• volticinc@gmail.com
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  • 20 Jun 2024

Email deliverability is crucial for the success of any email marketing campaign. It determines whether your emails reach your recipients’ inboxes or get lost in spam folders. Poor deliverability can drastically affect your engagement rates and overall campaign performance. This guide will help you troubleshoot common email deliverability issues and improve your email delivery rates.

1. Understanding Email Deliverability

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to reach the recipient’s inbox. Various factors affect deliverability, including your sender reputation, email content, and recipient engagement. Before diving into troubleshooting, it’s important to understand the key components of email deliverability:

  • Sender Reputation: This is a score assigned by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) based on your email sending behavior. A good sender reputation increases the likelihood of your emails reaching the inbox.
  • Email Authentication: Protocols like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC verify the authenticity of your emails, reducing the chances of your emails being marked as spam.
  • Content Quality: The quality and relevance of your email content affect engagement rates and deliverability.
  • Recipient Engagement: High engagement rates (opens, clicks, and replies) signal to ISPs that your emails are wanted and valuable.

2. Common Email Deliverability Issues

Here are some of the most common email deliverability issues and how to troubleshoot them:

a. High Bounce Rates:

  • Hard Bounces: These occur when an email is sent to an invalid or non-existent address. To troubleshoot, regularly clean your email list to remove invalid addresses.
  • Soft Bounces: These are temporary issues, such as a full inbox or server problems. If you encounter repeated soft bounces from the same addresses, consider removing them from your list.

b. Emails marked as spam:

  • Spam Triggers: Avoid using words and phrases that are commonly flagged as spam (e.g., “free,” “guarantee,” “click here”).
  • Unsubscribes and Complaints: High unsubscribe and complaint rates can harm your sender reputation. Ensure your content is relevant, and provide an easy way to unsubscribe.

c. Low open Rates:

  • Subject Lines: Craft compelling and relevant subject lines to improve open rates. A/B test different subject lines to see what resonates with your audience.
  • Sender Name: Use a recognizable sender name to build trust with your recipients.

d. Poor click-through Rates (CTR):

  • Content Quality: Ensure your email content is engaging and relevant to your audience.
  • Call to Action (CTA): Make your CTA clear and compelling. Test different CTA designs and placements to optimize performance.

e. Authentication Issues:

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): Ensure your SPF records are correctly configured to authorize your email servers to send emails on behalf of your domain.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): Implement DKIM to add a digital signature to your emails, verifying their authenticity.
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, & Conformance): Use DMARC to provide instructions to ISPs on how to handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks.

3. Steps to Improve Email Deliverability

a. Build and Maintain a Quality Email List:

  • Double Opt-In: Use a double opt-in process to ensure your subscribers genuinely want to receive your emails.
  • Regular List Cleaning: Periodically clean your email list to remove inactive or invalid addresses.

b. Segment Your Audience:

  • Targeted Content: Segment your audience based on demographics, behavior, and preferences to send more relevant and personalized content.
  • Engagement-Based Segmentation: Focus on engaging your most active subscribers while re-engaging or removing inactive ones.

c. Optimize Email Content:

  • Relevant and Valuable Content: Provide value to your recipients with relevant and engaging content.
  • Avoid Spammy Content: Refrain from using spammy words and excessive punctuation or capitalization.

d. Monitor and improve Sender Reputation:

  • Consistent Sending Practices: Maintain a consistent sending schedule to avoid spikes in email volume.
  • Engage with Your Audience: Encourage replies and engagement to signal to ISPs that your emails are valuable.

e. Implement email authentication:

  • SPF: Set up SPF records to specify which mail servers are authorized to send emails on behalf of your domain.
  • DKIM: Configure DKIM to add a digital signature to your emails, verifying their authenticity.
  • DMARC: Use DMARC to instruct ISPs on how to handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks.

f. Use a Reputable Email Service Provider (ESP):

  • Deliverability Tools: Choose an ESP that provides tools for monitoring and improving deliverability.
  • Support and Resources: Ensure your ESP offers support and resources to help troubleshoot and resolve deliverability issues.

4. Monitoring and Analyzing Email Performance

Regularly monitor and analyze your email performance to identify and address deliverability issues:

a. Email Analytics:

  • Open Rates: Track open rates to gauge the effectiveness of your subject lines and sender reputation.
  • Click-Through Rates: Monitor CTR to assess the relevance and engagement of your email content.
  • Bounce Rates: Keep an eye on bounce rates to ensure your email list is clean and valid.

b. Deliverability Reports:

  • ISP Feedback: Use deliverability reports provided by your ESP to understand how different ISPs are handling your emails.
  • Spam Complaints: Monitor spam complaint rates to identify potential issues with your content or sending practices.

c. A/B Testing:

  • Subject Lines: Test different subject lines to find the most effective ones.
  • Content Variations: Experiment with different content formats and CTAs to optimize engagement.

5. Best Practices for Maintaining Good Email Deliverability

Adopt these best practices to maintain good email deliverability over time:

a. Keep Your Email List Clean:

  • Regularly Update: Remove invalid addresses and inactive subscribers from your list.
  • Use Verified Sign-Ups: Implement double opt-in to ensure your subscribers are genuinely interested in your emails.

b. Focus on Content Quality:

  • Relevant and Valuable: Ensure your content provides value to your recipients.
  • Clear CTAs: Use clear and compelling CTAs to encourage engagement.

c. Monitor engagement:

  • Track Metrics: Regularly monitor key metrics like open rates, CTR, and bounce rates.
  • Respond to Feedback: Adjust your strategy based on engagement metrics and feedback.

d. Stay compliant:

  • Follow Regulations: Adhere to email regulations like CAN-SPAM, GDPR, and CASL.
  • Provide Easy Unsubscribing: Ensure your unsubscribe process is simple and accessible.


Troubleshooting email deliverability issues requires a proactive approach, regular monitoring, and adherence to best practices. By understanding the common issues and implementing the strategies outlined in this guide, you can significantly improve your email deliverability, ensuring your messages reach your audience’s inboxes and achieving higher engagement rates.

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