14 Proven Tips to Improve Email Deliverability [+Benchmark & Stats]
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Ever wonder why some emails land straight in the inbox, while others take a detour to spam-ville? Well, that’s the magic (or curse) of email deliverability at play. In today’s world where our inboxes are flooded with messages, having your emails read instead of being tossed into the digital bin is crucial.
So, what’s the game plan? We’re diving deep into the world of email deliverability, armed with actionable tips and some juicy stats to back them up. Our mission is simple: to boost those email deliverability rates from “meh” to “wow.” Ready to become an email deliverability ninja? Let’s roll!
Understanding email deliverability
Alright, let’s break it down. Email deliverability is basically your email’s ability to land in the inbox, not the spam folder or oblivion. Think of it as your email’s VIP pass to the party everyone wants to attend—the recipient’s inbox. It’s the difference between your carefully crafted message being read and acted upon or getting lost in the spam folder, never to see the light of day.
But why is this so important? Imagine spending hours on a killer email campaign only for it to end up in the spam dungeon. That’s not just a bummer; it’s a missed opportunity. Good email deliverability ensures your message reaches your audience, boosting your chances of engagement, conversions, and ultimately, success in your email marketing efforts.
So, in a nutshell, email deliverability isn’t just some techy term to gloss over. It’s the cornerstone of your email marketing strategy, ensuring your message not only reaches but also resonates with your audience. Stick around, and we’ll show you how to ace it.
The impact of poor email deliverability
Now, let’s get real about what happens when your emails miss the mark. Picture this: you’ve got a brilliant email campaign, but your deliverability rates are in the dumps. What’s the big deal? Here’s the scoop – poor email deliverability is like throwing a party and forgetting to send out the invites. Your open rates plummet, your engagement crumbles, and your overall campaign success takes a nosedive.
But don’t just take my word for it; let’s talk numbers.
A study by Omnisend found that deliverability issues can lead to a 50% reduction in open rates. This means that if your email campaign has an open rate of 20%, poor deliverability could reduce it to 10%.
In addition to lower open rates, poor deliverability can also lead to a decrease in click-through rates and conversions. A report by Smart Insights found that the average click-through rate across all industries is 2.3%. However, if your emails are not delivered to the recipient’s inbox, the click-through rate will be significantly lower.
In essence, poor email deliverability doesn’t just hurt your current campaign; it’s a blow to your entire email marketing strategy. But fear not, with a few tweaks and some best practices up your sleeve, you can turn those numbers around and keep your emails out of the dreaded spam folder. Let’s dive into how.
14 proven tips to improve email deliverability
Tip #1. Email warm-up: a must-have
Kicking things off with a new email account is like moving to a new town. You can’t just throw a massive party on day one and expect everyone to show up. You’ve got to warm up to your neighbors first. The same goes for your email account. Before you start blasting out emails at full speed, you need to warm it up, easing into your recipients’ inboxes.
So, what’s email warm-up? It’s a process where you gradually increase the volume of emails sent from a new account, building a reputation with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as a legitimate sender. This way, ISPs learn to trust you, improving your chances of hitting the inbox and not the spam folder.
But let’s be real, warming up an email account manually can feel like a slow dance. That’s where email warm-up services like Warmy.io step in to quicken the pace. These services automate the process, sending out emails on your behalf and engaging with them to mimic real interactions.
The ideal warm-up period typically ranges from a few weeks to a month, depending on your email volume. With services like Warmy.io, you can adjust the pace and volume, ensuring a tailored warm-up that fits your needs.
And the payoff? Post-warm-up, you’re looking at a noticeable uptick in deliverability rates. While the exact improvement varies, aiming for an inbox placement rate of over 95% post-warm-up isn’t unrealistic.
Tip #2. Test Email Deliverability
Before you hit ‘send’ on your next big campaign, there’s a crucial step you shouldn’t skip—testing your email deliverability. Think of it as a dress rehearsal before the main event. It’s about making sure your emails are not only getting delivered but also landing right where you want them: in the inbox.
Now, you might be wondering how to do this without calling in the pros. The good news is, there are tools out there designed for just this purpose. One of the best free tools you can get your hands on is from Warmy.io. Yes, the same folks who can automate your email warm-up process also offer a nifty way to test your deliverability.
Using Warmy.io’s email deliverability test, you can get a clear picture of where your emails are landing—is it the inbox, spam folder, or are they just floating in the ether? This tool sends a series of test emails from your account to various email providers and then reports back on where those emails ended up.
