Improving Email Deliverability: Insights and Recommendations

Improving Email Deliverability: Insights and Recommendationshis podcast episode, Colin Stewart and Michael Maximoff delve into the complexities of email deliverability and share valuable insights and recommendations for building and scaling an outbound sales team. They discuss the challenges of email deliverability, the importance of SPF records, the role of DNS records, the need for warm-up processes, and the impact of email content. They also touch upon common mistakes, best practices, and tools like HubSpot and Folderly that can enhance email deliverability.

The Challenges of Email Deliverability

Over the years, email deliverability has become increasingly challenging due to multiple filters and variables. In today's digital age, where email communication plays a vital role in connecting individuals and businesses, understanding the complexities of email deliverability is crucial. Michael Maximoff, a deliverability expert, has dedicated himself to studying this intricate landscape and has gathered valuable insights and recommendations to help navigate through the challenges.

One of the primary reasons email deliverability has become more challenging is the prevalence of filters employed by email service providers (ESPs) and internet service providers (ISPs). These filters are designed to protect users from spam and unwanted email messages, but they can also catch legitimate emails in their net. Factors such as the sender's reputation, content quality, and engagement metrics all contribute to whether an email successfully reaches its intended recipient's inbox or ends up in the notorious spam folder.

Another significant challenge in email deliverability is the variability in how different email clients and platforms interpret and handle emails. Each client may have its own unique algorithms and rules for filtering emails, which can lead to inconsistencies in deliverability. Additionally, the rise of mobile devices has increased the need for responsive email design, ensuring that emails can be read and interacted with seamlessly across various devices and screen sizes.

To overcome these challenges, Michael Maximoff recommends adopting best practices and staying up-to-date with industry trends. Here are some of his key recommendations:

  1. Build a strong sender reputation: Sender reputation is a critical factor in email deliverability. Maintain good practices by sending emails to engaged and opted-in recipients, monitoring bounce rates, and promptly addressing any complaints or unsubscribe requests.
  2. Focus on content quality: Craft email content that is relevant, engaging, and valuable to your recipients. Avoid using spam trigger words, excessive use of images, or misleading subject lines.
  3. Keep engagement high: Encourage recipients to actively interact with your emails by providing clear call-to-action buttons and relevant content. Higher engagement signals to ESPs and ISPs that your emails are desired by recipients.
  4. Regularly monitor and analyze email metrics: Track key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to identify any trends or issues that may impact deliverability. Use this data to refine your email strategy and ensure optimal performance.

In conclusion, email deliverability has become increasingly challenging due to filters, client variability, and ever-changing industry trends. However, by following best practices and staying informed, businesses and individuals can navigate this complex landscape and improve their chances of successfully reaching their audience's inbox.

Setting up SPF Records for Email Deliverability

When it comes to sending emails, proper setup of SPF (Sender Policy Framework) records is crucial for ensuring email deliverability. These records serve as a way to authorize the use of a domain for sending emails, thus preventing them from being flagged as spam or rejected by recipient servers.

SPF records work by allowing domain owners to specify which email servers are authorized to send emails using their domain. By configuring SPF records, domain owners can protect their domain from being misused for sending unauthorized or spam emails.

To set up SPF records correctly, follow these steps:

  1. Identify the authorized email servers: Before creating the SPF record, you need to identify the servers that are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain. This can include your own email servers or third-party email service providers.
  2. Create the SPF record: SPF records are typically added as a DNS TXT record. Login to your DNS management interface, find the section for managing DNS records, and create a TXT record with the following format:

    v=spf1 ip4: ~all

    In the above example, ip4: represents the IP range of your own email servers, and includes the SPF record of the email service provider you use.
  3. Set the SPF record's TTL: It is recommended to set a low TTL (Time-to-Live), such as 300 seconds, for the SPF record. This ensures that any changes made to the SPF record propagate quickly.
  4. Test and validate the SPF record: After creating the SPF record, it is important to test and validate it. Various online SPF checkers are available, which can verify if the SPF record is correctly configured and in compliance with the SPF syntax.

