External deliverability is one of the most important aspects of any Email Campaign. According to ReturnPath, about 10-20% of your emails won't reach their intended recipient. To improve your deliverability, follow our list of deliverability tips below:


1. Review your Email Address Collection Process

  • How are you capturing Email Addresses?
  • Do people who give you their Email Address clearly know they will receive an Email and how often?
  • Are you buying lists?
  • Do you still send to inactive lists?
    • Consider sending to only Contacts that have opened or clicked on a previous email. When internet service providers see low engagement rates with emails, they will begin to bulk the campaigns in the spam folder or block the domain and IP address. 
  • Do you email your Contacts frequently enough?
    • If your subscribers haven't heard from you within 6 months, you need to make sure you still have their permission to send emails. 
  • Are you loading old Email Addresses from another system?
  • Have you considered a double opt-in method to reconfirm a Contact is interested in receiving emails?
  • Are you removing the opt-out status on Contacts in ROI?

These questions reflect ROI's Anti-Spam Policy of best practices in permission-based Email Marketing. To review this and the ROI Member Agreement in Email Practices, please visit http://www.rightoninteractive.com/roi-anti-spam-policy/.


2. Check the Content
  • Is the field for the "First Name" consistent across sends?
    • Best practice is to send using the most recognizable sender name- either a person or the name of the company. 
  • Are you sending from your own domain?
  • Are there any issues with the Email Content itself or the Subject Line?
    • Did you check the Email's Spam score? Our partnership with Spam Assassin allows you to see any areas of your Email that might get marked as Spam. Click here to see the full lists of tests that Spam Assassin runs. 
    • Email design can also optimize deliverability. Click here to read our blog post about several key Email design tips. 
    • Click here to read our blog on ways to improve open rates of your Emails. 
  • Do all of your images in the Email have Alt (Image) Tags?
  • Are there personalization fields, at the very least for First Name?
  • Is the unsubscribe link included in the Email and easily found?
    • Best practices include having an Email subscription option to manage email preferences. Learn more about this here.
  • Is there a custom unsubscribe page that could be confusing?
  • Does your unsubscribe link work for at least 30 days after sending?
  • Are you sending Emails so inconsistently that your Contacts forget they have signed up for the Email or are you sending to your Contacts too frequently?
  • Will the recipient recognize the Sender, From Name, and Email Address?
  • Are you using deceptive headers, From names, or subject lines?

3. Check the Setup
  • Have you made an SPF entry (use http://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx, there should be an entry for spf.messagegears.net)?
  • Are bounces or complaints from certain domains?
  • What process do you have in place to unsubscribe Contacts that call or Email you directly?
    • How many of those unsubscribe requests are you receiving?
  • Are you sending to multiple recipients within the same company? A company's email firewall can assume it's a spam attack.

4. Action Items
  • Unsubscribe unengaged Contacts, particularly if there are bounces and complaints from a certain domain. This could be a short time or for a longer term depending on the situation. 
  • Move the unsubscribe link to the top of the Email so that recipients unsubscribe rather than press the spam button. 
  • Offer both an HTML and plain text version of your emails. Make sure the plain text version is still readable for the recipient. 
  • Test emails that will be sent using the email clients your subscribers use to make sure they render correctly.
    • ROI offers a Litmus integration to view an email across numerous email clients through our Advanced Sender Package. Contact support@rightoninteractive.com for more information.

5. Additional Steps
  • Review our help article "SPF Entry in DNS to Ensure Optimal Deliverability" here.
  • Whitelist email.rightonin.com, clmsmtp.rightoninteractive.com, and these IP addresses: 
    54.209.10.17, 54.209.62.64, 
    63.143.57.144, 66.240.227.16, 74.63.212.41, 206.246.157.1, and 216.98.158.41.

  • Ask your subscribers to whitelist you. This ensures your emails won't be flagged by spam filters. 
  • If you're looking to burnish your Email deliverability reputation, ReturnPath also has a certification program here. This is a way for organizations that are sending Emails from a dedicated IP address to be certified by ReturnPath to improve their deliverability. There are one-time and annual costs based on the volume of Emails sent.