But what do you do with these test results? Here’s a quick guide on interpreting them:
1. This test covers a wide range of email providers, including Gmail, G Suite, Outlook, MS 365, Yahoo, iCloud, Zoho, Zoho PRO, and SMTP.
2. After the test, users can view their deliverability score, which indicates the likelihood of their emails being delivered to the inbox. The higher the score, the better the deliverability.
3. The results show where messages landed (Inbox, Spam, or Unreceived) for each provider and whether the user’s domain is on any blacklists. Users can view detailed information about each checker, including the email address, landing spot, delivery time, sending IP, and SpamAssassin’s spam verdict.
4. Additionally, Warmy provides insights into IP and domain blacklists, sender authentication (SPF, DKIM, DMARC), and the option to share results or save them as a PDF. This comprehensive tool is designed to help users improve their email deliverability and maintain good email practices.
Tip #3. Verify Your Email List Regularly
Alright, let’s dive into something super important but often overlooked—keeping that email list of yours squeaky clean.
Why it matters
Over time, email lists can get cluttered with addresses that are no longer active, have been abandoned, or were incorrect to begin with. Sending emails to these addresses is like shouting into the void; you’re not going to get a response, and worse, it hurts your sender reputation. ISPs keep an eye on how many of your emails bounce back, and too many bounces? That’s a red flag that could land you in spam jail.
The clean-up crew
Regularly verifying your email list means checking that each address is valid, active, and ready to engage with your content. There are tools out there that can help you automate this process, scrubbing your list clean of any addresses that are likely to bounce.
By the numbers
According to Mailchimp, the average email bounce rate across all industries is 1.03%.
It’s important to note that email bounce rates can vary depending on the industry, the quality of the email list, and the email service provider used. A good email bounce rate is anything below 2%. If your bounce rate is between 2% and 5%, it’s a warning level, while above 5% is critical.
Tip #4. Implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
Alright, gear up because we’re diving into the techy side of email deliverability. I’m talking about the superhero trio in the email world: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These aren’t just fancy acronyms to throw around at parties; they’re your first line of defense in the battle against spam and phishing attacks. Let’s break them down:
SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
This is like setting a guest list for who can send emails on behalf of your domain. SPF helps prevent spammers from using your domain to send unauthorized emails by verifying sender IP addresses against a list that you publish in your DNS records. It’s like saying, “Hey, only these folks are allowed to send emails from my domain. Everyone else? Nope.”
Warmy invites you to experience our Free SPF Record Generator. Protect your domain and increase trust with ISPs by crafting the perfect SPF record in just a few clicks.
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)
DKIM adds a digital signature to your emails, proving they haven’t been tampered with en route to the inbox. Think of it as sealing your letters with a wax stamp; if the seal’s broken, the recipient knows something’s fishy. This signature is verified against a public key in your DNS records, ensuring the email genuinely comes from you.
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance)
DMARC takes SPF and DKIM and turns them up to eleven. It allows domain owners to specify how email receivers should handle emails that don’t pass SPF or DKIM checks. Plus, it provides reports on who’s sending emails from your domain, giving you insight into potential abuse.
We present to you our new Free DMARC Record Generator. Now you can easily create a secure DMARC record to safeguard your domain against spoofing and phishing threats.
Tip #5. Leverage double opt-in
Jumping into another game-changer for your email strategy: double opt-in. This isn’t just about playing hard to get with your subscribers; it’s about building a list that’s engaged, active, and actually wants to hear from you. Let’s dive into why doubling down on opt-in can be a game-changer.
The double-down approach
When someone signs up for your list, the double opt-in process sends them a confirmation email asking them to verify their subscription. It’s like asking, “Hey, are you sure you want to join our club?” This extra step does a couple of crucial things. First, it weeds out those typo-prone or fake email addresses that can clutter your list. Second, it ensures that your subscribers are genuinely interested in your content, which is a big win for engagement.
By the numbers
So, what’s the real impact of going double over single opt-in? Stats show that double opt-in lists tend to have open rates that are significantly higher than single opt-in lists. We’re talking about an increase of anywhere from 10% to 30%, depending on the industry and audience. That’s a huge boost in engagement, just by making sure your subscribers are truly on board.
Tip #6. Optimize your sending frequency
It’s all about hitting that sweet spot where your emails are anticipated, not dreaded. Let’s break down how to find your perfect sending rhythm and why it matters.
