Want to Improve Email Deliverability? Try Fixing and Warming.

Email marketers of every stripe report rapidly declining inbox rates.

You can point a finger at the ISPs, who are blocking your blasts, but they're only trying to crack down on those hundreds of creepy spammers.

Besides "spraying and praying," what can you do?

Why not try "fixing and warming?"

Fix your list

The single-best thing you can do to improve deliverability is to fix your list.

Repeat after me: The single-best thing you can do to improve deliverability is to fix your list.


ISPs distrust emailers―even honest ones―who send messages to broken lists.

Ask yourself, When was my list last repaired?

Does it have lots of abandoned or dormant addresses? Purchased addresses? Fake addresses? Mistyped addresses? Malicious addresses? Or "spam-trap" addresses?

Does your audience engage with your messages? Do you have acceptable open and click-through rates? Or does your audience ignore your messages, because they have lost interest in you or think your messages are spam-like?

Does a large portion of your audience complain about your emails? Have opt-outs and suppressions been removed from your list?

Like needing a tetanus shot, if you can't remember the last time your list was fixed, you need to fix it .

Warm your IP

If you send a ton of emails every month (millions). you may want to begin to send them from a dedicated―versus a shared―IP address.

If so, you should first try a little "IP warming," says IBM's David Fisher.

IP warming―dribbling, instead of blasting, emails three times a week from your IP address over a six-week period―earns ISPs' trust, Fisher says.

Successful IP warming still demands a clean list, Fisher says.

And don't try to fake out the ISPs.

If you successfully warm them to your IP address by using only engaged recipients, then add lots of unresponsive or suspect addresses, you'll find yourself blocked.

"It’s ideal to be transparent with the data you’re using from the outset, so you can confront issues and respond to them early in the process rather than have it hit you later, perhaps during a peak trading period," Fisher says.

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