ‘From,’ ‘Name,’ and ‘Address’ fields across all your email campaigns. Consistency builds trust and helps recipients recognize your brand easily.

Adopt Unified Design Elements: Maintain uniformity in design elements such as color schemes, fonts, and graphics across all your marketing channels, including email campaigns. Consistent branding reinforces brand recognition and strengthens brand identity.

Implement Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI): BIMI allows you to add your brand’s logo to your emails, making them instantly recognizable to recipients. Including BIMI enhances email authentication and boosts brand visibility.

By implementing these strategies, you can establish a strong and distinctive brand identity that resonates with your audience and improves engagement with your email campaigns.”

Maintain Proper List Hygiene

Maintaining proper list hygiene is essential for improving email deliverability and ensuring your messages reach subscribers’ inboxes. Here are some tips to help you implement this best practice effectively:

Monitor Bounce Rates: Monitor your email bounce rates closely to identify any issues with your email list’s quality. High bounce rates can negatively impact your sender’s reputation and deliverability.

Differentiate between soft bounces (temporary delivery issues, such as a full inbox) and hard bounces (permanent delivery failures, such as an invalid email address). Remove hard bounce email addresses from your list immediately to maintain list quality.

Implement a Re-engagement Campaign: Identify subscribers who haven’t engaged with your emails for an extended period and create a re-engagement campaign to win them back.

Offer incentives, such as exclusive discounts or freebies, to encourage inactive subscribers to re-engage with your content. Alternatively, ask them to update their email preferences to ensure they’re receiving relevant content.

By implementing these tips, you can effectively maintain proper list hygiene and improve your email deliverability, ensuring your messages reach the right audience at the right time.

Authenticate your domain with SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for better email deliverability.

Authenticating your sender domain is critical in establishing a robust email infrastructure and ensuring email deliverability. Email authentication informs recipients’ servers that the email originates from a verified and legitimate source, mitigating the risk of being flagged as spam and increasing the likelihood of reaching subscribers’ inboxes.

Here’s a breakdown of the vital authentication methods:

Sender Policy Framework (SPF): SPF is an email authentication method designed to verify the authenticity of the sender’s domain. By configuring SPF records within your DNS (Domain Name System), you specify the authorized IP addresses or servers permitted to send emails on behalf of your domain. This helps prevent unauthorized sources from spoofing your domain and improves email deliverability.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM): DKIM enhances email security by ensuring the integrity of messages during transmission. It utilizes public-key encryption to digitally sign outgoing emails, linking the signature with the domain name in the DNS. Recipient systems can then verify the signature using the public key to ensure the message remains unaltered in transit, thereby authenticating the email’s origin.

Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC): DMARC is a comprehensive email authentication protocol that builds upon SPF and DKIM to combat email fraud and phishing attacks. It allows senders to specify how recipient servers should handle emails that fail SPF and DKIM checks, preventing fraudulent messages from reaching recipients’ inboxes. DMARC also provides reporting capabilities to monitor email authentication results and take corrective actions as needed.

By implementing SPF, DKIM, and DMARC authentication methods, you can significantly enhance your email deliverability and protect your domain from email fraud and abuse. These protocols work together to establish trust and credibility, ensuring that your emails reach their intended recipients confidently.

Warm Up Your IP Address

Before you start sending emails from a new IP address, it’s important to undergo an IP warm-up process. This process, also known as IP warming or domain warming, is essential for establishing a positive reputation with internet service providers (ISPs) and ensuring optimal email deliverability.

Tips for IP Warm-up

Start Slowly: Begin by sending emails in small batches to your most engaged and active subscribers. These subscribers are more likely to interact with your emails, which helps signal to ISPs that your emails are legitimate and solicited.

Gradually Increase Volume: Gradually increase the volume of emails you send from your new IP address. This gradual ramp-up allows ISPs to monitor your sending behavior and assess the quality of your emails. It’s recommended to increase the volume by 10-20 % each day during the warm-up period.

Monitor Engagement Metrics: During the warm-up process, monitor key engagement metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints. This will allow you to gauge the effectiveness of your email campaigns and identify any deliverability issues early on.

Segment Your Audience: Segment your email list based on factors such as engagement level, recency of activity, and email preferences. Prioritize sending emails to your most active and engaged subscribers during the warm-up period to maximize positive interactions and improve your sender reputation.

By the end of the warm-up period, your IP address has established a positive reputation with ISPs, allowing you to confidently send emails to your subscriber base without encountering deliverability issues.

Keep a Check on Sender’s Reputation and Blacklist

To enhance email deliverability, it’s essential to monitor your sender’s reputation closely and take proactive measures to avoid being blacklisted. Here are some effective tips to help you manage your sender reputation and steer clear of blacklists:

Monitor Sender Reputation Regularly: Monitor your sender reputation using tools like, BarracudaCentral, and Google Postmaster. Check for complaints against your emails, spam reports, email history, domain reputation, and bounce rates. Set up alerts to notify you of sudden changes in your sender’s reputation.

Avoid Spam Traps: Exercise caution when acquiring email lists or gathering email addresses from the internet, as they may contain spam traps. These traps can harm your sender’s reputation and lead to blacklisting.

Instead of purchasing email lists, focus on organically growing your email list through website sign-ups, offering lead magnets, and other permission-based approaches. By building your list organically, you can ensure that your subscribers are genuinely interested in receiving your emails, reducing the risk of encountering spam traps.

Provide Clear Unsubscribe Options

Making it easy for subscribers to opt out of receiving your emails is a best practice and a legal requirement under email marketing regulations such as CAN-SPAM and GDPR. Failing to provide clear unsubscribe options can result in increased spam complaints, harming your sender’s reputation and deliverability rates.

