Email Deliverability Best Practices

In today’s digital landscape, email marketing has become a crucial tool for businesses to connect with their audience and drive engagement.

However, simply sending out emails is not enough.

Ensuring that your emails reach the intended recipients’ inboxes and are not flagged as spam is vital for the success of your email campaigns.

This is where email deliverability comes into play.

In this article, we will explore the 8 best practices that can help you achieve optimal email deliverability, allowing your messages to effectively reach your target audience.


What Is Email Deliverability?

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to reach its intended destination, specifically the recipient’s inbox.

It goes beyond simply hitting the send button; it involves various factors that influence whether your emails successfully land in the inbox or get filtered into spam folders.

Achieving high email deliverability rates is crucial for the success of your email marketing efforts, as it ensures that your messages are seen and engaged with by your audience.


1. Sender Reputation and Authentication

Your sender’s reputation plays a pivotal role in determining your email deliverability. Internet service providers (ISPs) evaluate the reputation of the sender before deciding whether to deliver an email to the recipient’s inbox or classify it as spam.

To build and maintain a positive sender reputation, it is important to follow these best practices:

  • Authenticate your emails using Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC).
  • These authentication protocols verify that your emails are legitimately sent from your domain, boosting your credibility.
  • Regularly monitor your sender reputation by keeping an eye on bounce rates, spam complaints, and spam trap hits. Address any issues promptly to maintain a positive reputation.


2. List Quality and Hygiene

Maintaining a clean and high-quality email list is essential for good deliverability. Here are some best practices to ensure list quality and hygiene:

  • Build your email list organically by implementing double opt-in processes. This ensures that recipients explicitly confirm their interest in receiving your emails, reducing the chances of spam complaints and inactive subscribers.
  • Regularly clean your email list by removing inactive subscribers and updating invalid email addresses. This improves list quality and helps avoid sending emails to non-existent or disengaged recipients.


3. Content and Design Best Practices

The content and design of your emails play a vital role in email deliverability.

Follow these practices to enhance deliverability and engagement:

  • Create relevant and personalized email content that resonates with your audience. Provide valuable information, promotions, or solutions to their pain points.
  • Optimize your email designs for mobile devices to ensure a seamless experience for mobile users. Responsive email design ensures that your emails are easily readable and visually appealing across different screen sizes.


4. Avoiding Spam Filters

Spam filters are designed to protect users from unwanted and potentially harmful emails.

To avoid getting filtered as spam, consider the following best practices:

  • Avoid using spam-triggering words or phrases in your email subject lines and content. These include phrases like “free,” “limited time offer,” or excessive use of exclamation marks.
  • Strike a good balance between text and images in your emails. Overly image-heavy emails can trigger spam filters, so ensure that your emails contain enough text to provide context.


5. Testing and Optimization

Testing and optimizing your emails can significantly improve your deliverability rates.

Consider the following practices:

  • Implement A/B testing to experiment with different subject lines, sender names, and email elements. Analyze the results to determine which variations perform better and optimize your email performance accordingly.
  • Test your emails across different devices, email clients, and screen sizes to ensure consistent rendering and optimal user experience.


6. Monitoring and Metrics

Monitoring email deliverability metrics is crucial for understanding the performance of your email campaigns.

Here are some key metrics to track:

Deliverability Rate:

Measure the percentage of successfully delivered emails out of the total sent. A high deliverability rate indicates effective email delivery.

Bounce Rate:

Monitor the rate of bounced emails, which occur when an email fails to reach the recipient’s inbox. High bounce rates can negatively impact deliverability.

Spam Complaint Rate:

Keep track of the number of recipients who mark your emails as spam. Minimizing spam complaints is essential for maintaining a positive sender reputation.

Consider utilizing email deliverability monitoring tools and platforms that provide insights into these metrics and help you identify and address any deliverability issues promptly.


7. ISP Relations and Whitelisting

Establishing good relationships with ISPs can significantly improve your email deliverability.

Consider the following practices:

  • Engage with ISPs by reaching out to their postmaster or abuse desk. Introduce yourself, provide contact information, and express your commitment to following best practices.
  • Request whitelisting for your email domain and IP address. Whitelisting is the process of gaining approval from ISPs to ensure that your emails bypass spam filters and are delivered directly to recipients’ inboxes.


8. Deliverability Analytics and Reporting

Tracking and analyzing email deliverability performance is crucial for identifying areas of improvement and optimizing your campaigns.

Here are some key aspects of deliverability analytics and reporting:

Email Delivery Rate

Measure the percentage of emails successfully delivered to recipients’ inboxes. A high delivery rate indicates strong deliverability.


Bounce Rate Analysis

Monitor bounce rates to identify any issues with email addresses that are invalid or non-existent. Categorize bounces as hard bounces (permanent failures) or soft bounces (temporary issues) to take appropriate actions.


Spam Complaint Monitoring

Keep track of the number of recipients who mark your emails as spam. High spam complaint rates can harm your sender’s reputation and deliverability. Actively respond to spam complaints and investigate the root causes.


Inbox Placement Monitoring

Use deliverability tools or services to monitor your inbox placement rates across different ISPs. Identify any deliverability challenges and take corrective measures to improve your email placement.


Reporting and Analysis

Generate regular reports to gain insights into email deliverability performance, trends, and patterns. Analyze data to identify areas of improvement, such as specific email segments or campaigns that exhibit lower deliverability rates.

By leveraging deliverability analytics and reporting, you can make data-driven decisions, refine your email marketing strategies, and continually enhance your email deliverability.



Optimizing email deliverability is a critical aspect of running successful email marketing campaigns.

By implementing these best practices, including maintaining a positive sender reputation, focusing on list quality and hygiene, crafting engaging content, avoiding spam filters, testing and optimizing emails, monitoring metrics, and establishing good relationships with ISPs, you can significantly enhance your email deliverability and achieve better campaign results.

Remember, email deliverability is an ongoing process that requires continuous monitoring, adaptation, and adherence to industry best practices.

By following these guidelines and staying vigilant, you can ensure that your emails reach your audience effectively and maximize the success of your email marketing efforts.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why is email deliverability important for my business?

Email deliverability is vital for the success of your email marketing campaigns. It determines whether your emails reach your audience’s inboxes or get filtered as spam.

Improved deliverability leads to higher engagement, increased conversions, and better overall campaign performance.


How can I improve my email sender reputation?

To improve your sender reputation, focus on maintaining a clean and engaged email list, authenticate your emails using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, monitor your sender reputation metrics, and promptly address any issues that may negatively impact your reputation.


What are some common spam triggers to avoid in email content?

Common spam triggers to avoid include excessive use of exclamation marks, using all-caps in subject lines, using spam-triggering words like “free” or “guaranteed,” and using deceptive or misleading content.

It’s important to strike a balance between persuasive language and avoiding spam filters.


How often should I clean my email list?

Regular list cleaning is essential to maintain list hygiene. Aim to clean your email list at least every three to six months to remove inactive subscribers, update invalid email addresses, and ensure the quality of your list.


Which metrics should I track to monitor email deliverability?

Key metrics to track for email deliverability include deliverability rate, bounce rate, spam complaint rate, and inbox placement rate.

Monitoring these metrics provides valuable insights into the performance of your email campaigns and helps identify areas for improvement.


Last Updated on May 24, 2023 by Derren Blio