Email Deliverability Checklist
| July 29, 2021
I had the pleasure of working with customers with lists of over 300K contacts.
Some of those customers are 2CC and some of those customers were big enterprises, obliged by law to send emails to their audience to share annual statements and other important updates.
Whether you have a 5K or 1M contacts in your list, this checklist will cover everything that needs to happen to improve your email deliverability.
Ps. I wouldn’t suggest making changes to things you are not familiar with. Contact your support or a qualified professional if you aren't sure what you are doing. Some of the items discussed below have the potential to bring your emails to half if not set up correctly.
Here’s the full Email Deliverability Checklist:
- List age
- List hygiene
- User Engagement tracking
- Domain and IP Reputation: MX Tools and Google Postmaster Tools
- Domain Distribution (domain/Ip)
- SPF, DKIM and DMARC
- Spam Reports: FBL (Feedback Loops)
- IP address / Domain Warmup
Let’s cover each item individually:
Depending on how old your list is, it’s a good idea to validate your list first. This will cost you money, however, it will save you time cleaning up your list while warming up your IP address or domain.
If your list isn’t that old, you can send them a re-engagement campaign and clean up the list as you go by removing bounced emails and taking note of who’s engaging and how often.
USER ENGAGEMENT TRACKING:
This is by far one of the most important things that need to be implemented.
Engagement tracking is the core of email deliverability, so tracking what contacts are engaging and how often they are engaging is crucial.
I usually create automations to dynamically manage this and create tags to segment the contacts later on. This is how it looks like:
- Recently Engaged: Contacts that opened an email within 7 days
- Engaged: Contacts that engaged within 14-28 days
- Disengaged: Contacts that haven’t engaged over 28-60 days
- Inactive: Contacts that haven’t engaged over 60 days
TRACK DOMAIN AND IP REPUTATION:
I recommend setting up:
- MX Tools: Monitoring and Deliverability tools, essential for DMARC logging
- Google Postmaster Tools: This tool is free and will allow you to check spam rate, IP, and Domain reputation among many other things
Content is really important and you must ensure it’s engaging. Usually, the open rate will give a solid understanding of how engaged your audience really is.
Before you get to check the open rates, you should check the domain / IP warm-up and configure the DNS settings, see below.
DOMAIN DISTRIBUTION (DOMAIN/IP):
For big clients using multiple domains and IP addresses to deliver emails, it’s a great idea to have set IP addresses pools matching specific domains, so one IP/domain does not compromise the other’s reputation.
SPF, DKIM, AND DMARC:
Setting up your DNS records correctly will allow you to protect your domain and tell the email providers that you are taking action to ensure the emails sent from your domain are authenticated. This will assist greatly in building an optimal domain reputation.
SPAM REPORTS: FBL (FEEDBACK LOOPS):
Imagine being able to identify all the contacts that are reporting your emails spam! Well, this is possible, all you need to do is register your IP address and domain on Gmail, Yahoo and so on and they will help you to monitor your email reputation.
Once you have access to the contacts that are flagging you as an offender, simply unsubscribe them and remove them from your list.
IP ADDRESS / DOMAIN WARMUP:
When you have a list over 5k and you are changing from one email provider to another (IP address), you will be required to “warm-up” the IP address or, in other words, let the Gmails, Yahoos, and so on, that you will start sending emails to a big list. It’s best practice to clean up your list and set up the DNS records mentioned above before starting this process.
Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with, leave a message in the comments below.