Improving Email Deliverability: Key Takeaways from the Tower Data Webinar

Improving Email Deliverability: Key Takeaways from the Tower Data Webinarrecent webinar hosted by Tower Data, Lizzy Hoffman, the marketing manager, introduced the topic of email deliverability. The webinar featured speakers Matt Wallace, the VP of Sales at Tower Data, and Mike Donnelly, the CEO of 7th Sense. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions throughout the webinar, and handouts were provided for reference. This blog post summarizes the key takeaways from the webinar.

The Challenge of Reaching the Inbox

In today's digital age, email has become an essential communication tool for individuals and businesses alike. But with the increasing volume of emails being sent, it has become increasingly difficult for messages to reach the intended recipients' inbox. Lizzy Hoffman, an email expert, recently highlighted the challenges of email deliverability and the impact of filtering systems implemented by email providers.

While email deliverability traditionally focused on avoiding email bounces, it has now evolved to include the goal of ensuring that emails are not sent to spam or other folders. This shift is crucial for email marketers and businesses that rely heavily on email communication to connect with their customers and prospects.

Email filtering systems are designed to protect users from unwanted and potentially harmful email content. They analyze various factors such as sender reputation, email content, and user engagement to determine if an email should be delivered to the inbox, flagged as spam, or filtered into other folders.

The Role of Sender Reputation

A significant factor that influences email deliverability is the sender's reputation. Email providers assign a sender reputation score based on several factors, including the sender's IP address, domain reputation, email engagement rates, and spam complaints.

To maintain a good sender reputation, email senders need to follow best practices such as acquiring permission-based email lists, sending relevant and engaging content, and promptly handling user complaints and unsubscribe requests. By maintaining a positive sender reputation, email marketers can increase the chances of their emails reaching the intended inbox.

Content and Email Filtering

Email content plays a vital role in email deliverability. Email filtering systems analyze the content of an email to determine its relevancy and potential spam-like characteristics. Factors such as excessive use of promotional language, misleading subject lines, and poorly coded HTML can negatively impact email deliverability.

It is essential to create well-crafted and engaging email content that resonates with the recipients. Personalization, relevant subject lines, and meaningful content can significantly improve open rates and decrease the likelihood of emails being flagged as spam.

User Engagement and Email Deliverability

Email providers take into account user engagement metrics to determine the quality of an email. Metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and spam complaints are analyzed to assess the relevance and legitimacy of an email.

To improve user engagement and email deliverability, email senders must focus on delivering valuable content to their subscribers. Tailoring emails to the recipients' preferences, segmenting email lists, and implementing proper email frequency can help increase user engagement and strengthen email deliverability.

The Importance of Authentication and Encryption

Email authentication protocols such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) play a crucial role in email deliverability. These protocols help verify the authenticity and integrity of an email, reducing the chances of it being flagged as spam.

Additionally, encryption technologies like TLS (Transport Layer Security) ensure secure transmission of emails, further building trust between email senders and recipients. Implementing these security measures not only enhances email deliverability but also protects sensitive information transmitted via email.

Google Postmaster Tools

Google Postmaster Tools is a valuable tool for monitoring and analyzing your domain's email reputation. It provides insights into how mailbox providers view your emails and helps you identify and fix any deliverability issues.

Understanding Email Reputation

Email reputation is a measure of how trustworthy and reliable your email domain is perceived by mailbox providers. ISPs and email service providers use various factors to determine the reputation of a domain, including email volume, engagement metrics, spam complaints, and email authentication.

Having a good email reputation is crucial for ensuring that your emails land in the recipients' inbox rather than being filtered into the spam folder. Monitoring your domain's reputation allows you to take proactive measures to maintain a healthy email deliverability rate.

