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How to Improve Email Deliverability: The Ultimate Guide

Published on: 2022-05-20

Are you wondering how to improve email deliverability for more successful connections or email marketing campaigns? Deliverability refers to how often and how effectively your emails reach the inboxes of your current subscribers. It can be a complex topic touching on many aspects of an email marketing-based approach, but it is also an important metric that could influence how and why you do things.

If you are already aware of the importance of email deliverability, you might already have a method for measuring how well your messages are reaching their intended recipients. However, around thirty percent of marketers say that deliverability is the biggest challenge they face, which might be why 65% of those surveyed reported an unfavorable inbox placement rate.

Is it possible to boost email delivery and open rates among subscribers? Absolutely. In this blog post, our technology experts outline some valuable tools and actionable tips for email marketers who want more out of their campaigns.

Why Are My Emails Going to Spam?

Many people wonder about the top reasons for email delivery failure. Experts typically cite three primary considerations for why your emails are ending up in a spam folder, including complaints, quality control, and authentication issues.

High Recipient Complaint Rates

Do you want to improve email deliverability? The first step is to understand what causes complaints from system users and how to avoid them.

Some of the most common factors that contribute to high complaint rates include:

  • Excessive email frequency: Bombarding recipients with too many emails
  • Inconsistency: Sending emails from incorrect or inconsistent domain names
  • Spam tags: Irrelevant content that elicits spam complaints from recipients
  • Limited options: An example is a lack of voluntary opt-ins for subscribers

These are the four top factors that annoy email subscribers, leading them to send your messages to the spam folder. Your domain reputation suffers greatly, especially as an Internet Service Provider (ISP) considers spam rates above 0.2% as high. A rate as low as .08% could land you on the blacklist for reputable providers like Gmail, which is why feedback loops are essential for keeping an eye on these metrics.

Sending Poor Quality Emails

A high number of spam trap hits could tank your entire IP reputation and sender score. Internet Service Providers and Mailbox providers monitor such lists to determine which senders to block or filter. So, it is crucial to avoid ISP blacklisting at all costs by sending relevant content in all email campaigns.

Successfully delivered emails are relevant, engaging, and compatible with trust and sender reputation. Marketers that want to avoid ISP blacklists should avoid sending “spammy” content. However, it is not always easy to know how to improve email deliverability without a more objective view of how your content compares to the industry’s ever-changing standards.

Marketers will likely find it complicated—and expensive—to regain their place on sender reputation polls once they appear on a blacklist. How are email recipients going to receive your marketing emails? An idea of how it will hit the recipient’s inbox will make it easier to target the right people with the right message at the right time to uphold your sender score.

Lack of Email Authentication

The email authentication process verifies that messages are coming from a trustworthy source. It is an essential tool to protect you and your brand from spam complaints. Once you have an email address, email authentication happens in two ways: SPF and DKIM.

If you want to verify your emails as coming from a legitimate source, be sure to use proper SPF and DKIM settings for your domain-based message authentication. The process ensures that ISPs do not flag your IP address and that email service providers like Yahoo! and Google do not flag your emails.

How to Improve Email Deliverability: 8 Useful Tips

Here are eight professional tips for how to improve your email deliverability and email delivery rates, including ways to streamline your approach for a thriving subscriber list.

1. Send Better Quality Emails To Avoid the Spam Folder

How can you improve your email deliverability? It is not just about ISPs; it extends to keeping your recipients’ email provider happy with what you’re sending into a subscriber’s inbox. If these platforms like what you send, the ISPs will be just as willing to give your email an approved place in the inbox.

So, how can email marketers be sure that people will want to read their emails? Here are some tips:

Avoid the SPAM filter trap

Follow the best practices from the FTC and other trustworthy sources. These will tell you how to avoid common mistakes, such as using too many keywords or words that trigger spam filters (like “free”) that could land your email in the junk folder.

Send Personalized Emails

Send only relevant, concise emails—do not blast out generic “sign up for our newsletter” messages to everyone on your list! Personalize it, separating transactional emails from marketing emails to boost your engagement metrics.

Double Check For Working Links

Are all the links in the mail working correctly? Does it lead somewhere helpful and relevant for engaged users? Make sure it is not just a blank page or broken link.

Limit Image and Video Size

How big should images or video content be within emails? Do not exceed 3MB if you want to lower bounce rates. Larger emails probably won’t make it into your subscribers’ inboxes.

2. Maintain the Appropriate IP Allocation

How can you keep up with the demand as an email program is growing? A list increases in proportion to the importance of proper infrastructure to have your emails delivered successfully.

For example, if you are sending over 25,000 emails per day and using a shared IP address, why not upgrade to a dedicated IP address (or IP addresses)? Upgrading will allow you more control over how ISPs see your emails. It might also increase your email deliverability rate.

It is also essential to “warm up” the new dedicated IP address before sending mail to everyone on your list at once. This cautious approach will gain the trust of all of the ISPs who handle your emails, reducing the bounce rate.