Once you have correctly set up the SPF records, they play a crucial role in email deliverability. Recipient mail servers will check the SPF record of the incoming emails and compare the sending IP address with the authorized IP addresses listed in the SPF record. If the SPF check passes, the email is more likely to be delivered to the recipient's inbox without being flagged as spam.

It is important to note that SPF records are just one aspect of email deliverability. Other factors such as DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) also contribute to ensuring successful email delivery. Therefore, it is recommended to implement a comprehensive email authentication strategy incorporating SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

In conclusion, correctly setting up SPF records is crucial for email deliverability. By authorizing the use of a domain for sending emails, SPF records help prevent emails from being marked as spam or rejected by recipient servers. Following the proper steps to set up SPF records and regularly monitoring their effectiveness will greatly enhance the chances of successful email delivery.

The Impact of DNS Records

DNS (Domain Name System) records are an integral part of the email delivery process. By understanding and configuring these records properly, you can greatly improve the chances of your emails reaching their intended recipients.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework)

The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a DNS record used to prevent email spoofing. It allows the email recipient's mail server to check if the sending server is authorized to send emails on behalf of the sender's domain. By including an SPF record in your DNS configuration, you are essentially telling other mail servers that only specific servers are authorized to send emails for your domain.

Configuring an SPF record involves adding a TXT record to your DNS settings. This TXT record contains information about the authorized sending servers, such as their IP addresses or hostnames. When an email is received, the recipient's mail server checks the SPF record in the DNS to verify if the sending server is legitimate. If the SPF check fails, the email may be marked as spam or rejected entirely.

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

DMARC is another DNS record that is used to protect against email spoofing and phishing attacks. It works in conjunction with SPF and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) records to provide greater email authentication and security.

DMARC allows domain owners to specify policies for how email servers should handle suspicious emails that fail SPF and DKIM checks. By publishing a DMARC record in the DNS, domain owners can instruct receiving mail servers to reject, quarantine, or deliver suspicious emails. Additionally, DMARC provides reporting mechanisms that allow domain owners to receive information about email delivery and authentication failures.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail)

DKIM is another method used to authenticate email messages. It adds a digital signature to the email headers, which can be verified by the receiving mail server using the public key published in the DNS records. This verification ensures that the email has not been tampered with during transit and that it was indeed sent by the legitimate domain owner.

To configure DKIM, you need to generate a public and private key pair. The private key is kept secure on your email server, while the public key is added to a TXT record in the DNS. When an email is received, the receiving mail server checks the DKIM signature using the public key retrieved from the DNS. If the signature is valid, the email is considered authentic and not tampered with.

The Importance of Properly Configured DNS Records

Properly configuring DNS records, including SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, is crucial for email deliverability. When your DNS records are correctly set up, it helps prevent your emails from being marked as spam or rejected by the recipient's mail server. This can greatly improve the chances of your emails reaching the intended recipients' inboxes.

By understanding the purpose and importance of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records, you can take the necessary steps to configure them correctly in your DNS settings. It's also essential to regularly monitor and update these records to ensure continued email deliverability and security.

The Importance of Warm-up Processes

For new domains, establishing a good sending reputation is essential. Warm-up processes involve gradually increasing the volume of emails sent to build trust with recipient servers and avoid being marked as spam.

When starting a new email marketing campaign or transitioning to a new email service provider, it's crucial to implement a warm-up process. This process helps the email sender establish a positive reputation and avoid being flagged as a spammer. By gradually increasing the volume of sent emails, the sender can build trust with recipient servers.

Why is warm-up necessary?

Recipient servers are constantly analyzing incoming emails to determine their legitimacy and likelihood of being spam. New domains or IP addresses that suddenly send a large volume of emails can trigger warning signals and result in emails being marked as spam. This can significantly impact email deliverability and the success of an email marketing campaign.

