Improve Email Deliverability

Learning Objectives

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

  • Explain effective methods to improve deliverability.
  • Describe how to protect your messages from spam filters.

It’s All About Deliverability

Deliverability is the key to all email marketing. If your email isn’t reaching the majority of your subscribers, then what’s the point of sending it?

Let’s talk about best practices you can use to ensure your emails are signed, sealed, delivered, and wanted. What do we mean when we say deliverability? It refers to the various stages of an email’s life: the sending, receiving, and opening of an email.

Tangled mess of roads, depicting an email trying to be delivered.

Who’s This From?

Some Internet service providers show only the From address, rather than the name and address of the sender. Because the From address can be just a mixture of letters and numbers instead of a recognizable name, recipients can think your email is spam. To avoid this, include an actual name in the From address.

Another way to ensure your subscribers recognize an email is from you is to add the name of your organization to the subject line. Using your organization name in both the From address and the subject line will decrease the chances your email will end up in spam folder.

Bounce and Purge

When you send out marketing emails, you often receive bounce-back messages alerting you to defunct email accounts. It‘s critical that you remove any bounced addresses from your mailing lists between one marketing message and the next that you send. Even though most email marketing systems stop sending to addresses that bounced a set number of times, a bounce rate over 20% for any single mailing can have serious consequences. This is because if deliverability is bad, your IP address can be put on a blocklist or even shut down. Don’t let that happen. Nip it in the bud.

We also recommend purging old or inactive addresses from your mailing lists. Don’t keep those names and emails that you haven’t emailed in months. Don’t spend money on sending emails that aren’t even being opened.

The same holds for those subscribers who haven’t opened your emails in months—remove them from your mailing lists using either a suppression list or more permanently, contact deletion. They detract from your profitability because it costs money to contact them, and they’re more likely to complain about your emails. With the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, you can run reports that show you which subscribers are unengaged or have not opened an email or clicked.


Learn how to run reports and track results in the Trailhead module: Marketing Cloud Setup.

Manage Email Frequency

Another best practice is to deliver what you promise. If you promised a monthly newsletter, make sure you send it monthly. Not bimonthly, not every other week—monthly. Not only do you want your communications with your subscribers to be personal and relevant, you want them to be anticipated. If your messages don’t score a hit on those three points, is there really a need to send the content you’re sending?


You can also use AI to help out! Activate Einstein Engagement Frequency to evaluate your email activities and identify the optimum number of email messages to send. 

Spam Filters

Most Internet service providers use filters to sort legitimate email from the junk or spam. There are more than 300 spam-filtering companies. They vary in the filter logic they use, but most spam filters use content—or keyword-based logic. Others might incorporate email volume from any one sender, customer complaints into their algorithms. Some function on a score basis and filter messages that rate high as spam after the characteristics of the message (content, volume, response, and sender) have been reviewed using anti-spam filters.

Deliverability is key when it comes to your emails. So think about everything that can affect deliverability and use it to your advantage when sending your emails!


Learn more about email deliverability in the Trailhead module, Email Deliverability Concepts.

Your emails are now being delivered directly to your subscribers’ inboxes and are tempting your readers with offers they can’t resist. That’s great, but how do you get these subscribers in the first place? That’s the topic of our next unit.


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