Guide to sending

Article author
Kelly Sutter
  • Updated

Ensuring your emails are delivered to the inbox is a team effort. Follow these requirements and email marketing best practices to keep your sender reputation score high.

 

01 // What WordFly provides

We provide you with a high quality infrastructure that encourages ISPs to deliver your email.

 

Assigned IP address with reverse DNS

All WordFly customers are assigned an IP address for sending emails. WordFly offers a shared IP or a dedicated IP option. ISPs like to see email from your domain coming from a consistent IP address. This IP is configured with a reverse DNS (rDNS) record showing that the IP address points to our sending domain.

 

DKIM email authentication for sending domain

All WordFly emails are automatically signed with a WordFly DKIM record. This record tells ISPs you are a trustworthy email sender by adding an encrypted digital signature to the email message header. It shows who the email is coming from and guarantees that it wasn’t tampered with before delivery. You can choose to sign with a custom DKIM instead. 

 

SPF email authentication for sending domain

WordFly publishes an SPF record (Sender Policy Framework) for our sending domain. SPF records authorize WordFly as a valid sender for your emails by authenticating the email’s return path / bounce address.

 

Feedback loops

Feedback loops allow ISPs to send abuse complaints back to WordFly. The WordFly team will also enlist your IP in all available ISP feedback loops. If you sign with a custom DKIM, you’ll need to set up the Yahoo feedback loop on your own. 

 

ISP message handling and threshold throttling

WordFly mail servers are configured to send to each ISP based on their posted sending limits. In addition, WordFly throttles delivery appropriately when ISPs send back messages that mail has been suspended. WordFly uses finely tuned bounce handling to prevent excessive mailings to bad addresses (hard bounces) or to addresses with Mailbox Full and other automated responses (soft bounces).

 

02 // Sending requirements

 

Increase sending volume slowly with an IP warmup plan

When you’re a new sender on WordFly, ISPs don’t recognize you because you haven’t sent any email from your assigned IP address. Over time, you’ll gradually build a sender reputation as subscribers open and click your emails. Set yourself up for future deliverability success by following an IP warmup plan

 

You must have permission to send

Permission is required as part of the WordFly Terms and Acceptable Use Policy. Growing your subscriber list without clear permission will backfire. You’ll be marked as spam, degrade your sender reputation, and wind up with low deliverability. Work with your website and marketing teams to make sure you are following best practices for email signup.

 

  • ONLY send to people who have given you permission to send emails and/or SMS to them.
  • NEVER use lists that were purchased, rented, shared, scraped or acquired from any third party.

 

You must include a working unsubscribe link on every email.

The bright side: Your email campaigns have higher engagement when you’re only sending to people who want to receive your emails. Make it easy to unsubscribe or update preferences by following best practices for unsubscribing.

 

03 // Sending best practices

Show ISPs and subscribers that you are a responsible email sender by following these best practices. They are the standards that will help your emails reach the inbox.

 

Keep your lists clean with ongoing maintenance

Make sure you are sending to real, active, and engaged addresses for the best email delivery. Over time, even a good address can change to a bad one. Subscribers change mailbox providers and their inbox becomes dormant. Their ISP may convert that inactive mailbox into a spam trap, and if you email that address again, it can lead to blocklisting. To avoid this, maintain thorough list hygiene practices to remove stale and abandoned addresses.

WordFly will do some maintenance for you. Unsubscribes are removed immediately from future list imports and from the list that was used to mail to them. Hard bounces are removed after one bounce and suppressed from all future mailings. Sending to hard bounces again can lead to IP blocks. Abuse complaints are removed from your list immediately and suppressed from all future mailings.

 

Confirm that subscribers want to receive your emails

Engagement is more important than ever. If ISPs see that subscribers aren’t opening your emails, they are more likely to send your emails to the spam folder. Periodically send reengagement campaigns to see if subscribers are still interested in your emails. 

 

Remove inactive subscribers

If subscribers are still inactive after trying to reengage, it is better to remove their addresses from your email list to maintain a good reputation.

 

Maintain consistent sending volumes

Consistent sending is not only helpful for subscriber engagement, it’s also how ISPs monitor your sending. ISPs need to see consistent sending volumes to determine your reputation. Determine what consistent volume means for your organization and then try to maintain that on a regular basis. Try sending more frequent updates and drive customers to your website for information.

 

Use a recognizable from name and from/reply-to address

Use a consistent and familiar from name and from/reply-to address to help subscribers recognize you in the inbox. It’s a good idea to include your organization name in your from name, especially when you are sending from a specific team member like your General Manager or Director. Make sure that your from/reply-to address is a valid email in case a subscriber replies back to the email. 

 

Ask subscribers to add your from/reply-to name and address to their contacts

Ask your subscribers during the signup process and in any welcome messages to add your from/reply-to name and address to their contacts or safe senders list. ISPs have filters that look through email address books to determine whether incoming email should be placed in the inbox or diverted to spam. This is important when you first start sending to a subscriber, or if your from/reply-to name and address changes.

 

Be mindful of content, especially links and images

In the past, phrases like “FREE” or using red text were frequently spam flags. Now word content isn't as much of an issue; instead, your links or using all-image emails may be seen as suspicious.

When it comes to links, you should always use the fully qualified URL for the redirect link. Spammers abuse URL shorteners to mask the malicious locations they are trying to send you to. As a result, ISPs heavily filter or block emails with shortened links. Never use shortened links such as bt.ly or any other shortener service in your marketing emails. 

Additionally, make sure that all your links are either HTTP or HTTPS for consistency. Switching back and forth between these protocols may look suspicious to an ISP filter. Take away: Be safe and always use the right link.

 

Send relevant emails

“Batch and Blast” is a thing of the past. Subscribers want email that is personalized for their enjoyment. ISPs want to see that your subscribers are clicking and opening your emails. Ask yourself some questions as you review your email program. Who is receiving your emails? Did they sign up for a specific type of email communication on your website? Think about what content your subscriber is looking to receive and work on meeting that goal. If a subscriber doesn’t find anything of interest in the email, they will probably elect to unsubscribe or (worse) mark it as spam.

 

 

 

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