Warm-up processes are designed to mitigate these risks by gradually increasing the email volume over a period of time. This helps recipient servers recognize the sender as a legitimate source and establish a positive reputation. It also allows the sender to monitor deliverability and make any necessary adjustments to optimize future email campaigns.

How does warm-up work?

The warm-up process typically involves segmenting the email list into smaller subsets and gradually increasing the volume of emails sent to each segment. For example, in the initial phase, the sender might only send a few hundred emails per day to a small subset of the list. This volume gradually increases over a period of days or weeks until the sender reaches the desired email volume.

During the warm-up process, it's important to closely monitor email deliverability and engagement metrics. By carefully tracking open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints, the sender can assess the effectiveness of their warm-up strategy and make any necessary adjustments.

Tips for a successful warm-up process

  1. Start slow: Begin with a small volume of emails and gradually increase over time.
  2. Maintain engagement: Focus on sending relevant and engaging content to encourage recipients to open and interact with the emails.
  3. Monitor metrics: Keep a close eye on deliverability rates, open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints to assess the success of the warm-up process.
  4. Gradual increase: Increase the email volume gradually, following best practices and guidelines provided by email service providers.
  5. Adjust as needed: Make adjustments to the warm-up process based on performance metrics and feedback from recipient servers.

By implementing a well-planned warm-up process, email senders can establish a positive sending reputation and improve the chances of their emails reaching the intended recipients' inboxes. This not only enhances the effectiveness of email marketing campaigns but also helps build trust and credibility with recipients.

Why Limiting Emails per Mailbox is Important

In order to maintain a good email deliverability rate and avoid potential issues with spam filters, it is crucial to limit the number of emails sent per mailbox. While it may be tempting to send out numerous messages to a large number of recipients, exceeding these limits can have a negative impact on the reputation of your email server and affect the deliverability of your emails.

The Impact of Exceeding Email Limits

When you exceed the email limits set by your mailbox provider or email service, it can trigger spam filters and negatively impact your overall email deliverability. This means that your emails may not reach their intended recipients' inboxes and could end up being marked as spam or rejected altogether.

Exceeding email limits can result in your emails being flagged as suspicious by spam filters, leading to a higher likelihood of them being marked as spam. This can damage the reputation of your email server and make it more difficult for your legitimate emails to reach the inbox of your recipients.

The Importance of Maintaining a Good Sender Reputation

One of the key factors that determines whether your emails will be delivered to the inbox or spam folder is your sender reputation. This reputation is based on various factors, including the volume of emails sent from your mailbox, as well as the engagement and response rates of your recipients.

By limiting the number of emails sent per mailbox, you can help maintain a good sender reputation and improve your email deliverability. This ensures that your recipients are more likely to receive and engage with your emails, leading to higher open rates, click-through rates, and ultimately, better results from your email marketing campaigns.

How to Implement Email Limits

To implement email limits effectively, it is important to first understand the limits set by your mailbox provider or email service. These limits can vary depending on your provider and the type of email account you have, such as a personal email account or a business email account.

Once you know your email limits, you can take the following steps to ensure you stay within them:

  1. Monitor your email sending: Keep track of the number of emails you send each day and week to ensure you stay within the allowed limits.
  2. Segment your email list: If you have a large number of recipients, consider segmenting your list and sending emails in smaller batches over time to avoid exceeding your limits.
  3. Optimize your email content: By making your emails more relevant and engaging, you can improve the response rates and decrease the likelihood of being flagged as spam, allowing you to stay within your limits and maintain a good sender reputation.

By implementing these strategies and being mindful of your email limits, you can protect the deliverability of your emails and ensure that they reach your recipients' inboxes. This will ultimately lead to more successful email marketing campaigns and improved communication with your audience.

