Best practices for email deliverability

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to recipients' inboxes. It is a crucial aspect of email marketing strategies as it significantly impacts your email marketing success. Although great content can contribute to high deliverability, other aspects can also influence it positively.

👥 Building up and maintaining your database

Only import contacts expecting to receive your emails

The primary factor influencing whether your emails will land in your recipients' inboxes is the quality of your contact database.

Brevo requires that you obtain the consent of your contacts before adding them to your database. These contacts, who are expecting your emails, are more likely to open them. This leads to increased engagement and fewer complaints, thus enhancing your deliverability.

The_more_your_contacts_are_engaged__the_better_your_campaign_results_will_be..png

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article Build a legitimate contacts database for optimal deliverability and compliance.

Set up a double opt-in process for your subscription form

When you set up a double opt-in process for your subscription form, your subscribers will have to perform an extra step to confirm they want to receive your emails. It creates an additional layer of protection to prevent:

  • Fake email addresses or contacts who aren’t really that interested in your emails from signing up.
  • Bots filling in your form with invalid email addresses.
  • Spam traps from being added to your database.

Double opt-in can also prevent low engagement in your email campaigns. As they are required to take an additional step, contacts who go through a double opt-in process are more likely to be interested in your future communications.

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article Create a subscription form (Step 4: Manage your subscription confirmation settings).

Regularly clean your contact database

Subscriber engagement plays a significant role in email deliverability. If recipients regularly engage with your emails, ISPs are more likely to perceive your emails as desired and not spam.

That's why we strongly recommend regularly cleaning your database by identifying and blocklisting contacts who are no longer interested in your emails (e.g., those who haven't opened your last three email campaigns). It's important to blocklist these contacts rather than deleting them to prevent accidentally reimporting them as subscribed contacts in the future.

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article Optimize and clean your contact list to improve email deliverability.

💡 Good to know
Before blocklisting an inactive contact, you can try sending them a re-engagement email campaign.

🧑‍💻 Checking your technical configuration

Use a professional and identifiable email address for your sender

Do not use a free email address (@gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc.) to send your business emails. Instead, it is strongly recommended to use a professional email address that ends with your own domain (for example, the one of your website if you have one). Not only will this make your emails look more professional and recognizable to your recipients, but it will also increase the chances of your emails getting delivered to your recipients' inboxes.

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article Why you need to replace your free email address with a professional one.

Authenticate your domain

When you authenticate your domain, you add a digital signature to your emails, which works like a stamp of authenticity, verifying that the emails truly originate from you or your organization. It helps reduce the risk of spam, phishing, and other malicious activities. Authenticating your domain also increase the chances of your emails being delivered directly to recipients' inboxes rather than ending up in the spam folder.

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article Authenticate your domain with Brevo (Brevo code, DKIM record, DMARC record).

💌 Building effective email campaigns

Write captivating subject lines

Since the subject line is the first thing recipients read in an email, it's essential to make it engaging. This strategy improves the likelihood of your email being opened and read.

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article How to write a great email subject line?.

Create qualitative email content

Quality email content involves creating relevant and engaging emails that bring value to the recipient and encourages them to read your content more promptly. Such high-quality emails can enhance your open rates, strengthen your brand's trust among recipients, and reduce the chances of your emails being marked as spam.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when building your email campaigns:

💯 Must have 👍 Good to have 🙅 To avoid
  • Ensure that your email content is relevant to your contacts and provides value.
  • Use consistent elements such as logo, color scheme, and tone of voice to strengthen brand recognition.
  • Use personalization techniques to address recipients by name and tailor content based on their preferences or behavior.
  • Design your emails to be mobile-friendly since a significant portion of users access emails on mobile devices.
  • Include a clear and prominent Call-To-Action (CTA) that guides recipients on the desired action you want them to take.
  • Avoid using spam-trigger words or phrases that could lead to your emails being flagged by spam filters.
  • Avoid overwhelming recipients with too much information.
  • Don't use URL shorteners such as bit.ly or goo.gl as they are considered fraudulent by anti-spam engines.

Use segmentation to target specific contacts

Segmenting your contacts is an effective strategy that can significantly enhance your email marketing practices. By segmenting and focusing on active contacts who have recently shown interest in your content, you ensure the relevance of your messages, thereby increasing the likelihood of your emails being opened and read.

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article Create a segment to filter your contacts.

Test your email campaigns

Testing your email campaign before sending it to your contacts is crucial to avoid any issues with display, personalization, or images. Brevo offers several options to test your email campaigns:

Send your campaigns with the right timing and frequency

Sending your campaigns at the right time increases the likelihood that contacts will engage with your emails. And remember, anything that improves engagement, improves deliverability as well.

You can use our Send Time Optimization feature to determine the best time for each contact based on their interaction with your previous campaigns, eliminating any guesswork.

💡 Good to know
The Send Time Optimization feature is available on a Business and Enterprise plan.

📈 Monitoring your metrics

Monitoring your metrics will help you evaluate the performance of your email campaigns and identify areas for improvement.

Here are the key email marketing metrics that you should track:

Statistic Description
Open rate

Percentage of recipients who have opened an email out of the total number of emails delivered.

Click rate Percentage of recipients who have clicked a link in an email out of the total number of emails delivered.
Hard bounce rate Percentage of email deliveries that failed due to a permanent issue (e.g., invalid email addresses).
Soft bounce rate Percentage of email deliveries that were rejected due to a temporary issue (e.g., the recipient's inbox being full).
Spam/Complaint rate Percentage of recipients who marked your email as spam out of the total number of emails delivered.
Unsubscribe rate Percentage of recipients who have unsubscribed from a campaign using the unsubscription link out of the total number of emails delivered.

➡️ To learn more, check our dedicated article Understand the statistics and reports of your email campaigns.

❗️ Important
High hard bounce (above 2%), unsubscription (above 1%), or complaint (above 0,2%) rates can lead to an account or email campaign suspension

Additional best practices if you have a dedicated IP

Warm up your dedicated IP

Before sending large volumes of emails, or if you've sent few emails in the recent weeks, it is very important to take the time to warm up your dedicated IP. This helps you build and maintain a positive reputation with ISPs, improving your deliverability.

Many deliverability issues for users on dedicated IPs come from inadequate warm-up. Building a reputation on a dedicated IP takes weeks as sending too many emails at once can lead to rejection by webmails and potential blocking of your dedicated IP.

💡 Good to know
If you're an Enterprise client with large volumes of emails, our deliverability team can assist with this process.

Check your sender score

If you're using a dedicated IP, you can check your sender score. This score ranges from 1-100 and helps determine if your emails are flagged as spam. To assess your current sender score, visit SenderScore.org and enter your IP address. If your score is below 90, make sure you check the other best practices in this article to improve it.

🤔 Have a question?

If you have a question, feel free to contact our support team by creating a ticket from your account. If you don't have an account yet, you can contact us here.

If you’re looking for help with a project using Brevo, we can match you with the right certified Brevo expert partner.

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