6 Best Practices That Are Bound To Improve Your Email Deliverability

The anatomy of a perfect email design revolves around how engaging and actionable the email turns out when it reaches the inbox. Be it email open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, or the email marketing ROI, a marketer will only be able to measure if the emails land where they need to, i.e. user inbox. A perfectly crafted email won’t yield fruits if it doesn’t reach your subscribers’ inboxes. This is the reason why email marketing best practices never miss out on emphasizing the crucial role of Email Deliverability.

Email Deliverability is simply the ability of an email to reach inboxes!

When you hit the ‘send’ button, the email then passes through some stringent email deliverability aspects that decide whether the sent email belongs to the user inbox or should simply get ‘lost in transit’, wherein lost in transit means to land in spam where it is hardly visible.

Note: Email delivery and deliverability are two different terms. Email delivery is when your email server receives your email in their system, whereas email deliverability is passing that server to successfully land into the inbox.

Email deliverability depends on a lot of aspects that are not necessarily handled internally. With smart inboxes and uncompromising privacy policies, your email campaigns should take note of elements that are beyond just marketing best practices or email design components. User experience is at the core of every campaign and as long as you are excelling at wooing your subscribers with relevant, on-demand emails, you are good to go. However, to maximize the email deliverability, there are certain pointers that you can follow. Take a look.

Email Deliverability Best Practices

Return Path’s email deliverability benchmark reported average global inbox placement to be 85% for the year 2018. Out of the remaining 15%, 5% of emails land in spam while 10% go missing. As mentioned earlier, a lot of components affect your email deliverability. To make sure you are on the right track that leads to the inbox, make sure you tick off the following email deliverability best practices.

1. Sender Rep – the ISP and ESP

Email deliverability is highly dependent on how various email clients pursue your sending IP. Internet service providers (ISPs) take user privacy seriously and thus, run a number of filters before letting your emails reach the inboxes. The sender reputation score is a measure that every ISP assigns to your brand or IP. Based on your email engagement, email design, email frequency, user-readability, and email service provider’s credibility, a sender score is assigned to you. This score is subject to increase or fall based on your email activities.

Email service providers (ESPs), on the other hand, are your email partners who help you conceptualize, design, market, and measure your email marketing campaigns. ESPs too come with built-in features that can alert you for spam-filters and help you follow CAN-SPAM and GDPR guidelines for better deliverability.

ESPs and ISPs are like pillars to better email deliverability – the only catch is that you follow through all the suggested guidelines.

2. Email List Segmentation and List Hygiene

Audience engagement plays a vital role in email deliverability, and they are correlated in many ways. Internet service providers (ISPs) keep a close eye on your email engagement metrics and when they monitor that your emails are getting opened, they signal your IP as trustworthy and not spammy.

On the other hand, segmentation is an integral part of email personalization and can significantly improve the overall campaign’s success. Segmented email lists allow brands to target and customize various groups based on their interests, demographics, position in the sales funnel, purchase history, and so much more. These hyper-relevant emails are capable of getting attention and engagement. In fact, segmented campaigns receive 3.90% lower abuse reports and 9.37% lower unsubscribes than the non-segmented ones.

As far as email list hygiene is concerned, maintaining a clear list is one of the suggested best practices for email marketing as a whole. When it comes to email deliverability, a stale list will encounter more hard and soft bounces, indicating the ISPs to take adverse action against your IP. for your campaign’s overall success, it is better to keep the engaged subscribers than the ones who might cost you your sender reputation and email deliverability.

3. Permission and Frequency

Email opt-in, be it single or double, is yet another scale on which email deliverability relies. Asking permission to send marketing emails is to ensure that the users are willing to receive promotional emails. Such permissions go a long way as an important aspect of email deliverability is to stay away from the spammy, unwanted messages. This criterion is fulfilled when users single or double opt-in for your emails.

When we talk about the frequency, there is no unanimously agreed number available. Brands send emails as per their past campaign performance or based on what users have signed-up for. Maintaining consistency, however, affects the email deliverability as you can’t send 1000 emails from a fresh IP, in a single day and go silent for a month – it is just an example and differs from brands to brands, ESPs to ESPs, and even campaign to campaign.

Tip – It is advisable to not use personal servers like Gmail, AOL, or Yahoo! for marketing emails. These servers are not warmed up for bulk emails and don’t come with email marketing features like automation, segmentation, personalization tags, analytics, and so on. Having an eye over all these aspects helps you better your email campaign performance and ultimately, email deliverability.

4.The Email Copy and Framework

Email copy, especially the subject line, is another vital email deliverability element. Do not try to misguide the subscribers with unclear or salesy subject lines – it’s a big NO! Be specific, concise, and direct about what your email comes bearing. Now, only the subject line isn’t what you have to be careful about. Stuffing keywords, embedding non-supported elements like videos, not maintaining the image-to-text ratio, misleading or broken links, non-relevant data, and other numerous things define your email deliverability. One thing to keep in mind is sending emails that bring value to the users.

Tip – most important aspect of email deliverability is a ‘prominent unsubscribe link’. Users should be able to unsubscribe as and when it pleases, and that too without having to search for it. Hiding the unsubscribe link is a factor that adversely affects the overall campaign performance and not just deliverability.

5. The ‘To’ and ‘From’ Names

For the ‘from’ name, be as human as possible and even if you are a brand, use any of your employee’s names to establish credibility. From name makes an impact on both the reader and the ISP. Similarly, you are sending emails to bond with your subscribers/customers, and thus, addressing them with their first and last name is a best practice.

6. Testing the email

Before you hit the ‘send’ button, be very sure to test the email for different email clients and devices. How your email will be visible on various platforms is how it will create an impact. Test and modify until you get a unified reader-view for all the email clients.

Tip – Always provide a ‘view this on the web’ option for your HTML email templates for the people who are not equipped with the latest versions of the inboxes or compatible email clients.

Wrap Up

That’s the list of email deliverability best practices that will help you get past the spam-filters and other ISP filters to attain maximum deliverability. Hope this article brings light to the areas in email deliverability where there wasn’t!

Kevin George
Kevin George
Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, that specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blogs.


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