Email deliverability is the ability of an email message to reach the intended recipient’s inbox. Improving email deliverability is crucial for businesses that rely on email communication to reach their customers, as it ensures that their messages are being seen and read. Here are some steps and examples that can help you improve your email deliverability:

Step 1: Get permission One of the most important things you can do to improve your email deliverability is to obtain permission from your recipients to send them emails. This can be done by having them opt-in to your email list, either by filling out a form on your website or by responding to an email you’ve sent.

Example: A clothing store can have a pop up on their website asking for customer’s email address for exclusive offers and discounts.

Step 2: Use a double opt-in process A double opt-in process is an added level of security that requires the recipient to confirm their subscription by clicking on a link in a confirmation email. This helps to ensure that only people who are truly interested in receiving your emails will be added to your list.

Example: A travel agency can use double opt-in for their newsletter subscription, a confirmation email is sent to the recipient’s email address asking them to confirm the subscription.

Step 3: Maintain a clean email list It’s important to regularly clean your email list by removing inactive subscribers or those who have unsubscribed. This helps to ensure that your emails are being sent to people who are actually interested in receiving them, which can improve your deliverability.

Example: A food delivery company can use a software that automatically removes the email addresses of people who haven’t opened an email in the last 3 months.

Step 4: Authenticate your emails Authenticating your emails helps to prove to email providers that you are who you say you are and that your emails are legitimate. There are several authentication methods that you can use, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

Sender Policy Framework (SPF)

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is an email authentication method used to detect and prevent email spoofing. It allows the owner of a domain to specify which mail servers are authorized to send email on behalf of that domain. This helps to ensure that only legitimate emails from the domain are delivered to recipients.

When an email is sent, the receiving mail server performs a check to see if the server that sent the email is authorized to send email on behalf of the domain in the “From” address. This check is done by looking up the SPF record for the domain in the DNS (Domain Name System). If the sending server is not on the list of authorized servers, the email may be marked as spam or rejected.

To set up SPF, the domain owner needs to create a TXT record in their DNS that specifies the authorized mail servers for their domain. The SPF record should include the IP addresses or hostnames of the servers that are allowed to send email on behalf of the domain. For example, an SPF record for the domain example.com may look like this:

“v=spf1 a mx include:_spf.example.com ~all”

This record indicates that mail servers with the IP addresses or hostnames specified by the “a” and “mx” mechanisms, as well as any servers specified by the SPF record for the domain _spf.example.com, are authorized to send email on behalf of example.com. The “~all” indicates that the SPF check is a soft fail, meaning that if a server fails the check, the email will be accepted, but may be marked as spam.

It’s important to note that while SPF can help to prevent email spoofing, it is not a foolproof method and should be used in conjunction with other email authentication methods such as DKIM and DMARC.

Setting up SPF (Sender Policy Framework) with ConvertKit, Aweber, Constant Contact, and HubSpot can help to authenticate your emails and improve your deliverability. Here’s some guidance on how to set up SPF with these popular ESPs:

  1. ConvertKit:
  • Log in to your ConvertKit account
  • Click on the “settings” button
  • Click on the “sending domains” option
  • Scroll down to the “authenticate with SPF” section
  • Follow the instructions provided to add the SPF record to your DNS
  1. AWeber:
  • Log in to your AWeber account
  • Click on the “settings” button
  • Click on the “authenticate with SPF” option
  • Follow the instructions provided to add the SPF record to your DNS
  1. Constant Contact:
  • Log in to your Constant Contact account
  • Click on the “settings” button
  • Click on the “email settings” option
  • Scroll down to the “authenticate with SPF” section
  • Follow the instructions provided to add the SPF record to your DNS
  1. HubSpot:
  • Log in to your HubSpot account
  • Click on the “settings” button
  • Click on the “email” option
  • Scroll down to the “authenticate with SPF” section
  • Follow the instructions provided to add the SPF record to your DNS

It’s important to note that the above instructions may vary depending on the ESP you use, but the overall process should be similar. You should always refer to the ESP’s documentation for specific instructions.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is an email authentication method used to detect and prevent email spoofing. It allows the owner of a domain to associate a digital signature with outgoing email messages. This signature is used to verify the authenticity of the message and to ensure that it has not been modified in transit.

