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, make sure to follow all of our "do" items below, and avoid the "don'ts."


Do


Email Addresses:

  • Capture Email Addresses from forms and inbound marketing
  • Make sure people know that when they give you their Email Address they will be receiving Emails and how often to expect them
  • Send to active 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. 
  • Email your Contacts at least once every 6 months to maintain their permission to send Emails
  • Review old Email Addresses from another system before importing them into ROI
    • Consider an Email Validation service 
    • Send a one time permission-based email to these Contacts before adding them to all sends
  • Utilize the double opt-in method to reconfirm that a Contact is interested in receiving Emails
  • Unsubscribe unengaged Contacts, particularly if there are bounces and complaints from a certain domain. This could be a short-term or a long-term period depending on the situation.
  • Follow ROI's Anti-Spam Policy of best practices in permission-based Email Marketing when collecting lists. To review this and the ROI Member Agreement in Email Practices, please visit http://www.rightoninteractive.com/roi-anti-spam-policy/


Content:

  • Send using the most recognizable sender name (either a person or the name of the company)
  • Keep these field consistent across sends to avoid confusion
  • Send using your own domain
  • Check the Spam Score on all Emails to make sure it is below 5 (ideally the Spam Score is 0). 
    • 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. 
  • Optimize the Email content and design by including a good ratio of images to text. Click here to read our blog post about several additional key Email design tips.
    • Click here to read an additional blog on ways to improve open rates of your Emails.
  • Make sure all images in the Email have Alt (Image) Tags
  • Offer both an HTML and plain text version of all Emails
  • Design plain text Emails to be readable for the recipient
  • Test Emails that will be sent using the Email Providers your subscribers use to make sure it renders 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.
  • Create content that the recipient is interested in, and include personalization that directly relates to them
  • Include an unsubscribe link in the Email that is easy to locate and works for at least 30 days after sending
    • Best practices include having an Email subscription option to manage email preferences. Learn more about this here.
  • Move the Unsubscribe link to the top of the Email so recipients unsubscribe rather than press the spam button


Setup:

  • Create an SPF entry (use http://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx, there should be an entry for spf.messagegears.net)
  • Keep track of bounces or complaints from certain domains
  • Have a process for unsubscribing Contacts that call/Email you directly
  • Whitelist Email.rightonin.com
  • Whitelist clmsmtp.rightoninterctive.com, IP Address 54.209.10.17
  • Ask your subscribers to whitelist you to avoid your Emails being flagged by Spam Filters


Additional:

  • Review our help article "SPF Entry in DNS to Ensure Optimal Deliverability" here
  • 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

Don't

Email Addresses:

  • Buy lists
  • Purchase Email Addresses through Data Appends
  • Email people who have not opted into being Emailed by you
  • Send to inactive lists
    • 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. 
  • Email Contacts too often or not often enough
    • If a subscriber hasn't heard from you within 6 months, you need to make sure you still have their permission to send Emails. However, sending too often to the same Contact can increase the likelihood they will mark your Email as SPAM if it doesn't contain content they are interested in receiving
  • Load old Email Addresses from another system into ROI and start sending to all of them
  • Remove the opt-out status on Contacts in ROI

Content:

  • Send using inconsistent Senders, Email Addresses, and From Names
  • Send from an info@company.com or marketing@company.com, as these are likely to get flagged before they make it to the inbox
  • Leave out Alt Tags on images
  • Send from a different domain
  • Send an Email with a Spam Score greater than 5
  • Send a recipient irrelevant content in an Email
  • Include the wrong or no unsubscribe option
  • Use deceptive headers, From Names, or subject lines


Setup:

  • Send to multiple recipients within the same company. A company's email firewall can assume it's a spam attack. 


Additional: