Top 10 Email Marketing Tips

EQ Admin

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member

We have helped several members with problems related to sending email newsletters. The most frequent problems are related to IP reputation and mail server blacklisting issues. The following are our top 10 tips for improving the quality of your email and getting it into your members inboxes :
  1. Create and protect quality IP and domain sending reputations. I will break this down into more specific subcategories in the following tips but this is something you should keep in mind with every decision that you make. If your email is considered spam and rejected or delivered to the spam folders by other ISP's all you have accomplished is wasting your time and money.
  2. Do not use a shared mail hosting provider where other businesses are sending email newsletters using the same IP addresses as you. Get a dedicated server or outgoing IP address. Keep in mind a sudden burst of email from your new IP address is a red flag and may cause some ISP's to block email from you. If you already feel you may be in over your head consider using a 3rd party newsletter service provider such as Constant Contact or Aweber.
  3. Clearly identify how the recipient subscribed to your list. Use double opt-in confirmations to subscribe new addresses to your list. After they type their email address into a form they should receive an email where they need to click a confirmation link to confirm they really want to be subscribed.
  4. Clearly identify how they can unsubscribe from the list. Make this easy! Include easy unsubscribe links at the top and bottom of your newsletters. Do not make the user jump through hoops such as figuring our CAPTCHA images to get unsubscribed. The last thing you want is for them to click their spam buttons to delete and block your email.
  5. Remove email addresses that bounce from your list. If an email address fails with a permanent 5xx smtp rejection code immediately remove the email address from your list. If an email address fails several times with a temporary 4xx smtp deferral code you should consider removing the email address within 3-5 bounces.
  6. Throttle how fast you are sending your emails. Configure your mail server to only open a couple of smtp connections per outgoing domain name at a time. Being a resource friendly sender can help keep other ISP's such as Yahoo from blocking your IP address due to opening too many connections at a time.
  7. Sign up for the feedback loops provided by some of the big ISPs including the Yahoo Feedback Loop and AOL Feedback Loop.
  8. Monitor your IP address for blacklistings. A good tool for checking your blacklist status is this Blacklist Scanner.
  9. Create a custom PTR reverse DNS record for your mail server. It's best that it have a DNS TTL of at least 14400 seconds and is a name such as or The worst names are the ones assigned by some ISP's that start with dhcp, host, or some other dynamic looking generic name that will land you on a blacklist such as SORBS.
  10. Create an SPF Record. Having a SPF record lets ISP's that check for it know where email from your domain should be originating from. As long as you configure your record correctly, it can help to improve the chances that your email will be delivered by more ISPs.
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EQ Admin

EQ Forum Admin
Staff member
The original top 10 list was published over 5 years ago. Since then my recommendations have changed slightly, and there are additional tools and thoughts around sending.

Especially for email newsletters, only send email to addresses that want to receive the email and are likely to interact with it in a positive way such as clicking a link in the email.

My top two email newsletter services still includes MailChimp, and I also recommend AWeber if you want to compare a couple services.

Monitor the reputation of your outgoing IP addresses by checking your Sender Score.

There are updated email best practices for several email services too.
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