Key Features of Google Postmaster Tools

Google Postmaster Tools offers a range of features that help domain administrators and email senders gain insights into their email deliverability. The following are some of the key features:

  • Domain Reputation: Provides a comprehensive overview of your domain's reputation based on factors such as inbox placement rate, spam rate, domain authentication, and IP reputation.
  • IP Reputation: Offers detailed information about the reputation of your sending IP addresses, helping you identify potential issues that may affect deliverability.
  • Spam Rate: Shows the percentage of your emails marked as spam by recipients, allowing you to monitor and address any spam complaints.
  • Domain Authentication: Checks if your domain has proper email authentication protocols set up, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, which can significantly improve deliverability.
  • Delivery Errors: Highlights any delivery errors encountered while sending emails, enabling you to troubleshoot and fix any issues.
  • Bounce and Feedback Loop Reporting: Provides information on bounced emails and feedback loop notifications received from mailbox providers, helping you identify potential problems and take necessary actions.

Other Tools for Monitoring Domain Reputation

In addition to Google Postmaster Tools, there are several other reputable tools available to monitor and assess your domain's email reputation. These tools offer various features and data points to help you make informed decisions about your email marketing strategy.

  • Center Scores: Center Scores provides reputation scores and intelligence related to email senders and IPs, helping you understand how your emails are perceived by mailbox providers.
  • Talos Intelligence: Talos Intelligence offers threat and reputation intelligence services, including email reputation monitoring, to protect against malicious activities.
  • Reputation Authority: Reputation Authority provides comprehensive email deliverability monitoring and reputation management solutions, allowing you to optimize your email program.
  • Barracuda Central: Barracuda Central offers real-time threat intelligence and email reputation data, enabling you to protect your email domain from spam and other malicious activities.
  • Trusted Source: Trusted Source is an email reputation system by McAfee that provides reputation scores for email senders, domains, and IPs to help you better understand your email deliverability.

By utilizing these tools, you can gain a deeper understanding of your domain's reputation and take necessary actions to improve your email deliverability. Monitoring your domain's reputation on a regular basis is essential for maintaining a positive sender reputation and ensuring your emails reach the intended recipients.

Optimizing Email Delivery

When it comes to email marketing, one of the key factors that can make or break your campaign's success is email delivery optimization. Matt Wallace, an email marketing expert, has emphasized the importance of optimizing email delivery to ensure that your emails are sent at the right time and reach the right recipients.

The Significance of Email Delivery Optimization

Email delivery optimization involves various strategies and techniques to improve the chances of your emails reaching the recipients' inboxes and avoiding being flagged as spam. With the ever-increasing volume of emails being sent every day, it's crucial to optimize your email delivery to stand out from the crowd and successfully engage your target audience.

Optimizing email delivery can have several benefits:

  • Better Engagement: By sending emails when recipients are most likely to engage, you increase the chances of your emails being opened, read, and acted upon. This can lead to higher click-through rates and conversions.
  • Avoiding Spam Filters: Throttling email sending is an important aspect of email delivery optimization. Spam filters are designed to identify and filter out unsolicited emails. By following best practices and avoiding excessive sending, you can prevent your emails from being flagged as spam.
  • Improved Reputation: When your emails consistently reach the recipients' inboxes, your reputation as a sender improves. This can positively impact future email deliverability rates and ensure a higher level of trust and engagement with your audience.
  • Cost Efficiency: Optimizing email delivery can also help you save costs by avoiding sending emails to invalid or inactive email addresses. By maintaining a clean and updated email list, you can focus your efforts on recipients who are likely to engage, resulting in a higher return on investment.

Throttling Email Sending to Avoid Being Flagged

One of the crucial aspects of email delivery optimization is throttling email sending. Throttling refers to controlling the rate at which you send emails to avoid triggering spam filters or overwhelming the recipient's email servers.

