Emails & SMS

Improve Your Email Deliverability with These 9 Easy Wins 👇 (Part 1)

February 21, 2022

Kelsey Hess

Contributing Writer

That darn Promotions inbox…


Or worse, the dreaded Spam folder. 🙀

We know you don’t want your emails to end up there (and neither do we, TBH).

So let’s cover some tips to help you hit that Primary Inbox like a champ.

But first… a heads up.


No one really knows all the secrets behind reaching the Inbox 100% of the time. Gmail, for example, is highly variable; your message could go to the Primary Inbox for one user and Spam for another. It’s not black and white.

However, one thing is clear: if you’re sending emails that people don’t want to read, you’re probably gonna end up in Spam. No way around it. 🤷


Additionally, if you don’t have the basic tech stuff in place – like a solid sender/domain reputation, custom authentication with DKIM/SPF/BIMI, and a good ESP – these tips may only get you so far.

assuming you’ve got all that taken care of, here are some straightforward ways to improve your email deliverability. 👇


1️⃣ Optimize for engagement.


One of the best ways to improve your email deliverability is to send emails that prompt engagement. When a user opens, clicks – and even better, replies to – your email, it sends a clear signal to ISPs that people like getting your messages.


You’re probably familiar with best practices for optimizing for opens and clicks, but what about replies? 🤔


Here are some ways to elicit a response to your email, which can do wonders for deliverability:

  • Offer something valuable in exchange for a reply (best option).
  • Ask a question in your email and prompt your reader to reply.
  • Have the reader confirm they got your email or a download with a reply.

🦸 Pro Tip: Having high engagement early on in your Welcome Emails is the best way to ensure the rest of your emails end up in the Inbox.


2️⃣ Get whitelisted.

Another way to get fast-tracked to the Inbox is to ask users to whitelist you, or add you as a contact (instructions vary for email providers). This tells providers that you’re essentially a VIP and shouldn’t be sent to Spam.


3️⃣ Ask for a manual move.

You can also suggest that users drag your email to the Primary Inbox from Promotions or Spam, which will make it more likely that your next few messages end up there. (And if they like your emails, they’ll probably do it.)

A nice little Gmail shortcut is to “star” the email, which automatically moves it to Primary. ⭐


Heads up: these strategies may not keep you in the Inbox indefinitely, so you might need to include reminders once in a while.


4️⃣ Avoid “trigger” words and phrases (especially in the subject line).

While this isn’t a sure bet, there’s a theory that certain words, phrases, and tendencies trigger providers to send your email to Spam. This is especially true when it comes to your subject line, although the body of the email applies as well.


Spammy triggers to avoid:

  • ALL CAPS LIKE HOW YOUR MOTHER IN LAW WRITES
  • Excessive and unnecessary use of punctuation (!!!) or special characters ($@!#)
  • The words “free,” “urgent action,” “XXX” and many more
  • “RE:” or “FWD” in the subject line of an original email

In other words: If it looks like Spam, and it quacks like Spam… well 🤷

If you’re struggling to get your emails out of the promotions box, tune into DTC 143 for part 2!

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