Improving Email Deliverability: Domain Settings

Optimize email deliverability by fine-tuning your domain settings like SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and rDNS.

email deliverability

Have you noticed more of the emails you are sending out to clients and prospects are landing in their Junk or Spam folder?  

Missing out on an important email can be really frustrating for both you and the intended recipient. There are a number of reasons why emails end up in the Junk Folder. To improve email deliverability, here are a few issues to look at. 

Email deliverability domain settings 

Domain settings are like the backstage controllers of your email delivery process. They involve a series of configurations and records that authenticate your domain and establish its credibility to email servers. By fine-tuning these settings, you enhance your email deliverability and reduce the risk of your emails being flagged as spam. 

4 Key domain settings to optimize 

Mastering your domain settings is crucial for maintaining optimal email deliverability and keeping your emails out of spam folders. By implementing SPF, DKIM, DMARC, you can establish your domain’s credibility, enhance authentication, and ensure that your emails reach their intended recipients’ inboxes.

  1. SPF (Sender Policy Framework) 

SPF is a DNS (Domain Name System) record that specifies the IP addresses allowed to send emails on behalf of your domain. By defining authorized senders, SPF helps prevent email spoofing and enhances your domain’s legitimacy. Ensure that your SPF record accurately lists all legitimate sources authorized to send emails using your domain. 

  1. DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) 

DKIM adds a digital signature to your outgoing emails, verifying that they originated from your domain and haven’t been tampered with during transit. Implementing DKIM strengthens your email authentication and boosts your domain’s credibility. Generate a unique DKIM key for your domain and configure the corresponding DNS record. 

  1. DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) 

DMARC builds upon SPF and DKIM to provide domain owners with greater control over their email authentication process. It enables you to specify how receivers should handle emails that fail SPF or DKIM checks, reducing the likelihood of unauthorized emails being delivered. Implement DMARC policies gradually, starting with monitoring mode, to assess its impact on your email traffic before enforcing strict policies. 

  1. Reverse DNS (rDNS) or PTR (Pointer) Record (Optional) 

While this setting is less frequently used, it can improve deliverability. Reverse DNS associates an IP address with a domain name, verifying that the IP address is legitimately associated with your domain. This validation mechanism helps establish your domain’s authenticity and improves your email deliverability. Ensure that your mail server’s IP address has a corresponding rDNS or PTR record configured. 

Email & CRM service providers 

Any system that sends email on your behalf needs to be set up and authenticated. Be sure you are properly configuring SPF, DKIM, and DMARC for any third-party service providers used by your company.  

Gmail addresses for business 

Stop using gmail for business!  

(While we’re at it, also stop using Hotmail, Comcast, AOL or any other personal email service for business. Rather than repeating why here, go check out our blog post about why using a professional domain for business email is so important.)  

On top of the other solid reasons to move to a domain-specific email (like, Google recently announced changes to stop people from sending spoofed scam and spam emails. While you can probably still get away with using gmail from your email client, if you use a CRM system (Zoho, Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign), your emails will no longer be delivered. Many of these CRM providers are no longer allowing accounts to use gmail addresses for this reason.  

Spam trigger words  

Email systems are getting better at catching spam and phishing messages. Legitimate emails offering a DISCOUNT or FREE OFFERS can get flagged. Mailmodo has a great list of spam trigger words to avoid.  

Old, inactive email lists 

List maintenance is critical to email deliverability. Sending emails to outdated or incorrect addresses increases the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam. Regularly clean your mailing list by removing inactive or invalid email addresses. A large email list is less important than a clean, highly-engaged list.  

Domain setting maintenance 

You can use email delivery monitoring tools to track your email performance metrics, including deliverability rates, bounce rates, and spam complaints. Analyzing these metrics helps identify any issues with your domain settings and allows for timely adjustments. 

Regular monitoring and fine-tuning of your domain settings are essential to adapt to changing email delivery landscapes and maintain high deliverability rates. With the right domain settings in place, you can bolster your email marketing efforts, foster better communication, and avoid the dreaded spam folder. 

How Eclipse Consulting can help 

When we set up Microsoft 365 or another emailing system, we authenticate your domain at the same time. If you are using third-party email or CRM service, we can authenticate those senders on your behalf. If you have any questions or problems with email deliverability, please reach out and schedule a call with one of our consultants.  

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