Email communication has become a ubiquitous part of our daily lives, both in our personal and professional interactions. However, with the sheer volume of emails we receive on a daily basis, it’s easy for important messages to get lost in the shuffle. This is where email deliverability comes in. Simply put, email deliverability refers to the ability of your emails to successfully reach the intended recipient’s inbox. It’s not enough to just hit “send” and hope for the best. In order to ensure that your messages are being seen and read, you need to be strategic about your email deliverability.
In this blog, we will dive into the world of email deliverability and provide you with best practices for ensuring that your emails are reaching their intended targets. From crafting effective subject lines to optimizing your email content and avoiding spam filters, we will cover all the key elements that can impact the deliverability of your emails. By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve unbeatable email deliverability and never miss out on important messages again. So, let’s get started.
1. Authentication Setup
If you want to ensure that your emails are being delivered successfully, your first step should be to set up SPF, DKIM, and potentially DMARC. These are authentication frameworks that are used by Internet service providers (ISPs) to verify that an email is coming from a legitimate sender. By implementing these key infrastructures, you can significantly improve the deliverability of your emails and avoid being marked as spam.
- SPF Setting up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a crucial security measure that helps prevent unauthorized individuals from sending emails on your behalf. It is imperative to configure SPF on your Domain Name System (DNS) server to protect your email domain and ensure that your messages are delivered safely to their intended recipients.By implementing SPF, you can establish a policy that specifies which IP addresses are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. This prevents spammers from using your domain to send fraudulent or malicious messages, which can damage your reputation and cause your emails to be marked as spam.
- DKIM While similar to SPF, DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an additional security measure that is highly recommended to set up on your DNS server. DKIM operates based on the concept of two sets of keys, one that is unique to your domain and encrypts your email signature in the header, and one that is public and necessary for decrypting your signature.By configuring DKIM on your DNS server, you can add an extra layer of protection to your emails, allowing email clients to verify that the message was sent by an authorized sender and that its contents have not been tampered with during transmission. This helps to build trust with your recipients and enhances your reputation as a legitimate sender.
- DMARC A shared framework called DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) combines the functionality of SPF and DKIM to enhance email authentication. With DMARC, domain owners can specify how they want their emails to be handled if they fail an authorization test, thus unifying SPF and DKIM.By implementing DMARC, domain owners can ensure that their emails are authenticated and correctly delivered to their recipients. DMARC helps to prevent email spoofing, phishing attacks, and other email-based threats, by providing detailed reports on email delivery and enabling domain owners to take corrective measures if necessary.
Luckily, your email service provider will likely handle most of these authentication processes for you or will be able to help you set them up.
Note that you need to keep up with new standards that come into play, such as BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification), which safeguards the brand, application providers, and consumers from impersonation attempts.
2. Seek Permission
Whether you are capturing emails at checkout, through a site overlay, or some other source, you need to explicitly ask for permission. The more aware your contacts are that they are being opted into your list, the lower the chances they will automatically press that spam button or ignore your emails. Laws are being increasingly restrictive in terms of explicit permission. In general, make sure to get some form of permission before sending marketing messages to your contacts.
3. Maintain a “Clean” List
Keeping a clean list is integral to protecting your reputation in the eyes of the inbox providers, which will help maintain strong deliverability for your email program. Essentially, maintaining a clean list means following best practices, such as suppressing inactive contacts, getting deliberate opt-ins, segmenting the frequency of your sends, and sending compelling and relevant content to your list.
4. Regularly Monitor Your Deliverability
Deliverability is not a one-off action. Because so many factors are at play, you will inevitably see fluctuations in your deliverability. This is why it’s important to do regular check-ups on your current status to make sure that you catch and diagnose problems early on.
5. Throttle Your Mail
As mentioned before, throttling your mail on individual sends can help improve your deliverability. Throttling means that instead of sending all of your email at once to your list, you are sending it over a period of time (4 hours, for example), so that the ISPs are seeing a more steady trickle of emails instead of one huge spike.
6. Make Sure Your Content Is Clean
Spam trigger words, too many images, and large file sizes can all trip spam filters. Keep an eye on minimizing these spam triggers in your campaigns—most ESPs have some form of a built-in tool to help with this.
7. Never, Ever Buy a List
Just don’t do it. Ever. Trust us.
8. Don’t Bury Your Unsubscribe Link
You don’t have to advertise your unsubscribe link loudly, but you need it to be clear. Not only is an unsubscribe link required by CAN-SPAM law, it can also help your deliverability. Remember, unsubscribes do not count against you, but if you make it overly difficult for your contacts to unsubscribe, they may default to the spam button instead, which will definitely hurt your deliverability.
9. Be Consistent In Your Sending
Just as consistency in business helps establish your reputation as a business person, consistency in your email sending helps solidify your sender’s reputation. In general, aim to be consistent in your the name, sender domain, send volume, etc.
10. Use a Private Sub-Domain
Using a private sender sub-domain, such as email.mystore.com, can help establish your domain-level reputation. ESPs will usually provide a default sender domain if you don’t have a private sub-domain, but remember that these won’t be transferable if you ever decide to switch providers.
11. Consider Using a Dedicated IP
If you are sending a good amount of volume and have the guidance to maintain a dedicated IP, you should consider switching over. With a dedicated IP, you’ll have full control of your own sender reputation without worrying about it being tarnished by other senders’ bad practices.
By following these best practices for email deliverability effectiveness, our business is sure to experience a decrease in the number of email bounces as you reach out to your audience.