Chapter 5 - Making sure your email ends up in the inbox

Published: 13 October 2014 (Last modified: 13 March 2015)

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Email marketing guide 5

Making sure your email ends up in the inbox

In order to maximize email marketing return, all campaign content, subscriber lists and account settings must be geared towards getting past Internet Service Provider (ISP) spam filters and into the inbox.

Fear not, at we’ve been doing this for a long time and know it’s very possible to build and uphold a good reputation with your Email Service Provider (ESP), various ISPs and your subscribers.

If the emails you send boast good quality content and are regularly responded to, the likelihood is you'll gain a good reputation with both your ESP and with ISPs - which can contribute hugely towards optimal campaign delivery.

Here’s how we do it at


Deliverability is how we measure the success of landing an email campaign into a subscriber’s inbox. This can be anything to do with disrupting email delivery from ISPs and MTAs, to spam problems. Deliverability can be managed with proper subscriber list maintenance and with good quality, that’s why we ask property professionals to make sure the content they send us is up to standard.

Keep content clean

  • Avoid using URLs as text, or shorteners – URL links with an <a> tag as well as shortened links like are renowned for setting off spam filters
  • Balance images with text – too many images or one large image and little text makes a message look spammy
  • Use active reply-to email address - encouraging readers to open, click and reply to campaigns indicates the message has value to subscribers and ISPs

Groom your subscriber list – link to maintenance and nurturing

  • Use confirmed opt-ins
  • Maintain regular contact with subscribers
  • Don’t buy lists, build and nurture your own
  • Include the option for subscribers to add you to their contacts and whitelist you
  • Encourage engagement by including ways for subscribers to complete an action within your email


Authentication is a way of proving that an email really has genuinely been sent from the sender it claims to have come from.

There are 3 obvious standards accepted by the main ISPs, being:

Often different ISPs use one, or a combination of these standards to check the authenticity of the sender.
However, with that said things can still go wrong, even if you abide by all of these steps and maintain a good track record. Sometimes, an ISP or spam filter along the way can block or bounce an incoming email for various reasons.

However by following these rules, we make sure we lessen the chances of that happening and position ourselves well to ensure delivery issues, should they occur, can be easily and quickly fixed.
Read Chapter 6

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