Email Deliverability Best Practices

  • 21 September 2020
  • 3 replies

Userlevel 4
Badge +5

Ensuring email deliverability

Email deliverability is simply ensuring that your emails are delivered to the inbox and not to the spam folder. Spam at its most basic definition is unwanted email. Email inboxes (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook) use the following indicators to help determine where they should place your emails:

Emails in Inbox   Emails in Spam
Greater than 15% open rate   Less than 10% open rate
Greater than 4% click rate   Greater than 0.5% unsubscribe rate
Added to contact list   Greater than 0.1% spam rate


To have a good sender reputation you should:

  • Send to engaged customers
  • Send great content
  • Monitor your results and adjust sending practices

The foundation of your sender reputation is the engagement of subscribers with your emails.  If mailbox providers see that your customers are actively opening and clicking, this greatly reduces the chances of your emails landing in spam.

Starting with a new email service provider (ESP)

New to email marketing:

  1. If customers have consented to receive emails from you via another source, such as a brick-and-mortar store or trade show, upload contacts to your primary list.
  2. Build and turn on high-engagement flows (such as welcome series, abandoned cart, and browse abandon).
  3. Create segments using engagement data.
  4. Send campaigns to 30-day engaged segment.

Had prior Email Service Provider:

  1. Review current performance. If low, follow this guide to optimize your sends.
  2. Import your previous suppression list and engagement data from prior ESP.
  3. Create segments using engagement data.
  4. Build and turn on high-engagement flows  (such as welcome series, abandoned cart, and browse abandon).
  5. Send campaigns to a 30-day engaged segment.


30 days new ESP timeline:





Week one // Turn on flows





Weeks two and three // Monitor and begin to send campaigns to a 30-day engaged segment






Week four // Monitor and expand to a 60-day engaged segment

If you absolutely need to send a campaign before completing the new  ESP transition:

  • Create the 30-day engaged segment from prior ESP data.
  • Send the campaign to the 30-day engaged segment.
  • Monitor the results. If the open rate is above 20% after 24 hours, expand to the 60-day engage” segment.

We strongly recommend against sending to your whole list on your first campaign sends (mass email sends). It can take a very long time for your domain to recover from deliverability issues and can negatively impact your revenue.

3 replies

Userlevel 2
Badge +3

Hi! Not sure how to ask a question yet, so hopefully this way is fine too. :)

What is your experience with adding links in emails that lead to PDFs hosted (in this case) on Shopify? Does this affect deliverability? 

Userlevel 1
Badge +2

Hey @emela.husic,

Personally, I’ve found linking pdf’s doesn’t affect deliverability. However, I have found having too many links in an email can affect deliverability and should be taken into consideration. Message me if you have any more questions about this if you like.

Userlevel 6
Badge +9

Hi @emela.husic

Asking a question in a thread is definitely a-ok, but you can also create a question by hitting the “New Post” button at the top right of your account next to your avatar: 

I agree here with @Lachlan Kuchel that while linking to a PDF doesn’t technically mean it will affect your deliverability, it does have the ability to trigger a spam filter if the link is to an external domain (not your website). Like Lachlan mentioned, you also want to be careful of how many links you are including. This is the section on Content & Links in our Introduction to Email Deliverability guide that might be helpful to look over! 

Thanks so much for being a part of our Klaviyo Community!