5 Steps to Improve Email Deliverability

1 Mar
5 Steps to Improve Email Deliverability

So you want to improve your email deliverability, eh?

Of course, you do. 

After all, the more emails that land in your subscriber's inbox, the higher the chances you have of generating a consistent and reliable revenue channel. 

But how exactly do you do it? This blog post will outline five key steps to improve your email deliverability.

5 Way to Improve Your Email Marketing Deliverability

1. Make Sure Your Sender Reputation is on Point 

Email has gotten a lot more intelligent over the years. Back when it started hitting mainstream use, there weren’t blockers to keep spam, viruses, or unwanted salacious emails from hitting your inbox. 

If someone got your email, they could pretty much send whatever they wanted. 

Over time, that’s changed. Bots are now around to guard the gates of inboxes worldwide and ensure your sending domain has a well-built and established reputation before they trust you.. 

That’s why it’s important to look closely at your Sender Reputation. You can do everything right by putting your emails together and sending them at the right time, but if you have a poor reputation, you aren’t getting in that inbox. 

image of sender score rankings

You can use a tool like Sender Score to test what your score is right now.

  • If your score is over 80, you don’t need to fret. Just keep on keepin’ on the vibes you’re sending to keep a good reputation. 
  • If your score is between 70-80, then you’re doing okay, but there is something that will likely need your attention that needs fixing. 
  • If your score is under 70, you are in the red and need to start repairing your reputation. A lot of this post will cover some ways to do that, but this resource from Validity goes from A to Z on improving your standing.

Another option you could use is SpamScore, a tool to test your emails before sending them to ensure they’re in a good position to land in the inbox.  

Your sender reputation closely looks at the IP address your emails are sent from. That’s a big thing to know because if you’re using a shared server for your IP address and it doesn’t have a good reputation, that may affect you. 

The tool you choose to send emails has some impact, too. This is why it’s good to pick a platform with high standards for its clients, preferably one that doesn’t rely on third parties for sending. (*clears throat* Sendlane!)


2. Do the Work to Prime Your IP Address

Yep, more info about IP addresses is here. It’s important because it’s the basis of your reputation. But when you’re using a new IP, you need to do some warming up before you hit the ground running. 

Think of this as “courting” your subscribers. The bots that guard the door are much like the friends and family of your subscriber who will keep an eye on you to see if you’re worth having around. 

You'll get kicked to the curb if you send any of the wrong signals. But if you send all the right signals, then you’ll be received with open arms. 

To prime your new IP address — the basis of where your reputation stems from — here are some of the right and wrong signals to keep in mind: 

  • Be consistent with relevant content. Consistency is key in every relationship. If you want a good reputation, you must consistently show your good side with relevant content that suits your subscriber. ISP bots are watching. 
  • Send emails a minimum of 1-2 times a week.  Depending on your audience, there is wiggle room for more, but when you’re just getting started, you need to send good emails and a regular cadence to give something for the email bots to measure. 
  • Don’t send the exact same content through multiple sources. ISPs really hate this, and if they get wind of it, you can get all your IP addresses blocked at that drop of a hat.
  • Maintain good email marketing practices. Pursue high engagement, CRTs, and conversion through good practices like double opt-ins, personalization, email segments, tags, and A/B testing. That’s the jumping-off point, but staying the course for best practices only helps. 
  • Don't skip out on diving into data. You need to look at your data to understand what’s working. Have great engagement? Then you’re on the right track. Check campaign and automation engagement regularly to know how you’re doing. 

3. Use Double Opt-Ins (Like, Really)

I know, I know. Every time we read this, it’s natural for our eyes to roll. 

After all, getting someone on your email list is half the battle, so why would you ever want to give them the option of not wanting to be on your list after all your hard work? 

Again, the resistance is natural, but double opt-ins are vital for email deliverability. Why? 

One reason is that only some emails that subscribe to your list are valid email addresses. If you send emails that aren’t going to land in anything, it will send the signal that your email list isn’t very healthy and ding your email reputation. 

We definitely don’t want that. 

Another benefit of double opt-ins is that you help secure people who want to subscribe and make it to your list. Since they have to opt-in twice, it's like they are saying, “I really want to hear from you, don’t forget about me!”

example of a double opt-in confirmation email

Those are the folks you want on your list. They’re the ones who will open, click and purchase. 

Every email marketing tool has its own way of setting it up, but you can click here to learn how to turn on this feature in Sendlane.

4. Use Segmentation to Send Targeted, Personalized Campaigns

Does segmenting your email list actually help your deliverability? 

Most definitely. 

The reason why that’s the case is because segments personalize the experience and the content of the email to make them more engaging to each customer. 

Since they’re tailored to each person, they’re much more likely to open and click through the email, which signals that you have a good reputation. 

Not to mention, this drives up sales and helps turn your email into a predictable revenue stream.  

There are some basic segments every brand should have set up and running in the background: 

  • Location
  • Number of orders 
  • Average order value 


 5. Scrub Your List of Inactive Subs 

Sometimes, the love fades. And when that happens, some subscribers may stop engaging with your emails. 

When that happens, there are two steps you should take: 

  1. Trigger an email automation to win back these customers and get them engaging again, like this example from BeanGoods
example of a winback email example
  1. If there are ones who don’t re-engage after that campaign… scrub them from your list entirely
image of sendlane's automatic list hygiene

If you’re curious about creating a win-back/re-engagement campaign, our blog post here will outline examples and how to create a campaign for this purpose.

Since these contacts aren’t opening or clicking your emails, they aren’t helping you gain revenue and will hurt your sender reputation if you keep sending emails to them. 

With the re-engagement email campaign, you give them the opportunity to stay on your list. But if they don’t want to engage with you anymore, pulling them off your email list is the best thing you can do. 

Take action and get results

If you want better email deliverability, you’ll have to do the legwork to make it happen. These five steps are just the beginning of great email deliverability

Remember, your customers can only buy from you when your emails land in their inboxes! And the key factor in improving email deliverability is finding an ESP that upholds high standards for all its users. 

Sendlane has everything you need to do just that, including an in-house team of deliverability experts and their own sending infrastructure! Get started with your free 60-day trial

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