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Tricks and treats of email deliverability

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Published 2/9/2024

Imagine walking into a Halloween haunted house, brimming with anticipation for both frights and delights. That's exactly what email deliverability feels like a rollercoaster of emotions where every send feels like a gamble between landing in the recipient's "Treats" basket or vanishing into the "Tricks" oubliette of the spam folder. This isn't just about chilling spooky stories, though – it's about the critical elements that determine whether your email marketing efforts reap rewards or haunt your bottom line.

Treats: The Sweet Rewards of Good Deliverability:

  • Happy Inboxes, Happy Customers: Your emails land where they belong, sparking joy and engagement in your delighted recipients. Open rates soar, click-through rates multiply, and conversions dance a jig like skeletons at a Halloween party! Picture the scene: you send an email with a personalized Halloween discount code, and recipients are so excited to use it that your store experiences a surge in sales – that's the treat of good deliverability!
  • A Reputation So Solid, It Makes Dracula Jealous: Delivering consistently earns your trust with email service providers (ESPs), ensuring your future emails bypass spam filters like garlic wards off vampires. Think of it like building a sturdy castle with strong defenses – your emails become trusted messengers, not unwelcome visitors.
  • Sales and ROI That Do a Monster Mash: Reaching the right people with relevant messages translates to increased sales and a return on investment that would make Frankenstein proud. Imagine the satisfaction of seeing your carefully crafted Halloween campaign driving significant sales and exceeding your goals – that's the monster mash of good ROI!
  • Brand Image Shining Brighter Than a Jack-o'-Lantern: Consistent deliverability shows professionalism and builds trust, making your brand the go-to choice even in a crowded graveyard of competitors. Imagine your brand logo becoming synonymous with high-quality, relevant emails, attracting and retaining customers like moths to a flame – that's the bright light of a strong brand image.

Tricks: The Chilling Consequences of Poor Deliverability:

  • Bounced Emails and Wasted Resources: Undeliverable emails drain your budget and leave recipients feeling like they've stumbled into a cobweb-filled crypt, wondering why they ever signed up for your emails. Imagine sending a spooky Halloween promotion that bounces back due to invalid addresses – that's wasted resources and frustrated customers.
  • Spam Folder Purgatory: Landing in the dreaded spam folder means your message is essentially invisible, like a ghost hiding in plain sight, unable to deliver its spooky delights. Imagine crafting a chilling Halloween story in your email, only for it to be relegated to the spam folder, never to be seen – that's the purgatory of poor deliverability.
  • Reputation So Tarnished, It Makes a Zombie Look Fresh: Repeated deliverability issues can damage your reputation and even get you blacklisted, making future delivery about as likely as raising the dead. Imagine your sending domain being blacklisted due to spam complaints – your email efforts become like a zombie, unable to reach anyone!
  • Frustration and Lost Opportunities: Missed connections with potential customers are more terrifying than any haunted house, leading to lost opportunities for growth. Imagine having a fantastic Halloween costume collection but nobody being able to see it because your store's emails never reach them – that's the frustration of missed opportunities.

Unmasking the Secrets: Tricks and Tips for Inbox Deliverability:


  • Clean Lists Are Like Untainted Blood: Refreshing and Necessary: Regularly remove invalid and inactive addresses. Consider email verification tools to ensure your list is as fresh and engaged as a vampire after a blood transfusion. Imagine inviting only active and interested people to your Halloween party – that's what a clean list does for your email marketing!
  • Authentication is Your Magic Shield: Implement SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols to verify your sending domain and build trust with ESPs, making them think you're a friendly witch casting good spells, not a malicious one brewing trouble. Think of it like showing your guests a magical ID at the door to prove you're the legitimate host of the Halloween party – authentication builds trust!
  • Personalization is Like Candy Corn: Sweet and Customized: Segment your lists and tailor content to specific audiences for increased engagement and reduced spam complaints. Remember, not everyone loves candy corn, so cater to individual preferences! Imagine offering different Halloween treats based on your guests' likes – that's the power of personalization!
  • Warm Up Those New IPs Like Frankenstein Learning to Walk: Gradually ramp up sending volume on new IPs to avoid triggering spam filters, just like Frankenstein wouldn't 

    start with a full sprint out of the lab. Think of it like introducing a new friend to your Halloween party gradually, not throwing them into the middle of a costume contest right away – slow and steady wins the race!

