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Sales best practices

Email Deliverability for Sales Teams: 10 things you should do

June 18, 2021

Pedro Guimaraes

Doing everything you can to write great sales emails, but your open rates simply don’t go up?

Let's talk about email deliverability!

Email deliverability is a well-known topic to most marketers, but relatively new to most sales leaders. With the rise of sales engagement tools in sales, managers are now faced with deliverability issues but don’t know why or how to solve them.

We’re here to demystify everything about email deliverability and share how our team consistently maintains open rates of 70% and higher.

You’ll learn about:

  1. What email deliverability means for sales teams  
  2. Why email deliverability should be a top priority for sales teams  
  3. How to improve email deliverability 🚀

What does email deliverability mean in sales?

Email Deliverability is the ability to send an email that makes it to the primary inbox of your recipient.

If your emails always land in the primary inbox, you have good deliverability and likely higher open rates. If your emails land in the spam or promotions folder, you have room to improve.

email deliverability

Image: Only a percentage of the emails you send go to the primary inbox and are opened by your recipients.

Why should email deliverability be a top priority for sales teams?

Deliverability is one of the most important metrics for sales, marketing, and growth teams at B2B companies. These teams are revenue drivers and email is one of their main channels to engage with prospects and generate revenue.

We could summarize deliverability and its impact like this:

Better Deliverability -> more sales conversations -> increased sales pipeline -> more new customers -> Revenue!!! 💸💸💸

For B2B companies improving their ‘top of the funnel’, engaging with more prospects translates directly into more revenue at the ‘bottom of the funnel’.

So, really, for sales teams:

Deliverability = Revenue!!! 🤯

So, how do you improve email deliverability in 10 steps?

These are 10 things you should do to improve or maintain good deliverability:

1. Set up your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC configurations

Wait… What are SPF, DKIM, and DMARC configurations? 🧐

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC are common configurations that email providers (e.g. Gmail) use to double-check the sender’s identity. Without them, external attackers can easily send malicious emails on your behalf.

If this happens, your emails will most likely end up in the spam folder.

If you have never done this before, you’re probably feeling overwhelmed with all the technical terms. That’s ok, you’re not alone! But if you’re running cold email campaigns, you must do this.

We recommend you get the support of someone on the engineering team to walk you through this process. You’ll only need to set it up once and it takes about 30 minutes.

👉 See how to set it up here.

2. Create a custom tracking domain to track open rates

By default, email sequencing tools use a shared pixel to track all opened emails. Set up a custom domain tracking and your deliverability reputation is entirely under your own control.

All you need is to have access to the DNS records of your domain. If you don’t, ask the engineering team, they’ll know what you look for. On Amplemarket, this process is done with only a couple of clicks in less than 5 minutes.

👉 Here’s our Founder explaining how to set it up.

3. Complete your mailbox profile information

It can be easy for your recipients to forget that there’s a real person behind these emails. To make your mailbox look authentic, add your name, a photo to your Google or Exchange accounts so your prospects can see the preview before they open your emails.

email deliverability

Image: Contact on the left side has all the information missing, whereas the contact on the right side is complete.

4. Enable Amplemarket’s email warm-up to increase your sender reputation

Warming up a mailbox is the equivalent of consolidating its reputation by adding high-quality volume and engagement.

While you can do this manually by exchanging multiple emails on a daily basis with colleagues from and outside your organization. But it’s easier to have Amplemarket doing it automatically for you.

If you're an Amplemarket customer already, learn how to enable it here. You’ll only need one click to set it up!

5. Subscribe to daily newsletters

Subscribing to a number of newsletters will help you increase the number of emails you receive every day and mitigate the amount of “sales activity” in your inbox.

If you don’t want to get your inbox full of unimportant emails, you can set up a filter on Gmail and all your newsletters will go to a dedicated folder, outside your primary inbox.

6. Avoid images and links, especially from untrusted sources

Emails with too many images and links are typical characteristics of marketing emails, so these emails can easily be diverted away from the primary inbox.

7. Send campaigns to at most 50 new leads per mailbox per day

Deliverability algorithms look for suspicious behavior in your email activity. Instead of having huge spikes in your email activity, keep it more consistent (for example, 30/40 emails a day).

email deliverability

Image: Left side of the image shows the right volume flow with multiple aliases and domains, while the right side shows what you shouldn’t do, irregular email activity all through the same mailbox.

8. Spread volume across several alias emails and domains

The ideal number of mailboxes will largely depend on the volume you want. The basic rule is to not send more than 50 emails per mailbox per day.

If you need more volume, create an alias domain in a different G-suite workspace. So deliverability risks are mitigated across 2 domains (if one runs into issues, the other is still up and running).

In terms of alias emails, you can create as many as a sales rep can manage. We often see the optimal number of around 2 to 3 accounts per sales rep.

When you get closer to using up all the 2-3 mailboxes per user in a domain, it’s time to think about purchasing a new alias domain.

Additional note 1: Pay special attention to new domains. Remember to warm them up for at least 4 weeks before you send any sales email to unverified emails (see step #10).

Additional note 2: If you work in a startup, your domain may not have a strong reputation yet. So, you should only use alias domains in your sales campaigns. You don’t want to run into deliverability issues with your main domain at any point in time.

9. Take time to refine your lead generation process

Make sure you’re sending your emails to the right audience. These prospects are not only more likely to convert to paying customers but will also help you achieve better engagement levels.

At Amplemarket, we’ve seen better results when our customers focus on lead generation strategies based on high buying intent signals.

👉 See some of the best lead generation strategies here.

10. Warm-up every new mailbox (and domain) for at least 4 weeks

It used to be possible to create a new domain and immediately start sending hundreds of sales emails. This type of behavior is no longer tolerated and domains with poor history will be marked as spam… fast!

👉 Read more about how to warm up your new domains here.

Wrapping up...

This article gave you 10 things to get started with email deliverability in sales. However, you mustn’t get comfortable with just the tip of the iceberg.

That's why we've launched the most comprehensive Email Deliverability Guide for sales teams. We’ve distilled everything we learned so far from hundreds of use cases selling to thousands of SaaS businesses across the globe.

To date, we maintain an average open rate of 73% across all campaigns and domains and have helped customers like Deel go from an average 35% open rate to an average rate above 65% within a couple of months (see the full case study here).

For your team, maximizing deliverability can be the difference between achieving quota and falling short on their goals.

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