The balancing act
Finding the right sending frequency is crucial for keeping your audience engaged without overwhelming them. Send too many emails, and you’ll see your unsubscribe rates climb as fast as spam complaints. Send too few, and your audience engagement drops, along with your relevance. The key? Listen to your audience, test different frequencies, and keep an eye on your engagement metrics to find what works best for your list.
By the numbers
So, what’s the magic number? While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, studies and benchmarks suggest that for most industries, sending 2-3 emails per week hits the sweet spot for maximizing engagement without triggering spam filters or fatigue. Campaigns that adhere to this frequency tend to see higher open rates and better deliverability compared to those that overdo it or go radio silent.
Tip #7. Personalize your emails
Diving into the world of email marketing, personalization isn’t just a buzzword; it’s the secret sauce that can make or break your campaign’s success. It’s the difference between a “Hey, you!” shouted in a crowded room and a direct, “Hey, [Your Name],” that makes you turn your head.
Personalizing your emails goes beyond just slapping a first name in the subject line. It’s about crafting content that resonates with the recipient’s interests, behaviors, and needs. This level of customization not only makes your emails more relevant but also significantly boosts your open rates and overall deliverability.
And the numbers? They speak volumes. Statistics show that emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than those without. But it doesn’t stop there. Personalized email campaigns have also been shown to deliver 6x higher transaction rates, proving that a little personal touch can go a long way in driving engagement and conversions.
Tip #8. Use a recognizable sender name
A recognizable sender name not only helps in cutting through the clutter of a crowded inbox but also plays a significant role in improving your email deliverability. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are less likely to flag emails from a known and trusted sender as spam, ensuring your messages reach their intended destination. Moreover, recipients are more inclined to open emails when they immediately recognize who it’s from, reducing the risk of your email being marked as spam by the user.
The key to leveraging this is consistency. Whether you choose to use a personal name, a brand name, or a combination of both, ensuring that it’s consistently recognized by your audience is crucial.
Tip #9. Avoid spam trigger words
Ever felt like you’re tip-toeing around words when crafting an email, worried you’ll accidentally set off the spam alarm? Well, you’re not alone.
Navigating this can be tricky, but here’s the deal: certain words and phrases are red flags for spam filters. Words like “guarantee,” “risk-free,” “no strings attached,” and phrases that scream “You’re a winner!” or “Make money fast” can trigger the spam filters faster than you can say “inbox.”
But it’s not just the overtly scammy stuff. Even seemingly benign phrases like “Buy now” or “Click here” can raise eyebrows if used too frequently. The key is balance and context.
So, how do you keep your emails clean and deliverable? First off, getting familiar with the most common trigger words is a good start. There are plenty of resources out there that list these no-go words. A quick search for “email spam trigger words” will unearth comprehensive lists that you can check your content against.
But here’s a tip: don’t just rely on avoiding certain words. Focus on creating genuine, engaging content that speaks to your audience’s needs and interests. Use natural language and provide real value in your emails. Not only does this help you steer clear of spam filters, but it also fosters a stronger connection with your readers.
Spamlaws reports that spam accounts for 14.5 billion messages globally per day. In other words, spam makes up 45% of all emails. Some research companies estimate that spam email makes up an even greater portion of global emails, some 73% in fact.
Check your email for spam words in our free email template checker.
Tip #10. Check blacklists
Finding out your IP address or domain has been blacklisted can feel a bit like being the last to know you’ve got spinach in your teeth. It’s embarrassing, sure, but more importantly, it can seriously cramp your style when it comes to email deliverability. Here’s the lowdown on how to spot if you’ve made it onto the naughty list and, crucially, how to scrub off that mark of shame.
First things first: how do you even know if you’re blacklisted? It’s not like you get a formal invitation. Fortunately, there are tools out there designed for this very detective work. Websites like Warmy.io allow you to enter your domain or IP address and check it against multiple blacklists. Just running Free email deliverability test.
Each blacklist has its own process for removal, usually outlined on their website. Generally, you’ll need to prove that you’ve fixed the issue that got you listed in the first place.
In our blog we have articles on the topic of how to remove your individual entrepreneur from almost all blacklists.
Here’s a tip: prevention is better than cure. Keep an eye on your email practices to avoid getting blacklisted in the first place. The best way to avoid being blacklisted is to warm up your email before sending it using Warmy.io
Tip #11. Monitor your sender reputation
Think of your sender reputation as your email’s credit score.
