By John Turner, founder of SeedProd

Email is one of the most popular forms of communication worldwide. Individuals and businesses use email for different purposes, but the intention is still the same: to deliver a message. One of the biggest problems faced by business owners and developers as it pertains to email is deliverability rate. 

Deliverability rate is the number of people who receive an email versus how many were sent. Typically, the rate is expressed in a percentage. If someone sends out 1000 emails, and only 800 make it to the intended target’s email box, the sender has a deliverability rate of 80 percent. 

It’s important to note that we are not discussing an email getting sent to a consumer’s inbox. Instead, I’m talking about emails that never make it to their destination and end up lost in the void. There are numerous ways you can improve the chances that your emails will reach their intended targets. Today we are going to look at four ways you can improve your email deliverability rate. 

Maintain hygienic email lists.

The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you’re keeping your email lists hygienic. There are several ways to make sure you’re only dealing with high-quality leads and prospects. First, never, under any circumstance, should you buy an email list. It may seem appealing to generate a ton of additional “subscribers” at once, but it’s not worth it. 

When you buy a lead list, you end up soliciting consumers who never asked to be a part of your email list. As a result, they are more likely to report your emails, which can damage your reputation. If you repeatedly get marked as an account that sends spam, there’s a good chance that email providers will start blocking your emails before they make it to your customer. 

It’s also important to regularly prune the email list you’ve grown on your own. You can try to keep all of your subscribers or recipients engaged, but there will be a group of people who lose interest and stop responding to your emails. I suggest pruning your email list twice a year for subscribers who haven’t opened or interacted with your emails in six months. Regularly cleaning up your lead list helps you deliver your message to the consumers who care, which could help improve your sender reputation. 

Change PHP to SMTP. 

PHP (hypertext preprocessor) mail is a common protocol used for sending and receiving information such as emails. For many years, it was acceptable for companies to use PHP for their email campaigns and contact forms, but there was a problem: It became easy for hackers to intercept transferred mail, so email hosting companies like Gmail and Yahoo started blocking transmissions using PHP mail. The result was business owners’ deliverability rates plummeted. 

Luckily, there’s SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol), which allows users to protect their emails and ensure that they get delivered. SMTP confirms that the email is listed as being from the sender’s address. PHP would sometimes distort this information by making your email hosting address different than your website address, which caused conflicts during delivery. 

Changing the protocol you use when sending out emails can have a significant impact on your overall deliverability rate. 

Verify your authentication settings.

Perhaps you’re using your own server to send emails instead of a popular marketing service. If so, you’re going to have to take a deep dive into your authentication settings to make sure your emails are deliverable. 

Try to be mindful of things like your sender policy framework (SPF), which determines whether your sent emails come from the same address. SPF is similar to SMTP but is more useful for people who are using their own developed server and settings. 

DomainKeys identified mail (DKIM) is another crucial authentication factor you should consider. DKIM allows you to make a connection between your domain and emails for an extra layer of verification. If used properly, this could not just improve your deliverability rate, but increase the chances that you’ll stay out of consumers’ spam folders. 

There are countless reasons you may need to email people, and in every case, deliverability is essential. Whether you’re sending out your weekly newsletter, emailing customers about a promotion or looking to forge new connections with other developers, improving your email deliverability rate will help you achieve your goals. 

John Turner is the founder of SeedProd, the most popular coming-soon page solution for WordPress used by over 800,000 websites.