October 31, 2022

How to Improve Email Deliverability in 5 Easy Steps

Written by Jacob Mieso

Outbound cold emailing is a tried-and-true method for sales and marketing professionals to grow their business. It allows you to reach your target audience at scale with a precise message.

Email deliverability is crucial to ensuring your outbound strategy’s success. The last thing you want is to spend hours writing email copy and setting up sequences only for the emails to be left unread, or worse, for them to end up in spam.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at five simple steps you can take to improve email deliverability and the success of your cold emails.

What is email deliverability?

Simply put, email deliverability measures how many contacts are receiving your emails. Many factors can negatively impact email deliverability, such as high bounce rates, low engagement rates, and a poor domain reputation.

Some factors are technical and influenced by your Internet service provider (ISP) and Email service provider (ESP). Other factors are more within your control, such as the amount of engagement your emails get and your domain reputation.

Step 1: Set your domain up for success

Before you begin sending off emails, give yourself the best possible chance for success. Set up your domains properly so that ISPs and ESPs can see them as valid and send them off to the desired inbox.

To do this, start by setting up Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) for any domains you’ll be using to engage with your target audience. This authenticates your email with a healthy domain reputation, proving to service providers you are who you say you are, and giving them the green light to send your email.

Step 2: Create custom tracking domains

Sales engagement platforms use tracking domains to track opens, clicks, and unsubscribes of your emails. However, these tracking domains are different than your sender domain and email service providers are able to see these differences. Mismatches in tracking and sender domains can greatly increase the risk of your email being marked as spam.

Therefore, it’s important to use custom tracking domains to minimize the chance of your email being flagged as spam. Custom tracking domains allow you to replace links containing tracking domains created by an engagement platform with links containing your sender domain. This removes the mismatch between the tracking domain and sender domains, and helps bypass an ESP’s spam filters.

Step 3: Keep a clean contact list

A surefire way to improve email deliverability is to only reach out to real, verified contacts. It seems simple enough, but inaccurate contact data can significantly impact your sender reputation. This can include low engagement from uninterested recipients and hard bounces from emails that don’t exist.

One method to combat this is to only get contact data from reliable sources with credible data quality. You should also regularly cleanse and enrich your data to make sure everything is accurate and up to date. Removing unverified contacts from your lists and sequences will also lead to fewer hard bounces. All of these will help maintain a healthy domain reputation, by ensuring you’re only engaging with real people.

Step 4: Test multiple subject lines

Having an eye-catching subject line can often be your one shot at getting your product or service in front of a potential customer. Writing and testing different subject lines is a great way to see what messaging works best, positively impact email deliverability, and enjoy more successful cold emails.

You can do this by setting up an A/B test with different subject lines. Trying out various tones (funny, serious, playful, matter-of-fact, etc.) and seeing which gets the most opens and clicks helps you identify what resonates best with your audience. This leads to better engagement rates and, ultimately, better email deliverability.

Step 5: Monitor your email metrics and domain reputation

It’s often said that what gets measured gets managed. While employing all of the above strategies will help improve email deliverability, it’s still important to regularly check your email performance and domain health.

Metrics such as deliverability, open rate, interest rate, and bounce rate will give you a good picture of whether your emails are capturing your audience’s interest. A healthy status of your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC ensures ISPs and ESPs trust your emails. Having a solid understanding of where you stand will help you know whether or not continued action is needed to improve email deliverability.

Improving email deliverability with Apollo’s sequence diagnostics

Apollo’s sequence diagnostics allows you to run an end-to-end health check in-app on all of your domains, receive solutions for fixing any issues, and ensure a healthy domain reputation. Set your domain up properly and leverage Apollo’s custom tracking domains to avoid spam filters and see greater open and reply rates. Cruise through our self-serve workflow that highlights specific areas that need your attention in email setup, domain reputation, or contact data.

Unlike other engagement software that only gives suggestions on how to improve email deliverability, Apollo’s sequence diagnostics both diagnoses any domain problems and shows you how to resolve them – leading to more successful sequences and faster ROI.

Ensure your emails reach your prospect’s inbox every time

As seen, successful engagement relies on a number of factors. By implementing these best practices, and employing Apollo’s sequence diagnostics, you’re well on your way to reaching more prospects and, ultimately, converting more of them into paying customers.

Jacob Mieso