When an email is sent, the receiving mail server performs a check to see if the message has a valid DKIM signature. The signature is created using a private key that is held by the domain owner. The public key is published in the domain’s DNS as a TXT record. The receiving server uses the public key to verify the signature and ensure that it was created using the private key.

To set up DKIM, the domain owner needs to:

  1. Generate a private key and a corresponding public key
  2. Create a DNS TXT record that includes the public key
  3. Configure their email server to sign outgoing messages using the private key

For example, a DKIM record for the domain example.com may look like this:

“v=DKIM1; k=rsa; p=MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQDdlatRjRjogo3WojgGHFHYLugdUWAY9iR3fy4arWNA1KoS8kVw33cJibXr8bvwUAUparCwlvdbH6dvEOfou0/gCFQsHUfQrSDv+MuSUMAe8jzKE4qW+jK+xQU9a03GUnKHkkle+Q0pX/g6jXZ7r1/xAK5Do2kQ+X5xK9cipRgEKwIDAQAB”

This record indicates that the public key with the value “MIGfMA0GCSqGSIb3DQEBAQUAA4GNADCBiQKBgQDdlatRjRjogo3WojgGHFHYLugdUWAY9iR3fy4arWNA1KoS8kVw33cJibXr8bvwUAUparCwlvdbH6dvEOfou0/gCFQsHUfQrSDv+MuSUMAe8jzKE4qW+jK+xQU9a03GUnKHkkle+Q0pX/g6jXZ7r1/xAK5Do2kQ+X5xK9cipRgEKwIDAQAB” is used for DKIM signing for the domain example.com.

It’s important to note that while DKIM can help to prevent email spoofing, it is not a foolproof method and should be used in conjunction with other email authentication methods such as SPF and DMARC.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance)

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is an email authentication method used to detect and prevent email spoofing. It allows the owner of a domain to specify how email messages sent from their domain should be handled by receiving mail servers. It also provides a mechanism for receiving servers to report on messages that pass or fail DMARC evaluation back to the domain owner.

DMARC builds on top of existing email authentication methods such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail). It allows the domain owner to publish a policy in their DNS that specifies which authentication methods should be used to check messages sent from their domain, and what action should be taken if a message fails the check.

To set up DMARC, the domain owner needs to:

  1. Create a DMARC record and publish it in their domain’s DNS
  2. Ensure that their email server is properly configured to authenticate messages using SPF and/or DKIM
  3. Check the DMARC aggregate reports sent by receiving mail servers.

For example, a DMARC record for the domain example.com may look like this:

“v=DMARC1; p=quarantine; sp=reject; rua=mailto:dmarc_agg@example.com; ruf=mailto:dmarc_fail@example.com

This record indicates that the domain owner wants receiving mail servers to quarantine (or reject) messages that fail DMARC evaluation, and that aggregate reports of DMARC evaluation results should be sent to dmarc_agg@example.com and failure reports should be sent to dmarc_fail@example.com

DMARC is a powerful tool to combat email spoofing, but it’s important to note that it is not a silver bullet and it requires domain owners to have proper configurations of their email server, monitoring the DMARC reports and taking action if necessary.

Example: A digital marketing agency can use a software that tracks their email metrics and send them a report every week with the metrics and suggest improvements.

By following these steps and examples, you can improve your email deliverability and ensure that your messages are reaching the inboxes of your intended recipients.

Step 5: Monitor your email metrics Monitoring your email metrics can help you to identify any issues that may be impacting your deliverability. This includes things like bounce rates, open rates, and click-through rates.

Example: A digital marketing agency can use software that tracks their email metrics and sends them a report every week with the metrics and suggest improvements.

By following these steps and examples, you can improve your email deliverability and ensure that your messages are reaching the inboxes of your intended recipients.

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