How to Improve Email Deliverability & Increase Your ROI

Email deliverability plays a crucial role in making your marketing successful. Deliverability measures the success of a marketing campaign that gets emails into inboxes. It is to identify your campaign deliverability metrics, including unsubscribe rate,  spam score, bounces, click, and opens.

If your business wants to grow through email marketing, then marketers need to focus on continually improving the quality of your emails. You can do this by using the data you get from the deeper analytics report of each email and try to improve based on the information you gather.

To be successful with mass campaign marketing, you must first build trust with the people receiving your emails. A way to build trust is to provide value in the email. To provide value, you need to know how to measure your emails' performance and detect any deliverability issues. Have a deliverability strategy to succeed in your marketing.

What Is Email Deliverability?

Deliverability is a process that determines whether your email lands in your subscriber's inbox. It gives the percentage of emails your emailing campaign reaches the receiver's inbox. Several factors impact on email deliverability, such as ISPs, throttling, bounces, spam issues, etc.  Types of bounce are classified into two types: hard bounce & soft bounce. Similarly, 3 types of spam filters include gateway spam filters, hosted spam filters, and desktop spam filters. Delivery rates are designed to measure the rate at which your email is successfully delivered to the inbox. A bounce or filtering can impact these rates into a spam folder.

Factors that affect the deliverability include:

  • Using URL shorteners on the messages 
  • Having single opt-in 
  • Outreach without having a custom authentication.
  • Outreach from a free domain address 
  • Making it difficult for recipients to unsubscribe 
  • Lack of interactions and  user engagement with the recipient 

Email service providers (ESPs) inform users about the details of what went wrong in the emailing process and indicate why their message got bounced) based on the error message from the server of the receiver.

Why is Deliverability Important?

Email marketing professionals use the deliverability rate to identify whether their outreach message reaches the customer's inbox. So, deliverability is extremely important for any business. When you send an email to your subscriber list, you want to make them open and take appropriate action. 

If the message never reaches the client's inbox, it will let your potential customer away from your brand. It will also make you think you look like a spammer to your ISP or mail provider.

For example, a 98% delivery rate with thousands of subscribers indicates that 20 people will never receive your email. However, even with a 98% successful delivery rate, your open rate might be only 20-40%. Then this indicates that the emails go to the spam folder. So make sure your outreach has a higher delivery rate so that your email will reach your customer inbox directly and get a better response rate.

What Is A Good Deliverability Rate?

95% and higher are considered a good delivery rate. Having as high deliverability as possible is good for a business. The deliverability rate depends on the platform you use for the email outreach. Each service provider has different deliverability. The business will have a huge impact on deliverability. The marketer needs to identify and fix the potential causes of poor deliverability.

The SmartLead & Smartwriter software pays more attention to deliverability, and We aim to score 100%. Currently, we have around 98 to 99% deliverability rate. You can easily scale your outreach without worrying about the daily limit, and the software offers unlimited auto-rotating email accounts feature and AI Warmups, which eliminate your email landing on the spam folder and boost your deliverability, increasing sender reputation score. You can find ways to improve your deliverability from the SmartLead & Smartwriter reports so your contacts will receive your emails. Ensure your subscriber list has quality leads and has a custom sender domain. 

Difference Between Email Delivery & Deliverability

Deliverability and delivery are two different things. In this section, we shall look into them in detail. 

Email delivery: It is the measure of emails received by the mail server of your subscribers' ISP (internet service provider). Emails are delivered to mail servers of your subscriber's ISP, like Gmail or Yahoo. Emails that don't make it to the servers are categorized as soft and hard bounces, hurting your sender's reputation. Ensure you have a return path set up to receive that bounce information.

Deliverability: The measure of delivered emails landed in the receiver's inbox.  Deliverability is one of the features that make you stand out from other providers. Aside from sender and reply-to providers, email services will also look at how your subscribers interact with the relevant content of your emails to determine where they land in the inbox or spam folder.  IP reputation and email authentication records ensure whether your message delivers to the inbox. Moreover, DMARC reports offer valuable insights into email authentication practices, helping you improve deliverability.

15 Best Practices To Improve Your Deliverability In 2022

Here are some best practices to help your marketing strategy and ensure that all your outreach messages reach the subscriber inbox.  We shall see the factors affecting your deliverability. 

1. Avoid Buying Email Lists

Purchasing an email subscriber list for cold business outreach will never be a good idea. Violating the terms of service for your service provider can lead to account termination and, in some cases, could even leave you open to legal action. 

Using your prospecting lists also cuts out the middleman and also avoids the chance of knowing your actual recipient from other businesses. Sending messages to the SPAM trap email addresses will have a negative impact on your deliverability. 

Let's be honest you can't purchase a high-quality email address that is 100% valid & deliverable.  Even if you already have a valid list of prospect's addresses built through a proper opt-in, you're at risk of being flagged by your providers as a spammer if you are not following appropriate email etiquette best practices.  Here is an article on tips to double your revenue as a salesperson with proven sales prospecting techniques.

