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Complete Deliverability Prerequisites

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Define the term deliverability.
  • Recognize key deliverability terms.

Deliverability Prerequisites

As a savvy marketer, you know that it is important to have good email deliverability. You may have even gone through the IP warming process. Perhaps you’ve taken the Email Marketing Strategies module and rocked the Improve Deliverability unit. But what exactly are we referring to when we discuss good or bad deliverability? 

Deliverability is defined as the quality of being deliverable or allowing the possibility of being delivered. Let’s think about that second part. Any email sent out of Marketing Cloud has the possibility to reach its end user or to be delivered. So judging deliverability is judging how likely it is that the message reaches the intended audience. Unfortunately it's not as easy as it might seem, as many factors impact a message’s journey to the inbox. 

Terms to Know

So before beginning our course on deliverability, let’s review some prerequisites. Get out your index cards to make flashcards of the following terms. 

Deliverability 101 on a chalkboard, along with a list of the terms to know that are included in the unit.

Internet Service Providers (ISP)

An ISP is a provider of an email mailbox to an end user. This can include companies that provide Internet connectivity like a cable company or a service that provides free web-based mailboxes such as Gmail or


An ISP is not to be confused with an email service provider (ESP). ESP refers to a provider like Marketing Cloud.

Internet Protocol (IP) Address

An IP address is a unique numeric identifier (for example:, one of the Marketing Cloud sending IP addresses) that every machine connected to the Internet (or network) has to distinguish your online activity from another machine. ISPs often look at an email server's IP address when determining whether to accept the email.  

Shared and Dedicated IPs

Shared IP addresses are shared with other organizations on an email server. Sending reputation in a shared IP pool is based on a blended reputation of all senders. A dedicated IP address is used by one organization to control its own sending reputation.


A Marketing Cloud account can support multiple dedicated IP addresses.

Domains and Subdomains

Domain names are friendly names that are associated with IP addresses and are used to identify the sender. You can also have a subdomain that relates to your domain. 

Here’s an example. 

Email Address

A subdomain enhances security and consumer confidence since can only be obtained by the domain owner, while anybody can set up something like

Private Domains

Private domains (like can be purchased separately for use with email or for landing pages. Private domains do not include link or image wrapping and are not compatible with DMARC authentication (more on that in the next unit).


Even if your top-level domain is hosted by Salesforce, you can’t just create a subdomain name. If you want to add something like, it must be set up as a private domain.

Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS is a database that connects IP addresses with their corresponding domain names. Salesforce can register a domain on your behalf, or you can self-host and register your domain directly. 


Phishing is impersonating a trustworthy source to criminally and fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details.


Spoofing is falsifying information in an email message; for example, using a fake “From” address.

Email Authentication

Email authentication is a process that confirms an email is not forged and is from the organization who owns the provided domain name. This process allows an ISP to block known spammers as well as to approve email from reputable domains. This process varies by ISP, with some ISPs being stricter than others. 

Sender Authentication Package (SAP)

An SAP is purchased from Salesforce and includes a collection of products, including a private domain with link and image wrapping, a dedicated IP address, and reply mail management (RMM). We cover this topic in more detail in the next unit. 

Security Socket Layer (SSL)

SSL encrypts communications between networks, allowing sensitive information such as credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, and login credentials to be transmitted securely. While not related directly to email deliverability, SSL (HTTPS) links are considered best practice and are often required by large retailers and corporations. Not having SSL on landing pages and clickable URLs can negatively impact deliverability.  


SSL is a separate offering that needs to be purchased for Cloud Pages that use private domains. Contact your account executive for more information about this feature.

IPs, SAPs, and SSL, oh my! Whew, so many terms to know! Now that we have reviewed some prerequisites, you’re ready to move on to learning about  authentication and DNS management (with a few more acronyms coming your way). 


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