Best practices you can’t pretermit to improve email deliverability

December 22, 2016


The epic question: Are emails delivered to your subscribers’ inbox?

An email campaign is all relied on deliverability. What business if no email is delivered! Provided with pre-set filtered systems built by the mailbox and Internet service providers, ensuring high email deliverability right to the inbox is harder and to the primary box of Gmail is even harder.

I have seen a lot of accounts’ emails are not getting placed in the primary box and not even in the inbox, but straight into the junk or spam box, which help senders to get no attention of the customer.
In a long run, we at cmercury have been researching, experimenting, and adapting many metrics to responsibly place the email in the inbox. When it comes to email marketing, deliverability is a major factor in every campaign. Remember unless it’s a one-to-one conversation, primary or inbox deliverability hardly happens. And what all metrics should be taken in first place to make sure all your emails are placed in the inbox?

Before jumping into the technical phraseologies, let’s put the basics upfront in layman’s language so that even a beginner can find this write-up very helpful.

Imagine if your friend or relative comes into your house with or without prior notice, what would you do? You would definitely welcome him/her. Because you know him/her. This is what exactly happening in a one-to-one email conversation. The ISPs identifies that such conversations are personal and place them in the inbox.

And what would be the story if a burglar or a stranger makes into your house? You would definitely defend him/her, request other’s help or even call the police to toss that person away. This makes a user report spam or junk when he/she receives an email which he/she didn’t subscribe.

No one wants to risk privacy in the cyber world. Data is deeply personal and should be treated following all the rules or you can not only end up behind bars but also your emails can get reported as spams helping your platform bad reputation. Let’s disclose further best practices to improve email deliverability in the following:

Accurate Authentication

If you’re serious about email marketing, you ought to run world-class campaigns supported by accurate authentications which ensure robust infrastructure to email infrastructure. This just works like an unbreakable foundation of a building! Following are the prime authentications you need to think about then:

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)
Reverse DNS (Reverse Domain Name System)
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)
DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance)

Good list acquisition

Once you are done with uncompromised email infrastructure, you need to focus on collecting the right potentials leads. Sales guys may approach you with bulk database as sales happen in streets where you can bargain and get products of low quality. The story is same here. You are never going to get the right, useful data from this illegitimate database, but a great opportunity to build bad reputation from the baby stage.

And you know why you go to branded shops and pay high price for the products you like. In the same way, you need to work hard and invest few bucks on cultivating potential leads. Of course, it does take time but will power your campaigns in a long run.

Why double opt-in?

You should always promote double opt-in to drive in the budding customers. If not double opt-in, spammers can input the attributes of unrelated people, which will lead them to receive unwanted newsletters and stories, which will hopefully compel them to mark report spam against your emails.

So deploying double opt-in will make sure the subscriber receives a confirmation link to his/her email address given while signing up the subscription form. The email address will only be considered once the user clicks the confirmation link.

Dedicated IP Address

Dedicated IP allows you to push emails for that one particular account. With a dedicated IP, proper warm-up processes, and great infrastructure, anyone can build resistant reputation. Since dedicated IP allows you to send emails for a single account, you won’t be affected by the bad practices created by other accounts what probably can happen with a shared IP address.

Domain and Email Address

You can take three calls here, to go either with the corporate domain (your website URL, say, with any domain matching with your website URL (, or with both corporate domain and matching domain. The first two calls have their own merits and demerits, so the best practice is considered to go with the third call.

For instance, ISPs always love 2-way communication just like the man-woman relationship. If there is no 2-way love, the court sanctions divorce. In the same way, there is a strong intervention of ISPs. So pushing triggered emails, when visitors sign-up for newsletters or register an account, would be great to go with corporate domains ( Because 2-way communication happens here. However, in the scenario of promotional emails, it’s precisely one-way communication, and there you can’t try your luck pushing bulk emails using corporate domain.

Don’t get perplexed. Let’s make it simple. Building sending reputation is like schooling. Suppose, if you are planning to study to Post Graduation, you need to start from the basic KG levels, write exams, pass them, and move to the next class. In the case of triggered messages using a corporate domain, you don’t have to start from KG but can start straight from the 5th grade since ISPs like two-way communications. Still, you can’t take the risk to send bulk emails from corporate domain. But, you can push emails by moderately increasing the count day by day. Say, if 1000 is the number of emails pushed on day one, you can push 2000 on day 2 and so on completely relying on the reliability of the infrastructure your deliverability team has built. However, it will take time especially if you have millions of subscribers.

There you can try the second call, matching domain ( Though you need to start from the KG level, you can experiment by sending 50,000 emails at the first push and then even 100,000 at the second time. If anything happens in a bad way, it hurts only the matching secondary domain, not the corporate primary domain.

Keep subscribers engaged

Always make sure that your subscribers would like to engage with your emails. To keep them engaged, you need to do the following metrics:
– Catchy subject like to open the email.
– Creative design and content that could bring curiosity, and give information.
– Always try to keep minimal content in the emailer which can be highly clickable.
– Landing page, connects well the email content, that the subscriber is redirected to.
– Resend the same email with different subject line to non-openers.
– Focus on a single thread rather than multiple cases in an email.

Wrapping up

Email deliverability is like an abundant sea. There are no acknowledged sets of rules to be followed except few basic methods which are explained above. All the metrics taken and implemented around email deliverability is on certain logic. It’s like a war, any unpredictable issue can occur at any time. And only a highly proficient expert team like cmercury can handle such situation and find the right solution for that pitfall.

If you search on Google you may not find the exact solution for your hindrance. The above mentioned metrics are most of the basic measurements everyone ensures when they start or keep sending emails. However, there are a lot more metrics, and tricks, left in the trunk, which are only known to email deliverability experts, that can even fool and betray ISPs to get placed right in the inbox.

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