Eight Steps to Set Up Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is a key concern for most email marketers. JangoMail is a highly customizable platform. From sending speeds, to email headers, to SMTP protocol level customizations, taking advantage of certain settings and features can help ensure high email deliverability.

It's important to separate yourself from the masses, beginning with your opt-in processes. There are different levels of opt-in email marketing, boiling down to two main ones: single opt-in and confirmed opt-in. A single opt-in would be the initial capture of the email address. A confirmed opt-in would be a second contact to confirm the opt-in. Generally, customers using confirmed opt-in experience higher deliverability. 

Please note that many of these steps are to be done by an administrator for your domain's DNS settings. If you're not sure what this information may mean for you and your account, talk with your administrator. As always, any questions can be directed to our support team by opening a ticket with our support form. Include a description of your situation and as many details as possible so our support team can help! 

 

The Eight Steps: 

Following the below steps will improve delivery to most major inbox providers.

 

1. Branded From Address

Use a valid From Address of your own company's domain. From Addresses with free providers such as Yahoo, AOL, or GMail are not allowed. The benefit of this is two-fold: consistent branding and control of your sending reputation. You can read more about the From Address here.

Before sending your first campaign, you must ensure your From Address is using your own domain. Change this by creating your message, and clicking on the From tab. 

 

Who should do this? The person using JangoMail.

 

2. Custom Tracking Domain

Create a custom tracking domain at your own domain. The tracking domain is referenced in the open tracking mechanism, the click tracking redirects, the unsubscribe link, the "Forward to Friend" link, the "View as Web Page", and other links that offer tracking in your email messages.

By default, every new JangoMail account is assigned a system tracking domain that is shared among multiple clients, like x.jango5.com. Set up your own by going to Settings → Tracking → Tracking Domain. If your domain is mycompany.com, then setting up track.mycompany.com makes for the perfect tracking domain. You can find more information here.

Who should do this? The technical person who manages your domain's DNS settings.

 

3. DomainKeys/DKIM

DomainKeys/DKIM are two email authentication standards, the former invented by Yahoo and the latter a combination of efforts by Yahoo and Cisco. Both of these standards cryptographically sign an email message using a public/private key mechanism in such a way that a sending server can encrypt a message with a private key and a receiving server can decrypt the message using the public key. This is a secure way to make sure that you are who you say you are when sending a message. It also makes sure nothing has been modified in the message content or headers. Please see this page for further instructions.

Who should do this? The technical person who manages your domain's DNS settings.

 

4. Confirmed Opt-In

JangoMail accepts single opt-in lists, but for the best results, you should use double opt-in, or confirmed opt-in. This is to make sure you're spending your time, effort, and money on those recipients who are truly interested in your content. It's an automatic process when you use JangoMail Lists. When you create a list, set it to be Confirmed Opt-In and every new member that is added will automatically trigger a confirmation email to their address. Bogus addresses or uninterested members won't confirm and won't waste your time in the future. The recipients who do click are the ones you want!

Who should do this? The person using JangoMail.

 

5. SPF Record

Set up SenderID on your domain. SPF is a way to validate an email's From Address against the server that sent the email, helping to validate your identity when you send through a third party like JangoMail. Instructions for SPF records can be found here.

Who should do this? The technical person who manages your domain's DNS settings.

 

6. Plain Text Message

If you're sending an HTML email, make sure you include a corresponding plain text message. Spam filters heavily scrutinize messages that have an uneven ratio of HTML to plain text content. This is as easy as setting the Plain Text Message to "auto-generate". See screenshot below. This will cause a plain text message to be generated (based on your HTML message) at the time of email sending.

Who should do this? The person using JangoMail.

 

7. Exercise Good List Hygiene

Confirmed opt-in gets you started out right, but good deliverability is an ongoing effort. Starting out right and then slacking as time goes on won't produce the best results. Here are some tips to make sure you're exercising good list hygiene:

  • Target engaged recipients. Recipients who were once very engaged can lose interest, whether due to irrelevant content or just moving on. Focus on those who have opened or clicked in the last 6 months, and then send periodically to the disengaged recipients to let them know you miss them. 
  • Remove bounces and unsubscribes. Using JangoMail's List Scrub feature, you can do this easily inside your account. If you are an SMTP, API, or web database user, make sure you're keeping track of what addresses are no longer valid and remove them from your own system. 
  • Remove role addresses. Role addresses, such as sales@, info@, contact@, and more, serve a function and rarely identify a specific person. Sending to these addresses is typically a sign of a poorly kept list and can result in spam complaints. Do yourself a favor before anyone gets hurt: remove these from your list. 

Who should do this? The person using JangoMail Lists or managing your database. 

 

8. Anchor Hyperlinks with Text Phrases, not URLS

If using click tracking, anchor text should be phrases, not URLs. Some spam filters look closely at how you link to determine whether the link is legitimate or fraudulent. They do this to prevent phishing scams—a type of scam where an email pretends to be a request from a legitimate company in order to get the login credentials of that company's user. For more information on phishing, see the Wikipedia article on phishing. The best way to explain good links versus bad links is with an example:

Good Link: <a href="http://www.browniekitchen.com/">Visit our website.</a>
Bad Link: <a href="http://www.browniekitchen.com/">http://www.browniekitchen.com</a>

When these URLs are click tracked in JangoMail, the final email message looks like:

Good Click Tracked Link: <a href="http://x.jango5.com/y.z?l=http://www.browniekitchen.com">Visit our website.</a> 
Bad Click Tracked Link: <a href="http://x.jango5.com/y.z?l=http://www.browniekitchen.com">http://www.browniekitchen.com</a>

What makes the bad link bad is that the anchor text is a URL, and that domain in that URL does not match the domain in the link destination. Phishing filters look for this domain mismatch. In the good example, however, the anchor text is not a URL to begin with, so the phishing filter will accept it as legitimate.

Who should do this? The person designing your email campaigns.

 

Setting up your account for deliverability can make the difference. Learn more!

 Last Updated: 10.19.15 AE

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