Blog post title

Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

Digital marketers and small business owners, like you, know that email is one of the most powerful tools to sell online.


However, your email marketing efforts will be wasted if what you send never lands in an inbox.


The good news is that, with this handy guide, you can avoid the risks and improve your deliverability in no time.

1. What is email deliverability?

Deliverability refers to how many of the emails you send are actually delivered into the inboxes of your leads.


Email delivery is a common key performance indicator (KPI) that you can track to measure the success of your automated email campaigns.

1.1. How do you measure deliverability?

The easiest way to measure your email deliverability statistics (and any other email marketing metrics) is to use email marketing services (EMS), like systeme.io.


However, we know that not all EMS deliver advanced and easy-to-read analytics as we do.


Here’s a handy infographic to help you calculate your email deliverability:

measure deliverability

Calculating and monitoring your delivery rate is arguably one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy.

1.2. Why is it so important?

The ultimate goal of email deliverability is to get good inbox placement.


So while email delivery rates are important, they need to be combined with your spam rates before you measure their success.


Spam complaints will only damage your deliverability and sender reputation — which could harm your relationship with your audience overall.


Let’s get into some of the other common marketing practices that can also harm email deliverability rates.

2. 5 things that negatively affect email deliverability

Sometimes the admin that goes into a well-crafted email campaign can put off digital marketers.


Taking shortcuts with your email marketing can lead to risky behavior — you might as well throw your email list into the trash.


Here are 5 things that can, and will, drag your deliverability down:

2.1. Poor sender reputation

Poor sender reputation

The reputation of the email address you use to send marketing emails matters more than you know.


Specifically, this refers to your reputation of the domain name of the email address used by you, the sender.


Sender reputation is another metric that you can calculate, which generates a score from 1 to 100.


Email senders who use an email service provider will make use of different shared IP addresses — the IP address you’ll use depends on whether you’re new or low-risk users.


Here are several things that can negatively impact your email sender reputation:

  • Inconsistent email volume — Sending 20 emails one week and 2,000 emails the next looks suspicious
  • Hard and soft bounces — Unavailable or non-existent email addresses should be removed from your list
  • Spam reports — People reporting your emails as unwelcome will decrease your sender score
  • Spam traps — Email addresses that are created to attract spam are actively monitored
  • Being blacklisted — Getting added to this list will block all of your communication from reaching inboxes

All of these will harm your chances of proper inbox placement, so cultivating a good email sender reputation is crucial.

2.2. Purchased contact lists

Purchased contact lists

Growing your email list can seem tough and time-consuming, but cheating the system is a big no-no here.


Using a shared or purchased list of contacts violates the GDPR and other email marketing rules of consent.


If you send emails to a purchased list, you risk the following:

  • Sending emails without the receiver’s permission and breaking the law
  • Triggering spam traps and honeypots
  • Violating the sender policy framework of your digital marketing platform and getting kicked out of your account

All of these risks will harm your sender reputation as well as how trustworthy your brand and business are.

2.3. Non-compliance with email laws

Breaking Email Laws

Depending on where in the world your business and your customers are based, different email marketing laws will apply.


Disobeying these laws will see you paying thousands of dollars in fines per non-compliant email and being blacklisted.


Common reasons for non-compliance are:

  • Not using an unsubscribe link
  • Sending emails to contacts that did not opt-in
  • Sending marketing emails from your personal email account
  • Using untrustworthy email providers

Usually, the marketing platform you use will help you keep your emails lawful and compliant.


You can read more about how these laws affect your email marketing here.

2.4. Exposed or shortened links

Exposed or shortened links

A reason for undelivered or bounced emails might be how you’re including links in them.


The following kinds of links will get your emails bounced or sent to spam folders:

  • Exposed links — Random information with no context that doesn’t tell leads where the link will take them
  • Shortened links — Using link shorteners like Bit.ly and Cutt.ly can conceal where links go
  • Broken links — Links that lead to non-existent pages or blocked websites

Internet and email service providers find the above behaviors suspicious and misleading.


Stick to using normal hyperlinks in your email message, and avoid the spam folder.

2.5. Spammy email behavior

Spammy email behavior

Aside from poor linking strategies, several behaviors will trigger a spam trap.


Here’s a quick guide on how to avoid spam traps:

  • Avoid using spammy keywords
  • Keep your subject line accurate
  • Never use a misleading header
  • Regularly clean your mailing list
  • Send emails on a set schedule

Email service providers use spam filters to keep their users’ inboxes free from clutter.


Internet service providers have also created sending limits and blocks, on top of their blacklists.