Different Email Formats for Outbound and Inbound Audiences

Gmail and Office 365 are two widely used email services, but they have different spam filters in place. Gmail, in particular, is known for having stricter spam filters compared to Office 365. This means that when it comes to sending emails, especially for outbound purposes, it's important to consider the email format to ensure maximum deliverability and avoid being flagged as spam.

Plain Text Emails for Cold Outreach

When reaching out to potential clients or prospects in a cold outreach campaign, it is recommended to use plain text emails. Plain text emails are simple and have no formatting or design elements. They appear like a basic email you would send from your personal account.

Using plain text emails for cold outreach is beneficial for a few reasons:

  1. Higher deliverability: Plain text emails have a higher chance of bypassing spam filters and reaching the recipient's inbox. These emails are less likely to trigger any spam alerts due to their simplicity.
  2. Personalized touch: Plain text emails give a more personal touch as they don't look like generic marketing emails. Recipients may be more inclined to engage and respond to a genuine, personalized message.
  3. Avoiding formatting issues: HTML emails may not display properly on all email clients or devices. Plain text emails eliminate the risk of formatting issues and ensure that the content is easily readable for all recipients.

HTML Emails for Newsletters and Inbound Audiences

On the other hand, HTML emails, which are emails with formatting and design elements, are more suitable for newsletters and inbound audiences. These emails can include images, colors, fonts, and hyperlinks to create visually appealing and interactive content.

Here's why HTML emails work well for newsletters and inbound audiences:

  1. Engaging and eye-catching: HTML emails can grab the attention of recipients with visually appealing layouts, images, and call-to-action buttons. This can help increase open and click-through rates.
  2. Brand reinforcement: HTML emails provide an opportunity to reinforce your brand identity by incorporating your logo, colors, and other brand elements into the design.
  3. Tracking and analytics: HTML emails can be tracked using various analytics tools. You can monitor email open rates, click-through rates, and user engagement to measure the success of your newsletters or inbound campaigns.

The Potential Problems of Sending Emails through HubSpot Servers

HubSpot is a popular platform for dream campaigns, offering a wide range of marketing and sales tools. It provides users with the ability to send emails directly through their servers. However, there are potential problems that can arise when using HubSpot for email delivery instead of traditional email clients like Gmail. In this section, we will explore these challenges and discuss their impact on email deliverability.

The Importance of Email Deliverability

Before diving into the potential problems, it is essential to understand the significance of email deliverability. Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to reach its intended recipient's inbox without being flagged as spam or blocked by the recipient's email provider.

Successful email deliverability is crucial for effective engagement with customers and prospects. When emails fail to reach the inbox, it can result in missed opportunities, decreased customer satisfaction, and a waste of time and effort in creating those emails.

Deliverability Issues with HubSpot Servers

While HubSpot offers a robust email delivery system, there are certain limitations and challenges associated with using their servers. One of the primary concerns is the shared reputation of HubSpot's IP addresses. When sending emails through HubSpot, users are sharing IP addresses with other HubSpot customers. If any of these customers send spam or violate email best practices, it can negatively impact the deliverability of emails sent by other customers sharing the same IP addresses.

Another critical factor affecting deliverability is the lack of control over email server settings. With HubSpot, users have limited control over server configuration, as the platform handles most email settings on their behalf. This limitation may prevent users from implementing specific changes or improvements to optimize email deliverability.

The Role of SSL Certificates

SSL certificates play a significant role in maintaining email deliverability. An SSL certificate establishes a secure connection between a web server and a browser, ensuring that data transmitted between the two remains encrypted and secure. While SSL certificates are primarily associated with website security, they also impact email deliverability.

Email providers consider SSL certificates an important factor in determining the legitimacy and credibility of an email sender. Emails sent from websites without SSL certificates may be flagged as suspicious or spam. Therefore, when sending emails through HubSpot servers, it is crucial to ensure that the domain used for sending is secured with a valid SSL certificate to improve deliverability.

