Our recent post on top tips for email marketing showed you how to get more of your emails to reach your subscribers’ inboxes, but that wasn’t the end of our coverage on this topic. There are also a few more technical tricks you can try to get your email deliverability to rise.
While these three methods might look scary, they’re actually fairly easy to implement. More importantly, they could give your email deliverability enough of a boost to score your business a few more paying customers.
Before You Start
You can optimize your email strategy all you like, but none of it will matter if the addresses you’re sending your messages to aren’t valid.
Every marketer collects an email address with a typo in it every so often, and there is nothing you can do to prevent people from giving you fake contact information on your landing pages.
Contact data quality issues like this affect 51% of businesses, and they will bring your email deliverability down if you let them.
Email quality verification eliminates these problems for you before they can tank your email deliverability rates. An initial cleanup lets you start off on the right foot, but remember that the data in email databases decays at an average rate of 22.5% per year; you’ll need to do this at least once a year going forward to keep your list in good standing.
If you think you’ll have trouble keeping on top of that, you should consider paying for email quality verification services. Doing this will make sure your list stays in peak condition for good email deliverability, so it’s more than worth the investment for most marketers.
Set the Stage From the Beginning
Once your list has been verified, you're ready to start optimizing your sender reputation behind the scenes. Here are the three additional tips marketers can use to get their email deliverability rates even higher.
1. Use DKIM and SPF
DKIM stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail, while SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework; both are common types of email authentication that can boost your email deliverability significantly.
DKIM places a unique signature in the header of each email that can be traced back to your specific IP, which involves creating and publishing domain records for each domain you send messages from.
SPF, on the other hand, is used to verify that messages that claim to be from your IP but are sent from different servers were originally sent by you. to do this, you need to add all the applications and email service providers that you use to send marketing emails to your SPF policy.
How does this help your email deliverability? DKIM proves to spam filters that you are who you say you are, while SPF proves that the email is being sent from a server you trust. Together, these two technologies work to build trust for you as a sender.
This is important because spoofing (sending emails that are created to look like they come from a trusted and authenticated source but aren’t actually from that source) is a major source of spam.
If you don’t use any form of email authentication to prove your messages are coming from a genuine source, many ISPs will assume that you might be spoofing and block your messages just in case. When that happens, your email deliverability goes down, so it’s up to you to prevent it.
2. Implement DMARC Checks
If you want the best possible email authentication protection for the sake of your email deliverability, you can use DMARC in addition to the two technologies listed above.
DMARC, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, uses DKIM and SPF checks to guard against spoofing, but also checks whether the visible ‘from’ line on a message is accurate. If someone is trying to fool people by putting your name or brand on their messages, this method will catch it.
DMARC is not considered an industry standard like DKIM and SPF are; only 20.3% of domains had implemented it in 2019.
However, that low adoption rate works in your favour for email deliverability purposes. Going out of your way to get the extra security DMARC provides makes you look good to ISPs and can bring up your email deliverability significantly.
3. Warm Up Your IP
This one only applies if you’re using a new or inactive IP to send emails, but it’s still worth mentioning for the huge impact it can have on your email deliverability.
When senders don’t have any current sending history, ISPs check the volume of emails they are sending out. If you send too many too fast, you might get flagged as a spammer.
The process of slowly ramping up your email volume to deal with this problem is called ‘warming up your IP.’ You can boil the important aspects of it down to just four main points:
- Send to a very low number of subscribers the first day, then add substantially to that number the next day, and so on.
- Start with welcome emails that make it clear that you respect your subscribers’ right to choose to receive your messages – that counts here as well.
- Send to roughly equal proportions of email addresses from different providers (like Gmail and Hotmail) in each batch.
- Get it all done within 30 days.
No set number of messages is guaranteed to be safe to send at any point during this process. You’ll need to use your own judgement and pay careful attention to any error messages you receive, which will tell you if you have exceeded any daily limits your provider has in place.
You should have no trouble getting to everyone in 30 days even if you have many thousands of email addresses on your list, so take your time and scale up gradually for the best results.
Better Email Deliverability is Just a Few Clicks Away
Email deliverability is an extremely important concern for marketers, and every little improvement you can make adds up.
Even if technical tune-ups like this aren’t your forte, it’s worth your while to try and figure them out.
Take things one step at a time, consult online guides if you need help, and remember: the wider the audience you can reach with your email marketing, the more revenue you stand to gain.
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