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How to Improve Your Email Delivery

Delivery Updated on November 17, 2022

Reaching your contact’s inbox is essential to your email marketing strategy; however, sometimes, getting to the inbox can be harder than anticipated. At Benchmark, we go the extra mile to ensure you have the tools to deliver great-looking emails. We are also constantly adjusting our strategies to move past any roadblocks used by ISPs (email clients or inboxes).

But did you know there are things you can do to improve your email deliverability? It all starts with your sending reputation. If you have not established a good relationship with the ISPs, it could lead to your emails being filtered as spam or never reaching the contact’s inbox. Creating and establishing good sending practices will help build your email-sending reputation. Here are a few things you can start doing today to improve your email delivery!

Topics covered in this article


Sending domain & records to add

Private domain

When sending email marketing from an ESP such as Benchmark, using a private domain is essential. A domain is your company’s website address, e.g., yourcompany.com. If your company has a website, it probably has an email address you can use. Check your website settings or contract details to obtain your email address. If you don’t own a website or domain, several companies offer domains at low costs, Google Domains, Go Daddy, and Blue Host, to name a few.

Internet service providers like Google, Yahoo, and Outlook filter large emails coming from public domains. Public domains are intended for personal use, not commercial use. If you are using a public domain to send your emails, this will mean lower open rates. By using a private domain, subscribers will recognize your company name and create brand trust.

Email Domain Authentication

By setting up email domain authentication, you confirming any emails being delivered with your domain are legitimate. Authenticating your email domain helps prevent phishing and spoofing and helps your emails avoid the Spam folder.

The Email Domain Authentication feature is only available in our Lite, Pro, and Enterprise plans, as well as any legacy plans.

Additionally, you can add a DMARC record. The DMARC record tells email providers where to send deliverability performance reports. This is usually low-level data used most effectively by a 3rd-party reporting or aggregation service.

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To set up your domain authentication, you’ll need to generate your Benchmark CNAME records and add both to your DNS settings.

To learn how to set up email domain authentication, click here.

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Managing Contact Lists

List Verification

Before you begin sending to your contacts list, we encourage you to verify your list has valid/deliverable email addresses. To ensure you are sending to only valid contacts, you could use a 3rd party list verification service to help identify invalid email addresses. Contact our support team via email or chat if you haven’t yet verified your contact list and want to remove invalid email addresses.

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To learn more about List Verification, click here.

Email Bounces

Email bounces are emails that failed to be delivered. Email bounces are visible in every email report and your contact list. To avoid storing and sending to bounced emails, we provide a List Cleaning tool that can help remove bounced emails from your contact list.

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To learn more about managing email bounces, click here.

Remove contacts who are not opening your emails

Apart from removing bounced email addresses, we recommend you remove contacts who do not engage with your emails. Repeatedly sending to contacts who fail to open your emails could lead to spam complaints. Our list cleaning tool can remove contacts who have not opened in the last 5, 10, 20, and 30 emails.

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Creating a Targeted List

If your open rates have decreased over time, your sending reputation can be rebuilt by sending emails to engaged contacts. Benchmark offers a Targeted List feature that creates a list of your most engaged contacts; the list can be created based on opens, clicks, or clicks of specific URLs.

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To learn more about the Targeted List feature, please click here.

Using double opt-in signup forms

A double opt-in form requires the subscriber to confirm their subscription by opening an email and clicking on a confirmation link. Using a double opt-in option prevents mistyped emails and bot signups from being added to your contact list. This method can help reduce the number of undeliverable messages or hard bounces.

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To learn more about the double opt-in option in our Benchmark Signup Forms, click here.

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Additional suggestions to improve delivery

Slow sending

Initially, some ISPs set a threshold for how many emails can be delivered in one session. If you exceed this threshold or limit, their system can flag you as a spammer and will block the rest of your emails. One way to avoid this is to send your emails in small bursts, with a pause of a few minutes between them. Then, as you build your sending reputation, you can send to bigger batches. Eventually, sending it to all of your contacts. Benchmark automatically does this for new high-volume senders, in a process we call Email Throttling.

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To learn more about Email Throttling, click here.

Best days to send emails

Tuesday through Thursday + Morning sends = increased response

These days and times have been known to get a better response rate.

However, if these dates don’t work for you, don’t sweat them! The goal is to keep your email communication consistent. Your subscribers will come to expect that your email will arrive in their inbox on the same day and at the same time every week. Customers are more likely to open your emails if you keep things consistent.

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To learn more about the best times to send, click here.

Consistent “from” email address

Keep your “From” email address consistent. This helps subscribers who added your email address to their whitelist/allowlist to continue receiving your messages. Having the same from address also gives security to your readers, allowing them to get familiar with your sending.

Permission Reminder

While the permission reminder is not mandatory, we do recommend you keep this information in your email. The permission reminder allows contacts to reconfirm their interest in receiving your email communications.

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To learn more about the Permission Reminder option, click here.

Use a recognizable tagline or company name in your subject line

Add a subject line with a tagline or your company name so that customers recognize the email is coming from you. Here’s an example: Benchmark Email Newsletter

Stay consistent and add a tagline in your subject line every time. The more you do this, the less possibility your emails will be marked as spam.

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Custom HTML & image suggestions

Custom HTML

Using custom HTML in your emails is okay; however, we do not recommend doing it unless you are familiar with coding. With our drag and drop editor, no coding is necessary, but we understand if you’d like to add a code script to help engage your contacts further. Using custom HTML can lead to possible coding errors that could be flagged as spam. If you use custom HTML in your emails, please remember that it’s being used in an email and not a website. Your newsletters should not contain colorful backgrounds, tables, JavaScript, and Web forms.

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To learn more about possible coding mistakes, please click here.

Text to image ratio

The percentage of text should be higher than the percentage of images. Therefore, we recommend a ratio of 60% text to 40% images.

Some inboxes automatically block images to prevent possible viruses, e.g., Outlook. However, if users don’t understand what the email is about based on the text provided, they could report it as spam.

HTML and plain text version

Every email sent from our system contains a text version and an HTML version. If you duplicate a previously sent email, ensure your new HTML version is synced with the plain text version. Both plain text and HTML versions must have the same or very similar content. New emails will automatically sync as you create your content; however, emails that have been duplicated will carry over the previous plain text.

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To learn how to sync the text and HTML versions of your emails, click here.

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If you have any questions, please contact our support team.