11 Tips On How To Maximize Your Email Delivery Rate

12 min read
Updated: Sep 23, 2019

Email marketing is undoubtedly an effective method to increase traffic, convert leads, and get in touch with clients. But the email sequences you send are not effective if they don’t even arrive in the inbox of your recipients.

Studies show that only 79% of emails are delivered. Let’s face the fact: 21% of subscribers left hanging is quite a lot that makes it important for every brand to improve their email deliverability.

We’ve compiled 11 tips on how to maximize your email delivery rate.

Tip 1. Take care of your sender’s and IP reputation

A crucial element in measuring the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign is your sender’s and IP reputation. This data has an influence on whether your email will get delivered or get flagged as spam irrespective of the hard work you might have invested in your email marketing campaign. This makes it important to regularly check your sender’s and IP reputation.

Their importance cannot be overemphasized so we’ve decided to highlight a few of them below.

Checking your sender’s reputation is very important before launching every email marketing campaign. However, emails sent from email addresses with low sender’s reputation face a high chance of being redirected into the spam folder. This will, therefore, have limitations on your email marketing campaigns once your emails don’t get into the inbox.

Discovering your sender’s IP reputation will also help you take the required steps for improvement. For instance, if your sender’s reputation falls above 90, then, there’s nothing to worry about. If it is between 70 and 90, there is not too bad but you should implement a strategy to be put in place as soon as possible. Finally, you should know there is a serious issue if your sender’s reputation falls below 70. 

We’ve collected a few tips that will help you improve the sender’s reputation if you notice it going down. They are:

  • Send email campaigns from a dedicated IP address
  • Create additional subdomains for email marketing purposes
  • Stick to the ESP sending limits
  • Work on your email copy and improve your strategy
  • Regularly check if you are on the blacklist
  • If you notice your reputation going down, stop sending large email campaigns and work on the reputation. Start sending single emails to people who will 100% open your messages (let’s say, your friends), and day by day, increase the number of recipients until the reputation is Ok and you can safely send emails to a large number of people.

Tip 2. Keep your list of recipients up-to-date

Sending out multiple emails to invalid email addresses will surely ramp up the bounce rate and adversely affect your sender’s credibility. The bounces happen when there are too many sent emails that do not reach the recipients because the email address is invalid. Ensure to employ an email checker that will clear out the invalid emails from your list. Also, many of these email verification services can help you detect typos, typical errors, and catchall email addresses.

Cutting out the dead weight available in your email list is beneficial to your email campaign. Additionally, to avoid a high bounce rate and increase user engagements, follow the steps provided below.

1. Make sure your list is built in compliance with industry standards and best practices because ESPs monitor the effect and the level of engagement of your email campaigns and any complaint or bad sent can adversely affect the deliverability of future emails.

2. Be cautious when engaging a verified list that you haven’t contacted in a while, probably more than a few months. Check your list of recipients because it might happen that the person has changed the email address and the one you have on your list is of no value anymore.  

3. Utilize an email verifier regularly. Especially in case you buy a list of recipients. You cannot be 100% sure of its quality.

4. Even if you collect the list of email addresses on your own (for example, on your blog or with the help of an email hunter), you don’t know if the emails are correct either. So check, check, and check. 

Tip 3. Send only relevant emails

Always ensure that your email campaigns are beneficial and relevant to your recipients. If your subscribers are expecting offers from the latest movie blockbusters and you are sending them laptop offers, there’s a high chance they might unsubscribe or even worse, mark your email as spam. 

Even if we talk about the leads you are going to reach out to. Learn what they are interested in and which topics and offers might be of great interest to them, think them over, decide if you have something to provide to them, and only then add those people to your leads’ lists. Otherwise, find other people who will find your messages useful. There are 7 billion people on the Earth, you will surely find someone who will be interested in your offer!

Sending irrelevant emails will afterward negatively affect your sender’s reputation and make it difficult for the emails to get delivered. Have a look at this email I’ve received recently. It doesn’t look like something truly relevant and valuable. 

Tip 4. Check the quality of the emails

The quality of your email also influences email deliverability. The size of your email plays an important role in whether your email will arrive in the inbox on the one hand and the way it affects the recipients when they look through it on the other hand.

To make sure your emails get delivered to the recipients’ inboxes, always ensure that they are clear, short, and straight to the point. Also, to avoid deliverability issues, ensure to always remove irrelevant styles, spaces, and comments.

Tip 5. Be patient on attachments

Several reports indicate that the email size should be within the limits of 50 to 70KB. Another report, Responsys, suggests that the size of emails should be limited to 125KB. As a rule, emails that exceed 110kB fail various spam filters checks. Studies also show that large email size that does not have any supporting text usually raises a red flag because they are usually used by spammers. 

Therefore, try to always limit the use of images or external attachments that might increase the email size and affect load time. Moreover, there are chances that emails with slow load time will get deleted or moved to spam immediately. 

Keep in mind that emails less than 100KB are always considered the safest. You can also opt for *.png image files because they allow you to better optimize your image files to become lighter and retain the same quality. Then, always remember not to send emails with a single image absent of any text. It has a high chance of landing in the spam folder.

Conclusively, huge attachments are always considered as spam or potentially harmful by most ESPs so always make sure each of your attachments does not exceed 2MB and the total size does not go beyond 10MB.

