• Best Practices

How To Improve your Email Delivery Rate

Mary Dolan
5 min read

You know the drill. One of your customers--yet again--didn’t receive the receipt, confirmation, sign-up key, or other desired email they were expecting. The angry customer’s voice is on the other line. “Where’s my order confirmation? Did you get my email right?” After much back-and-forth, one of your sales reps finally figures out what’s going on. “They didn’t get the invite to the user group,” she says. “They said it went to spam.” As she says this, the phone starts ringing again.

Does this sound familiar? If your customers aren’t getting your transactional emails , then there’s a good chance that your email program needs some refreshing.

Done well, an email program is one of the most valuable tools at an organization’s disposal. It can help you achieve a high delivery rate, which is the rate at which your email is successfully delivered to a target audience. However, if done poorly, your program may result in low delivery rates, fewer customers, and delayed orders or services. Take a look below at four common delivery issues and how you can avoid them.

Delivery Rate Tip #1: Keep your mailing list up-to-date.

Some things age well, like wine, all four Golden Girls, and Hello Kitty merchandise. Your email list? Not so much.

Older mailing lists contain outdated, abandoned, and uninterested recipients that can have a negative impact on your email delivery rate. Over the last few years, ISPs have moved away from traditional spam filters and focused their attention on user engagement - that is, how your subscribers interact with the emails you send them. These interactions help them determine whether emails should go to our inbox or land in our spam folder.

When you keep these addresses in your list, your emails may bounce or go to the wrong inbox. This can lead to spam complaints, which can harm your delivery rate and reputation. If your sending address and domain is constantly flagged as spam and lacks positive engagement, your emails will stop showing up even in the inboxes of those who want them, and your messaging will reach fewer people. This, in turn, can hurt your organization’s financial goals.

To easily avoid these pitfalls, be sure to validate your mailing list and update it regularly. This ensures that you are sending your emails to real addresses and interested customers. These customers will engage with your communications and keep your delivery rates high and your reputation sparkling.

Delivery Rate Tip #2: Have new subscribers verify their address before being placed on your mailing list.

We’ve all mistyped our email address. Perhaps we aren’t paying attention, or maybe we’re just in a rush to get a fast-selling item. It’s likely that, for a variety of reasons, at least a few of your customers won’t type in their email address correctly on your platform. Incorrect email addresses can result in unseen communications and negative feedback.

The solution? Verify the email address at the point of interaction using a double opt-in tool. If you request someone’s email address when they place an order or sign up for an account, send them an email confirming their subscription using double opt-in. The likelihood of you receiving an engaged customer and correct email address is much higher, and communication between you and your customers will be much smoother and more positive for both parties.

Delivery Rate Tip #3: Monitor engagement metrics and spam complaints

Sometimes the truth hurts. One person may not care if they receive several reminders or offers from your organization, but another may grumble about their full inbox. How do you know if your subscribers want your communications and are engaging with them?

Open and click-through rates, as well as your unsubscribes and spam complaints, will help understand whether your audience is finding your emails valuable or not. Since ISPs now focus on user engagement to decide where an email should land, carefully monitoring them is important to protect your delivery rate..

You should also set up a feedback loop to keep track of any spam complaints your message receives. While Mailgun registers all of their IPs for feedback loops, you should double-check and make sure that you are signed up for all major email service provider FBLs. Ignoring feedback and garnering too many complaints can lead to these providers blocking your emails, which seriously harms your delivery rate. Embrace the truth, embrace the loop, and cut back on emails customers find redundant.

Delivery Rate Tip #4: Don’t attach PDFs to your emails. By attaching a PDF to your mail, you may think you're making things easier for the customer. Maybe your web developer is on vacation and you can’t figure out how to host the file. Maybe your ERP automatically generates a PDF invoice for your customers. Maybe you’re too busy taking pictures of your newest online purchase.

Regardless of your reason, if you’re sending any commercial email messages to your customers, make sure to remove any attachments. If you leave them in your email, you’re giving yourself a one-way ticket to the spam folder--and a lower delivery rate. Take these attachments out or, if they’re necessary, find a way to send them within the body of your email. This leads to less spam, better delivery, and more time you can use to brag on Instagram about your new pillows and keychains. In our opinion, that’s a win.

Key Takeaways

Email deliverability is all about making sure that your emails land in an inbox. If you want to ensure that your emails are being seen by potential customers--and appropriately engaged with--you need to show ISPs that your emails are wanted and prompt positive interactions from your consumer base.

Up-to-date mailing lists, valuable content, and succinct, attachment-free mail will help your emails land securely in your contacts’ inbox and provide a solid foundation on which your company can grow.


Learn about our Deliverability Services

Looking to send a high volume of emails? Our email experts can supercharge your email performance. See how we've helped companies like Lyft, Shopify, Github increase their email delivery rates to an average of 97%.

Learn More

Last updated on April 15, 2020

  • Related posts
  • Recent posts
  • Top posts
View all

Always be in the know and grab free email resources!

No spam, ever. Only musings and writings from the Mailgun team.

Mailgun is committed to protecting your privacy. Please read ourPrivacy Policybefore providing us with your details.

sign up
It's easy to get started. And it's free.
See what you can accomplish with the world's best email delivery platform.
Sign up for Free