3. Authenticate Your Email Domain

Knowing how to improve email deliverability goes hand-in-hand with maintaining a good sender reputation if you are regularly sending emails. But did you know that identity hijacking or email spoofing is one of the easiest ways to tank your sender’s reputation online?

Email spoofing is technically called impersonation and happens when someone takes over your email domain and sender name. The infiltrator uses these sources for access to send phishing emails or similar messages. Without enabling DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF), marketers are opening their email validation to terrible risks, and deliverability rates will suffer.

Authenticate your email sender name with DKIM and SPF. It proves to the ISPs that you are who you say you are and keeps your efforts out of spam folders.

4. Protect Your Sender Reputation: Avoid ISP Spam Traps

Have you been sending out emails and seeing open rates slide? Your emails are not getting through the ISP filters. They may also be hitting the blacklists you are trying to avoid.

Don’t worry; there are ways to revive your email marketing campaigns and streamline email engagement. First, consider spam traps. Technically, spam traps are email addresses that ISPs and email community organizations set up to catch spammers and prevent unwanted emails from reaching their users.

If you send to a spam trap, those ISPs will immediately flag your email and put it on a blacklist. It is exceptionally challenging to get off this list, so try to avoid it. One idea is to avoid ISP spam traps by keeping a list of engaged subscribers. How?

  • Remove inactive email addresses
  • Do not send invalid emails
  • Never, ever purchase an email list of any sort

5. Don’t Write “Spammy” Subject Lines

Most senders realize that the subject lines are crucial for recipients opening their emails, but you can’t just say “Hey,” “Hi There,” “Risk-Free,” or “FREE!” ISPs are increasingly smarter when it comes to filtering emails that use common trigger phrases. They may not automatically place your email in a spam folder for one of these phrases, but it is far safer to know which words or terms to avoid.

So, focus on the genuine value of the message without sounding pushy or salesy. Are you genuinely offering something valuable in an email? If so, a subscriber will be more likely to open it and read it.

6. Update Your Email Marketing List (Remove Dead/Inactive Subscribers)

Understanding how to improve email deliverability also considers your brand reputation. You can’t afford to have anyone on your list who is not interested in receiving emails from you. But, how do you know that someone might not be interested?

Have they opened any of your emails in the last 12 months? If not, they are not interested in what you have to share with them. They might have forgotten about their account, changed jobs, or switched email addresses, but they are no longer engaged, and you need to remove these inactive email addresses for the sake of your email deliverability rate.

7. Optimize Your Email Opt-In Process with Double Opt-Ins

Have you been sending emails to people who didn’t consent to receive them? You will likely have a hard time keeping email deliverability rates up.

Why? When people see your emails and do not recognize the subject line information or you as the sender, they do not open or read these messages. Enough recipients doing this leads to the ISPs flagging your emails and blocking them from reaching others on your list.

So, how do you ensure that recipients are getting your emails? By asking for consent at every step of your signup process. If someone signs up for your newsletter but does not confirm the email address, do not send them any messages, no matter how much they might love what you have to say!

  • Use opt-in features: Collect email addresses through opt-in forms.
  • Use double opt-in steps: A double opt-in requires users to verify email addresses and click through a confirmation email before they can access your company’s membership benefits or other content.
  • Do not buy or sell email lists: Do not collect information from people who have not granted you permission. Also, do not betray their trust by selling or renting their information out to others who need to expand their email lists.

8. Simplify Your Email Opt-Out Process

Yes, you should let your email subscribers change their minds. The CAN-SPAM Act requires mailers to give subscribers a straightforward way to opt-out of an email campaign, including simple instructions for how to do so. It is not just good practice to offer users options for managing their email preferences or unsubscribing from your emails; it is also the law.

So, choosing how to improve email deliverability includes exit strategies. Follow these tips to stay on top of the legalities:

Use precise language

Avoid ambiguity about what people need to do if they want to unsubscribe or manage their email preferences. For example, don’t say, “Click here to unsubscribe.” Instead, say, “Unsubscribe now” to ensure they understand how to take action.

Offer multiple ways to opt-out of your email program

You could include links that say, “Unsubscribe me” or “Manage my preferences,” depending on your content strategy. However, you could also add a separate link at the bottom of each email to “Manage Your Subscription” so that it is abundantly clear where to opt-out.

Email Delivery Success Might Be One Click Away

Email marketing is still an extremely effective tool for businesses that want to connect with their customers. People spend an average of 90 minutes per day on their emails, with recipients opening almost 80% of their messages within the first ten minutes. Nobody can afford to miss out on these proven connection points for sales or other purposes, so follow the tips above to stay in the game.

A service like Ful.io develops custom software to optimize your lead generation, competitor research, and market analysis. If you want to level up your marketing campaigns or learn more about how to improve email deliverability, connect with our team or sign up on the website.


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