2. Don't Scrape Customer Addresses From Websites

A lot of organizations use scraping software to build their contact lists. You can scrape prospect's addresses from the websites at your own risk. You are not only running the risk of getting caught by law enforcement (CAN-SPAM Act). Scraping customer addresses without the prospect's acknowledgment is illegal in many countries, including the United States. Lead scraping from a website may lead to losing all those potential customers who won't want to connect with an unethical company. To avoid any issues this may cause for your business. It is always best to gain quality inbound leads or use software like Smartwriter lead extractor chrome extension to scrape lead addresses straight from LinkedIn. Download the extension, kick-off free lead scraping, and build your prospects list with verified potential leads. While ensuring the legality and ethical considerations, businesses aiming to profoundly understand their email marketing performance could potentially benefit from web scraping techniques. Under valid circumstances and respecting data privacy laws, leveraging tools to intelligently web scrape with PHP can significantly complement advanced email deliverability strategies by harnessing precise insights directly from competitors or related industry benchmarks.

3. Avoid Emailing People Who Have Bounced Constantly

Unsuccessful deliveries can happen when the sender has an invalid or non-existing address. The sender of these emails will never be successfully delivered, which is why ISPs (internet service providers) utilize bounce rates as a key factor in deciding the sender & domain reputation. That's also why it's important to have an SPF checker in place that can protect your email domains and ensure their legitimacy.

4. Avoid Using Exclamation Points!!

Another factor that makes your email subject line spam or unprofessional is using many exclamation points in a row. If you want to avoid marking your outreach as spam, then you'll have to avoid using this exclamation point trigger. As per the research report, nearly 69% of email recipients mark spam messages solely based on the subject lines.

5. Don't Use The Embed Form 

Due to security risks, the forms in the email are not supported across the most common email clients. Instead of the form, you can use the relevant call to action button (CTA) button or provide the link to the landing page of your email opt-in form in your outreach body. 

6. Avoid Spam Trigger Words

In order to avoid any spam filters, you need to carefully choose what kind of words you need to use in your subject line. Spam filter systems flag up phrases that appear fraudulent and malicious. These words and phrases overpromise a positive outcome to get sensitive information from the recipient. 

Using trigger words can cause your email to bypass their inbox and get caught in their spam filter. There are many ways to avoid spam triggers. The most easiest way is to avoid using spam trigger words in subject lines. Apart from the spam trigger words, it's important to know that other factors such as A bad IP address, Low engagement rates, Inactive mailboxes, Misleading or sensational subject lines, etc., also lead to emails being categorized as spam. 

7. Focus On Re-engaging The Inactive Or Rarely Active Subscribers

It's important to keep track of your inactive and infrequently active subscribers. You can develop effective re-engagement campaigns for contacts who have stopped engaging with you, such as setting conditions on their contact information like how long since they last submitted a form or clicked a link in the outreach message. 

You can try any number of things to get people back into your brand. You might send them an exclusive offer or coupon, ask for feedback by sending out a quick survey - anything that will make it easy and interesting.

8. Don't Forget To Perform A Spell Check

As per the research of the Radicati Group, nearly 80% of respondents find spelling or incorrect grammatical errors. Having spell errors shows unprofessional and also leads to spam triggers too. Spelling mistakes are easy to make, and you may never notice them if self-editing is your thing. 

Here are some common spell and grammatical errors that need to avoid while drafting contents for your outreach they're vs. their vs. there, your vs. you're, affect vs. effect, its vs. it's, possessive nouns, passive voice, referring to a brand as "they," incomplete words, use of commas, title capitalization, between vs. among and more. 

9. Don't Overuse Keywords On Outreach Copy

When writing an email body content, repetition, and keyword stuffing your message is a very bad idea. Nobody wants to read messages that've been optimized for bots and not humans. It is important to make sure your outreach message is not only well written but also user-friendly. Keyword stuffing means pushing as many keywords into them without proper consideration of other factors like readability or context, which can negatively affect the recipient's experience with their inboxes.

If you want to increase the chance of your emails being opened and not marked as spam, then sales reps need to write the message like humans and not robots. Your outreach copy writing needs to make the people want to take required action. It has to be both simple and compelling, so make sure your writing tone is professional or casual, with colloquial expressions and even personal anecdotes.

10. Avoid Using Overwhelming Images Or Huge Images

Using one large image or too many images on your outreach message will end up in a spam folder. Consider employing a lower number of images, and it is always a good idea to use the smallest file size possible. This will stop long outreach messages that take a lot of time to load. Outlook cannot load background images, so it's good to avoid them and size all images accordingly.

11. Maintain Up-To-Date & Clean List Of Recipients

Invalid or wrong addresses are likely to enter SPAM traps. If you've legally brought emails, the addresses which haven't been used for years may have been converted into spam traps. Hitting just a single spam track will drive a huge impact on deliverability.

Expired addresses can lead to bounces or unknown users. If the rate of bounces is higher than 5%, then ISPs will see you as someone with bad outreach hygiene. This will result in poor message reach on your targeted customer inboxes, consequently dropping your sender's reputation. Outreach messages landing in prospects' inboxes become complicated. 