Here are some relevant tips and examples to ensure that your unsubscribe process is user-friendly and compliant:

Include a Clear Unsubscribe Link or Button: Ensure that your unsubscribe link or button is prominently displayed and easy to locate within your email content. Use clear and concise language such as “Unsubscribe” or “Opt-out” to clearly communicate the purpose of the link or”

Use Sufficient White Space: Surround your unsubscribe link or button with enough white space to prevent accidental clicks on other links. This helps users navigate to the unsubscribe option without inadvertently engaging with other content.

Offer Alternative Unsubscribe Methods: Besides a direct unsubscribe link or button, consider alternative methods for subscribers to opt out, such as replying to the email with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line or contacting your customer support team.

Honor Unsubscribe Requests Promptly: Once a subscriber opts out of receiving your emails, please ensure their request is quickly processed and removed from your email list within the legally required timeframe (typically within ten business days).

Avoid Spammy Words in Your Emails

Using spammy words in your emails can easily land them in the spam folder. Certain words can trigger spam filters in the subject line, preheader text, or email copy, signaling to email providers that your content may be spammy. Consequently, your emails may end up in the junk folder instead of the recipient’s inbox.

Here are some examples of trigger words to avoid:

  • Claim your discount NOW!
  • Act immediately
  • Jackpot
  • 100% FREE
  • For only XXX amount
  • Eliminate your debt
  • Risk-free

To help you avoid these spammy words, here’s a long list of 284 words that can make your emails seem like spam. It’s important to avoid using them to make sure your emails get delivered properly.

Additionally, it’s essential to avoid other practices that may trigger spam filters, such as:

  • Using characters like “, >, !, etc., in your subject line
  • Writing in ALL CAPS
  • Including symbols or exaggerated numbers like 777, $$$, and 0% risk.

By being mindful of these factors, you can improve your email deliverability and increase the chances of your emails reaching your subscribers’ inboxes.

Maintain a Consistent Sending Schedule

Maintaining a consistent sending schedule is critical to keeping your brand at the forefront of your audience’s mind. However, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid overwhelming recipients with too many emails, which can lead to fatigue and increased spam complaints.

Choosing the right timing for your emails is crucial, considering factors such as industry norms, campaign type, and recipient interaction behaviors.

Here are some tips for maintaining a consistent email-sending schedule:

Set a Schedule: Determine a regular pattern for sending emails, whether weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and stick to it.

Plan Ahead: Use an editorial calendar or scheduling tool to plan your campaigns in advance. This ensures a cohesive strategy and timely delivery.

Segment Your Audience: Tailor your email frequency based on different audience segments. Some segments may prefer more frequent communication, while others may prefer less.

Monitor Engagement: Keep an eye on your email engagement metrics (like open rates and click-through rates) to gauge how your audience is responding to your current sending frequency. Adjust as needed.

Use Automation: Leverage automation tools to schedule emails based on triggers or specific times, such as welcome emails for new subscribers or birthday messages.

Be Mindful of Time Zones: Consider your subscribers’ time zones when scheduling emails to ensure they are received at an optimal time.

Seek Feedback: Occasionally survey your subscribers to gather feedback on email frequency and content relevancy. Use this input to fine-tune your sending schedule.

By following these best practices, you can maintain a consistent email-sending schedule that resonates with your audience and maximizes engagement.

Send Relevant and Valuable Content

Your emails should not only capture readers’ attention but also provide them with valuable insights or offers. The more engaging your email content, the more eagerly your subscribers will anticipate receiving it, resulting in higher engagement rates.

Increased engagement sends positive signals to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), indicating that recipients appreciate and interact with your emails. Consequently, ISPs are more likely to deliver your emails directly to the recipient’s inbox rather than diverting them to the spam folder.

To ensure that you consistently deliver relevant and valuable content to your subscribers, consider implementing the following tips:

Know Your Audience: Understand the demographics, interests, and preferences of your subscribers. Use this information to tailor your content to their needs.

Segment Your List: Divide your email list into different segments based on criteria such as demographics, past purchases, or engagement levels. Send targeted content to each segment to increase relevance.

Personalize Your Emails: Address subscribers by name in the email and customize the content based on their past interactions with your brand.

Provide Value: Offer informative, entertaining content or solve your subscribers’ problems. Avoid overly promotional content to maintain engagement.

Use Engaging Subject Lines: Create subject lines that are compelling and relevant to the email’s content. This will encourage subscribers to open the email and engage with the content.

Include Clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs): Use clear and concise CTAs that tell subscribers what action you want them to take. Make it easy for them to follow through.

Maximizing Email Deliverability – Your Action Plan

As we wrap up our discussion on improving email deliverability, let’s go ahead and outline actionable steps to ensure the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Assess Your Current Practices: Begin by evaluating your existing email marketing strategies. Identify any areas that may be hindering deliverability and prioritize improvements.

Implement Best Practices: Incorporate the best practices outlined in this article into your email marketing strategy. Each step is crucial in enhancing deliverability, from optimizing subject lines to maintaining list hygiene.

Monitor Performance: Regularly track the performance of your email campaigns, paying close attention to deliverability metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and bounce rates. This ongoing monitoring allows you to gauge progress and make informed adjustments as needed.

Stay Informed: Stay abreast of the latest trends and developments in email marketing. You can adapt your strategies to evolving industry standards and emerging technologies by staying informed, ensuring continued success.

Remember, focusing on email deliverability ensures that your messages reach your audience’s inboxes and sets the stage for increased engagement and conversions. By implementing these best practices, you’re not just improving deliverability—you’re driving meaningful connections with your audience.

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