Email Deliverability: The Best 10-Step Checklist to Get In Primary Inboxes via @CoScheduleClick To Tweet
Claim Your Email Deliverability Optimization TemplatesBefore you go any further, these templates will help you apply this post to your work and get started improving your email deliverability right away.
Email Delivery vs Email Deliverability – What’s the Difference?Email Delivery is the metric that tells you how many of your emails are “accepted” by your recipients’ server. In a nutshell, it’s a metric from 0-100% that tells you how many people received your email. Email Delivery Rate of, for example, 98% means that your email was received by 98% of the people inside your list.
Audit Your Current Situation (Figure Out the Good and the Bad)Auditing your current situation is the first step towards improving your overall email deliverability rate.
#1 – Check if You’ve Been BlacklistedTo check if your domain is already blacklisted by some of the major email providers and servers, you can go to MXtoolbox, type down your domain address, and check the current status:
What to do if your domain has been blacklisted?Unfortunately, other than following this checklist to ensure improvement of your email deliverability, there’s not much you can do. The best option is to directly ask reputable authorities that blacklisted your domain. But if that doesn’t work, as mentioned, following these best practices will get you out of the blacklist zone over time.
#2 – Audit the Quality of Your IP AddressThe quality of your IP address is another important factor when it comes to your email deliverability. There are many IP quality checkers on the web. To find one, just type IP quality test, and test your IP with websites. Straightforward, right?
#3 – Analyze Your Current Email Statistics for Better InsightsWhat do your current email marketing statistics look like? If your open rates are high, i.e. 60-70%, then it probably means that your email deliverability rate is great. So there’s pretty much nothing to fix. If your open rates are very low, i.e. 5-20%, then it’s a clear signal that you either:
- Have bad email deliverability
- Your subject line isn’t engaging enough
- You have a low-quality list
Set Up the Technical ConfigurationAlthough this part might sound a little bit boring, it’s definitely an important one. Making sure your technical configurations are set up correctly will help you get better email deliverability with less headache later on.
#4 – Set Up Your SPFSender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication method used to prevent spammers from sending messages on behalf of your domain. Setting up your SPF tells recipients and their servers how trustworthy your domain is. You can find more on how to set up your SPF here. It’s quite easy.
#5 – Set Up Your DMARCDomain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) is another email authentication protocol that helps you protect your domain from spoofing (changing your servers’ sender name so it looks like the email is sent from another sender or domain). You can find more on how to set up your DMARC here.
#6 – Set Up Your DKIMDomain Keys Identified Mail allows the receiver to check if the email received corresponds with the domain address. This is a unique signature encrypted in the message, but it is not visible to the end-user. This DKIM signature will ensure email deliverability, especially if it is combined with SPF and DKIM (which we mentioned above). You can find more on how to set up your DKIM here.
#7 – Set Up Your Custom Tracking DomainThis is one of the easiest set-ups to perform to ensure email deliverability. By doing this, your domain will establish its own reputation with email recipients without the assistance of SalesHandy (a click tracking app). To learn how to set up custom domain tracking, click here.
#8 – Set Up Your ProfileTo increase email deliverability, it is important to use a real email address, real name, and images. You can create an account with email sending services such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc. This will assure receivers that your emails aren’t spam.
#9 – Warm-Up Your Email AddressThis manual process is important to get authenticated by email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, iCloud, Godaddy, Zoho, Aol, Exchange, and Yandex. The easiest way to warm up an email list is to ask your existing contacts (friends and family) to open the email you are sending. This proves that your emails are sent on consent instead of spamming someone's inbox. Additionally, subject lines should be more personalized; for example, “Mike, check out these hand-picked looks” Just like an email your colleague would send to you, emails you send to customers should be contextual, relevant and personalized. This way, the chances of your emails getting marked as spam are lower (the average open rate for emails with personalized subject lines is 21.2%) than non-personalized subject lines (14.1%) according to Invespcro.
#10 – Email PersonalizationCreating a high-quality email list is easier than it seems. You will need to make small improvements that will pay off big time. A/B test subject lines - Each subject line has to have its purpose — a customer or prospect should immediately know what your email is about. The more data you collect on your prospect, the better your chances to specify subject lines and content and logically increase open rates. Depending on your industry, audience, products, etc., subject lines could even include emojis to sound more approachable. When you think you have a great subject line for your use case, it is time to test it. A/B testing will help you determine which subject line will resonate better with your audience. To perform this test, write a couple of subject lines, select recipients, and send messages. The goal is to compare which subject line performs better and proceed with it in your next campaign.
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Quick Bonus Tips and Conclusion
- Don't use complicated HTML. This will take a lot of your time. It can get messy and not compatible with different devices. Most email marketing tools provide pre-built templates, but there's always an option to create your own, so it's better to stick with pre-made options.
- Don't use fancy signatures. Unless a fancy signature is your brand's recognizable mark, using fancy signatures can be off-putting and too much.
- Email content that passes spam filters. To avoid spam filters, email people that gave you permission and always use a real reply-to address. If possible, set your business domain and use segmentation to avoid unnecessary messaging to contacts that are not relatable to your specific email.
- Pay extra attention to email content. Subscribers will notice changes in your email content, and potential subscribers might be overwhelmed by a mixture of styles. Consistency in writing style, topics and quality of the content plays a key role in the recognizability of your brand.
- Maintain consistency in email sending. Your subscribers will expect your daily, weekly, or monthly emails depending on your email strategy. To set sending automations and stick with schedule, email marketing platforms can be a smart investment to help you avoid manual micromanagement.
- Keep up with the volume of emails sent. A subscriber or contact should only receive emails they approved or consented to via signup or subscribe forms. List segmentation plays a key role in the process of tagging and scheduling emails to specific contacts at specified time frames.