Deliverability Common Questions

Deliverability can be tough so we've looked as some of the most common questions we get from customers and put this list of answers together for you! 

What are common reasons for bad deliverability?

While we can never say for certain why a message is marked as spam, common reasons include:
  • DNS records not set up properly
  • Content is spammy 
  • Link tracking is enabled
  • Sending too quickly or too high a volume (including sending more than 1 email at a time)
  • Links and images in your email (email and signature)
  • Lack of personalization

How do I know if I’m having deliverability issues?

Common signs of deliverability issues are:
  • Low open rates
  • High bounce rates
  • You run internal campaigns and emails are going to spam, or prospects tell you your emails are going to spam.
  • A GlockApps test (or other inbox placement service) shows that many of your emails are going to spam

How do I check for issues with my DNS records?

We recommend checking for issues with your DNS records on an ongoing basis. There are many tools on the internet, but some of the common tools we recommend are:

  1. MXToolbox
  2. GlockApps
  3. MailTester
  4. MailGenius

How do I set up my DNS records?

You'll need to set your DNS records up with your domain registrar directly. These settings are usually specific to your domain and not specific to Mailshake since all sending is done through your email address and not Mailshake's servers.

If you still have questions, or do not feel comfortable setting these up yourself, we recommend contacting your domain registrar since they'll be best equipped to help you make sure these settings are set up correctly.

I send email from an alias email, do I need to worry about DNS records?

You'll need to set up DNS records for every sending domain you use, whether it is an alias or a main email account. 

I send email from a personal email address, do I need to worry about DNS records?

No. DNS records are set up on a registered domain.  Since DNS records are specific to registered domains, they do not need to be set up for personal email addresses such as or addresses.

How do I avoid bounces?

While there isn't a way to get rid of 100% of bounces, there's a couple things you can do to minimize your the number of bounces you receive.
The best way to avoid bounces is to  clean your email lists and always remove bad AND risky from your campaigns.

There's always going to be instances where bounces occur for reasons other than bad email addresses.  It’s important to read the error codes in your bounce emails to determine the reasons for your bounces.  These codes will give you information needed to know how to avoid future bounces.

How do I ramp up my sending volume?

It's always important to slowly ramp up your sending volume to avoid getting flagged as spam for unusual or spammy activity.  It’s also important to be consistent with sending volume and sending schedule, i.e. no spikes in sends and then long slow periods.

Although there is no set schedule for a ramp up flow, we suggest following a system like this:

  • Week 1: not more than 20/day
  • Week 2: not more than 40/day
  • Week 3: not more than 55/day
  • Week 4: not more than 75/day
  • Week 5: not more than 100/day
  • Week 6: not more than 150/day (and so on)

Is there a difference in deliverability between using a personal email (@gmail, @yahoo, etc) and using a business domain?

Sending from personal email addresses (like @gmail or @yahoo) can affect your deliverability.

When a prospect gets a cold email from a personal email address, they may be more likely to think you are spam since the email is not coming from a company domain. This also makes prospects more likely to mark you as spam, which can severely affect your reputation and deliverability.

Additionally, you cannot set up DNS records for personal email addresses to authenticate you as a legitimate sender.  This makes it more difficult for spam filters to validate that you are a legitimate person who is reaching out for legitimate reasons, which can trigger spam filters to block you.

What does it mean when I hit my Google “quota”?

There are a lot of factors that go into when Google decides to temporarily suspend your account, and it often is a sign there is suspected suspicious activity on your account.  

When you hit your quota it’s important to check that you are following all best practices (see “What are common reasons for bad deliverability?” above).  It’s also a good idea to slow down your sending so you can build up your sender reputation.

How does personalizing my emails affect deliverability?

Personalizing your emails is important for two reasons. 

  1. The more emails you send with the same (or very similar) content, the higher risk you have of getting flagged as spam.  
  2. When a prospect gets your email, you want them to feel like you are reaching out directly to them.  A lack of personalization can make prospects feel like they are getting a marketing email and are more likely to consider you spam.

The results speak for themselves -  After analyzing tens of thousands of emails, SalesLoft found that you’ll get a 112% lift simply by adding personalization. That’s a huge reward for just a little extra effort.

Check out this article on How to Personalize Any Cold Email Using The “CCQ Method

I want to send to more than one person at the same company.  Is this a problem for deliverability?

It can be, so you'll want to follow best practices.

When you send more than one email to the same domain, that domain’s spam filter has a lot of information to determine if you are spam.  If your emails are not personalized, and spam filters see you are sending the same content to multiple people, you may be more likely to get marked as spam.

Another aspect that should be considered in this scenario is that the employees may speak to each other, and if they determine that they all got the exact same message, they may be more likely to think you are spam.  

To overcome these issues, be sure to personalize your emails and avoid sending emails to the same domain in blasts or very quickly in succession.  It might be a good idea to scramble your .csv so you are not sending to prospects at the same domain in a short period of time.

My emails keep going to the spam folder, how do I get to the inbox?

Before determining how to get out of the spam folder, it’s important to understand why you got there.

As we mentioned before, there are common reasons that you can be marked as spam (See “What are common reasons for bad deliverability?” above).  You will want to analyze your campaign, mail accounts, and sending practices to be sure you are following all best practices in order to effectively make it out of the spam folder.

It would be amazing if there was a one stop shop for getting out of the spam folder, but if it was simple, mail providers wouldn't be able to have any control over spam. 

That said we've found the best way to stop getting flagged for spam, is to run some internal campaigns that will boost your deliverability. Once you identify the issues that got you into the spam folder, and you fix those, run internal campaigns for at least 2 weeks to email addresses that you own or have access to.  If emails go to spam, mark them as “not spam” and send a warm reply.  This works best if you send to email addresses across email providers, i.e. Google, Outlook, etc.

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