Email Deliverability Best Practices

Why do you need to think about email deliverability? 

Email deliverability measures the rate at which your emails make it into your recipient’s inbox and is one of the leading factors in a successful email marketing campaign. Marketers spend a lot of time drafting and designing enticing email content in the hope of getting high open and click rates. Maintaining good email deliverability will help make sure your clients are receiving your emails and your marketing efforts are not going to be wasted.

What effects email deliverability? 

There are several factors that can affect your email deliverability. 

  1. Email Infrastructure - properly configure your DNS records 
  2. Email Content - Be mindful of the code and content in your emails  
  3. Email Volume - Plan out sending volumes and patterns 
  4. Engagement - Send to targeted lists to increase engagement 
  5. Domain Reputation - the reputation of your email sending IP address that signals to email service providers whether or not you're a spammer 

What can you do to help your email deliverability 

Creation of DNS records 

The creation of SPF and DKIM records on your DNS is key to helping your emails being delivered to the inbox. These DNS records let the internet community know that your domain and IPs are safe to receive emails from. Firewalls, mail servers and spam filters will check these records when an email is received to ensure that the email is from a reliable source. 

Create engaging email campaigns 

Your email design can determine if your email is sent to the spam folder. If your email contains too many images and not enough text, too many links, repetitive use of words (especially words such as free, offer or $$$) or no unsubscribe link then email providers may flag the email as spam. 

Your email should have a good balance of images and text with links that go to relevant webpages or landing pages. Make sure you proofread your email to check for spammy wording or repetitive language. 

Sugar Market's EMB 2.0 features a test email function that allows you to send a test to a chosen email address. You can add multiple different emails to see if the email hits the recipients' inboxes or their spam folders. The best test for this is to send to as many different domains as possible. The biggest inboxes are good to test (e.g. Gmail and Outlook), if possible.  

  • Preview and test your email to ensure your content looks as you expect (Preview and Test) 

Targeted emails to increase email engagement 

The key area for helping with email deliverability is the engagement levels of your emails. Sending out topic relevant content to targeted mailing lists will increase your engagement levels. Having high open and click rates of your emails will significantly help your emails to be delivered to the inbox.  

Blasting out emails to your whole database should be a thing of the past. These types of emails will negatively impact your domain reputation and harm your email deliverability. 

Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other email providers use email engagement as the main factor when it comes to email deliverability. 

 Email cadence and frequency 

Sending patterns are also important. Email providers like to see relatively predictable patterns in sending volumes from a brand over time. It can be beneficial to slowly ramp up volume over weeks before heading into a high email frequency season.  

When sending from a new IP address or one that hasn’t been used in some time, it is best to start with IP warming. IP warming refers to the practice of slowly scaling up the marketing emails you send to your mailing list in order to build trust with your users' internet service providers. This will also help you maintain a positive domain reputation.  

 Database maintenance 

Regularly maintaining your database as your subscriber base grows is a great way to improve your email deliverability. A common reason for poor domain reputation and inbox placement issues are continuing to email unengaged contacts. This is where building an exclude list with unengaged contacts can be quite beneficial and ensure your marketing emails are reaching your desired audience. Additionally, you and your team can create a plan of action for how you want to address your unengaged contacts to either attempt to re-engage them or remove them from your database entirely. 

Another way to maintain your database is to use forms on your website to drive conversions of engaged subscribers. Enabling CAPTCHA and setting up double opt-in for your new contacts can help ensure these new subscribers are both legitimate and highly engaged. 

  • Create Exclude lists to prevent unengaged contacts from receiving your marketing email (Sugar Market Lists)
  • Use auto deletion reports to stop unwanted data from appearing in Sugar Market (Auto-Deletion Reports)
  • If you have SugarCRM or Sugar Sell you can use Sync Filters. Sync filters allow customers to sync only relevant data from CRM to Sugar Market. (Sync Filters)