Engaging with Customers through Subsidiary Email Addresses

In today's digital age, email has become one of the most popular and effective ways to communicate with customers. However, reaching customers' inboxes is not always an easy task. With the rise of spam filters and strict email deliverability standards, many businesses struggle to ensure their messages are seen by their intended recipients. One effective solution to this problem is engaging with customers through subsidiary email addresses.

Creating subsidiary domains for outreach

One way to improve email deliverability is to create subsidiary domains specifically for outreach purposes. Instead of using a generic email address from a main domain, businesses can create unique email addresses associated with specific subsidiaries or departments. For example, instead of sending emails from, a company could use for customer support-related inquiries or for sales-related communications.

By using subsidiary email addresses, businesses can improve their chances of bypassing spam filters. Since these addresses are separate from the main domain, they are less likely to be flagged as spam. This can lead to better email deliverability rates and ensure that important messages reach customers' inboxes.

Using SSL certificates for subsidiary domains

In addition to creating subsidiary domains, it is essential to secure them with SSL certificates. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates encrypt the connection between the sender and the recipient, ensuring that emails are transmitted securely.

Using SSL certificates on subsidiary domains provides several benefits. Firstly, it enhances the credibility of the email sender. Customers are more likely to trust and engage with emails that come from secure domains. This can improve overall customer engagement and increase the effectiveness of email outreach efforts.

Secondly, SSL certificates help in avoiding spam filters. Since SSL-encrypted emails are seen as more legitimate and trustworthy, they are less likely to be marked as spam by email providers. This further improves email deliverability rates and ensures that important messages are not lost in recipients' spam folders.

Common Mistakes in Email Deliverability

In the world of email marketing, there are several common mistakes that can hinder the deliverability of your messages. The speaker highlighted these mistakes, ensuring that you are aware of them and can take steps to avoid them in the future.

1. Incorrect DNS Records

One of the most common mistakes is having incorrect DNS records. DNS stands for Domain Name System, which is responsible for translating domain names into IP addresses. In order to ensure successful email delivery, it is crucial to have accurate and updated DNS records. This includes setting up SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) records to authenticate your emails and prevent them from being flagged as spam.

2. Failure to Warm Up Email Addresses

Another mistake that can negatively impact email deliverability is failing to warm up new email addresses. When you send emails from a new domain or IP address, it is important to gradually increase sending volume over time. This helps establish a positive reputation with email service providers (ESPs) and reduces the chances of your messages being marked as spam.

3. Exceeding Sending Limits

Sending emails in large volumes without considering the sending limits set by ESPs can also lead to deliverability issues. Each ESP has its own sending limits, which are designed to prevent spam and maintain a high-quality email ecosystem. It is important to familiarize yourself with these limits and ensure that you stay within them to avoid any deliverability problems.

4. Using Spam Words

Using certain words or phrases in your email subject lines and content can trigger spam filters, causing your emails to be filtered out or sent to the recipients' spam folders. It is important to avoid using spam words, such as "free," "guaranteed," or "buy now," in your emails. Instead, focus on providing valuable and relevant content to engage your recipients.

Best Practices for Email Deliverability

The speaker also provided some best practices to improve email deliverability and ensure that your messages reach the intended recipients.

1. Avoid Including Links and Attachments

In order to reduce the chances of your emails being flagged as spam, it is recommended to avoid including links and attachments in your emails. Instead, provide concise and clear information, and direct recipients to your website or landing page for further details.

2. Send Plain Text Emails to Outbound Audiences

When sending emails to outbound audiences, such as prospects or leads, it is recommended to send plain text emails. Plain text emails have a higher chance of bypassing spam filters and reaching the recipients' primary inbox. Additionally, plain text emails have a more personal and conversational tone, which can help in building relationships with your recipients.

The Email Sending Process

The email sending process is a crucial step in ensuring that emails reach their intended recipients. It involves several verification steps and checks to improve deliverability and prevent emails from being marked as spam. In this section, we will explore the various components of the email sending process.

