Email Automation: How to improve your email deliverability
Let’s face it, email marketing is part of our lives. A total of 347.3 billion emails were sent and received per day this year (a 4.3% increase over last year) and the numbers are still growing. Whether for personal or business purposes, sending and receiving emails is now part of our daily routine. Thus, email deliverability is something brands should pay real attention to.
During the pandemic, the number of emails sent grew massively, and now we have 4 billion email users worldwide daily. However, not all emails reach their intended recipients' inboxes. Some even end up in the spam folder. This can be frustrating, especially when your key messages get lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, there are ways to improve email deliverability by measuring it with the right tools and taking action on their suggestions. The key is to use the proper email delivery testing platform, collaborate with a marketing automation specialist to configure your campaign, and interpret deliverability reports to maximize your campaign's potential.
Mail-Tester.com and MXToolbox are two valuable tools to evaluate your email deliverability and help you achieve your email marketing goals. Of course, these are not the only tools you can use. To use these platforms effectively, you must understand what types of problems are involved and how they can help you take the right actions for improvement.
Mail-Tester.com is a user-friendly and intuitive free online service, that tests the quality of your email. By sending a test email to Mail-Tester.com, you can receive a report indicating the likelihood that your email will be labeled as spam by different email filters. The report provides a score out of 10 and includes recommendations on how to improve your email's deliverability.
Needless to say: you should aspire for a score as high as possible. If your configuration is done right and you don't have issues in the Spam area, your score shouldn't be below 8.5.
One crucial aspect of email deliverability is ensuring your email passes authentication checks. This is where SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) come in. These two protocols are used to verify the authenticity of emails and prevent email spoofing and phishing.
The tool provides recommendations on how to improve your email deliverability based on the issues detected. These recommendations may include suggestions to improve the content of your email, optimize your subject line, or fix any technical matters with your email server. As you can see in the picture below, in the case of this platform, every tab has a drop-down that shows your particular issues and how to solve them.
Still, don't rely exclusively on these aspects concerning spam triggering. An excellent email is not enough if you do not control the number of emails sent through practices like touch governance, contact fatigue management or custom preference center. You can learn more about how not to trigger that spam emotional response from here.
Aside from all this, Mail-Tester can also show you whether or not you are blacklisted. But we'll talk about this more below.
MXToolbox is another popular online platform for free, fast, and accurate network diagnostic and lookup tools. It provides a comprehensive suite of diagnostic instruments that can help IT professionals and system administrators troubleshoot issues related to email delivery, DNS records (meaning database records used to map a URL to an IP address), and network connectivity.
When you test your email deliverability, it’s recommended to check your DNS records for a domain or IP address. This can be useful for troubleshooting issues related to DNS configuration, such as email delivery, website accessibility, or domain name resolution.
One particular feature of this platform we want to focus on in this article is the email delivery testing service. Although this comes before email deliverability, it’s recommended to check both. Hence, it's only natural to check that your email is delivered (meaning it won't bounce back) and then verify whether it ends up in your audience's Inbox, Spam folder, or another folder. You can test various aspects, including DNS records, MX configuration, and spam filter settings. By identifying and resolving these issues, you can ensure that emails get to the recipients' inboxes without delays or issues.
(Good DMARC example)
(SPF Record Issues example)
(Good SPF Record example)
Here's the thing, email deliverability is a pretty vast subject, and the list of possible issues can be long and very subjective. So is the list of handy tools and services.
Some other aspects you should consider at this step of your implementation are blacklist monitoring, port scanning, and SSL certificate testing.
An IP address blacklist check shows if your URL or IP address has been listed by any key email provider or anti-spam organization (aka a domain name server blacklist or DNSBL). Many DNSBLs exist online, each using different criteria for listing and delisting addresses. Thus, it is essential to beat the clock to it and ensure that email providers do not mark your emails as spam or blacklist you entirely.
When testing your emails, you must learn to take advantage of detailed reports and analyses of network performance and email delivery. This data can help you identify trends and patterns and identify potential issues before they become major problems. Hence, using proper tools to evaluate your emails and taking improvement actions should be your go-to in every project.
Overall, tools like MXToolbox, Mail-Tester, and similar platforms are powerful and comprehensive instruments that can help IT professionals and system administrators manage and troubleshoot a range of deliverability tasks.
Deliverability is essential for your email marketing success. Email delivery testing, DNS lookup, and blacklist monitoring tools are particularly useful for ensuring that email delivery is reliable and efficient. If you pay attention to your configuration and try not to trigger the spam filters, you'll be ok.
And if you feel close to a breaking point and there are too many issues to address, consider collaborating with external experts. You will have to balance your needs, resources, and expected outcomes, but it is all worth it for the greater good of your company.
Marketing automation expert during the day, music enthusiast during the night. Weapons of choice: wireless keyboards and 90's vinyls.