We want our emails to be delivered to the inbox every time. There are a few changes you can make to your email practices to make sure your messages are delivered there, instead of the spam folder.

You can improve your email’s deliverability by doing a few simple things.

What Determines the Success or Failure of Email Deliverability

Let’s start by examining what determines email deliverability and what you should consider as a sender or online marketer:

Invalid addresses

If you are sending to a lot of dead addresses on your list, this will make receivers think that you have a list that you either bought or collected from somewhere (which could mean that you’re a spammer), or that you’re not managing your list correctly.


When a user clicks on the “this is spam” or “report it as spam” button, an automatic report is generated. This also happens when a user escalates the complaint or clicks on a similar reporting option.

Sending infrastructure

It takes into account the reputation of the sender, the reputation of the sending IP address, and authentication (SPF, DKIM, and rDNS records). Receivers often view a bad infrastructure as a sign that the sender is a spammer.

Domain and IP reputation

The reputation of an ISP is based on a scale of 0 to 100. The reputation of an IP address is heavily influenced by whether the IP address is dedicated or shared. The reputation of your IP address may be affected by the activities of other senders who are using the same IP address. Domain reputation is only determined by your own domain. If you’re sending both your transactional and marketing emails from the same domain, any negative feedback on your marketing emails will impact the deliverability of your transactional emails.

Email Authentication

Email authentication is a way to protect your brand. It includes three protocols: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. They prove that your brand’s email was sent by you and not altered by anyone during the sending process. If SPF, DKIM, or DMARC fail, your message will likely be sent to the spam folder, which can damage your email deliverability and sender reputation.

Sending consistency

Sending a consistent volume and frequency of emails from the same IP address each month is ideal. While spammers will often rotate the IP address they are sending from, they are not usually consistent in how often they send messages. If someone only sends large emails once a month or every few months, it could be a sign that they’re a spammer or that their server has been compromised.


Even though reputation scoring may make up for content that could be seen as “spammy”, you should still be concentrating on your email content as well. Having broken HTML code, a small text to image ratio, and links from blacklisted domains can negatively affect your ability to deliver emails.


It is what the recipients do to the email after they receive it that determines its value. Do they open it? Do they delete it? Do they mark it as spam? Do they add the sender to the whitelist? ISPs use the recipient’s actions to determine whether the sender is sending spam.

Spam rate

The amount of emails that are landing in spam folders out of the total amount of emails sent is the spam rate. The healthy spam rate should not exceed 0.1%.

Delivery errors

Some of your emails may not have been delivered because of errors. Different delivery errors can include transient errors, like a full mailbox, or permanent errors, like an email address that doesn’t exist.

The best way to determine what is causing email deliverability issues is to test the most important aspects of your email campaign, such as email content, server configuration, sending domain, and IP reputation.

Here are 7 best practices to improve email deliverability.

1. Get personal with a recognizable sender address

A lot of people think that the only thing that matters when it comes to open rates is the subject line. The truth is that people are more likely to open an email if they recognize the sender’s name.

The recipient is more likely to open an email if it includes a familiar name or brand. What are the emails from your best friend like? The next line can be blather, and you’ll read it. You’re more likely to open an email and read it if the subject line is blank and the next line is trivial.

Spam filters are trying to determine whether you are familiar with your subscribers. If you use your real name or a consistent brand name in your emails, your open rates will improve, your spam complaint rate will decrease, and email providers will send your emails to the inbox.

When sending an email, use a recognizable sender name and a real email address that people can reply to if they want. This will allow people to easily respond to your emails if they need to. Email addresses that use your real name and an authenticated domain name, such as name@yourdomain.com, have better deliverability rates.

Instead, use domains like yourcompany.com or yourname.com instead of gmail.com, yahoo.com, etc. This is ironic because Gmail and Yahoo are usually the ones blocking these types of emails.

You can make your life easier and avoid deliverability issues by setting up a default sender email address in your newsletter program. If you enable this setting, the same address will be added to every new newsletter you create.

This process proves your identity to email providers so they know the emails are coming from you.

The process of authenticating your domain is not very technical, but you need to know where you bought or registered your domain address (your URL). These are companies like GoDaddy, Bluehost and WordPress.

Once you know where your domain is registered, you’ll need to provide them with two important pieces of information that you can get from your newsletter account:

  1. The sender policy framework (SPF) allows your newsletter program to send email messages on your behalf, confirming that you are the owner of the domain’s email address.
  2. Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a security measure that helps ensure that the content in your newsletters has not been changed during the sending process.

If you have not yet verified your domain, you should do so as soon as possible. Where spammers attempt to take control of your domain to send unauthorized emails in an effort to fool recipients into thinking the email is from a legitimate source. Domain reputation would be damaged and email deliverability rates would decrease if this were to happen.

Verifying your domain only needs to be done once and then you are able to send emails from your address that has been verified.

Email service providers that use shared IP addresses allow email marketers who would not otherwise have a good sender reputation to still have good deliverability by sending from an IP address with a good reputation.

If you’re sending a lot of emails each week, you might benefit from having your own dedicated IP address. This IP address is specific to your account and can’t be changed by anyone else, which is beneficial because it means that your IP reputation can’t be affected by anyone except you.