Sender Verification

Sender verification is the first step in the email sending process. It ensures that the sender of the email is legitimate and authorized to send emails on behalf of the domain. This verification helps prevent email spoofing and unauthorized use of domain names.

Sending domains can set up Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records to specify which IP addresses are allowed to send emails on their behalf. When an email is received, the receiving server checks the SPF record to verify the sending domain's authenticity.

DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is another method used for sender verification. It adds a digital signature to the email header, which can be verified by the receiving server. The DKIM signature confirms that the email has not been tampered with during transit.

SPF and DKIM Verification

After sender verification, the receiving server checks if the incoming email passes the SPF and DKIM verification. SPF and DKIM are industry-standard technologies used to prevent email spoofing and ensure email authenticity.

SPF verification checks if the IP address sending the email is authorized to send emails on behalf of the sending domain. If the SPF check fails, the receiving server may mark the email as suspicious or reject it altogether.

DKIM verification ensures that the email has not been modified during transit. The receiving server verifies the DKIM signature using the public key published in the sending domain's DNS records. If the DKIM check fails, the email's integrity is compromised, and it may be treated as suspicious or rejected.

Spam Filter Checks

Once the sender verification and SPF/DKIM verification are successful, the receiving server performs spam filter checks to determine whether the email should be delivered to the recipient's inbox, marked as spam, or rejected.

Spam filters analyze various factors, including the email content, subject line, sender reputation, and email header information. They assign a spam score to the email based on these factors. If the spam score exceeds a certain threshold, the email is flagged as spam.

To improve email deliverability, it is important to follow best practices, such as avoiding spam trigger words, formatting the email properly, and focusing on relevant and engaging content.

Enhancing Email Deliverability with Folderly

Email deliverability is crucial for marketing agencies in order to reach their target audience effectively. However, it can be a challenge to bypass spam filters and ensure that messages land in the recipient's inbox. This is where Folderly comes in—a comprehensive platform that helps marketing agencies enhance their email deliverability and optimize their email campaigns.

Folderly offers a range of features and tools that can significantly improve the chances of your emails reaching the intended recipients. By leveraging Folderly, marketing agencies can minimize the chances of their emails being flagged as spam and maximize their engagement rates.

Bypassing Spam Filters

Spam filters are designed to protect users from unsolicited and potentially harmful emails. However, sometimes legitimate marketing emails may end up in the spam folder, resulting in missed opportunities and reduced engagement. Folderly understands this challenge and provides solutions to bypass spam filters.

With Folderly, marketing agencies can identify and fix issues that may trigger spam filters. Folderly's intelligent algorithms analyze email content, subject lines, sender reputation, and other factors to ensure that emails comply with best practices and avoid being flagged as spam. This proactive approach significantly enhances the deliverability of your marketing emails and minimizes the chances of them ending up in the spam folder.

Improving Email Deliverability

In addition to bypassing spam filters, Folderly helps marketing agencies improve their overall email deliverability. By monitoring key metrics and analyzing email performance, Folderly provides insights and recommendations for optimizing your email campaigns.

Folderly offers detailed deliverability reports, allowing you to assess the success of your campaigns and make data-driven decisions. By identifying bottlenecks and areas for improvement, you can refine your email strategies and maximize the chances of your messages reaching the right audience.

Free Trial and Contact Information

If you're interested in enhancing your email deliverability and optimizing your email marketing efforts, Folderly offers a free trial for you to explore their platform and see the benefits firsthand. Sign up for the free trial and start improving your email deliverability today!

If you have any further inquiries or need assistance, you can reach out to Folderly's support team. They are readily available to answer your questions and provide guidance on how to make the most of Folderly's features.

Don't let spam filters hinder your email marketing success. Take advantage of Folderly's powerful tools and features to bypass spam filters, improve email deliverability, and enhance your overall marketing performance.

Post a Comment