There are different kinds of reasons why emails bounce. In this article, we will go through the best practices to improve your delivery rate and prevent emails from bouncing.
Always do warm-up before you start sending emails
When you switch from one email service provider to another, the email server used for sending your emails will change as well. Your new ESP's email servers are not allowed to send large numbers of emails at the same time, so to make sure the emails are delivered properly, you will need to start with a small number of emails and increase the number of emails over time.
The email warm-up process plays a crucial role in email deliverability, avoiding it can result in a lot of emails not being delivered permanently.
Click here to learn more about how to do email warm-ups with Growlytics.
Always opt-in users to receive emails
Any serious email marketer uses opt-in to make sure they are not sending emails to customers who have opted-in to receive emails. Opt-in can be achieved by asking for email id from popups while customers are on your site or you can ask it when they signup on your site or do a checkout to make the purchase.
In short, with opt-in, your customer knows that they are okay to receive emails from you. This will reduce the probability of them marking your emails as spam and reporting or blocking your email domain.
Clean up email list before you send any emails
A lot of email bounces, because your customer database is old and emails do not exist. There are also cases when you want to upload your offline customers to Growlytics, for these customers also, you will need to check for invalid emails which may bounce.
There are many popular services out there to clean your email list like zerobounce.net or neverbounce.com. You can see the comparisons of top such service providers from here. This will remove invalid, deleted and misspelled addresses — this is likely to increase your open rate.
Always personalize your emails
Always personalize the emails, with personalized emails, emails are more likely to get past spam filters and get opened. Adding personalization to the subject line can increase the open rates by 25%.
Generally, email clients like Gmail look for large numbers of incoming emails with the exact same subject line and email contents to categorize them into Promotions or emails as spam categories. By adding the name of the user or something to your subject line you’re able to reduce the chances of your message getting flagged as spam.
Don't use your first campaign as a way to 'clean' your list!
It's a bad idea to use a test campaign to clean your email list, email service providers have a very strict policy for this, they may even stop providing you services if they notice such things.
If you send a campaign to an un-verified email list, not only do you risk an account suspension, but you put yourself at a major disadvantage because you damage your own sender reputation.
It's better you use proper email clean-up services like zerobounce.net or neverbounce.com. You can see the comparisons of top such service providers from here.
If by mistake, if you damage your email domain reputation, your next campaign may experience even more blocks as recipient servers reject your mail. It's better if you spend a little time on making your list as clean to keep your sender reputation high.
Verify your sender domain
When a recipient mail server receives your email, it basically asks, “Is this email from an authentic email server whose owner is same as it says it’s from?”
For this, the recipient mail server checks DNS records, specifically SPF and DKIM records associated with the domain you are using for sending emails.
If the recipient mail server doesn't find the required information on the domain you using to send the emails, your email will start getting rejected and bouncing, which will eventually reduce your email domain reputation.
In short, make sure the following setup is done:
- Make sure SPF records are properly configured
- Make sure DKIM, and DMARC records are present and correct
Make sure your email doesn't look like spam
You need to be very careful about the contents of the email. Spam filters of recipient clients like Gmail are there to decide whether or not your email looks like spam.
The problem is that because spammers are always changing their algorithms and tactics, the filters have to change too. Hence, you can't just "set it and forget it". You have to make sure that your email template complies and doesn't have any pattern that make it seem like spam.
You can use tools like mail-tester.com or mailgenius.com to help you stay on track or understand what changes to format, wording, links, or content will make sure your emails aren't treated as spam.
Consider sending mail on a schedule
Try to stay regular and consistent on your mailing schedule, the less likely your subscribers are to forget that they agreed to receive mail from your business or group.
If stop sending emails in between and suddenly send a big campaign, it's marked as a spike by recipient servers sending and may result in email bounces.
This doesn't mean you need to send mail frequently like on every day basis, it's more about staying consistent on engagement patterns. So it's better you plan an engagement pattern and do your best to stick to the pattern.
Make sure your sending server is not blacklisted
If you are getting lots of emails getting undelivered, then do check if your sending server is blacklisted or not. There are many services out there that you can use like MXToolbox to see if your sending IP is blacklisted anywhere or not.