Here are some best practices for throttling email sending:

  1. Gradual Increase: When starting a new email campaign or sending emails to a new list, it's important to gradually increase the sending volume. This allows you to establish a positive sending reputation and avoid sudden spikes that might raise red flags.
  2. Monitoring Feedback Loops: Pay attention to feedback loops provided by email service providers. These loops allow you to receive feedback from recipients who mark your emails as spam. Monitoring and taking necessary actions based on this feedback can help you prevent further issues.
  3. Segmentation: Segmenting your email list based on various factors such as engagement history, demographics, or preferences can help you send targeted emails to specific groups. This allows for better personalization and relevant content delivery, leading to higher engagement.
  4. Email Authentication: Implementing authentication protocols like SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) can help verify the authenticity of your emails. This can improve the chances of your emails bypassing spam filters and reaching the recipient's inbox.


Optimizing email delivery is a critical step in ensuring the success of your email marketing campaigns. By sending emails when recipients are most likely to engage and implementing throttling techniques, you can improve engagement rates, avoid spam filters, and maintain a positive sender reputation. Remember to continually monitor and adapt your email delivery strategies to stay ahead of evolving trends and best practices.

Email Validation and List Management

When it comes to maintaining a healthy email list, email validation plays a crucial role. Mike Donnelly, an expert in the field, emphasizes the significance of email validation as the first step in ensuring that email addresses are valid and reducing bounce rates. In this article, we'll explore the importance of email validation and how it can benefit businesses in managing their email lists effectively.

The Importance of Email Validation

Email validation is the process of verifying the authenticity and deliverability of an email address. It helps businesses maintain a clean and accurate email list by identifying invalid or non-existent email addresses. By removing invalid emails from your list, you can improve deliverability rates and reduce the chances of your emails bouncing.

To facilitate the email validation process, Tower Data offers a real-time email validation service. This service allows you to identify invalid email addresses during the opt-in process, ensuring that only valid emails are added to your list. By implementing this service, you can minimize the number of bounced emails and ensure that your messages reach your intended recipients.

Targeting Specific User Subsets for Re-engagement

In addition to validating email addresses, open and activity data can help businesses target specific subsets of users for re-engagement campaigns. By analyzing the engagement level of your subscribers, you can identify inactive or disengaged users and create tailored re-engagement strategies to win them back.

For example, if you run a seasonal business, such as a holiday gift shop, you can target users who were active during the previous holiday season. By sending them personalized offers or reminders, you can rekindle their interest and increase the likelihood of them making a purchase again.

Approaching Purchased Email Lists Differently

When using purchased email lists, it is essential to approach them differently compared to organically grown lists. Instead of immediately bombarding subscribers with promotional emails, it is crucial to focus on education and building rapport.

Start by sending welcome emails that introduce your business and explain how the subscriber ended up on your list. This helps establish trust and reduces the chances of them marking your emails as spam. Provide valuable and relevant content, such as educational resources or exclusive offers, to nurture the relationship with your subscribers.

Rebuilding Reputation and Smarter Email Sending Practices

If your domain has been blocked by email providers, it is crucial to understand why this happened and what changes need to be made to your email practices. In order to regain a good reputation and ensure successful email delivery, it is important to follow smarter email sending practices.

Understanding the Problem

The first step in rebuilding your email reputation is to determine the reasons behind the block. It could be due to a number of factors such as sending unsolicited emails, high bounce rates, or low engagement levels. It is important to identify the specific issues that led to your domain being blocked.

Mike Donnelly, an email deliverability expert, suggests gradually sending emails to more engaged recipients and reintroducing less engaged recipients over time. This process can help you dig yourself out of a bad reputation with email providers.

Gradual Reintroduction of Less Engaged Recipients

When your domain has a poor reputation, it is important to focus on rebuilding trust with email providers. Gradually reintroducing less engaged recipients can help achieve this. Start by sending emails only to your most engaged subscribers who are more likely to open, click, and interact with your content. As you see improved engagement rates, you can gradually include less engaged recipients in your email campaigns.

This approach allows you to demonstrate to email providers that you are sending relevant content to engaged recipients, which can positively impact your overall reputation. By gradually increasing the number of less engaged recipients, you can monitor their interaction and make adjustments if needed.