Once you've built your recipient list, you need to keep it up-to-date and clean. Identify inactive subscribers and expired emails with metrics such as opens, clicks, or website activity. This will help keep your messages away from being flagged as spam by those who receive them. 

12. Use Double Opt-In

Double opt-in ensures that people are interested in being on your recipient list by sending them a confirmation link after subscribing. Double opt-in assures the receivers are open to getting further communication from your brand.

A successful marketing campaign requires user acquisition. Those who confirm that they want emails from your business will read them thoroughly, whereas those without this confirmation procedure might glance at their inbox once and then ignore it for hours or even days. When you use double opt-in confirmation, your subscribers will be more engaged and more likely to read the emails they receive from your business.

13. Give Clear Unsubscribe Options 

A business needs to provide unsubscribe details about links on the email to maintain a quality list. Otherwise, it will lead to spamming. As per law, you need to provide a way for your subscribers to unsubscribe options irrespective of country. It shows a good tone of professional cold outreach marketing. Your unsubscribe CTAs or link needs to be easily accessible to the subscribers in your marketing emails. So it is vital to keep your footer area clean, making this process easy for your customers  & also offering them a better experience with your brand. 

14. Make Your Outreach Personasonalized 

Marketers and subscribers often define spam differently. Marketers need to think in terms of relevance when sending an outreach for their subscriber list. Subscribers are more likely to receive content that meets their needs, even if it's a promotional campaign. 

Subscribers often don't respond to generic outreach messages, so start personalized outreach for your prospect list to maximize your open rate and sales deal closer. And also, a marketer needs to ask themself before hitting a send button, and they need to ensure the copy is relevant to their potential audience and is error-free. 

 Outreach Personasonalization

Sending tailored campaigns to your list not only improves usability it also has a positive effect on your deliverability ratings and boosts user engagement. Using the Smartwriter personalization feature, you can create a tailored mage copy in no time and also be able to generate a compelling professional subject line that gets a more open rate. 

Smartwriter personalization feature

15. Honor Your Unsubscribes

If someone unsubscribes from your list, they must come off your email program. So it is essential to have an unsubscribe process and have handy unsubscribe pages to make the process easier for recipients. Many marketing software integrates seamlessly with other CRM. So it is easy for the marketer to track any unsubscribes that are automatically processed and recorded within the marketing automation software. If you remove unsubscribed addresses manually, then make it a top priority to process before your next campaign. 

Email Deliverability Testing Popular Tools

Using the deliverability analytics on the outreach platform, you can identify the delivery issues, test your customer base, and the accuracy of the addresses of your outreach list. 

One of the most important things to do before launching a mass campaign is to test your deliverability. Domain health and sender score determine your deliverability. We have collected a list of popular tools that are useful to test the deliverability of your mass volume of email. 

Smartwriter AI 

When using Smartwriter, you can find emails of your leads and verify any existing ones to ensure they're accurate.  You can verify the leads in bulk just by uploading the CSV file and verifying the prospect address's accuracy in no time. A verified prospect list will eliminate too many bounces in your outreach and boost your authority.

Smartwriter has many other features such as personalization, subject line generator, compelling intro line generator, email address verifier, and sales navigator lead extractor. You can check whether your emails are landing in the primary inbox or the spam box for different service providers.

Simply download our sales navigator extension and start right away and can start extracting verified emails directly from LinkedIn. ‍When you synchronize your CRM with Smartwriter, you'll be amazed at how quickly it will help you grow your business. 

Would you like to make sure your emails always look professional? Smartwriter offers this free email quality check tool, and you can write high-quality emails that will get opened and replied to by the targeted prospects. The software offers you feedback about what type of language and writing style best suits you. 


Zerobounce help you get your emails to the inbox and connect with your customers by making sure they're not spam. This tool has 98% accurate validation and powerful deliverability tools.

Zerobounce's email deliverability toolkit will help you identify and address any issues that are affecting your campaign performance so you can reach the right people.

With these tools, you can detect any potential issues with your dedicated server before launching a campaign. The inbox placement tester tells you where the email would land before sending it.

Zerobounce email deliverability toolkit



Mail-tester is an email validation tool to check all the details associated with your content and domain.  It's a free tool to test whether your lead's address and domain are valid. This simple yet powerful application will check all the detailed aspects of authenticity. 

When a visitor visits, they can generate a unique address for them to send their email to with the click of a button. When the outreach message is sent, Mail-Tester will then give them a free deliverability score on their email based on the email that was sent to the unique address.

Mail-tester software will allow you to investigate how your content is being treated both from your server and by different webmail providers. Free users can enjoy this for a week before upgrading.

Mail tester email validation tool

Key Takeaways

Deliverability is a measure of how many emails sent are actually delivered to the intended recipient’s inbox. It’s determined by mailbox providers like Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo, and they use a variety of filters to decide whether an email needs to be delivered, bounced, or blocked.

The best way to improve your deliverability is by following best practices for sending emails, such as using double opt-in lists, removing spammy words from your subject lines and content, Keeping up-to-date mailing lists, adding valuable content, and ensuring that your messages are mobile-friendly. 

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