How to Improve Email Deliverability

improve email deliverability

With the increasing number of spam filters and strict email deliverability protocols, it’s crucial to understand how to optimize your email campaigns to ensure high deliverability rates. Keep reading and you will learn how to improve email deliverability, from building a clean and engaged email list to crafting compelling email content, and we will cover every aspect of maximizing your email reach.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Email Deliverability
  2. Building a High-Quality Email List
  3. Managing Bounce Rates and Unsubscribes
  4. Crafting Engaging Email Content
  5. Optimizing Email Design and Format
  6. Maintaining a Good Sender Reputation
  7. Implementing Email Authentication Protocols
  8. Avoiding Spam Triggers and Filters
  9. Monitoring and Analyzing Email Deliverability
  10. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Introduction to Email Deliverability

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to reach the recipient’s inbox without being filtered or blocked by spam filters. It is influenced by various factors, including the sender’s reputation, content quality, email authentication protocols, and recipient engagement. A high email deliverability rate ensures that your messages are seen and acted upon by your subscribers, leading to more successful email marketing campaigns.

Building a High-Quality Email List

One of the fundamental aspects of how to improve email deliverability is to build a high-quality email list. Here are some best practices to follow:

  • Use Double Opt-In: Implement a double opt-in process where subscribers confirm their email addresses to ensure only engaged users are added to your list.
  • Segment Your List: Divide your email list into smaller segments based on user preferences, demographics, or past interactions to send targeted and relevant content.
  • Regularly Clean Your List: Remove inactive subscribers, invalid email addresses, and spam trap emails regularly to maintain a healthy list.
  • Avoid Purchased Lists: Never buy email lists, as they often contain outdated or fake addresses, resulting in high bounce rates and poor deliverability.

Managing Bounce Rates and Unsubscribes

Bounce rates and unsubscribes can negatively impact your email deliverability. Here’s how you can manage them effectively:

  • Monitor Bounce Rates: Keep a close eye on bounce rates and categorize them into hard bounces (permanent delivery failures) and soft bounces (temporary delivery issues).
  • Remove Bounced Email Addresses: Regularly remove hard bounced email addresses from your list, as repeatedly sending emails to them can harm your sender reputation.
  • Make Unsubscribe Process Easy: Provide a clear and prominent unsubscribe link in your emails, allowing recipients to opt-out easily. This helps in reducing spam complaints and maintaining a positive sender reputation.

Crafting Engaging Email Content

Creating compelling and relevant email content is crucial for capturing your subscribers’ attention and driving engagement. Consider the following tips:

  • Personalize Your Emails: Use the recipient’s name and tailor the content to their interests or past interactions to make the email more personalized.
  • Write Engaging Subject Lines: Craft attention-grabbing subject lines that entice recipients to open your emails. Avoid deceptive or spammy subject lines.
  • Deliver Valuable Content: Provide valuable information, exclusive offers, or actionable insights in your emails to keep subscribers engaged and eager for more.
  • Include Clear Call-to-Actions: Clearly state the desired action you want subscribers to take, such as clicking a link, making a purchase, or signing up for an event.
  • Optimize for Mobile: Ensure that your email design and layout are mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of emails is opened on mobile devices.

Optimizing Email Design and Format

The design and format of your emails play a crucial role in email deliverability and engagement. Consider the following best practices:

  • Use a Clean and Professional Design: Avoid cluttered layouts and excessive use of images or graphics that can trigger spam filters or slow down email loading.
  • Balance Text and Images: Use a good mix of text and images in your emails to enhance readability and avoid triggering spam filters that flag image-heavy emails.
  • Optimize Email Width: Keep your email width between 600-800 pixels to ensure compatibility across different email clients and devices.
  • Include Alt Text for Images: Add descriptive alt text to your images to provide context and improve accessibility for subscribers who have images disabled.
  • Test Email Rendering: Test your emails across various email clients and devices to ensure proper rendering and functionality.

