5 Keys to Increase Email Deliverability

Vicki      Sunday, August 13, 2017

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To increase email deliverability is paramount for you email campaign ROI, not to mention simply driving more traffic to your websites and offers.

Open rates much less conversion are dismal without delivery. 

To keep your emails from being swept away by spam filters before they ever reach their intended inbox, you may be asked by your email provider system to edit the DNS records for your 'from' email.

Per CAN-SPAM Act rules, we must verify the sender of the emails going to your subscribers.

However, depending on how the domain for your 'from' email is configured, you could have a few things to resolve before you can even make the integration work for your email system.

Top 5 Keys to Improving Email Deliverability 

Increase Email Delivery Rates and Fix DNS

1. You must own the domain for the 'from' email you set up in your email list configuration. 

It cannot be an email from att, yahoo, gmail, or any public domain or your emails are destined for the great trash bin in the sky.

Your 'from' email here is the one your subscribers will appear to be receiving emails (from, even though the email system is the actual sender, on your behalf.

In configuration panel for your email list, complete any indicated steps to verify that you own the domain that your emails are from. I'm not sure it matters but I would say that your overall company 'from' email that is in your email provider's settings might also be a verified domain.

If you do not own a domain, there are a number of services to choose from....

A Google search for 'domain registrar service' would yield too many results, but I would be sure to include 'offers custom DNS fields' in that search, especially if you intend to use the domain to host an email account that will be sending automated emails on your behalf.

2. Be sure that you have access to edit your domain's DNS records. The registrar or hosting company holding the DNS records for that domain MUST provide custom DNS fields, which your email provider may request. 

How do you find your DNS records you may wonder?

If you have no website yet or even email for the domain yet, then they'll be at your domain's registrar (wherever you bought your domain, GoDaddy or NameCheap for example). 

If you have defined an email at the domain registrar, they'll have updaetd the DNS records accordingly but you still may need to edit them (more on that later).

If you have set up an email or a website for the domain at a hosting company, then that hosting company will hold the DNS record (at least this is what I've found in my experience).

Either way, the system holding your DNS records must provide for custom DNS fields in order for you to set this up.

So if they do not allow you to modify your DNS records, then you'll either have to move that domain to a hosting provider that does, or use a different domain for your 'from' email, in order to bypass most spam filters, or even to be able to verify the domain at your email provider.

3. Verify the sender domain at your email provider. Edit the domain's DNS records according to your email provider's domain verification steps. In order to accomplish this step, the email provider sends a request for DNS records. 

It expects not only a response, but specific information in those records, and gives you that information.

At the domain registrar or host (wherever the DNS records live), there is a menu selection or ultimately an administration panel that provides access to the domain's DNS fields. 

At Godaddy, the Domain Manager has a drop down box next to the domain that you can easily change your records (see below screen shots). 

Then, I get to the same place whether I picked Nameserver or Manage DNS: GoDaddy DNA Management Panel

In SiteGround, I use the CPanel, where I found the records at the 'Advanced DNS zones' icon as shown in this screenshot:

How to edit DNS records 

Once inside your DNS records area you will notice a list of several, some might be CNAM or TXT (spf is a type of TXT record as well) or A.

You will need to edit the records to both ADD a TXT and CNAM field, and to EDIT the SPF TXT entry to match what your email provider has indicated in its domain verificatio process.

Though my email is sitting at SiteGround did this through a common CPanel via the Advanced DNS Zones icon, so it should be fairly applicable across the board of hosting admin panels.

4. Don't put more than 2 links, watch the length and images. 

Spam filters are looking for many things, including too many links or images (two things that scream 'marketing'), and particularly whether the sending IP is blacklisted. 

The IP being examined is that of the host serving the 'from' email in the message. If the IP is on a blacklist then the email pretty much has no hope of reaching an inbox.

IP addresses might be blacklisted because the prior owner used a spam email program from that IP. Even your home IP might be blacklisted, depending on its history, but you'd possibly never realize it (except some web services may not behave properly, or your comments on websites might always just evaporate). 

One blacklist called Backscatter even has questionable tactics. It does not immediately delist IP addresses after resolution of an issue that blacklisted hte IP in the first place. They require payment to do so, or the owner has to wait for a 4 week timeframe before the delist occurs. 

Your home IP will not affect your outgoing emails, nor those from your auto-responder. But the reputation and record of your domains IP is important.

5. Finallly, Serve Your List What they Want. 

Be sure first of all that the sender email is monitored (it must exist), and your ability to build a relationship with your list depends on your responsiveness, so make sure to forward the emails to your business email address so that you can answer communications promptly.

Never forget the constant competition for inbox attention. You should be consistent with your message, and careful not to promote more than you provide.

Get to know your audience better my measuring your tracking for all opens and clicks.

Test, Test and Test!

You can always improve, never give up improving on your email conversions, starting with improving delierability, then open rates, then finally clickthroughs and conversions.

IP and Email Testers

Here's a tool to test your from domain's IP.

Here is a site that allows you to test the spammyness of your emails.

Should you have any comments please leave them, we are grateful for your time in reading and  thank you in advance for your shares!