Note: every email sending provider has its own limitations. So first of all, check them and choose the most suitable for you.  

Always consider the possibility of your email being opened on a mobile device. And by the way, not all the mobile clients open pics by default. In this case, if using pictures is inevitable, add the fallback text. 

Anyway, it is recommended to stay away from attachments at all as the heavier the email, the higher the chances of being reported to spam. So what can you do in this situation? Use links to direct users to the relevant landing page or a downloadable freebie. 

Tip 6. Less formatting

To get effective email deliverability outcomes, have a positive influence on your subscribers, and achieve your marketing goals, select the best formatting.

Plain text emails have many benefits for sales letters, correspondence, and updates. They also work on all devices including phones and have faster load time. 

But if you opt for HTML emails, always include a plain text version of your email to help subscribers with slow internet access improve the email accessibility. Litmus indicated that HTML emails are a warning sign to spam filters and a regular spammer would not add a plain text version of their email.

Also, ensure that your plain text email doesn’t burst with colors and fonts. Firstly, it looks suspicious to the ESP. Secondly, such emails are not credible and look like spam, so the recipients are likely to mark such messages respectively. 

Tip 7. Do not use spam words in the subject line

The first thing your subscribers see before opening your email is the subject line. Most ESPs filter emails depending on their subject lines. The filtering is pretty easy, the filters detect spammy words in the subject line. A very simple method of avoiding spam filters is by a proper choosing the words that will be used. Trigger words are usually the root because of issues that can increase the possibility of your email being caught by spam traps. 

First of all, avoid using spam words like help, reminder, money, free, etc. Consult a list of spammy words that you can refer to when writing the next subject line to ensure that it doesn’t contain anything forbidden. Secondly, do not include lots of special symbols, ignore the CAPS button on your keyboard, and do not overuse emojis.

Find a subtle way to present your products and services to your customers that will meet their demands without raising questions, get reported as spam or being sent to the spam folder by the ESP.

Tip 8. Insert just one CTA link

It doesn’t matter which goal of the campaign you have: there should always be a CTA, a button or a link that will lead the recipients to the desired action. 

There’s a golden rule: do not insert too many links, one is enough. Firstly, lots of links look suspicious to the ESPs. So the filters can activate and they will report spam. Secondly, one link will drive the recipients to the action you expect them to perform and other CTAs won’t distract them from the main goal. Additionally, there is always a good chance that subscribers will consider email copies filled with links as spam (just as the ESP).

Using your email campaign to drive traffic to a particular page is a good practice but always ensure that you have not more than one plainly described CTA in your email.

Tip 9. Personalize your emails

Adding personalization in your email copy will help you develop a lasting personal relationship with your recipients and likewise increase the engagement rate by 22.2%. 

Include personalization variables in both the subject lines and email copies. One of the reasons is the following: if you send emails to a great number of recipients and all the emails look the same (because there’s no personalization at all), your emails are considered as bulk and they will be marked as spam. But if you customize emails with personal details on every recipient, all of them will look different and safe. 

Tip 10. Segment the list of recipients

It is very important to send relevant content to your recipients for effective email deliverability but this is usually challenging for huge brands with a massive email list.

The way out is to segment your mailing list using common demands and interests. Surely, you should develop different email sequences for those fascinated about electronics and those who are only interested in fashionable wears.

As previously stated, there’s a connection between email personalization and its deliverability. And segmentation is just the thing to help you make every email sequence highly personalized.

The truth is that people are usually less fascinated about bulk emails but they are quite interested in personalized emails that meet their demands and speak to their needs. 

Parameters that can be used to customize your email list for segmentation can depend on:

  • Location
  • Demographic
  • Previous purchase
  • Location in the sales funnel
  • Challenges and pain points
  • Points that influence their decision-making 

Although this technique is time-consuming compared to sending bulk emails, it is far more effective for increasing the level of engagement and consequently improve email deliverability.

Tip 11. Stick to the sending frequency

Having a certain level of consistency when sending your emails is vital. This lets your email avoid being sent to the spam folder when they become rare or start bombarding the inbox of your recipients.

You need to find a balance for sending your email copies because sending them too often will influence the recipients. And believe me, they will hardly be glad to frequent emails. Just as they can forget who you are if your emails are too rare. 

Study the target market and the researches conducted in your niche. This data will help you in the first steps of email marketing. 

Later, experiment on the most effective email frequency for your audience to find the happy medium. You can try out several frequencies for a few months and pay attention to all the metrics (the delivery, open, click rates) and the response they generate. They will help you modify your own frequency and stick to it.

Final thoughts

Most marketers get overwhelmed with several email strategies that they forget the crucial aspect of making sure their email arrives safely into the inbox. It is therefore important to curate emails in a way that will help them avoid spam filters from most email providers. Considering the low percentage of emails that actually reach their targeted audience, it is obvious that marketers need to:

  • Perform a lot of work and ensure to always check and improve their sender’s IP reputation 
  • Verify their recipients’ list to reduce bounce rates
  • Send only the emails their subscribers need
  • Check the quality of their email copy
  • Not attach too many files 
  • Reduce text formatting and always include a plain text version of their email
  • Avoid spammy subject lines
  • Reduce the number of links
  • Customize and segment their recipients’ list and have a stable sending frequency.

Sophia Rodreguaze


Sophia is the contributing editor at noeticforce.com. She writes about anything and everything related to technology.

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