Email Delivery Best Practices

Reputation is equally important as content when it comes to the delivery of email.  In an effort to maximize delivery and response rates for our clients, our team closely adheres to the following checklist and guidelines.

  1. Content Assessment – We aim to lower your spam score by testing your email copy, design, headers against all the major inbox filters on corporate and home machines.  We then notify the client in the event that the results highlight specific problems and then suggest areas to improve.
  2. Inbox Monitor – The testing system will flag all delivery fails and bulk folder issues at all the major email service providers. Ensure delivery to top domains including Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail.
  3. Blacklist Check – Our resources monitor IPs in real time on all the major blacklists in use today. In addition, have set up daily alerts on the system to prevent any blacklist surprises and have access to dedicated team in place to resolve any issues
  4. Use Dedicated IPs – We recognize that dedicated IPs are still the best guarantee of good deliverability along with good ISP relations. It is becoming a requirement in order to join a feedback program, get white listed or resolve any deliverability problems that might arise.
  5. Use Feedback Loops – Feedback Loops are a mechanism whereby an ISP can send information to a marketer regarding who is clicking the “This is SPAM/Junk” button on their emails. It is typically a subscription service that any marketer can subscribe to, and works by forwarding a copy of the email sent to an email address specified by the marketer every time someone clicks The Button. The marketer is then supposed to unsubscribe anyone who did click on the SPAM button, and compliance with that goes a long way in improving relations with ISPs.
  6. Consistent Timing – Deploy email campaigns at consistent times throughout the day/week. ISPs love it when you consistently send email on the same day and at approximately the same times. Consistency differentiates a responsible email marketer from a spammer
  7. Reverse DNS – Set up Reverse DNS for all of the mailing domains because many ISPs check to make sure the IP you are sending from is authorized to send from your domain.
  8. Throttling of Delivery – Because some ISPs have limitations as to how many emails you can send during a given period of time, it is important to send the emails in spurts or throttle delivery  over an extended period of time to avoid getting flagged or blocked.  Breaking down large volumes into smaller segments will vastly improve delivery. Additionally, utilize multiple servers to help with the throttling process
  9. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) – Utilize Sender Policy Framework on DNS, which is an email validation system designed to prevent email spam by detecting email spoofing, a common vulnerability, by verifying sender IP addresses. SPF allows administrators to specify which hosts are allowed to send mail from a given domain by creating a specific SPF record (or TXT record) in the Domain Name System (DNS). Mail exchangers use the DNS to check that mail from a given domain is being sent by a host sanctioned by that domain’s administrators.
  10. Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) – Utilize Domain Keys Identified Mail on mailing server, which is a method for associating a domain name to an email message, thereby allowing a person, role, or organization to claim some responsibility for the message. The association is set up by means of a digital signature which can be validated by recipients. Responsibility is claimed by a signer —independently of the message’s actual authors or recipients— by adding a DKIM-Signature: field to the message’s header. The verifier recovers the signer’s public key using the DNS, and then verifies that the signature matches the actual message’s content.
  11. IP Reputation – Our resources check each email connection request with a database of IP addresses to establish whether a sender is legitimate or known spam sender and malware. If a sender is recognize us undesirable the messaging Security program drops the connection before de message is accepted. Maintaining a good reputation allows for better email deployment.
  12. White Listing – Access to white list on all domains. Commercial white lists are a system used by internet service providers to allow a bypass of all spam filters.
  13. Proper Bounce Handling. Resources handle all hard and soft bounces appropriately. A hard bounce (or permanent failure) is one which is not likely to be resolved by resending the message in the current form. A soft bounce (or transient failure) is one in which the message as sent is valid, but persistence of some temporary condition has caused abandonment or delay of attempts to send the message. Each bounce is reviewed and handled accordingly so that maximum delivery is always maintained.
  14. Close rapport with ISPs. Resources maintain a very close rapport with all the major ISP’s and their email postmasters. Maintaining a good working relationship with each provider ensures good delivery now and in the future.