10 Practical Steps to Improve Your Email Deliverability

Avatar for Fernanda Moura Fernanda Moura
Avatar for Fernanda Moura Fernanda Moura

June 20, 2022

5 min read

10 Practical Steps to Improve Your Email Deliverability

Having a good email deliverability rate is crucial to your marketing campaign. After all, it does not matter how well-written and produced your email marketing campaign is if it is not reaching your audience’s inbox. According to Return Path, 15% of emails still fail to reach the inbox.

To better understand why that happens, it is important to understand the email path. At first, every email that is sent is delivered to your recipient’s Email Service Provider (ESP), then after going through their spam filters, the email finally gets to the most wanted destination, your customer’s inbox. And this is email deliverability.

How to Improve Your Email Deliverability?

Thankfully, many practices can help you to improve your email deliverability and therefore your Email Marketing ROI. We put together 10 practical steps that will be handy on this journey!

1. Take care of your domain’s reputation

Your domain reputation can directly impact your email deliverability. If your domain reputation is low, your emails are at a higher risk of being classified as spam and never reaching the inbox. That is why is essential to identify and fix any issues related to your domain reputation if you want to have a better deliverability score, such as email content, authentication, and IP address monitoring. And we will talk about all that in the next topics.

2. Free Domain x Spam Assassin

Speaking of the domain… A generic free domain email address such as Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, etc. is most likely to be detected as suspicious by Spam Assassin. That is because using the personal email address or using this free webmail often means that the sender is trying to hide his identity to send mass email messages. So, to avoid that, consider sending your campaign from a domain that contains the name of your website.

3. High standards for more deliverability

If you own a domain, you know that SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) facilitates the transmission and delivery of your messages. However, the SMTP is limited to only delivering the mail, not managing, or checking if someone is sending a message on your behalf without permission. That’s why many email policies and protocols - such as DKIM, FPS, and DMARC – are currently used worldwide to prevent fraudulent practices. On this topic, we’re going to talk about those standards and how they can affect your email deliverability.

By configuring a DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), you sign the message through cryptographic authentication, protecting your email from being altered on its way by hackers, spammers, etc. This step is crucial to validate and ensure your identity as a sender. This process is done by creating two keys, one of them will be private and saved on your sending SMTP server, while the other one will be a public key saved in the Domain Name System (DNS).

Another important way to protect your domain name reputation is through Sender Policy Framework (SPF). This protocol is used by domain owners to prevent spoofing – techniques that aim to mislead users into thinking that a message came from a person or company they either know or trust to steal their data. This is how it works: you define which IPs are allowed to send your emails by configuring your SPF as a text record inside the DNS server your domain uses.

Finally, we have the DMARC record, or Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance, which is a combination of DKIM and SPF standards and reports on its activities. This is an extra security layer you can add to your DNS zone to generate reports when a message does not pass the DKIM and SPF authentication methods as well as your domain sending activity. Then you have the option to quarantine, reject or report this message.

4. Avoid text in images

Some Anti-spam techniques can identify emails with images containing a lot of text or just big images as being fraudulent and can automatically block those emails. To avoid being sent straight to spam for this, try to limit the texts on images. According to Outfunnel, if your email content is more than 50% images, it can trigger spam filters. Same story if your images are too big. Aim for at least 60-70% text to 30-40% images.


Uppercase letters and exclamation marks can catch our attention, right? However, that does not mean that if you send your email campaign using uppercase text in the subject, you will have better email deliverability, this could even cause the opposite effect. That is because this practice is often related to spam or fraudulent messages by creating an unnecessary sense of urgency. So, to avoid being trapped and blocked from these filters, avoid using only uppercase letters and a lot of exclamation marks in the subject, body, and links of your email campaign.

6. Avoid being Blacklisted

A blacklist works as a spam filter used by internet service providers and anti-spam systems that identify in real-time IP addresses or domains that are recognized for having spammy behavior. Organizations like Internet Service Providers avoid spam from coming into their systems using Blacklists. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent being on that list and instead increase your chances of reaching your audience’s inbox. By following all the tips on this post, you will already be ahead far from being blacklisted.

7. Filter your audience

There are many ways to gather the contacts for your email campaign, still, to protect your domain reputation and avoid hurting your email deliverability score, you must consider building a permission-based list where your recipients have explicitly opted-in to receive your emails, instead of scraping or buying lists, for instance. Also, you want to keep on your list those who have higher chances of engagement with your emails. You can hurt your deliverability rates by being automatically blocked by the user that simply is not interested in your content. You can avoid that simply by adding an unsubscribing button.

8. Implement Real-Time Email Verification on your Subscription Forms

When you manually enter the email addresses into your database, you are most likely to make typos and add an invalid email address to your list. By adding a Real-Time Email Verification on your Subscription Forms you will automatically prevent invalid email addresses from ever being submitted to your list.

9. Keep your list up to date

Lists decay over time - the natural decay rate is 2% a month. So, clean your email lists regularly. Which you can easily do by using an email checker, like Emailable.

10. Keep track of your Email Deliverability’s health

If you don’t know exactly which issue you are facing, you might need help to diagnose your email deliverability health. Well, luckily you can get the help you need with Deliverability by Emailable, a solution that provides you reports with insights about your inbox placement and Blacklist Monitor. Emailable offers you a free 14-day trial of their Deliverability tool after you get yourself logged in for the first time.

Wrapping it up

Being aware of what you can fix to transform your email deliverability rates and keep track of these changes will protect your domain reputation and protect it from fraud attacks, as well as your audience’s data, and, therefore, improve your so dreamt Deliverability.

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