In this section, we’re going to address the technical aspects of deliverability rate if you’ve decided to use a dedicated pipeline rather than an ESP. Many of the tips from Part 2 apply to a dedicated pipeline as well, but we’ll focus exclusively on technical aspects here.
- Use different IP addresses for different types of emails — For your business, you’ll send different types of emails. Some of those emails will be transactional (abandoned cart, receipts, etc), some will be promotional (coupons, discounts, and running sales), and some of those emails will be more personable (newsletter, updates, etc). It’s good practice to have a different dedicated IP address for each of those types of emails, the reason being that ISPs often separate emails into different tabs (Primary and Promotions in Gmail, for example) based on the types of emails sent from an IP address. Having dedicated IP addresses for each type of email you send will ensure that each email gets put in the right place.
- Warm up your IP address(es) — If you get a new IP address and immediately start sending thousands of emails every day, you’ll get loads of bounces and deferrals, and your deliverability rate will plummet. So ease into it. Send 200 emails per week, then 400, then slowly increase that amount. Over time, your IP address will gain reputability and you’ll be able to send thousands of emails every day without a fuss. But it does take some time.
- Consider a Feedback Loop — Using a feedback loop in your dedicated pipeline makes it so that you will get notified whenever there’s a new complaint on an email that you sent. This is wildly important knowledge to have so that you know if your audience is responding negatively to your campaigns. Note, too, that you must have an abuse@ and postmaster@ email addresses on your sending domain so you can receive notifications from your feedback loop.
- Double Check Blacklists — If your deliverability rate is suffering, then double-check blacklistings and make sure that your IP address isn’t listed. If it is, then you can either work to get un-listed (which can be quite difficult) or you can start over with a new IP address and be more careful.
- Whitelist your IP address — After about 90 days of sending trustworthy emails, you can opt to whitelist your IP address, giving you a better sender reputation with the ISPs that have you whitelisted. Here are a few free places that you can whitelist your IP address.
- Use reCAPTCHA on your opt-in form — If you’re sending emails to robots rather than people (meaning that the emails don’t ever get opened or engaged with), your deliverability rate is going to plummet. One of the easiest ways to avoid this is to add Google reCAPTCHA to your opt-in form so that only real people can subscribe to your email list.
- Use a reputable DNS provider — You’ll want to make sure that the DNS provider you’re using is reputable and well-trusted in the email marketing world. Avoid new DNS providers with little credibility or past experience backing them. Because if you end up using a DNS provider that doesn’t work correctly, is reporting the wrong records, or slows down your website, that’s going to cause problems for your email sending reputation.
- Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) — A CDN caches your content for faster delivery all over the online world. It makes for faster load times (even for images within your email campaigns) and ISPs usually will let CDN content through the spam gate-keeping phase faster because it’s already proven trustworthy. If you have your own dedicated email marketing pipeline, then you should seriously consider getting a CDN.
The point here is, before you build yourself a dedicated pipeline, make sure that your tech-stack is in order. Having the wrong tech can quickly give you a terrible deliverability rate that will slaughter your email marketing efforts. But having a clean tech-stack will ensure your emails get delivered to the right place and people, at the right time.