It takes a lot of data to be sent and received to establish and maintain a good reputation on a new IP address. If you don’t keep up with your email sendings, your IP reputation will go down and you could end up on an IP blocklist.

We know you’re not a spammer. You know you’re not a spammer. There are some spam filters that cannot tell the difference between a quality email and a spam email.

Email providers work hard to protect their users from spam. One method that is used to detect spam is scanning emails for trigger words, phrases, and styles that are commonly used by spammers.

If you use any email practices that are associated with spam, your perfectly legitimate email may be flagged by a spam filter. If you avoid these red flags when emailing someone, you will be more likely to have your email delivered to them.

Deliverability testing ensures that your email marketing campaign will be successful by testing key components such as delivery rates and open rates. You have already done the work to verify your website domain and make sure your newsletter content is high quality. You should test your emails to make sure they are effective.

When sending email campaigns, there are many things to consider. Email deliverability testing tools can help ensure your emails are properly delivered.

How can email testing tools help?

Spam filter tests

Email testing tools can check to see if your emails would be caught by common spam filters, such as SpamAssassin. A spam filter test will tell you how likely it is that your email will be considered spam by a filter.

Content checks

Even if you proofread your newsletter multiple times, there might be common phrases that will trigger a spam filter. Email testing tools can help you identify these phrases. After you finish writing your newsletter, go through it and flag any words or phrases that might be offensive. Once you have all the offensive words and phrases flagged, remove them from the newsletter before sending it out.

Inbox placement

Email testing can help you improve your marketing emails by giving you feedback on where they are landing. If your email ends up in the spam folder, you’ll have a chance to improve your email deliverability before sending the campaign to your subscribers.

Links and images validation

Email testing tools can check every link and image in your campaign’s content for broken paths, missing information, or inappropriate language in the file name. All of which would otherwise trigger a spam filter.

We have been trying to make email providers happy, but what really matters is making subscribers happy. It’s time to start focusing on writing emails people will actually care about.

Email providers use protective measures to keep users safe from spam and other malicious content. The better you make your subscribers feel, the more email providers will appreciate you.

How do email providers know that you are making your subscribers happy?

Email providers track whether subscribers are opening and clicking on links in newsletters to assess whether they are happy with the content. The interactions you have with your subscribers can be either positive or negative and will depend on what actions they take.

Positive actions from your subscribers include:

  • Opening your newsletters
  • Adding your (sender) email address to their address book
  • Replying to your newsletters
  • Forwarding your newsletters

Use segmentation to encourage positive actions

You can create segments of your subscribers based on their activity and other information you have about them. This will allow you to better target your content to specific groups. After creating your campaign, you can target it to a specific group of people that are more likely to take positive actions. Learn more about segmentation here.

There are several things you can do to improve your email metrics, like encouraging readers to reply or share your emails, or making sure your sender address is saved in their address book. You can also ask readers to move your newsletter out of their spam folder if it’s ended up there.

Negative actions from your subscribers include:

  • Not opening your newsletters at all
  • Deleting your newsletters before opening
  • Marking your newsletters as spam

. So how do you prevent these negative actions? Follow through on your original promise. Continue to provide the value that you promised your subscribers from the beginning.

Get your timing right

Inboxes are always crowded. If you want to maximize your open rates, you need to find the right time to land in your subscribers’ inboxes.

If you don’t want your bounce rate to get too high, you need to remove the invalid email addresses from your contact list.

An email that can’t be delivered and is sent back to the original sender is called a “bounced” email. A soft bounce happens when an email is returned because of a temporary issue with the recipient’s email server. A hard bounce happens when an email is returned because the recipient’s email address is invalid.

Bouncing, especially hard bouncing caused by invalid emails, harms your sender reputation and the likelihood of future newsletters being delivered. This means that a high percentage of the email addresses on your list are invalid.

To clean your list of invalid emails, you can use a verifier tool to check each address on your list. There are some steps you can take during your sign-up process to prevent future invalid emails from being added to your list.

What are your options for cleaning your subscriber list?

Identify and remove invalid emails

The best way to get rid of invalid emails is to use email validation tools. The validation technology will help you to clean your list by identifying any invalid email addresses that you can then remove. If you do this one thing, it will reduce your bounce rate by 98% and ensure that your newsletters are getting delivered to the inbox.

Validate your list when migrating from another email service

This is a great opportunity to test your list to see if it is effective. You should use a validation tool to check your subscribers before sending your first newsletter.

Validation tools can also help you to organize your email list. They can identify which emails might be spam traps, which ones contain typos and which ones have full mailboxes.

Having this information allows you to manage your list of subscribers by preventing bounced emails.

Prevent future invalid emails

Purchasing a list is the worst thing you can do If you add spam traps to your subscriber list, you will probably end up ruining it. It’s not worth it!

The best way to avoid invalid email addresses is to add double opt-in and/or reCAPTCHA features to your sign-up process.

They must click a link in that email to confirm that they want to be on your list. When you use double opt-in to get new subscribers for your email list, they will confirm their subscription by clicking a link in a confirmation email after they sign up. Your subscription will not be added to the list until it is confirmed by a real person. This protects email addresses that were submitted with typos, from bot attacks that submit fake email addresses, and from adding spam traps.