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Email Deliverability: Dos and Don’ts

A header image with a group of people holding phones and an email creation window overlaid

The world of deliverability is a blind spot in email marketing. As marketers, we don’t have true visibility into what will ensure your email gets delivered 100% of the time. Spam filters and inbox protection tools can mark your messages as spam, but the rules on when and why that

happens are not communicated publicly, as real spammers could access inboxes more easily.

So how do you combat being marked as spam? Check out these email deliverability dos and don’ts below!

DO – Use Targeted Segments

How engaged your audience is with your emails is a large factor in your spam rating. The best way to create email engagement is to send relevant messages to relevant audiences. One of the most significant benefits of Marketing Automation is the data you have access to. Challenge yourself to create filters that best suit your marketing message. For example, if you are promoting a small event for the weekend, only send a message to fans that live in your area by adding zip code quicklist criteria to your segment.

An email creation page showing linked contacts

To learn more about segmentation, check out our recent Learning Center Series session on Segmentation by clicking here.

DON’T – Send to Inactive Users

One of the golden rules of deliverability it not to send to inactive accounts, as that is an easy way to find yourself on a spam list. You can avoid sending emails to accounts that will not engage with the message anyway by creating an “Inactive Accounts” filter. This filter typically looks at old accounts that are not opening or clicking emails, submitting forms, or are unsubscribed or marked as a hard bounceback. Create a Shared Filter like this below to easily exclude Inactive Accounts from your larger segments.

An email creation page showing users who have not opened their emails

DO – Send Emails in Smaller Batches

Large emails are sometimes unavoidable. If you do have to send to a broad audience, you can schedule your email in smaller batches to improve deliverability. Sending in smaller batches can reduce the likelihood that an email service provider (ESP) marks the message as spam. This strategy is an excellent option for emails that are not time-sensitive, like weekly newsletters.

An email creation tab showing to send emails in smaller batches of 6hrs

DON’T – Use Large Images

While Eloqua resizes images in the native email building tool, it is still recommended to send images that are 600 pixels wide maximum. Sending large images or GIFs (over 1 MB) is more likely to land you on a spam list. Moreover, some email service providers (like Outlook 365) will no longer render your image down, and so your design may be thrown off if you image is wider than the standard 600 pixels.

An image showing the dimensions of an image

DO – Monitor Bouncebacks

If you are seeing a high bounceback rate on your emails consistently, you can look for more information in your Oracle Insight reports on why those messages are bouncing. Once inside Oracle Insight, select the Catalog on the top menu bar and inside the Email category, find the “Email Bounceback History with Messages” report and click open. You can set your lookback window and then view any individual bounceback messages that make it back to Eloqua after an email bounces. Learn more about this report here.

An email creation screen shot showing the 'Insight' tab

If you are seeing consistent messages for the same email service providers (ESPs), like AT&T, reach out to your Marketing Automation Representative who can help remediate any blocks for several different ESPs. If your patron is getting marked a spam from a smaller ESP, you can recommend that they add your sending address to the Safe Sender List. Learn more about the Safe Sender List and where to find it here.

DO – Listen to Industry Experts

Becoming a deliverability expert in the ever-changing world of email marketing is difficult. Listen to those experts. Check out these Best Practices here from our partners at Relationship One on Deliverability! Follow these tips and put yourself in the best position for strong email deliverability!


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