Email communication remains a cornerstone of business outreach and marketing. However, the effectiveness of an email campaign is not just about crafting the perfect message; it’s also about ensuring that your emails reach their intended recipients. 

With the vast number of emails sent daily, how can one ensure that their emails don’t end up in the spam folder or, worse, not get delivered? 

This is where the concept of email deliverability comes into play.

  • Why is email deliverability crucial? 
  • What steps can businesses take to improve their email deliverability rates? 
  • And how can these steps impact the overall success of an email campaign? 

In this article, we will delve deep into the world of email deliverability, exploring its importance the challenges faced, and providing a step-by-step guide to setting up an effective email deliverability system. 

📨 Let’s dive in!

What is Email Deliverability?

Email deliverability, at its core, refers to the ability of an email message to land in the recipient’s primary email inbox successfully. It’s not just about sending an email; it’s about ensuring the email is accepted and correctly placed by the Internet Service Provider (ISP).

To better understand this, consider the journey of an email. Once sent, it doesn’t directly land in the recipient’s inbox. It passes through various filters and checks established by ISPs to prevent spam, phishing, and other malicious activities.

These filters evaluate several factors, from the sender’s reputation to the content of the email itself.

Think of email deliverability as a series of checkpoints for a visual representation. The email is evaluated at each point, and if it passes all the tests, it reaches the primary inbox. Otherwise, it might end up in the spam folder or not delivered.

Why is Email Deliverability important?

Email is a pivotal communication tool for businesses, making its successful delivery vital. 

Here’s why:

  • Reputation: Consistent delivery to the primary inbox fosters trust. Emails in spam harm your brand’s image.
  • ROI: Effective deliverability ensures the time and resources spent on email campaigns aren’t wasted.
  • Engagement: Deliverability impacts how customers engage with newsletters or announcements.
  • Regulations: In some regions, non-compliance with email regulations can lead to penalties.
  • Competitiveness: Superior deliverability can offer a competitive advantage in saturated markets.

In essence, email deliverability isn’t just technical; it’s central to a business’ communication strategy, influencing campaign success and customer trust.

How to set up effective Email Deliverability?

Setting up robust email deliverability involves strategic steps to ensure your emails navigate through filters and reach their intended inboxes.

Here’s a detailed guide:

  1. Purchasing a domain: 

Using a domain similar to your primary one can help separate different types of email communications and reduce the risk of tarnishing your main domain’s reputation.

  1. Linking your domain to your Email Provider (ESP):

Your ESP (Email Service provider) bridges your email campaigns and recipients. Linking your domain ensures that emails are sent from a recognized source.

We all know that the two primary providers are Google Workspace and  Office 365 (Outlook Exchange). After purchasing the domain, follow the provider’s instructions to link it. 

Note that domain joining might take up to 72 hours!

  • Authentication:

Email authentication is crucial to prove to ISPs that your emails are legitimate and not spam or phishing attempts.

To improve your deliverability, there are some parameters you need to configure: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.

How to set up your DNS Settings?

Let’s continue with how to set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records.

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1. SPF (Sender Policy Framework):

SPF is an email authentication method that detects and blocks email spoofing. 

It allows the domain owner to specify which mail servers are permitted to send email on behalf of their domain.

Configuration Steps:

  1. Step 1 – Create an SPF Record: This is a TXT record in your domain’s DNS.
  2. Step 2 – Specify Allowed Servers: In the SPF record, list the IP addresses or domains of servers that are allowed to send emails to your domain.
  3. Step 3 – Specify Policy: This can be either:
    • all: Only servers listed in the SPF record can send emails.
    • ~all: Soft fail; emails from servers not listed in the SPF record might be delivered but marked.
    • +all: Allow all servers to send emails (not recommended).
  1. Step 4 – Verification by the Receiving Server: The receiving server will check the SPF record to ensure the email comes from an authorized server.

2. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail):

DKIM is another authentication method that has the receiver check if an email was indeed sent and authorized by the owner of that domain. You do this by simply giving the email a digital signature.

Configuration Steps:

  1. Step 1 – Generate a DKIM Key: This usually involves creating a public-private key pair.
  2. Step 2 – Publish the Public Key: The public key is added to the DNS records of your domain as a TXT record.
  3. Step 3 – Sign Emails with the Private Key: When sending an email, your email server will sign the email with the private key.
  4. Step 4 – Verification by the Receiving Server: The receiving server will use the public key (from the DNS record) to verify the email’s signature.

3. DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance):

DMARC builds on both SPF and DKIM. It allows the sender to specify how the receiver should handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks. It also provides a way for the receiver to report to the sender about emails that pass and/or fail the DMARC evaluation.

Configuration Steps:

  1. Step 1 – Check SPF & DKIM: Ensure you have SPF and DKIM set up correctly.
  2. Step 2 – Create a DMARC Record: This TXT record is added to your domain’s DNS. It specifies the DMARC policy for your domain.
  3. Step 3 – Specify Policy: The policy can be:
    • none: Take no specific action; just collect feedback.
    • quarantine: Place suspicious emails in the spam/junk folder.
    • reject: Reject suspicious emails outright.
  4. Step 4 – Receive Reports: DMARC allows domain owners to get reports from ISPs about the authentication status of emails sent from their domain.

4. Email Warming:

When a new domain is used to send multiple emails at once, the ESPs catch on quickly and will activate their spam filters.

This is where email warmup comes into play. Email warm-up involves gradually increasing the number of emails sent to establish a positive sender reputation over time.

We talk about this extendedly throughout our article about campaign deliverability so make sure to check it out:

Tired of stressing out about your email deliverability?🤔
Don't worry! We boost and optimize it for you! We even configure your DNS settings as well! 😉
Learn how we do it and so much more right here! 💪

5. Monitor Reputation:

One of the key factors in email deliverability is your sender reputation!

Think of it as a score that assesses how dependable and trustworthy your emails are. It takes into account various factors like your bounce rate, spam complaints, engagement levels, and how long you’ve had your domain. Basically all we’ve been talking about so far. 😅

A strong sender reputation is your ticket to staying off the ESPs’ blacklists and spam filters, and it increases your chances of landing directly in your recipients’ inboxes.

Final Thoughts

In a nutshell, email deliverability is vital for effective business communication. It relies on the aforementioned authentication methods:

  • SPF
  • DKIM

The settings are essential for ensuring email authenticity and trustworthiness. While they don’t directly guarantee delivery to the inbox, they significantly contribute to building trust with ESPs.

Implementing the steps outlined throughout the article and monitoring sender reputation will boost your chances of successful email campaigns.