Email Deliverability Checklist

email deliverability checklist cover
Being able to reach your recipient's inbox is crucial for being successful with cold emailing.

But establishing a strong sender reputation is tricky and might cost you more time than expected.

A great way around minimizing the time to get your inbox ready is to make use of warm up tools available.

The following article will explain every step of the email deliverability checklist.

Step 1: Set Up Proper Authentication

The first item on your cold email deliverability checklist is to establish your sender reputation. The main thing here is to gain trust and respectability through SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

A first step in the right direction to optimize cold email deliverability is to ensure that SPF authentication methods are used. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) allows domain owners to specify a list of IP addresses and domains permitted to send emails on behalf of that domain.

Correct SPF configuration allows email recipients to trust that illegitimate messages will be sent to quarantine or reject status, thus allowing legitimate messages to be delivered as intended.

By including a signature in every outgoing email, DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) works with SPF to confirm that the sender is responsible for the content. Prospects are more trusting when they see that your business digitally signs its emails, enhancing your company's reputation.

The more your emails are checked and successfully verified, the higher your cold emails will be rated.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) provides information about the message to recipients so that senders can understand what recipients see.

It allows you to view and decode the data sent from recipients so that you can see what customers see when your company's emails are delivered to their inboxes.

The use of DMARC is a crucial part of improving sender reputation implementation. You can deter email abuse like spam, phishing, and spoofing the best if you use all three approaches: DMARC, SPF, and DKMI.

Step 2: Build Up Sender Reputation

Establish a good sender reputation before adopting a new domain or IP address. Email warm-up is the term commonly used to describe the procedure.

Start by sending emails to "warm" contacts, such as friends, family, and co-workers, and see if they read and respond to them (or mark them as Important if they land up in SPAM).

Normally, the entire process takes two to three weeks. Using the right email warm up tool, the entire warm-up procedure can also be automated and have your inbox ready – faster. We’ll talk more about that later.

Once you've finished the fundamental warm up with an email warm up tool, you should proceed cautiously while sending cold emails. You may, for instance, use the following framework.

Step 3: Start Small and Expand Gradually

If your domain is brand new, you can't immediately send hundreds of emails daily. The quickest road to the spam folder is through this.

The best way to improve your cold email deliverability is to send emails to a small group of people at a time.

The idea and goal behind email warmup are fairly straightforward.

During your first week, you send a small number of emails per day, and over the course of a month, you progressively increase that quantity.

  • Week 1: 10-15 daily emails
  • Week 2: 20-25 daily emails
  • Week 3: 25-35 daily emails
  • Week 4: 35-50 daily email

If the bounce rate stays under 5% and your reply rate is above 7%, you're on the safe side, and going higher with the number of sent emails should be no problem for you.

Step 4: High Engagement Means Strong Deliverability

Cold emailing can be tricky, especially when trying to break into new markets. One of the biggest mistakes you can make with your first cold email sequence is to try and sell to your prospects.

While it's OK to mention the product or service you're offering and its benefits, it's crucial that you avoid making a sales pitch.

Instead, focus on building a relationship with your reader by trying to start a conversation.

The key is to show your reader that you are an authority in your industry and that you have a solution that can help.

Additionally, make sure you research your prospects to personalize your cold emails. Prospects will immediately realize if someone spends their time doing research about them or the company.

This will not only help you build trust and kindly remind the reader that you exist, but it will also improve your sender's reputation because the reply rate is high.

A low reply rate always seems spammy for email providers.

Step 5: Offer an Unsubscribe Button

Although it's a prevalent misconception that unsubscribes are bad, there isn't any proof that unsubscribe rates impact deliverability. In reality, increasing subscriber engagement and purging your email list can be advantageous.

Also, you rather want people to click unsubscribe than mark your email as spam. The latter is what really hurts your email deliverability.

Sending tailored cold email campaigns to prospects that match your customer profile will keep open and reply rates high.

Simply including an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your cold emails will do the trick.

Step 6: Avoid Trigger Words in the Subject Line

Spam trigger words are phrases that email providers flag as fraudulent and malicious. When they identify these emails, they then route them away from recipients’ inboxes.

These words and phrases typically overpromise a positive outcome with the goal of getting sensitive information from the recipient.

They are words and phrases such as: "limited time only," "last chance," "don't miss out," and "free gift."

While these phrases may seem harmless, the truth is that they actually hurt your email's delivery rates. Avoid these words in the subject line of your cold emails and focus on keeping your subject line short and friendly.

You can find a long list of spam words on the link form above.

Step 7: Use an Email Warm Up Tool for Better Deliverability

The simple part is sending cold emails.

Sending emails that make it to your recipients' inboxes is more difficult.

Because of this, having a deliverability solution with an email warm-up tool such as Warm, is a priceless aid in obtaining greater outcomes as well as peace of mind.


Cold emailing can be an intimidating concept.

You're reaching out to people who don't know you and asking them to invest their time in reading your email and potentially working with you.

Remember that improving your email deliverability is a process that takes time.

To complete the cold email deliverability checklist, you can use Warm to prepare all your email domains for cold outreach.
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