How to Ensure Email Deliverability

Posted by Sarah Wai on Jan 6, 2017 9:34:21 AM

marketers analyzing email deliverability

Unlike personal emails, company emails (more specifically, those sent for marketing or sales reasons) are not guaranteed access into recipients' inboxes. There are a plethora of reasons for this, which we’ll go into more detail about in this blog, but the important thing to keep in mind through all of this is: you are a guest in someone’s inbox. Don’t abuse it.

Email can be created in a variety of ways, but the key to a successful email includes (and is largely dependent on) deliverability. If you can’t get your email into someone’s inbox, the rest of it doesn’t really matter anyway.

Why You Aren’t Getting Into Email Inboxes

To get into an email inbox, you must understand what could keep you out. There are rules to email sends, and if you don’t abide by them, you’ll find your emails in junk or SPAM folders, or you’ll actually have recipients mark you as SPAM (and believe us when we say, you don’t want that).

1. Authentication

Ensure the email addresses your company sends from are domain authenticated. Most email services use authentication to determine whether or not an email is SPAM, which means that if you are lacking domain authentication you are likely ending up in SPAM folders. Ouch. In other words, don’t get caught using an address from a domain other than your company’s.

2. Subject Lines That Don’t Follow the Rules

There are rules for subject lines?

Yes, and if you don’t follow them, it’s a trip to the SPAM folder for you. Here are things to avoid:

  • All capitals
  • Excessive use of punctuation: One exclamation point is just fine, not three
  • Irrelevant special characters and symbols
  • A subject line that doesn’t line up with your email content
  • An “RE” or “FWD” prefix when the email isn’t actually a reply or forwarded email

3. Untrusted IP Address

You can prime your sends for success by ensuring that you have a trusted IP address. If you’ve been known to send SPAM before, you’re going to have a much harder time doing this. However, if you just don’t have a track record, it can be helpful for you to precede large email sends with smaller email sends to recipients who have been very engaged with your emails in the past.

4. Sporadic Sends

Consistency is important. Erratic activity lowers your chances of getting into inboxes. If you promise a weekly email, send it weekly, not every few weeks on different days and times. This is where smart sends comes in handy.

To learn more about smart sends and other best practices, download A Step-by-Step Guide to Email Marketing:

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5. Old Email Lists

List clean-up needs to be part of your monthly to-do list. If you are continually sending to non-existent email addresses, your bounce rate will ramp up and you will lose your credibility. Sure, your list will decrease, but isn’t it better to have a list of recipients who are legitimate and actually receive your emails?

6. Not Abiding by the CAN-SPAM Act

Short for 'Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act of 2003,' essentially this law lays out the legal expectations for commercial email. You can learn more about it here.

Follow the Rules

As long as you make sure to follow the rules of email sends, you should find yourself having no problem getting into inboxes. For more on email deliverability and tips, check out our email marketing guide!

Sarah Wai

Written by Sarah Wai

Former Content, Email, and Social Media Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. Bachelor of Science in Digital Communication Arts and Master in Business Administration.