Email Deliverability Best Practices

Email marketing is one of the strongest performing marketing channels. However, your email marketing strategy can be derailed if your emails end up in your Contacts’ spam folders.

To ensure your emails are not getting caught in spam filters or being misinterpreted by recipients, it is important to follow these tips to give your business the best chance of getting your emails delivered where they make the most impact: your recipients’ inboxes!

What is Email Deliverability?

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to the recipients’ inbox and avoid the spam folder.
These four best practices for email marketing have a significant impact on email deliverability:
  1. Maintain a High-Quality List (Audience)
  2. Send Relevant Content
  3. Maintain Email Infrastructure
  4. Comply With the Law

  Maintain a High-Quality Audience

Build a relationship with your customers that emphasizes your trustworthiness as a sender by sending high-quality content that your Contacts want to receive. Nurture your leads so they become long-lasting customers! Check out the tips below for building and maintaining a high-quality Audience:

Get Permission

The first rule of email marketing is to obtain your Audience’s explicit permission to send them emails.  This shows that you respect your Audience’s privacy and that you are communicating only with those who are actively interested in learning more about your business.

Confirm Opt-In

Implement confirmed opt-in to ensure that only people who want to receive your content are receiving emails from you.

Don’t Buy or Share Lists

People usually delete emails from unknown senders without opening them. Or worse, they’ll click the spam button. When Contacts mark your emails as spam, your sending reputation can be severely damaged, causing widespread deliverability issues.

Segment Your Audience

Sendlane provides multiple ways to slice your Audience into easily targetable groups like Segments, Tags, Lists, Custom Fields, and more! Understand the specific characteristics, demographics and psychographics of your audience to create highly targeted groups of Contacts. This will allow you to tailor and personalize your emails to each unique group, and increase your conversation with the recipients.

Reduce Incorrect Email Addresses in Your Audience

Check for typos and disposable email addresses.  

Don’t Send to Role-Based Email Addresses

These are email addresses associated with a function that is managed by several people, and not to a particular person. These email addresses are highly unlikely to have given consent to receive marketing emails. Examples of role-based accounts are: support@[domain].com, postmaster@[domain].com, admin@[domain].com, sales@[domain].com

Sunset Non-Responders

Develop a sunsetting strategy to remove recipients who have shown low to no interest in your emails. Sending to those who are no longer interested in your email can increase your spam complaint rate that may result in deliverability issues.

  Send Relevant Content

The Message

Make sure the content you send is relevant information that your Contacts want to receive. The message and  call to action should be clear and compelling from the moment your Contact opens the email.  

Subject Line

Your subject lines must be a summary of your email’s content. In addition to being a CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 requirement, delivering what you promise is critical to maintaining optimal deliverability. For example, if your subject line references a sale, your email’s content should be about that sale. Subject lines that are not relevant to an email’s content are considered deceiving and can lead to spam complaints or worse.
Pay attention to the number of links in your email along with the size of the images.  The links should direct the user to the destination without too many hops.  Always include a functioning unsubscribe link in the email.


Some of the major mailbox providers turn images off by default. If the majority of your email’s content is image based, or you include many large images in your email, your Contacts may see a blank email if their mailbox provider have images are turned off.

Your Business’ Physical Address

Your email must include the mailing address for your business. It can be your business’ street address, a United States Postal Service registered post office box, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under United States Postal Service regulations.

  Maintain Email Infrastructure

Email infrastructure is the technical, back end, part of sending email.  In this particular instance, it comprises the sending domain, and IP address. Each of these components have a reputation. The reputation is based on your historic and current sending behavior, and is a crucial component to your email deliverability health.   

The Sending Domain

  • The domain should have a full website that is owned and managed by your business
  • You should use a consistent “from” address with a domain that represents your brand.
  • Apply all email authentication methods to your domain with SPF, DKIM, DMARC to verify that the email message is sent from you.

The IP Address

  • Warm cold IPs by developing and following an IP warming strategy.  This usually involves sending low volume of highly engaged users, and then slowly ramping the volume to your max daily volume.
  • Send consistent volume over time which can reduce the impact that larger sends can have on your reputation.  
  • Monitor your performance by understanding your bounce, spam complaint, and unsubscribes rates as well as your open, and click rates. Sendlane provides an overall account dashboard and individual email reports to help monitor your activity.
  • Make sure your Audience is clean and that you have not snagged a spam trap.

  Comply with the Law 

In the United States, commercial email is regulated by the CAN SPAM Act of 2003. If you send to Canadian recipients, you must abide by CASL (Canada Anti-Spam Legislation). If you send to recipients within the EU, GDPR applies to any organization that offers goods and/or services to recipients in the EU.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only. The contents do not constitute legal advice, and are not intended to be a substitute for legal advice. Please consult a lawyer for personalized legal advice.

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