Email Deliverability and Verification Tactics

Email & Domain Verification

Whether you’re sending an automated email marketing sequence, or bulk outreaching journalists, this is the SINGLE most important thing you can do.

Do it wrong, and you won’t even land in the promotions inbox… you’ll go straight to SPAM!

The first step is to set up the right mail exchanger records (MX records) in your DNS records. That’s DKIM, DMARC, and SPF.

Every domain provider is different, so look through their manuals on how to do this… but there is a single great way to check if you’ve done it properly: Google’s Toolbox!

If there’s a green checkmark, you’re good to go… if not, check the tooltips, or reach out to your domain provider’s support and get it fixed.

Email Whitelisting

Next, comes your email warm-up, or whitelisting.

Big email providers like Gmail, Outlook, iCloud, and AOL, all have stringent barriers to entry for new emails.

Their heart is in the right place — setting up a new email server is super easy, and if they didn’t have these in place, spammers could just keep opening up new emails and sending out masses of emails.

But it does present a challenge…

You can’t just set up your email, add the records, and start bulk outreaching!

You need to slowly ramp up delivery, like an actual un-automated human might use email.

Back in the ‘old days’, we used to manually send emails to our entire team’s database of professional and personal emails (around 500 of them), and ask them to reply, star, mark as important, and drag to the priority inbox.

But that’s a hassle. And you might not have a team that big!

Now, we use Lemlist.

This convenient tool saves time and whitelists your email address by sending up to 40 emails daily.

But what’s even cooler is how its network of real humans write actual replies to each email!

It's super easy to use and only costs $29 monthly.

Double-Check Email Addresses for Duds

So, your records are set up, you’re whitelisted, you’ve got your database of 5,000 interested journalists’ emails, you hit send, and…

Bounce. Bounce. Bounce.

Ah! What happened?!

Sending an email to an outdated or straight-up incorrect address can be worse than useless…

It’s not only a waste of resources, it actually negatively impacts your overall deliverability!

Email providers track that a lot of the addresses you’re sending to don’t exist, and assume you’re just making up email addresses!

So, before you ever send a cold email, it’s worth validating it by using Bouncer — one of the most popular tools for validating emails.

How does it work?

First of all, Bouncer checks the syntax of the email address to verify if there is a point at all to continue verification.

Sometimes bulk email lists are riddled with mistakes, from prohibited characters, to spaces, to missing ‘.com’s or @ signs.

Then it checks if the domain is set up well to receive emails, and which email service provider is responsible for managing emails.

And finally, Bouncer asks the email service provider whether the address is deliverable or not.

All of this is done in an intelligent way, to secure its reputation and to minimize traffic in the network by checking greylists, minimizing resends, and being a generally eco-friendly resource-efficient service!

After the check-up is done you will get the results and will be able to download them, packed with statuses and reasons for each email.

Using this tool has reduced our bounce rates from 8-10% to less than 0.3%!