    • Monitor and Adapt Like a Werewolf Under the Full Moon: Track your results, identify issues quickly, and adjust your strategies as needed. Be vigilant, and remember, even werewolves can adapt to silver bullets if they're smart! Imagine noticing a drop in engagement after your Halloween email and quickly adjusting the content for better results – that's the power of monitoring and adaptation.


    • Buying Email Lists is Like Accepting Candy From a Stranger: Risky and Potentially Poisoned: Purchased lists are often riddled with invalid addresses and can damage your reputation worse than a bad batch of Halloween candy. Imagine giving out poisoned candy at your party – that's how harmful buying email lists can be!
    • Excessive Sending Frequency: More Like a Bat Swarm Than a Friendly Flutter: Bombarding recipients with emails can overwhelm them and trigger spam filters. Stick to a consistent and relevant schedule, not a relentless barrage. Imagine being bombarded with invitations to different Halloween parties every day – it would be overwhelming!
    • Clickbait Subject Lines and Misleading Content are Like Fake Costumes: Deceitful and Unforgivable: False promises and deceptive tactics backfire, leading to unsubscribes and spam reports faster than a witch can say "Abracadabra!" Imagine advertising a haunted house with a hidden exit, only to disappoint guests – that's what clickbait does to your email reputation.
    • Ignoring Spam Traps is Like Walking Into a Spiderweb: Sticky and Unpleasant: These addresses exist to catch spammers. If you're caught sending to them, your reputation takes a hit like a fly caught in a web. Imagine ignoring warning signs about a spiderweb and getting tangled – that's what happens when you disregard spam traps.
    • Neglecting Your ESP's Advice is Like Ignoring a Ghost's Warning: Your ESP is your partner in deliverability. Listen to their feedback and follow their best practices, or risk facing consequences more dire than a haunted house spook. Imagine a friendly ghost trying to warn you about a hidden danger, only to be ignored – that's the potential consequence of neglecting your ESP's advice.

    Beyond the Basics: Advanced Spells for Deliverability Masters:

    For those seeking to delve deeper, consider these advanced techniques:

    • Segmentation Spooktacular: Tailor your content and sending times to specific audience segments for even higher engagement and reduced spam complaints. Imagine creating different haunted house experiences based on your guests' preferences – that's the power of advanced segmentation!
    • IP Rotation Rituals: Distribute your sending volume across multiple IPs to avoid triggering spam filters from focusing on a single address. Think of it like having multiple entrances to your Halloween party to avoid overcrowding at any one point.
    • Transactional Treats: Separate transactional emails (e.g., password resets and purchase confirmations) from marketing campaigns to protect their reputation. Imagine sending a separate invitation for your Halloween party's costume contest compared to general party announcements – that's transactional email separation!
    • Spam Trap Tracking: Monitor and remove email addresses associated with spam traps to maintain a clean sender reputation. Imagine having a magical detector to identify fake guests with bad intentions at your party – that's what spam trap tracking does!
    • Feedback Loop Friendliness: Subscribe to feedback loop programs that notify you of spam complaints directly from ESPs. Think of it like having a guest feedback system at your party to address any concerns quickly – that's the benefit of feedback loops!

    Remember, email deliverability is a journey, not a destination. By consistently focusing on good practices, avoiding common pitfalls, and employing the right tools, you can transform your email marketing into a thrilling success story, ensuring your messages reach the right inboxes and deliver delightful treats to your recipients. Happy sending, and may your email marketing efforts be as successful as the spookiest and most rewarding haunted house!