How to improve email deliverability

By Leon Tranter | Email Marketing

Sep 18
how to improve email deliverability

Are you interested in email marketing? Are you concerned about your emails not getting through to people? This article will explain some email email deliverability best practices. That way, you can get the best ROI on your email marketing activities.

Get your own email address

This one is a must-do and a total no-brainer. Make sure you have your own email address from your own domain! Never, ever set a free public email service address (e.g. a gmail, hotmail, etc address) as the From address for an email newsletter. This sets of major spam alarms and will guarantee low deliverability.

If you get your own hosting from somewhere like BlueHost or SiteGround, you will be able to create any number of email addresses in the domain you have bought. E.g. if you bought the domain name, you can create,, whatever you like.

Be sure to set a domain email address as not just From but also the Reply-To address for your email campaigns.

Leon’s pro tip: If you’re not looking forward to monitoring and using yet another email address, there is a simple hack to avoid that but still get a good deliverability score. Just set a custom redirect on your new custom email address.

So still set the From and Reply-To to be, but in your cPanel, set a redirect so that any emails that go to get redirected to or whatever your main email address is.

That way, if someone replies, it will go to because you set your Reply To as that, but it will then get redirected to your gmail address and you can continue the conversation from there. Neat huh!

Authenticate your email domain

Make sure your sender is using best practice email authentication. This means using techniques such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and Domain Keys Identified Mail. These prove that your emails are from who they are saying.

If you’re not sure how those things work (they’re pretty technical and scary), just check with your ESP (Email Service Provider) and make sure they are using them. You should then get them for free.

Get a dedicated IP address

If you are sending a large amount of emails, you’ll want to send them all from one dedicated IP address. That will make it seem less like you a sending spam from a farm of servers. You might have to pay extra for a dedicated server or VPS (Virtual Private Server), but it could be worth it. Especially if you are sending tens of thousands of emails per day.

Don’t use spam type phrases

Using phrases like “risk-free”, “eliminate debt” and “free system” “win cash” will make your emails look suspicious. This applies to both subject and body of the email. If you really want to use these words, you can try putting punctuation on them (e.g. “ca_sh”), but these might not fool the automated systems.

There is a good list of dangerous spam type words here you can use as a guide.

Provide a preference center

People like choices, right? Right. So give them a choice of how they can receive email via preference centre. This is a page where they can choose what types of emails, what frequency, and so on. This will reduce complaints, bounces and unsubscribes. Which will make your emails look better and improve your email deliverability.

Send emails that people love

Make sure to put effort into the emails that you send. Work on your headlines to make them more catchy and attention-grabbing. Proofread and edit your body copy to make sure it is readable and interesting.

Use paragraph breaks and formatting to keep people’s attention. The more people read your emails, the less they will bounce, unsubscribe or complain. And that improves readability significantly.

Prime your ISP for your emails

If you are sending out seriously large batches of emails (tens of thousands), you can also improve deliverability by “priming” your ISP for emails. Send a few thousand in one go. Then send larger batches. This way you don’t come across as a spammer by suddenly sending 50,000 emails out of nowhere.

Use a regular sending schedule

People will be less likely to complain or unsubscribe if they are expecting your emails. Rather than send on a random schedule that changes every week, pick a regular schedule.

For example, one email on a Monday morning then one each on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. Put some research into when is the best time to send your emails based on your niche, timezone, audience, etc.

Try double optin instead of single

If you are still struggling and want to really focus on building up a small but high quality list with no email deliverability issues, you can try double opt-in instead of single opt-in. That means that to join your list, someone has to not only sign up but then also click a Confirm button in an email.

This will reduce the size of your list by quite a great deal, at least 50% (if not more). But you will be sure that people on your list are real and are opening your emails and engaging with your content. And that in turn will mean higher email deliverability.

Prune your lists

Make sure you regularly “prune” your email list. Most email tools such as GetResponse will show you the “health” of the contacts in your list. Every now and then, go in and get rid of the lower rated contacts. If somebody isn’t opening your emails, they are taking up space in your list and you might as well drop them.

Use a branded From name

Be careful with your “From” name. This isn’t the From address or Reply To address, this is the name that appears in an email tool next to the message. It could be anything – you should probably make it your name, but try branding it too.

For example, instead of sending my emails from “Leon Tranter”, I’m now sending them as from “Leon from Citizen Affiliate”.

Why? People might look at “Leon Tranter” and think “who the hell is that?”. But they see “Leon from Citizen Affiliate” and they think “oh yes, I remember that website! I might see what their latest email is about”.

And the more people who open and ready your emails, and the less people who delete or even worse, complain or mark as spam, the better your deliverability will be.

Check you are not on a blacklist

Make sure whoever is sending your emails is not on a blacklist. Some servers get blacklisted if they are suspected to be spam factories.

You can check using a free email deliverability tool – put in your server domain name or IP address and it will make sure it isn’t on any blacklists.

Perform email deliverability analysis

If you are using a good email delivery tool, it should have the ability to show reports of your email campaigns. Make sure to check the numbers and fix any issues it suggests.


I hope you found these email deliverability tips helpful. Have you tried any of these? Or are you still having problems with delivering emails?

Let me know in the comments!