How to Improve Your Email Deliverability

The rates of email deliverability can vary widely. The approximate estimate is that some 30% of the messages do not reach their destination. That is a considerable figure, yet the advantage is that if you can improve your delivery rates, you can also improve the response rate of your email list by up to 20%.

If you gain 20% more, this is a good figure. Here are some useful steps to follow:

1) Try to use text-based email content. HTML email messages are blocked more frequently than text messages.

2) Don’t send emails in bulk from the computer and don’t use any email marketing software that allows you to send bulk emails from the computer. You will send from a dynamic IP address, thus the chances your emails to be classified as spam are way higher.

3) Do not change your sender’s name or your address. Every time this is changed, all the people who whitelist you in their email account, are lost.

4) Each time you send your emails, consider removing hard bounces from the list. Hard bounces represent a big red flag for ISPs. Anything more than 15% in terms of hard bounces can get your email address and IP blocked. Basically, hard bounces are those emails that are sent to email addresses that no longer exist. They are more dangerous than “soft” bounces. However, it is also recommended to remove soft bounce email accounts if they bounce more than 2-3 times.

5) Use double opt-in. Double opt-in gives a much sensitive and also cleaner list. That thing results in fewer complaints, so your emails will have a much better spam reputation with Internet providers. Also, if you use “confirmed opt-in” – which is a double opt-in – you will have a record of the people asking twice to be on your list. Thus, you prove that you are not a spam source.

6) Don’t send large numbers of emails in isolated bursts. Spread your email list out, and send the emails to the segments of the list. Sending one massive amount at a time is a red flag for spam practices. These isolated mass emails are called “unusual bursting”

7) Test your emails with a spam filter. Spam filter tools will show and help you make some easy fixes that can considerably improve your email delivery capability. Also, clean your list regularly. Tools such as Mailfloss can do a good job.

8) NEVER buy email lists or subscribers. Stay away from anyone who offers to sell you a mailing list. Using a purchased list is actually against the terms of service of many email servers and administrators.

9) Check the IP address from where you send your emails not to be blacklisted. Tools such as MXToolbox can help with this. Also, SenderScore is a good option.

10) If you still can’t send your emails, try to contact the email providers directly. This page is a directory with the standards of the main ISPs and the “postmaster” pages that you can use to contact them. It is the postmaster pages the place where you will ultimately land if you can’t solve the email delivery issues and if nothing else works for you.

11) Make sure that the headers of your message are correctly constructed. If you are not sure, use tools like this to see if something seems suspicious.

12) Know what your “unknown user” rate is. This is similar to a hard bounce, but even more than a red flag. Some advertisements have reported email delivery problems when their unknown users were only 2% of their list. Having more than 5% is definitely going to get you in trouble.

13) Use a unique and “warm” IP address from where to send all of your emails. The IP address has to be both unique and “warm” – used lightly and frequently – a kind of how the credit card has to be used if you want to build a good credit rating. Regular sending of small amounts of emails is the best way to warm up and make an IP look right.

14) Consider the inactive subscribers. They are either the people who have not opened the emails you sent to them or who never clicked on a link in an email you sent, in more than six months. You must consider purging and removing email addresses which are inactive for more than a year. This is a good practice to ensure a higher deliverability rate of your emails.

15) Be sure to comply with the basic CAN-SPAM rules, such as including a link to cancel or service unsubscription in each email. Also, make sure that readers can respond to all the emails they receive from you. All “unanswered” emails are warning signs to ISPs.

If you have any questions, please ask below!