Monitoring your sender reputation involves keeping tabs on a few key metrics: complaint rates, delivery rates, bounce rates, and spam trap hits. These indicators give ISPs (Internet Service Providers) the lowdown on whether you’re a trustworthy sender or a potential spammer.
So, what’s a good sender score? Scores are typically on a scale of 0 to 100, and the higher, the better. A score above 80 is generally considered good, indicating a strong reputation and high likelihood of your emails reaching the inbox. If you find yourself slipping below this threshold, it’s a signal to review your email practices and make adjustments.
Tip #12. Optimize email content for engagement
First up, know your audience like the back of your hand. This means going beyond demographics and diving into what makes them tick. Use segmentation to tailor your content, ensuring it resonates with different segments of your audience.
Subject lines are your foot in the door. They should intrigue, entice, and promise value.
Content is king, but relevance is its queen. Your email should provide value, whether it’s insightful information, a compelling offer, or a solution to a problem. Use clear, concise language and break up text with subheadings, bullet points, and images to make your email easily digestible. A strong call-to-action (CTA) is crucial; make it clear what you want the reader to do next, and make it easy for them to do it.
Now, let’s talk stats. There’s a direct correlation between engagement rates and deliverability. Studies show that actively engaging your subscribers can lead to a deliverability rate of over 90%, significantly higher than the average.
Tip #13. Register a subdomain and use it only for email activity
When you use a subdomain exclusively for email activity, you’re essentially compartmentalizing your digital presence. This means that any issues related to email deliverability—like spam complaints or bounces—get isolated to the subdomain, leaving your main domain’s reputation untarnished. It’s a bit like having a dedicated space for experiments; if something goes awry, the mess is contained.
But the benefits don’t stop at reputation management. A subdomain offers a fresh slate for building a strong sender reputation.
And the numbers back this up. Organizations that utilize a dedicated subdomain for their email marketing efforts often see a marked improvement in deliverability rates. It’s not uncommon for deliverability to jump by 10% to 20% once a subdomain is properly warmed up and established as a reputable sender.
Tip #14. Leveraging feedback loops for insightful email marketing adjustments
Navigating the waters of email marketing, feedback loops (FBLs) with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are akin to having a direct line to your audience’s thoughts on your emails.
Feedback loops are a bit like the comment cards of the digital email world. When you’re enrolled in an FBL with an ISP, you get notified if someone hits the dreaded “This is spam” button on one of your emails. This is invaluable because it gives you a direct insight into which emails might be rubbing your audience the wrong way. By monitoring these reports, you can identify patterns or specific content that’s leading to spam complaints, allowing you to make necessary adjustments to your content or list management practices.
Here’s a tip: make sure you have a process in place to handle the feedback you receive. This might include removing complainers from your list automatically or reviewing your content strategy if certain emails trigger higher complaint rates.
Ready to skyrocket your email deliverability rates and ensure your messages hit the inbox every time? The secret weapon is closer than you think: an email warm-up service Warmy.io.
It’s the smart, efficient way to safeguard your email strategy and drive meaningful results. Start today and transform your email deliverability from a challenge into your competitive edge.
How can I check if my email is likely to be marked as spam?
You can use email testing tools like Warmy.io’s deliverability test to see where your emails are landing (inbox, spam, or other folders). These tools simulate sending emails to various providers and give you feedback on deliverability issues.
What is a good sender score, and why does it matter?
A good sender score is typically above 80 on a scale of 0 to 100. It matters because it's an indicator of your reputation with ISPs. A higher sender score improves your chances of reaching the inbox, while a lower score may lead to your emails being filtered as spam.
How often should I clean my email list?
Regularly cleaning your email list, at least once every 3 to 6 months, is recommended. This process involves removing inactive subscribers, incorrect email addresses, and those who have unsubscribed to maintain a high-quality list and improve deliverability.
What impact does sending frequency have on email deliverability?
Sending frequency has a direct impact on email deliverability. Sending too many emails can lead to subscriber fatigue and increased spam complaints, while sending too few may decrease your visibility and engagement. Finding a balanced frequency that keeps subscribers engaged without overwhelming them is key.
How does a dedicated subdomain benefit email deliverability?
Using a dedicated subdomain for your email activities isolates your email marketing efforts from your main domain’s web traffic, protecting your main domain's reputation and allowing for better monitoring and management of your email sender reputation.