E-mail deliverability – how to prevent the e-mail spambox

Increase deliverability and directly improve your results from e-mail marketing

20 April 2020 - 8 minutes
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E-mail deliverability – how to prevent the e-mail spambox

  • E-mail deliverability becomes more and more important. If e-mail ends up in the spambox, your work has been in vain. 
  • The more engagement with your campaigns, the better your reputation and thus the deliverability.
  • Technical improvements, personalisation and control of data quality can increase e-mail deliverability. 

What is e-mail deliverability

E-mail deliverability is the percentage of e-mails that is delivered to the recipient’s inbox. This includes the promotion and/or update tabs in Gmail, for example. Most of Basedriver’s customers have an e-mail deliverability of over 98%.

The different e-mail clients, such as Gmail and Outlook, are getting more and more strict when checking e-mail for spam. A deliverability problem can have major consequences in the short and long term. A good e-mail deliverability is a precondition for e-mail marketing.

How to increase e-mail deliverability

If recipients open messages and respond to them (for example by clicking), usually you don’t have a problem. The deliverability largely depends on the quality of data (the selection) and the content.

However, it is still possible that an e-mail, even when it is unique and relevant, will end up in the spambox. That is why we will provide a number of preconditions in this article, to ensure a good deliverability.

Technical preconditions for a good deliverability

A number of technical issues need to be taken into account to prevent e-mails from ending up in the spambox. At Basedriver, we take care of this during the implementation; we make sure all technical conditions are completed before going live. For example, we provide you with your own IP address, good templates, a text version and we help you with IP addresses after going live.

Server setup

Everyone can send an e-mail from someone else’s e-mail address. Of course, people take advantage of this, and therefore incoming e-mail servers perform a number of checks. It is important that the system administrator conducts a number of technical changes, including creating an SPF record, setting up DKIM and setting up a DMARC policy.

Without these changes, almost every campaign will end up in the spambox. Thus, it is essential to perform and check these before sending e-mails.

Quality of the database

Something you absolutely want to prevent, is many invalid addresses in the e-mail database or a campaign that produces spam complaints. It is therefore important that you set up the bounce management properly: automatically ensure that addresses are no longer included in the selection after a number of attempts.

To prevent complaints, it is of course important to register the opt-in and opt-out properly. This is also a legal requirement from GDPR.

Even if recipients do not open the e-mail for a while, it is wise to remove them from the regular selections. This way, you increase your reputation with the incoming e-mail servers.

It is of course possible to use reactivation campaigns to investigate whether you still can get these people interested in your campaigns.

Technical improvements in the e-mail template

E-mail templates with a lot of HTML code are often seen as spam. A cleaner HTML code of the e-mail, will be better accepted.

In addition, it is essential that e-mail templates are made responsive. More than half of all e-mail is opened on mobile devices; the template needs to be adapted to this.

Choose your own IP address

The outgoing mailserver sends your e-mail from a unique IP address. In many e-mail marketing software, this IP address is shared. This is a disadvantage, because if one domain is on a blacklist, this applies to all domains that use that specific IP address.

Therefore, it is wiser to choose your own IP address; you are then independent of others for your e-mail deliverability.

Improve the reputation of your IP address

If a receiving e-mail server, gets a lot of messages from a new IP address, it is likely that they will be seen as spam. It is better, when starting with new e-mail marketing software, to first send small amounts of e-mails to loyal customers.

If the receiving mail server registers that mailings arrive and are opened, the amount of e-mails can be slowly increased. This improves the reputation of your IP address step by step.

What to do as a marketeer to improve deliverability

The most important thing you can do as a marketeer is to regularly send e-mails that are relevant to your target group. There are also a number of other important things.

Don’t make your e-mails too long

Long e-mail messages are cut off by many e-mail clients, and therefore not seen by the consumer. They are also often seen as spam.

If you have a lot of content to share, we recommend increasing the frequency of the newsletter. It is better to send a weekly newsletter with 5 articles than a newsletter with 10 articles every other week.

Use text and limit the use of images

It is, of course, great to use large images for campaigns; they have a greater attention value than text. However, it is necessary to find a good relationship between text and images in every e-mail.

An e-mail without text is more likely to end up in the spambox, which will damage the e-mail deliverability. It is also important that images are not too large, because the lighter the e-mail, the better it will be received.

The right address as sender

The more personal the sender, the better the e-mail arrives. Our customers can choose a sender for every e-mail. In the case of a magazine, this can be the editor in chief or the title. If a person is the sender, it is more likely that the e-mail will arrive.

Varied content with personalised newsletters and campaigns

Incoming e-mail servers are becoming more strict for bulk mailings, where large amounts of users receive the same content at the same time. The e-mail deliverability of these mailings is getting lower and lower. When there is more variation in the moment of sending and in the content, it is less likely that the mail will be seen as spam.

With Basedriver, we automatically create personal newsletters, based on available content and data. By doing this, everyone can receive a different version of the newsletter. This is a way to add more variety and increase relevance.

In addition, we apply a personal sending moment based on machine learning. This ensures that the bulk mailing is not sent to everyone at the same moment, which improves deliverability.

Send campaigns regularly

The reputation of an IP address depends on its reliability. If you send campaigns on a regular basis, the reliability will be increased and thus the deliverability. Sending a large bulk mailing every two months is not enough. It is better to continuously send small batches of relevant content.

Avoid spam words, especially in the subject

Take a look in your own spambox, there is a good chance that there are messages about free items, discounts, sexually oriented proposals or medical advice. Incoming mailservers are extra strict on spam words. That is why you should avoid the following words in the subject and limit in the content.

  • Free
  • Discount
  • Advantage
  • Special offer
  • Viagra
  • Sexually oriented matters
  • Drugs
  • Medical treatments
  • Order today
  • This is not spam
  • Subscribe
  • Save

There are also a number of other things you should watch out for and that increase the risk of spam. For example, do not use € or not too many emoticons in the subject line. Of course, it is also not wise to use only capital letters and multiple exclamation marks. The word ‘test’ in the subject line is not useful either.

Check your e-mail deliverability

There are also several tools on the internet, that help to check the deliverability of your e-mail. We use Litmus for inbox placement tests. To investigate what can be improved on an e-mail, the online tools of MXToolbox may be helpful.

Do you want more information about e-mail marketing with Basedriver?

E-mail marketing is an essential part of the marketing mix for subscriptions. Basedriver is email marketing software specifically designed for this challenge. For example for automatically approaching unsubscribers, sending personal newsletters or automating campaigns.

We make sure that you generate more visitors from e-mail marketing and that you can recognize those visitors on the website. This will increase the revenue of your e-mail marketing team. Basedriver fits into an e-mail marketing strategy that leads to more online visitors and subscribers.

Would you like to know more about e-mail marketing with Basedriver? Please contact us for a personal demonstration.

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This post is also available in: Nederlands (Dutch)

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