Luckily, there are several simple strategies you can start using today that will ensure your email deliverability.

3. 11 tips to ensure email deliverability

From the structure of your content, to how you get your email subscribers, nearly everything affects email deliverability.


It might feel like there’s too much to handle, but don’t worry, we’ve got your back!


Implement these 11 actionable tips, and you’ll stay out of the spam folder:

3.1. Send from your business’ domain

Send from your business’ domain

By sending from your business’ domain, you show email service providers where the email is coming from.


Spam emails tend to be more deceptive about their origins, so this kind of directness works in your favor.


You actually can’t send an email marketing campaign from a public server like Gmail or YahooDMARC now stops that from being possible.


However, an email service provider will look at more than your domain before delivering your email campaign.


You also need to take these into account:

  • Your IP address — The computer or server your emails are sent from
  • Your email marketing platform — This is a public server, so you’ll need to set up email authentication
  • Domain-based message authentication — SPF and DKIM records that show your email address and domain are authenticated

You can find a handy guide on those records here or keep reading to learn why they’re so important.

3.2. Get your domain authenticated

Get your domain authenticated

Authentication is probably one of the best email deliverability practices because it solves multiple issues.


As we mentioned earlier, SPF and DKIM are the way to go here:

  • SPF will verify your sender IP address
  • DKIM will verify that you own the sender address

Using dedicated IP addresses is your best bet to getting authenticated, especially if you’re going to be sending emails in bulk.


Aside from improved email deliverability, there are many benefits to authentication:

  • Improved domain reputation
  • Boosted domain health
  • Reduced spam rate and a better spam score
  • Protection against email fraud

Depending on which marketing platform you use, the verification process will differ.


Click here to learn how systeme.io can help you get started with domain authentication.

3.3. Use opt-in processes

Use opt-in processes

Another way to keep spam at a minimum is with an opt-in process.


Using opt-in forms on your website and social media pages is a great way to grow your email list.


There are 2 opt-in processes to choose from:

  • Single opt-in
  • Double opt-in

We strongly recommend you choose a double opt-in system if you’re looking to maximize your deliverability because you’ll use a confirmation email to add new subscribers to your list.


This ensures that you won’t have any misspelled or non-existent email addresses on your list.


Double opt-ins also prevent bots from registering and deliberately infiltrating your email list.


It’s also a great way to ensure that the people who’ve opted-in want to continue receiving relevant content from you.

3.4. Regularly clean your email list

Clean Your Email List

Keeping your contact list up to date is essential for a higher email delivery rate.


The best way to know if your list is due for a clean is to look at your bounce rate.


Your bounce rate is made up these two types of bounces:

  • Soft bounce — May mean that a recipient’s inbox was full or temporarily unreachable
  • Hard bounce — This means that the email address you sent to is incorrect or non-existent

Hard or soft, if your bounce rates are on the rise, it’s definitely time for a contact list spring clean.


Your email open rate is another good place to figure out if your list is going a bit stale.


Send a re-engagement email campaign to inactive users, and if they’re still unresponsive, you should take them off of your subscriber list too.

3.5. Avoid using too many images

Avoid using too many images

A picture might be worth a thousand words, but in email marketing, they can be pretty costly.


Consider that Samsung and other devices automatically disable image downloads, and many users do the same to cut down on data costs.


If your email relies on imagery to communicate your message, you’ll lose your audience, get marked as spam, and eventually, you won’t have your emails delivered.


Internet service providers are also wary of emails that contain too many attachments — it’s a common tactic for sending malware.


Keep your images to a minimum, and you won’t lose out on email deliverability here.

3.6. Keep your emails consistent

Keep your emails consistent

Digital marketers know that consistency is key — especially when you send emails.


A set content or marketing plan can help you maximize email deliverability — if you stick to it.


This one has multiple benefits:

  • Internet service providers will recognize your consistent schedule and won’t mark bulk emails as suspicious
  • Your audience will receive regular communication from you, which builds your relationship with them
  • You’ll increase subscriber engagement if they know when to expect your emails

This consistency should filter through to your branding and design as well, to make your business recognizable.

3.7. Make unsubscribing simple

Make unsubscribing simple

While including an unsubscribe link is a legal requirement for all marketing emails, making this process simple actually works in your favor.


A simple, single-step unsubscription process leads to:

  • Better CAN-SPAM and GDPR compliance
  • Fewer spam complaints
  • Mailing lists full of engaged contacts

By making it easy for uninterested leads to leave, you’ll be left with just those that are actively interested in your offers and more likely to convert.

