Deliverability Best Practices help you to learn and manage the habits that affect your sending reputation. These six recommendations can help lower your email bounce rate, stay off blacklists, lower your complaint rate, and improve your email sender reputation.

Implement an opt-in process.

An opt-in process is a method for your users to subscribe to your mailing list, thereby giving you permission to send them messages. It is important that you only send messages to subscribers who have opted-in to your mailing list. There are two types of opt-in procedures.

  • Single opt-in (unconfirmed) – a single opt-in is when the user provides their email address and gives permission to receive relevant messages. Once the address is provided, messages can be sent without confirming the email address belongs to the user who provided it.
  • Double opt-in (confirmed) – a double opt-in is when the user provides their email address, but before the first mailing, a confirmation email with a required user action is sent to ensure that the account owner wishes to receive future messages. An account can be verified by having the owner click a link for reply to the email. This ensures that the address was not added to a 3rd party mailing list without consent from the owner.

Purge Unengaged Users.

Implement a process to remove unengaged users. If a recipient is not engaging with your mail by either opening or clicking it, this may be an indication that they do not use the email account or that they are no longer interested in your content.

If they do not use the email account, eventually the mailbox provider will terminate the account or transform it into a spam trap. To avoid hitting spam traps or hard bouncing an email to a canceled account, remove recipients who have not engaged with your email in a time frame defined by your business model. This will also help your deliverability by increasing your user engagement rate.

Review Your Subscriber List.

When reviewing your subscriber list, keep these things in mind:

  • Eliminate duplicate addresses prior to sending. This could inflate your hard bounce rate if addresses that don’t exist are mailed to multiple times.
  • Ensure that a previous suppression list (possibly from another email service provider) was not accidentally included.
  • Verify subscribers have opted-in (do not send to an old list that you found).
  • Restrict users from uploading their email client’s contact list in a “select all” fashion. Forcing users to select addresses individually will prevent accidentally including out of date or possibly expired addresses.

Evaluate Your Sending Frequency.

Sending too many emails in a short period of time may aggravate recipients, causing them to mark your messages as spam. This is called list fatigue.

Ensure that your message cadence aligns with the expected frequency of your content. Reducing frequency may reduce spam complaints.

Ensure Your Content is Relevant to Your Subscribers.

Keep your email messages consistent to your audience. A person who subscribed to a list for coupon updates may not want to get regular emails regarding auto loan finance rates. These unexpected messages are likely to be marked as spam, which decreases your sender reputation.

Easily Accessible Unsubscribe URL.

Unsubscribing is a good thing! It will shrink your list, but it helps your inbox success by sending only to recipients that engage by opening or clicking. When people complain it harms your sending reputation. Make it easy for them to be removed from the list.

Do NOT hide the unsubscribe URL at the bottom of the message. A small percentage of users will scroll to the bottom of the email and search for a small URL. Most will take the easy way out and just mark it as spam.