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10 Email Deliverability Best Practices

A well-planned email marketing strategy can work wonders when it comes to building your client base and maintaining a connection with your subscribers. However, you won’t be able to connect with your clients if you have poor email deliverability. Review the following ten best practices to help maintain your email deliverability and continue providing quality content to your clients.

10 Email Deliverability Best Practices

1. Keep the Design Simple

To avoid having your emails filtered as promotional messages, use plain text and simple design for your email content. You can still get your message across without using tons of complex HTML and large photos.

2. Avoid Purchasing Third Party Lists

Not only is buying a subscriber list from a third party supplier taking the lazy route, but it can also spell out trouble when it comes to negative metrics. Such large lists frequently include nonexistent or unverified email addresses that can contribute to high hard bounce rates. Furthermore, if you send out unsolicited emails, they’re more likely to go into a spam folder or be marked as spam by the recipient.

3. Establish a Custom Domain Name

Creating a custom sending domain for your email address can help increase your email deliverability. Your distinct domain helps Inbox Service Providers see that you’re not a spammer and helps better your inbox placement.

4. Develop Opt-In Incentives

Instead of initiating a very broad, free subscription signup offer, target the specific client base you want to reach with a specific incentive that attracts the people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer. You don’t want your emails going to people who just signed up for a free incentive, as this can impact your email engagement rate.

5. Use Optimized Subject Lines

The subject line of any email is typically the first thing the recipient notices. When you optimize the subject line to let the subscriber know what the email entails, they’re more likely to open it. Engaging subject lines are an effective way to increase deliverability.

6. Always Add Alt Text When Using Images

Just in case an image you include on your email does not load properly, it’s always a good idea to include alt text that succinctly describes what the image depicts. Even if the recipient can’t see the image, they’ll still understand what it’s meant to represent.

7. Request that Subscribers Move Emails to Their Inbox

Give your subscribers a head’s up by asking them to move your emails out of their spam or promotion folders and into their main inbox. This will alert inbox service providers that the content is welcome and help future messages make it to the inbox.

8. Avoid Trigger Words That Indicate Spam

From your subject lines to the content of the message, don’t use the following words in your emails, as they have typically been abused by spammers: free, financial freedom, make money online, credit card offer, cash bonus, apply now, $$$, weight loss, order now, price, increase sales

9. Keep Your Subscriber List Clean

Even with the best email subscription targeting, you can end up with subscribers who aren’t engaged with your content. Minimize negative metrics by cleaning up your email list every 90 days.

10. Set Up a Double-Opt-In Process for New Subscribers

Think of the double-opt-in process as a way of maintaining quality assurance for your client email list. By requiring subscribers to verify their sign-up by clicking a verification link, you can filter out fake subscribers and spammers.

There’s no need to put time and energy into building your email campaigns if they don’t make it to your subscriber’s inbox. Follow these guidelines to increase your email deliverability and keep your subscribers engaged.

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Sandra McLemore is a digital marketing & business growth expert who got her start in the travel business over 20 years ago as a retail travel agent for STA Travel in a busy campus store front. She then worked her way into VP level in marketing, media and PR roles for the world's biggest cruise lines and travel brands.


Sandra is now the owner of TRAVEL MARKETING & MEDIA (formerly Village Girl Marketing), a marketing agency for travel brands specializing in content creation, design and media.




Each service and program helps travel agents to get a consistent flow of new clients through smart marketing strategies.


Over 12,000 travel agents have taken Sandra's online training, and signed up for her digital marketing solutions.

Sandra lives in Los Angeles and hosts a number of travel programs on cruise line and airline TV and can be seen on network news programs as a leading travel industry expert.  Heading off to the best travel trade conferences? You'll most likely catch her on stage there too!

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