How to Identify & Fix Email Deliverability Issues

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Email deliverability issues can occur within several different channels where email outreach is present;

  1. Newsletter
  2. Email onboarding sequence
  3. Cold email outreach

Depending on what problem you are trying to solve and tool you are using, you should be focusing fixing on one that provides you with most value. All that with consideration on value / effort being involved for fixing the problem. The highest return on investment usually comes from cold email outreach within sales departments.

Gather facts about your email deliverability issues

Pick one of your campaigns and focus on the metrics. Analyze the deliverability by checking;

Who is in your target groups?

Know your target audience. Targeting wrong audience can backfire quite quickly. People will unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam. All that will impact your domain authority and credibility. Not to mention the of performance of your email campaign and it’s KPIs.

What is the percentage of emails bouncing?

There are various benchmarks for emails bounces that try to explain what is normal and what is not. If your email bounce is higher than 2% you should start verifying the emails you use in your campaigns. You can try several tools. Simply search Google for “best email verifier”. The tool will show which emails you should avoid so you can remove them from your campaign prior to sending.

How many people unsubscribes from your campaigns?

Important metric that can tell you two things. How relevant is the content you are sending to your audience and are you providing any value to your audience? Benchmarks are different, but in any case. Aim for 0%.

Option to unsubscribe!

Make sure you always offer an option to unsubscribe. The opposite will make unwanted side effects and more problems in your bucket.

What tools are we using?

Try to understand the technical setup and identify all the tools being used within the process all the way from gathering to sending emails.
Understand which email providers are being used in what kind of technical setup. Some improvements can come out of the box, you just need to know what to look for. Best above all is to choose the tool that covers as many aspects as possible. Make sure you do your due diligence by checking the benchmarks on forums, review sites and social media groups about best tools to use.

Is our domain reputation causing email deliverability issues?

There are several tools where you can check or even track the reputation of your domain.
Some of the tools you can use to make a quick check on your reputation:

Taking actions against email deliverability issues

There are usually two main reasons your emails don’t reach your recipients inbox:

  1. Emails you are addressing don’t exist anymore or they are invalid and therefore they bounce.
  2. Your sender reputation is sending emails to promotion folder or even worse – spam.

How to fight email bounce rates?

Use third party tools for email verification. If possible use them via API service where you check all emails before they enter your CRM or email database. Also try to check them regularly on a quarterly basis or 6 month basis in order o keep the invalid ones away from your target groups.

Email verification services are usually not completely reliable. Their verification is usually between 95 – 98% accurate. If you are using the service for email newsletters the accuracy can be even lower since there are many emails that can not be 100% verified. The main reason for that is the setting on the servers of recipients that catches all emails, giving the verifier no options to have a solid idea if that email exists or not.

If you are using the verifier for email outreach campaigns for sales purposes, than email verification will come very handy as you might be looking for fresh leads. Prospect Role web app has email verification already integrated in its functionality.

Apart from email verification you should find a way how to integrate the bounce emails information into the system. That way you can ensure that all future campaigns will avoid previously bounced emails. Lot of tools already comes with such feature, but make sure you check. If you get a lot of bounces and have a hard time cleaning them manually, then maybe there is a time for a chance.

How to fight bad sender reputation?

  1. Make sure you have a good technical setting of your tools for your email outreach.
  2. Keep warming up your domain and email accounts (use tools like GMass, Warmupinbox, and others).
  3. Make sure you optimize the content of the email campaigns in order to reach high;
    – open rate
    – reply rate
    – click rate
Results from one of the cold email outreach campaigns using lemlist
  1. Reduce bounce rates by verifying your emails
  2. Keep checking your audience. Remove inactive people from your emails lists.

Final thoughts

A lot has been mentioned but definitely not all. The bottom line of the story is to identify the use cases and main problems you and your organization is facing. Also, make sure you use your time wisely. Identify quick wins and focus on the fixes that will contribute the most.. Email deliverability issues can be address in stages so making a roadmap might not be a bad idea. But most of all, never stop optimizing in order to gain from email outreach!


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Product manager 

Creator of Prospect Role. Product manager during the day and content writer overnight. Growth focused all day long =)