3.8. Optimize for all devices

Optimize for all devices

With 85% of email users accessing them on their smartphones, keeping your content optimized for mobile devices is a must.


Here are some simple changes that will improve your mobile optimization:

  • Use font size 15 or larger
  • Stick to plain text
  • Avoid using attachments
  • Keep your copy short and sweet

If your message is unreadable on a mobile device, some of the 85% of users who prefer mobile might mark your emails as spam.


You can keep mailbox providers happy and reach your audience if you stick to these email deliverability best practices.

3.9. Check internet service provider feedback loops

Check IPS feedback loops

ISPs give you a pretty easy way to check and test email deliverability.


They’re called feedback loops:

  • These are surveys provided to users when they unsubscribe from your emails
  • They give feedback on why people no longer want to receive your emails
  • This data is freely available to you

ISPs use this feedback when working out your spam score.


If you check feedback loops, you can use them to figure out what sent users packing and change your strategy accordingly.

3.10. Personalize your content

Personalize your content

Personalized content will keep your emails relevant and targeted.


You can personalize your content by:

  • Using personalized content fields — Used to include a recipient’s name
  • Creating dynamic content sections — Sends different content to different recipients of the same email, based on their interests
  • Including recipient names in subject lines
  • Segmenting your contact list
  • Targeting each segment based on their interests

Relevant content means lower spam rates and better deliverability overall.


Another tactic is to personally ask subscribers to add you to their trusted contacts list.


When they do, you’ll see a serious improvement in email deliverability, as the receiving server will trust the sender’s domain.


This also boosts your engagement metrics, which is another tick in your book for ISPs.

3.11. Stay away from spam triggers

Stay away from spam triggers

If you trigger a spam filter, you’ll quickly find your email deliverability rate starting to dwindle.


These will set inbox providers’ spam triggers off:

  • Spam trigger words in the subject line
  • Using multi-colored text
  • Subject lines in all-caps

By staying out of the spam folder, your deliverability will definitely improve and so will your domain reputation.


To get the most out of these email deliverability best practices, you need to partner with one of the best email and marketing platforms out there.

4. Partner with the best: Systeme.io

Systeme.io is an all-in-one digital marketing platform and solution for online business owners.


There’s almost nothing that this powerful software cannot do for you.

4.1. Systeme.io’s features

With a systeme.io account, you’ll get access to a host of email-specific marketing features.


These include:

  • Segment your audience with tags to provide personalized and targeted content
  • Create automated email campaigns that save you and your marketing team time
  • Send unlimited emails to your mailing lists, and build a relationship with your audience
  • Create opt-in forms, and comply with email and data protection laws
  • Use in-depth email statistics to monitor your metrics and improve your campaigns

These features are even more impressive because they’re fully integrated with the rest of systeme.io’s marketing tools:

systeme.io’s extensive features

systeme.io’s extensive features

You won’t have to endure the technical headaches of switching between multiple platforms to accomplish a simple task.


With systeme.io, everything works together seamlessly to help you run your entire business.

4.2. Systeme.io’s pricing

Many all-in-one tools come with a pretty hefty price tag — but not systeme.io!


Our platform comes with 4 scalable and affordable pricing plans, including our forever Free plan:

systeme.io’s scalable pricing options

systeme.io’s scalable pricing options

With us, everyone starts for free and gets immediate access to the following (for up to 2,000 contacts):

  • 1 custom domain
  • 1 automated campaign and 1 tag
  • A blog with unlimited posts
  • A membership site with unlimited members
  • 3 sales funnels with 10 steps and A/B testing
  • An automation rule and workflow
  • An order bump, one 1-click upsell, and a coupon code
  • PayPal and Stripe integrations
  • Affiliate program management capabilities
  • 24/7 email support

If you choose to upgrade your account, you’ll get access to more of these features, plus bonuses like evergreen webinars, 1-on-1 coaching, and free migration.


With so much support at your fingertips, your next email campaign is bound to be better than your last!

5. Conclusion

Improving your email deliverability is key to this branch of your digital marketing strategy.


By avoiding risky behavior and following these best practices, you’ll nail your next campaign.


Sign up for a systeme.io account, and start using our tools today!


It’s free, so you have literally nothing to lose.

Other posts about email marketing:

Download the book

Get this free guide

The New System to Launch

an Online Business

What you'll learn:

  • How to start your first online business in 7 days
  • How to master a high-income online skill
  • The secrets to scaling your business to the next level

We HATE spam. Your email address is 100% secure