Maintaining a Good Sender Reputation

Your sender reputation has a significant impact on email deliverability. Here’s how to maintain a good sender reputation:

  • Authenticate Your Domain: Implement Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) to verify your email domain and build trust with ISPs.
  • Monitor Blacklists: Regularly check if your IP address or domain is blacklisted. If you find yourself on a blacklist, take immediate action to resolve any issues causing the listing.
  • Manage Complaints: Keep an eye on recipient complaints and unsubscribe requests. High complaint rates can negatively affect your sender reputation. Address any concerns promptly and ensure that recipients want to receive your emails.
  • Maintain Consistent Sending Patterns: Establish a consistent sending schedule and stick to it. Erratic sending patterns can raise red flags and affect deliverability.
  • Monitor Engagement Metrics: Track metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and subscriber engagement. ISPs consider high engagement as a positive signal for email deliverability.

Implementing Email Authentication Protocols

To enhance email deliverability, it’s crucial to implement email authentication protocols. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF): SPF allows the email recipient’s server to verify that incoming mail from your domain originates from an authorized source.
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM): DKIM adds a digital signature to your emails, ensuring that the email content remains intact and unaltered during transit.
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC): DMARC combines SPF and DKIM and provides instructions to the recipient’s server on how to handle emails that fail authentication.

An easy way to check if your current email deliverability configuration is set up correctly, are the free tools at MxToolbox.

Avoiding Spam Triggers and Filters

To avoid being flagged as spam, consider the following tips:

  • Avoid Spam Trigger Words: Refrain from using common spam trigger words and phrases in your email content. Words like “free,” “guaranteed,” or “act now” can raise red flags.
  • Don’t Overuse Symbols and Punctuation: Excessive use of symbols, exclamation marks, or capital letters can trigger spam filters. Use them sparingly and appropriately.
  • Provide Clear Unsubscribe Options: Ensure that your emails have a clear and easy-to-find unsubscribe link. This helps prevent recipients from marking your emails as spam instead of unsubscribing.
  • Test Emails Before Sending: Use email deliverability tools or services to test your emails for spam score and identify any potential issues before sending them out.

Monitoring and Analyzing Email Deliverability

Regularly monitor and analyze your email deliverability to identify areas for improvement. Here’s what you can do:

  • Track Key Metrics: Monitor open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and spam complaints to gauge the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
  • Use Email Analytics Tools: Utilize email analytics tools to gain insights into the performance of your emails, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions.
  • A/B Test Email Elements: Test different subject lines, email content, and design elements to see what resonates most with your audience to improve email deliverability.
  • Monitor Reputation and Feedback Loops: Stay informed about your sender reputation and sign up for feedback loops provided by ISPs to receive complaint notifications directly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Can I use purchased email lists for my campaigns?
    No, using purchased email lists is not recommended. It can harm your deliverability and sender reputation. It’s best to build your email list organically.
  2. How often should I clean my email list?
    It’s recommended to clean your email list at least once every three months to remove inactive subscribers and reduce bounce rates.
  3. Should I use emojis in my email subject lines?
    Emojis can add personality and catch the recipient’s attention, but use them sparingly. Test them to ensure they render correctly across different email clients.
  4. What is a good open rate for email campaigns?
    Open rates can vary depending on the industry and the quality of your list. On average, a 15-25% open rate is considered good.
  5. How can I prevent my emails from being marked as spam?
    Follow best practices, such as using authentication protocols, avoiding trigger words, and providing clear unsubscribe options. Regularly monitor your sender reputation and engage with your audience to maintain a positive relationship.


Maximizing email deliverability requires a combination of best practices, technical implementation, and continuous monitoring. Now that you have learned how to improve email deliverability in this guide, you can significantly improve email deliverability and increase the success of your email marketing campaigns. Remember to adapt and evolve your strategies as email deliverability standards evolve to ensure that your messages reach your intended audience.

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