Email Deliverability Best Practices: Safe Ways to Land Your Emails Right in the Inbox

Email marketers around the world regularly track metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate to see if their efforts are paying off. But they often miss one of the most important metrics – email deliverability rate, which determines whether their emails actually get to the inbox.

Before you can work to improve engagement and conversion rates, your emails should first end up in the subscribers’ inbox. According to a reputable email marketing agency, one in five emails never reach their inbox. It is therefore important to monitor the email deliverability rate and take the appropriate measures to improve it.

Let us understand in detail what email deliverability is and the best practices for achieving higher email deliverability rates.

What is email deliverability?

Once you click on the send button, your email needs to go through a process before it reaches the subscriber. It has to deal with several filters defined by their ESP, such as spam filter, content and metadata filter, etc. Your email must be cleared of all these filters to successfully land in the subscribers’ inbox.

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver the email correctly to the inbox after going through the entire email delivery process. Emails intercepted by filters may disappear, bounce, or land in the spam or junk folder, reducing the deliverability rate.

What leads to email deliverability issues?

  • High bounce rates due to invalid email addresses
  • Increased number of complaints and spam rates
  • Low user engagement
  • Sending too many emails
  • Frequent switching between different ESPs
  • Bad reputation of domain and IP

Things to take care of to improve deliverability

  • Focus on improving your reputation as a sender

The problems mentioned above damage the reputation of the sender. A good reputation means that your servers consider your emails to be legitimate. And, a bad sender reputation sees your emails as irrelevant and junk. Mail servers measure sender reputation by tracking IP reputation and domain reputation.

IP reputation: Your ESPs and ISPs have a sending limit, and your IP reputation depends on the number of emails you send from a single IP address. When too many emails are sent quickly, the chances of your IP address being blacklisted or flagged as spam are greater, damaging your IP reputation. If you change the IP address, your IP reputation also changes and you have to build your credibility from scratch.

Domain reputation: Unlike IP reputation, your domain reputation is not lost when you change the IP address. It is therefore important to send your important emails (order updates, shipping details, etc.) and marketing emails (newsletters, promotional emails, etc.) from different domains and addresses. IP. This helps ensure that important emails get to the inbox even if your marketing emails get a bad rap.

To improve your sender reputation, avoid using multiple IP addresses and sending unsolicited email.

Email authentication protects your brand from malicious activity and ensures that your email reaches the inbox in its original form. This proves that the e-mail was sent by you and was not tampered with by anyone during the delivery. Email authentication includes the following protocols that are important for email deliverability.

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF): It fights identity theft by detecting if the email is from a real IP address and domain.
  • Mail identified by domain keys (DKIM): This proves the authenticity of the email by allowing the sender of the email to link their domain to their emails. DKIM works as a digital signature for emails.
  • Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Compliance (DMARC): It helps the email sender to save their domain from phishing scams and email spoofing.

If you need help authenticating email, our expert Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultants can help you get started.

To make sure your emails eliminate spam traps, you need to have a clean mailing list. Validate emails from your list and remove inactive and fake email addresses. Avoid buying lists and only include subscribers who have signed up for your list.

Segment your mailing lists based on various parameters like demographics, behavior, preferences, etc. will help you send highly targeted emails. When you send relevant emails that are valuable and sought after by subscribers, engagement improves.

Words like Free, 100%, Buy Now, Offer Expires, Urgent, etc. are spam trigger words that come across as manipulative and overly pushy and lead your emails to the recipient’s spam or junk folder. It is therefore important to pay attention to the words you use in your subject line and content.

  • Define a consistent sending frequency

Having a consistent frequency and schedule for sending emails will prevent your emails from being flagged by ESPs and ISPs. Segment your subscribers based on their level of engagement and identify your messaging goals to adjust your messaging cadence. Salesforce Marketing Cloud email specialists can help you set the right frequency for your email campaign.

If your subscribers aren’t interested in your emails, it’s a good idea to make it easy for them to unsubscribe. Highlight the unsubscribe link and remove unsubscribes from your mailing list.


According to a recent study, the average deliverability of all major service providers in March 2021 was 88.9%. Want to make sure your emails get delivered? Hire a Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultant to define the right strategy for you.
Author: Kevin George is Marketing Manager at Email Uplers, one of the fastest growing personalized email design and coding companies, and specializes in professional email template creation, conversion PSD to HTML emails and free HTML email templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breaths email marketing. He enjoys sharing his ideas and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.

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