Quick Recovery with Smarter Email Sending Practices

In addition to the gradual reintroduction of less engaged recipients, smarter email sending practices can help you quickly recover from a bad reputation. One way to achieve this is by sending emails to a smaller number of recipients with a higher reputation.

By narrowing down your recipient list to those who have consistently engaged with your emails or have a higher reputation score, you can increase the chances of better engagement rates. This can be achieved by segmenting your email list based on recipients' past interactions, such as opens, clicks, and conversions.

When you send emails to a smaller, more targeted audience, you can provide highly relevant content that resonates with their interests. This not only improves engagement rates but also helps establish a positive reputation with email providers.

Higher Engagement Rates

By following smarter email sending practices, you can expect to see higher engagement rates. When you send emails to a more engaged audience, the likelihood of recipients opening, interacting, and converting increases.

With a smaller, more targeted email list, you can focus on providing valuable and personalized content to your subscribers. This enhances the overall user experience and encourages recipients to actively engage with your emails. Higher engagement rates can lead to improved deliverability and a better reputation with email providers.

In summary, if your domain is blocked by email providers, understanding the reasons behind the block is crucial. By gradually sending to more engaged recipients and reintroducing less engaged recipients over time, you can rebuild your reputation. In addition, smarter email sending practices, such as sending to a smaller, more targeted audience, can result in higher engagement rates and ultimately improve your email reputation.

Additional Resources

In the webinar, the speaker discussed the importance of email deliverability and how it can impact the success of your email marketing campaigns. One of the key takeaways from the webinar is that HubSpot and Marketo are two valuable resources that can provide guidance on improving email deliverability.

If you're not familiar with HubSpot and Marketo, both are widely recognized as leading marketing automation platforms. They offer a range of tools and features to help businesses streamline their marketing efforts, including email marketing.


HubSpot offers a comprehensive suite of tools to help businesses attract, engage, and delight customers. When it comes to email deliverability, HubSpot provides guidance and best practices to ensure your emails land in your subscribers' inboxes.

Here are some key features and resources offered by HubSpot that can help improve email deliverability:

  1. Email deliverability insights: HubSpot provides data and analytics to help you understand how your emails are performing and identify any deliverability issues.
  2. Domain reputation monitoring: HubSpot actively monitors your domain reputation and alerts you if there are any issues that could affect email deliverability.
  3. Spam filter testing: HubSpot allows you to test your emails against popular spam filters to ensure they comply with best practices and have a higher chance of reaching the inbox.
  4. Best practices documentation: HubSpot offers a wealth of documentation and resources on email deliverability best practices, including tips on email design, subject lines, and targeting.


Marketo is another leading marketing automation platform that can help improve email deliverability. It offers a range of features and resources specifically designed to optimize email marketing performance.

Here are some ways Marketo can assist you in improving email deliverability:

  • Deliverability monitoring: Marketo monitors your email deliverability and provides insights into any issues that may arise. This allows you to take immediate action and maintain a high deliverability rate.
  • Email deliverability audit: Marketo offers an audit service to assess your email deliverability practices and identify areas for improvement. This can be especially helpful if you're experiencing deliverability issues and need expert guidance.
  • Email authentication: Marketo supports various email authentication protocols, such as SPF, DKIM, and DMARC, which can help establish your domain's reputation and improve deliverability.
  • Email deliverability community: Marketo has an active community of email marketers who share insights, best practices, and troubleshooting tips to help improve email deliverability.

By leveraging the guidance and resources provided by HubSpot and Marketo, you can significantly enhance your email deliverability and maximize the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Remember, email deliverability is not just about hitting the send button. It's about understanding the factors that can impact deliverability, implementing best practices, and continually monitoring and optimizing your email performance. With the help of HubSpot and Marketo, you can stay on top of these factors and ensure your emails make it into your subscribers' inboxes.

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