When you sign on to the emfluence Marketing Platform, you not only get the fantastic resources who work in the Kansas City office, but you also get access to industry-leading partnerships that emfluence has built over the years, like ReturnPath.  ReturnPath is the deliverability expert in the email marketing industry, and we value this partnership because it helps get your message delivered to the inboxes you want.


ReturnPath isn’t just a great email deliverability engine—they’re also a content machine. ReturnPath publishes multiple articles throughout the year covering topics ranging from annual email benchmarks, rendering statistics, marketing trends to email best practices. One of the articles recently published was Secrets of Best in Class Email Senders. You can read the full piece here, but I’m focusing this piece on what you need to know right now to start running your own email deliverability checks.


“In 2016, 21 percent of legitimate emails were diverted to spam folders, or blocked completely. However, top senders only saw 2 percent of their emails failing to reach the inbox.” – ReturnPath


This article provides the various “secrets” that the top email marketers use to help get their messaging where it needs to be…the recipient’s inbox. So what should you be doing to make sure your delivery is hitting the greatest number of inboxes? Use the list below to check off what you have in place:


How are your spam scores when you run Pre-Flight?

  • If there are a few filters that are still triggering high, try some of these minor adjustments to try to get those scores to drop.


Do you have large complaint rates?

  • Spam complaints hurt your sender reputation, so it is best to have users unsubscribe rather than mark you as spam. Be sure to include an unsubscribe link in your marketing emails. Not only does it keep your customers happy, it is required by law (CAN-SPAM Act of 2003). Pro tip: you can use emfluence Marketing Platform landing pages to allow people to unsubscribe from one list without unsubscribing from everything.


What is your sending history?

  • Do you regularly send emails, or is this the first email that you have sent in a few months? It will be hard for inboxes to determine your reputation if you do not send frequently enough. Plus, staying in regular touch with your customers and prospects is generally a good marketing practice if you want to stay top of mind.


What does your list size look like?

  • Inboxes also check your send volumes. If you typically send lower volumes, try breaking up larger lists into smaller groups to align with your regular sends.


Have you set up DKIM and SPF Records?

  • These simple steps to help authenticate your sender reputation. Not sure if you have DKIM set up? Run a quick pre-flight on your email and see if you have the following checkmarks under the Spam Filter Check:

Are your users engaged or are you seeing low open and clickthrough rates?

  • The content you are sending may not be relevant to the recipients anymore. Run a re-permission/opt in campaign to segment users for future communications. Check out a few examples here.


Is there a single domain with zero or low open rates?

  • Test with the ReturnPath seed list. The seed list is made up of 500-600 email addresses with about 20 at every inbox provider and ISP available – all owned and managed by Return Path. The results will provide information on how many emails landed in the Inbox, Junk folder or went Missing.


Are you A/B testing?

  • Test as much as possible. This will help you learn your audience. Not sure what to test? For starters, try subject lines, from names, header text, day of week, time of week.


Is your list clean?

  • If you have an email list that has not been well kept, it’s best to run a list cleanse before loading it into the platform. This will help scrub out the bad, invalid, and potential spam trap email addresses, lowering your hard bounce rates. It’s something we can help you with, too.


If you are missing any of the above, or have a question on deliverability, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or the rest of the emfluence team and we will be glad to help!



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