11 Best Practices To Improve Your Email Deliverability

Improve Your Email Delivery

What is Email Deliverability

Deliverablity means the rate at which emails actually make it to subscriber inboxes. Email deliverability failure is usually when an email went to the spam folder or was blocked by the ISP

How to improve email deliverability

One out of five commercial emails never reaches the inbox. While more and more emails are being sent and the open rates are going up, inbox placement has been on the decline. Here are 11 tips that’ll help you improve your email delivery.

  • Use A Spam Checker
  • Make Sure You’re Not On Email Blacklists
  •  Format Your Emails Properly
  • Be Patient
  • Don’t Change Your “From Name And Address”
  •  Update Your SPF Record
  • Don’t Use A Free Email As Your “From Address”
  • Don’t Put Full URLs As-Is In Your Emails (If You Use Tracking Links)
  •  Avoid Spam Trigger Words
  • Use Confirmed Opt-In (Aka Double Opt-In)
  • Make Unsubscribing Very Easy

1. Use A Spam Checker

Most ESPs have decent built-in spam checkers. They will scan your email content and give you a score based on how likely they think your email will end up in spam folders. You can also double-check your email with an external spam checker like this one. Or if you want to be really careful, there are a lot of other tools with different algorithms

2. Make Sure You’re Not On Email Blacklists

First, use MX Lookup Tool to check your domain’s IP address.Which domain do I need to check? Basically, any domain that’s involved in sending your emails:

  • The domain in your “from:” email address (eg. if your “from address” is [email protected], check example.com)
  • Your mailing server’s domain (if you use an ESP, you don’t need to worry about this)
  • Any links you have in your emails

3. Format Your Emails Properly

Bad or messy HTML can get your emails caught in spam filter. So does the overuse of colors, styles and other formatting. Tell your teams to leave out HTML code that is not necessary (instructions, signatures, etc.)

If you use the email templates that your ESP provides and your text is not too fancy, you should be fine.

4. Be Patient

Your sender reputation with the ISPs and email services is built over time.

The same can be said about the relationship between you and your subscribers.

Keep sending good content to an engaged audience and your deliverability will increase little by little.

5. Don’t Change Your “From Name And Address”

By “from name and address” I mean the name and the email address that is shown in the “from:” field when you send emails.


Keep them consistent and you won’t confuse or anger your subscribers. Also, you won’t have to start over building a relationship with ISPs and email services. Remember that not knowing the sender is one of the big reasons users send an email to spam or make a complaint.

6. Update Your SPF Record

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a standard to authenticate email and detect email spoofing. It is used by ISPs to check whether the incoming email has been sent from an authorized server.

We recommend that you add “include: example.com” (replace “example.com” with the domain name of your mailing server) to your domain’s SPF record.

This can help you increase your email delivery.

7. Don’t Use A Free Email As Your “From Address”

When sending emails via an ESP, use an email address from your own domain as the “from:” address.

If you use a free email address (such as Gmail or Yahoo!) instead, it will decrease your deliverability. More so now because your emails won’t simply get delivered to many email services.

 Don’t Put Full URLs As-Is In Your Emails (If You Use Tracking Links)

If you do it like that, it will decrease your deliverability.


When you send emails via an ESP, they will change your links into tracking links, for example like this:

It creates a “mismatch problem” – the URL you are showing is different to the actual link URL (even if the tracking link redirects you to the right address!):

9. Avoid Spam Trigger Words

But don’t stop using them completely!

Some words are hard to replace.

And it’s better to be clear in your messages than to waste time checking every word in your email and trying to come up with something different.

Update 10/18: Spam trigger words are less likely to cause you an issue. Just don’t overdo it and keep your email relevant to your message.

10. Use Confirmed Opt-In (Aka Double Opt-In)

There are so many ways double opt-in vs. single opt-in affect your response rates.

  • Anyone can add any email to your list (including a spamtrap) if you use single opt-in
  • Many ESPs use separate servers to send emails to double opt-in and single opt-in subscribers – the double opt-in servers tend to have a better reputation and deliverability
  • Double opt-in subscribers have shown more interest towards getting emails from you

11. Make Unsubscribing Very Eas

If unsubscribing is difficult, in frustration, recipients may mark your email as spam as a way to stop receiving your email. If recipients cry spam, ISPs listen and you can quickly land on the blacklist. Many email regulations, such as CAN SPAM, requires you to make it simple.


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