Best Practices to Improve Email Deliverability
Email delivery is important but delivery is only part of your email's journey to successfully arriving in the inbox.
Email deliverability is when your email successfully arrives in the person's inbox.
It's possible to have good email delivery but poor deliverability, because your email ended up in a person's spam folder rather than their inbox.
Below are some helpful tips to improve your email deliverability.
Authenticate Your Email Domain
Impersonation is not a form of flattery in the email world and can quickly tank your send reputation. Spammers might send emails that appear to come from your domain. This is called spoofing. Authenticating your email with Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) proves to the ISPs that you really are who you say you are and are worthy to send emails.
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF). Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is used to authenticate the sender of an email. With an SPF record, Internet Service Providers can verity that a mail server is authorized to send email from a specific domain. The following three steps outline how SPF works.
- A domain administrator published the policy defining mail servers that are authorized to send email from that domain. This policy is called an SPF record and it is listed as part of the domain's overall DNS records.
- When an inbound mail server receives an incoming email, it looks up the rules for the bounce (Return-Path) domain in DNS. The inbound server then will compare the IP address of the mail sender with the authorized IP addresses defined in the SPF record.
- The receiving mail server then uses the rules specified in the sending domain's SPF record to decide whether to accept, reject, or otherwise flag the email message.
- DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM). DKIM is a form of email authentication that allows an organization to claim responsibility for a message in a way that can be validated by the recipient. Simply put, DKIM works by adding a digital signature to the headers of an email message. This signature can then be validated against a public cryptographic key that is located in the organization’s DNS record.
- The domain owner publishes a cryptographic key. This is specifically formatted as a TXT record in the domain’s overall DNS record.
- After a message is sent by an outbound mail server, the server generates and attaches the unique DKIM signature to the header of the message.
- The DKIM key is then used by inbound mail servers to detect and decrypt the message’s signature and compare it against a fresh version. If the values match, the message can be proved authentic, and unaltered in transit, and therefore, not forged or altered.
Perfect the Opt-in Process
Optimizing your opt-in process will help ensure that your email list is full of engaged users. If you are sending email to people who weren't aware of you are didn't agree to receive messages from you, they will mark your emails as spam and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will think you're spamming everyone on your list. This includes even those on your list that actually want to receive your emails.
Write Non-Spammy Subject Lines
The subject line of your email is an important piece of content that will ultimately determine if a user opens your email. ISPs continue to become more sophisticated in their filtering systems and certain catch phrases won’t necessarily place you in the spam folder automatically, it’s wise to avoid using common spam phrases in general.
Keep Your List Clean
The longer you keep inactive or unengaged users on your email list, the more you risk damaging your reputation and deliverability rates.
Not only should your provide a clear way for people to unsubscribe from your emails, it is also just as important to scrub your list on a regular basis. This will ensure that your email list is healthy and only includes people who engage with your emails.
Avoid the Spam Trap
Spam traps are used to identify and monitor spam emails. Anti-spam organizations, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and corporations use spam traps to lure spammers. Spam traps can cause your IP address or even your domain to be list denied, affecting your reputation and email deliverability.
Remember that the purpose of spam traps is to catch spammers. So if you’re worried about spam traps, know that the best way to avoid them is to not act like a spammer. This means doing the following.
- Don't purchase lists
- Regularly scrub your list of typos and outdated emails
- Have an opt-in process to confirm that your recipients are legitimate senders.
Send Emails that People Love
Simply put, if your recipients derive value from your email, they will interact with your message!
We appreciate you taking the time to learn about Best Practices to Improve Email Deliverability! If you would need assistance with authenticating your email domain, just email email@example.com as we are happy to help!