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    The Best Practices For Improving Email Deliverability

    Written By Jason Rowse - Digital Marketing Expert

    Updated: 09/06/2021

    Email marketing is a waste of money if your emails are not reaching the subscribers. According to recent research, only about 21% of all emails reach the intended recipients. This is why marketers need to rethink their email marketing strategies.

    If you want to get the attention of the audience, you need more than the best marketing software.

    Heighten your email deliverability rates by making small improvements that are indispensable for reaching your subscribers and inspiring action via your email marketing campaigns.  

    What is Email Deliverability?

    Stated as a percentage, the email deliverability rate is the total number of inboxes that received your emails. Email deliverability tools are purpose-built to identify deliverability problems. Your email deliverability rate determines how connected you are with your subscribers.

    What Affects Email Deliverability?

    Today, email service providers are building filters that automatically segment promotional emails from important ones. Parameters like the volume of sent emails, total weekly/monthly campaigns, user interaction and bounce rate can impact email deliverability.

    Also called the acceptance rate, the email deliverability rate is calculated by dividing the total number of emails delivered, by the total number of emails sent. A good rate of email deliverability is 95% and above, with less than a 3% bounce rate.

    How To Improve?

    Determining the email deliverability rate can help uncover foundational problems in your emails and campaigns. It can also prevent emails from landing in the junk folder of the recipient. The following list streamlines seven of the best practices designed to improve your email deliverability rates.  

    Validate Your Email Domain

    When an email address is authenticated, ISPs consider your address trustworthy. The best way to prevent falling prey to spoofing is by activating three protocols- SPF [Sender Policy Framework], DKIM [Domain Keys Identified Mail], and DMARC [Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance].  

    SPF permits the recipient email server to check the authorization of the sender’s IP address by the domain admins. DKIM is an email authentication method that cross-confirms the sent details and the authorization of the email received with its domain owner. DMARC quarantines messages and intimates the sender by using SPF and DKIM.

    Always try and conform to the three authentication protocols to improve deliverability and avoid landing in spam.

    Email marketing administrators can also use innovative branding techniques to improve their email deliverability rate. Start by adding the name of your business in the ‘from’ name as it reduces spam complaints. Adding a front name or person for your email campaigns is a trending approach for improving email deliverability via authentication. 

    Create Non-Spammy Emails

    While no marketer knowingly uses the ‘spam trigger words’ anymore, ISPs are evolving to identify most spam mail. That’s why your emails should look genuine starting from the subject line. Avoid pushy subject lines and flashy language altogether.

    You should also restrict the use of words like ‘BONUS’, ‘FREE’, ‘Risk-Free’ and so on too. While there are genuine emails where such words are used today, it is best to avoid these to prevent being marked as spam before reaching the intended recipient.   

    Write your emails with a motive of impressing the reader and the ISP. You should send emails that people expect from your brand without sounding fraudulent to the service providers. Write in a tone that you would employ to speak naturally with your ideal subscriber.

    If you create emails worth reading, the user will open it, read it, and take action too.

    Enhance the Opt-In Process

    The most basic opt-in process is the single opt-in process where users share their emails at first. Being easy and mechanical, many users might later report your email as spam. If there are overwhelming spam complaints against your address, ISPs can block the sending server.

    The best solution for improving deliverability here is by choosing the double opt-in or confirmed opt-in. This is where the subscriber will be asked a second time to confirm their interest in your subscription. In fact, double opt-in is mandatory in European countries now. The general consensus is that if you’re looking for quality, double opt-in is the perfect option.

    Maintain Consistency

    Offering a preference center for subscribers to manage their email frequency increases the email deliverability rate. Establishing and maintaining it is another important part of improving the deliverability rate.

    After the sign-up, redirect your subscriber to a page where they can select their preferences. This way, the recipient feels in control and perhaps even seeks out your emails from their email provider’s promotions tab like in the case of Gmail services. The control they feel is the first step towards boosting engagement too.

    The ideal frequency of emails is one per week, unless you have uncovered other results from testing. Once you have built rapport with your recipients, increase the number to two with their consent.

    Still, excessive emails can force the subscriber to report you as spam. Test and find out what your audience likes and set an appropriate number based on these inputs.

    Clean Up Your List Periodically

    Removing the non-existent subscribers from your email list also increases your email deliverability rate. One sure way to do this is by screening email signups from contests who show zero interest in your emails. Request a double opt-in to find genuine subscribers.

    Do a professional clean-up of your email list by checking addresses with high hard bounce rates regularly. It also helps to weed out duplicate email IDs, outdated domains, typos and even fake addresses quickly.

    Remember that there is no use for a long list of subscribers who are not interested in your products. Clean the clutter by purging the list periodically.

    Create a Subdomain Exclusively for Emails

    This is a tip for marketers who want to fine-tune their marketing as this strategy increases trust with your customers. Create a domain under your parent address called a subdomain. It is displayed with a prefix with your address.

    With a sub-domain, you can access domain-exclusive IP reputation monitoring. Using it offers ways to segment different email marketing campaigns for subscribers.

    This is particularly beneficial for a company that sends promotional and transactional emails. You get the added benefit of retaining your reputation with ISPs by using a subdomain.

    Spam Traps and Blacklisted IPs

    Spam is the biggest complaint for most email service providers. Hence, there are numerous amendments made to filter emails and keep inboxes clear of spam messages. Popularly known as spam traps, these email addresses created by analysts to lure spam. ISPs use spam traps as a fraud-management-tool to recognize and block spammy senders.

    If you fall into the spam trap, your email address will be blacklisted and flagged instantly. Given that removing yourself from the blacklist is tough, avoid it all costs.

    Purchasing email lists is a bad trick that will land you right on the blacklist. Alternatively, if you’re seeing low email deliverability rates from your campaigns, check the DNS-based blacklists for your address. The blacklist is comprised of the IPs reported as spam by multiple users.


    Maintaining high email deliverability rates is paramount for successful email marketing.  Accordingly, small changes can make a big difference. 

    For instance, once your email list crosses 20,000 it is important to upgrade your servers to handle the bulk traffic and storage space for your huge mailing list. To maintain IP allocation, switch to a dedicated IP address after the pre-set limit.

    Another bonus tip to improve your deliverability rate is by requesting subscribers to whitelist your email address.

    By following the best practices, you can optimize campaigns and outreach to deliver resoundingly positive results that drive engagement and conversion.