16 reasons why your outreach campaign emails are not being delivered
Have you ever wondered why some of your emails don't reach their intended recipients? There are many factors that can affect email deliverability, and in this blog post, we will explore 16 common reasons why email may not be delivered. We will also cover some best practices to improve your chances of getting your messages to the inbox.
1. The recipient's email address is incorrect or misspelled. This is one of the most obvious and easy-to-fix reasons for email delivery failure. Always double-check the spelling of the email address before sending, and use a tool like MailTester to verify its validity.
2. The recipient's mailbox is full or has exceeded its quota. Some email providers limit the amount of storage space available for each user, and if the recipient's mailbox is full, they won't be able to receive any new messages until they delete some old ones.
3. The recipient's email server is down or experiencing technical issues. Sometimes, the problem is not on your end, but on the recipient's end. Their email server may be offline, overloaded, or undergoing maintenance, which can cause temporary delivery delays or failures.
4. The recipient's email provider has blocked your IP address or domain. Some email providers have strict policies to prevent spam and phishing, and they may block certain IP addresses or domains that they deem suspicious or malicious. This can happen if your IP address or domain has been blacklisted by a third-party service like Spamhaus, or if you have a low sender reputation score.
5. The recipient's email provider has flagged your email as spam or junk. Even if your IP address or domain is not blocked, your email may still end up in the spam or junk folder of the recipient if it triggers certain spam filters. Some common spam filter rules that can affect your email deliverability are:
- Using a subject line written in all caps. This can make your email look like a scam or a marketing pitch, and it can annoy the recipient. Use proper capitalization and punctuation in your subject line, and avoid using words like "free", "guaranteed", "urgent", or "click here".
- Using too many images or attachments. This can increase the size of your email and make it load slower, which can affect the user experience and the deliverability. Use images and attachments sparingly, and optimize them for web use.
- Using too many links or URLs. This can make your email look like a phishing attempt, especially if you use shortened URLs or links that don't match the domain of your sender address. Use links only when necessary, and make sure they are relevant and trustworthy.
- Using poor grammar or spelling. This can make your email look unprofessional and untrustworthy, and it can lower the quality of your content. Use a tool like Grammarly to check and correct your grammar and spelling before sending.
- Sending emails from a free or generic email address. This can make your email look less credible and more likely to be spam. Use a custom domain name for your sender address, and make sure it matches the name of your brand or business.
6. You have not set up an SPF record for your domain. An SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record is a DNS (Domain Name System) record that specifies which IP addresses are authorized to send emails from your domain. It helps to prevent spoofing and phishing by verifying the identity of the sender. If you don't have an SPF record, some email providers may reject or mark your emails as spam.
7. You have not set up a DKIM signature for your emails. A DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) signature is a digital signature that is added to the header of your emails to prove that they have not been tampered with during transit. It helps to prevent forgery and impersonation by verifying the integrity of the content. If you don't have a DKIM signature, some email providers may doubt the authenticity of your emails.
8. You have not set up a DMARC policy for your domain. A DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) policy is a DNS record that tells email providers how to handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM verification. It helps to prevent spoofing and phishing by enforcing the alignment of the sender address and the domain name. If you don't have a DMARC policy, some email providers may deliver your emails to the spam or junk folder instead of the inbox.
9. You have not warmed up your IP address or domain before sending large volumes of emails. If you are using a new IP address or domain to send emails, you need to gradually increase the number of emails you send over time to build trust and reputation with email providers. This is called warming up, and it helps to avoid sudden spikes in activity that can trigger spam filters or blockages.
10. You have not segmented your email list based on engagement or preferences. If you send the same email to everyone on your list, regardless of their level of interest or relevance, you may end up with low open rates, high bounce rates, and high unsubscribe rates. This can hurt your sender reputation and your email deliverability. You should segment your email list based on factors like behavior, demographics, location, or preferences, and send personalized and targeted emails to each segment.
11. You have not cleaned your email list regularly to remove invalid or inactive addresses. If you send emails to addresses that are no longer valid or active, you may end up with high bounce rates and low deliverability rates. This can damage your sender reputation and your email performance. You should clean your email list regularly to remove hard bounces, soft bounces, spam traps, and unengaged subscribers.
12. You have not asked for permission or consent before sending emails to your contacts. If you send emails to people who have not opted in or given you permission to contact them, you may end up with high spam complaints and low deliverability rates. This can violate the anti-spam laws and regulations of different countries and regions, such as the CAN-SPAM Act in the US, the GDPR in the EU, or the CASL in Canada. You should always ask for permission or consent before sending emails to your contacts, and provide them with a clear and easy way to opt out or unsubscribe.
13. You have not followed the best practices for email design and layout. If your email design and layout are not user-friendly and responsive, you may end up with low click-through rates and low conversion rates. This can affect your email performance and your email deliverability. You should follow the best practices for email design and layout, such as:
- Using a clear and catchy subject line that summarizes the main message or offer of your email.
- Using a preheader text that complements the subject line and entices the recipient to open your email.
- Using a sender name that is recognizable and trustworthy, preferably your brand name or a personal name.
- Using a sender address that matches the domain of your website or landing page.
- Using a logo or a header image that reinforces your brand identity and creates a visual impact.
- Using a single-column layout that is easy to scan and read on any device or screen size.
- Using a clear and concise copy that delivers value and benefits to the recipient, and includes a clear call to action.
- Using relevant and high-quality images that support your message and offer, and optimize them for web use.
- Using bullet points, subheadings, bolding, italics, or colors to highlight the key points or features of your message or offer.
- Using white space, margins, padding, or borders to create contrast and balance in your email design.
14. You have not tested your emails before sending them to your contacts. If you don't test your emails before sending them, you may end up with errors or issues that can affect your email deliverability and performance. You should test your emails before sending them to check for:
- Spelling and grammar errors
- Broken links or images
- Formatting or layout issues
- Rendering or compatibility issues across different devices, browsers, or email clients
- Spam score or deliverability issues
You can use tools like Litmus or Email on Acid to test your emails before sending them.
15. You have not tracked or measured your email performance after sending them to your contacts. If you don't track or measure your email performance after sending them, you may not know how well they are performing or how they are affecting your email deliverability. You should track and measure your email performance after sending them to analyze:
- Open rate: The percentage of recipients who opened your email
- Click-through rate: The percentage of recipients who clicked on a link in your email
- Conversion rate: The percentage of recipients who completed a desired action after clicking on a link in your email
- Bounce rate: The percentage of emails that were rejected by the recipient's email server
- Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of recipients who opted out of receiving future emails from you
- Spam complaint rate: The percentage of recipients who marked your email as spam or junk
You can use tools like Google Analytics or Mailchimp to track and measure your email performance after sending them.
16. You have not optimized your website or landing page for conversions. If your website or landing page is not optimized for conversions, you may end up with low conversion rates and high bounce rates. This can affect your email performance and your email deliverability. You should optimize your website or landing page for conversions by:
- Using a clear and compelling headline that captures the attention and interest of the visitor
- Using a subheadline that elaborates on the headline and explains the value proposition of your offer
- Using relevant and high-quality images or videos that demonstrate the features or benefits of your offer
- Using social proof or testimonials that showcase the credibility or authority of your brand