Email deliverability

Getting your email into inboxes is a high priority for us. We work hard at constantly monitoring the various IP addresses that we send from and the ISPs (internet service providers) we send email to.

By employing third party DKIM, SPF, IP address warming and Feedback Loop processes, we persevere to ensure we can best deliver your mail.

ENCCUK18: Email Deliverability Tips from Engaging Networks on Vimeo.

What we do

We have multiple PowerMTA email servers that are designed to send large amount of emails. These powerful servers are highly configured to allow us to dynamically process the email going out to ISPs, through multiple IP addresses.

To make sure that the IPs that we send mail from are well maintained, we:

  • stay clear of blacklists through monitoring and best practise
  • strive to maintain high reputation scores for our machines / IPs, which are currently at 95-98 percentile of all high volume mail senders according to Sender Score
  • deliver mail by throttling based on delivery patterns to maintain good delivery
  • suppress bad email addresses in client accounts so to re-send email to bad records
  • maintain feedback loops with ISPs, where they are available, including Hotmail’s Junk Mail Reporting Program, Yahoo, AOL and Comcast etc

What you can do

Here are a few pointers that will improve the delivery of your email.

Make sure your Sender Policy Framework record is correctly set

Be sure you have a working SPF record on your domain. For more information, please see Adding SPF records

Make sure everyone knows the correct sending process

Opt In questions are so important! Make sure all your team knows the correct process of handling lists and making sure that only those who have subscribed to get email, are getting email.

This seems so obvious, but making sure everyone on your team knows that this can directly impact sending reputation is important.

Make the unsubscribing process clear for your supporters

Make sure that your supporters can easily unsubscribe from your email. It can be tempting to hide the unsubscribe link, thinking that supporters may choose not to click it, but this will increase the likelihood of a supporter just hitting ‘Junk / Spam’ out of frustration.

Clean old email addresses

Some of the ways that ISPs fight spam, is to create spam traps through decommissioned/old email addresses. If an email has not been used in a long time, the ISP could turn this into a check for spam email senders.

A good way of clearing these emails is to periodically send an email to supporters who have not opened an email or taken action in the last 2 years. Ask them to confirm whether they still want to receive emails. If you still receive no response, stop sending to them.

It is better to have a smaller list of good emails, than a larger list of inactive supporters.

Deliver relevant and thoughtful emails

The more information you stick into one email, the more likely your recipient is going to lose focus on what’s important.

By using segmentation to better you know your supporters, you can tailor emails to be more relevant to your supporters.

Use a valid ‘From address’

Where possible, using a valid sending email address will help prove your are not a spammer. For example, it is recommend to not use a ‘noreply@’ address as ISPs can query whether this is a valid email when receiving email.

If you are having spam issues

There are a few factors that could be in play here: message content, domain reputation and server reputation.

  • Message content and subject lines do sometimes play a part in being flagged as spam. It is tough to know what the exact rules are for individual mail hosts, but staying clear of ‘spammy language’ is recommended.
  • Domain reputation: this is the delivery reputation that your domain currently has. For instance, if a mail out received a high level of complaints, then this does affect delivery for a few mails thereafter. Reputations roll on a time period though, so if spam complaints go down then subsequent mail outs will see increased reputation scores. For example: if Hotmail sees that with the last few sends that things are improving, it updates the reputation score and the filter falls away.

Further reading

http://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx
http://www.openspf.org/FAQ/What_is_SPF
http://lifehacker.com/5687586/email-writing-values-keep-it-relevant
http://www.mail-tester.com

Updated on May 29, 2019

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