Email Deliverability 101: Avoid Spam & Double Open Rates

Today, I’m flying solo and letting you in on five great strategies we’ve used to double our ecommerce email agency clients’ deliverability. No guests, no fluff, just a detailed guide for you. Ready to dive in? Here we go!


1. Setting Up an Email Canary – Your Early Warning System

Just like a canary in a coal mine warns miners about toxic gases, an email canary can alert you about deliverability issues. How? Create 3-4 different email accounts under Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, and Apple mail. Subscribe these 9-16 emails to your email list, and they’ll be your canaries. When you send out campaigns or promotions, they’ll end up in these inboxes.

Here’s a tip: Set up a separate Chrome profile, signed into these canary accounts. Check where the email landed. Was it in spam? Promotions? Or did it even get delivered? With this, you can diagnose problems like too many images or specific words and rectify them. It’s like a troubleshooting tool for your email campaigns!


2. Re-Engagement Email Flow – Nurturing Your Audience

This one takes effort but pays off big time. Create segments of your audience based on their engagement over the last 60 days, including those who have opened or clicked on your emails. Test your campaigns on them.

Here’s the process: If you hit good KPIs like 50% open rates or 3-4% click-through rates, expand the segment. If KPIs dip, shrink it down to a tighter engagement window like 45 or 30 days. Sometimes we even had to go down to 15 days, but once KPIs are hit, we gradually expand it back to 60-90 days. It’s all about playing with the engagement period to hit the sweet spot!


3. Mind the Email Size – Keep It Light

You might not realize that there’s a specific email size limit, and here’s why it matters. Ideally, your emails should be under 100 kilobytes. Watch out for code-heavy elements like desktop-only blocks or heavy sections like background images, as they can increase the size. Keep your email design sleek and simple, and you’ll avoid getting cut off by Gmail.


4. Email Images and Elements – A Matter of Balance

Here we’re talking about the visuals that could hinder your email’s deliverability. Make sure to add alt text to images and keep the design fluid. For example, rather than using an image block, why not turn it into a text section? It’s likely to be delivered better. Less background imagery and mindful copying without styles can also help. It’s all about the delicate balance of visuals and text.


5. Crafting the Perfect Email Copy – Be Mindful of Your Words

Copywriting is the art, but it’s easy to land in spam if you don’t follow some rules. Avoid all caps in your subject lines and steer clear of spammy keywords (I’ll link an article below for you). Capitalize the first letter in each word for a cleaner look.


Wrapping Up Deliverability

There you have it, five strategies to skyrocket your email deliverability. Check out my deliverability cheat sheet for more details.

Liked what you learned? For more tips from me, join my email newsletter and follow me on Twitter. If you’re a D2C brand with at least 10,000 email subscribers, click the link below and let’s chat! Catch you in the next one!

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