Can you afford to have your messages blocked for several hours or days? Do you know the current state of your infrastructure?
Here are some questions to ask:
Are you using a dedicated IP address?Yes No
If you’re a high-volume sender who is working with an email provider, make sure you have an IP address dedicated to your email stream. Ideally, have at least two IPs, one for your transactional email and a second for your marketing/promotional email. Sharing an IP address with other senders means their practices and reputation will have a direct impact on your deliverability—and that’s not good for any business. (At SendGrid, a dedicated IP address is provided for all Pro plans and higher.) Learn more about shared and dedicated IPs here.
Are your mail servers not secure, so a potential hacker could use them for spamming?Yes No
Make sure you don’t have an open relay or open proxy. Follow industry standard best practices for network and server security. All the best emailing practices don’t matter if you don’t have control of your environment.
Are you signed up for ISP feedback loops?Yes No
And do you have a process for managing complaints? Not only do you need to get signed up for all major ISP feedback loops, but you also need a process for rapidly removing email addresses that log complaints. Continuing to mail to people who have reported your email as spam will result in deliverability failures. (Gmail doesn’t have feedback loops, so be sure to implement a List-Unsubscribe header for more insight. Find more information about the List-Unsubscribe header here.) SendGrid automatically registers all users for all major feedback loops.
Do you have “postmaster” and “abuse” mailboxes set up for all your domains?Yes No
If yes, are you monitoring them? Many ISPs require that these mailboxes be set up and working to get access to their feedback loops. These are also common destinations for complaints from ISPs that don’t have feedback loops.
Is your sending domain able to receive mail?Yes No
Your sending domain needs to be able to receive mail, and it must have a valid MX record. If not, some ISPs will block your email.
Best Practice Tip
Resist the temptation to move IP addresses to resolve deliverability problems.
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Resist the temptation to move IP addresses to resolve deliverability problems. This is a suspicious practice and ISPs treat new IPs with caution. In fact, all IP addresses start with no reputation and must be “warmed up” by your good practices. Start by sending low volumes of email and work your way up to larger volumes. This helps you build a solid reputation and improves your chances of getting high delivery rates. If your mailing practices are poor or your infrastructure is not managed properly, these problems (and the bad reputation) will follow you to your new IP address. Need help with your infrastructure and deliverability? Just ask. SendGrid's team of experts is ready to help.
3. Send a Welcome Message
Welcome messages are the cornerstone of a well-run email program. When was the last time you signed up for a new online service and didn’t receive an immediate message confirming the sign up? Welcome messages (like other transactional emails) are more than confirmations, they’re an opportunity to engage with subscribers and to start the relationship off on the right foot.
Use your welcome message as an opportunity to start a relationship.
Ask yourself some basic questions before you hit send:
✓ Have I asked my subscribers what kind of content they want to receive?
✓ Will my subscribers want to read this email?
✓ Have I included both an HTML and a plain text version of my email?
✓ Is my email optimized for mobile?
✓ Is my email a positive reflection of my brand?
✓ Overall, am I getting the right message, to the right subscriber, at the right time?
5. Send Good Email
It sounds obvious, but it’s actually harder than it sounds. There is no secret formula to sending email that works. First, make sure you’re following the four suggestions outlined above. Second, the content of your emails needs to be relevant, interesting, and aesthetically aligned with your brand.
Download a PDF checklist here:
Best Practice Tip
Don’t use firstname.lastname@example.org in your emails.
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Inbox providers like Yahoo! and Gmail automatically add email addresses that users reply to, to their contacts list. Messages from senders in the contact lists won’t be marked as spam in most cases. The best way to start is to allow registered users to reply to emails to confirm their email accounts in addition to providing a confirmation link. Also, letting customers reply directly to your email lets them know that you want to hear from them. Your goal is to stimulate a two-way conversation with your user. Using a “no reply” in your “from” address can elicit a negative response from your customer. So, send your emails from an email address that can be regularly monitored for responses.
Get Started with SendGrid
SendGrid helps you focus on your business without the cost and complexity of owning and maintaining an email infrastructure. We help with all technical details (from whitelabeling to DKIM) and offer world-class deliverability expertise to help your emails reach the inbox. And with a full-featured marketing email service that offers a flexible workflow, powerful list segmentation, and actionable analytics, all of your email needs are met in one simple platform.
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For even more tips and updates on spam rates, authentication, and more, download our 2017 Email Deliverability Guide.