Optimizing Email Deliverability in B2B Sales

Despite certain naysayers, email remains a crucial channel for relevant and rapid outreach in B2B marketing and sales. However, the effectiveness of email campaigns and sales sequences can be significantly hampered by issues such as email bounces and spam filtering. This guide will delve into the intricacies of email bounces, the reasons behind them, and provide actionable strategies to minimize spam and enhance email deliverability.

Understanding Email Deliverability

Email Deliverability Audit Checklist

We’ve put together a comprehensive email deliverability audit checklist so that you can rapidly analyze where your email deliverability health stands, and how you can improve it. You can access it using this link or through the image below. Make sure to make a copy of the doc and fill it out using your own details so you can get a holistic overview of what steps still need to be taken to optimize your email deliverability.

Email deliverability is the capacity of your emails to successfully reach recipients' inboxes. Numerous factors impact this critical aspect of email marketing, and understanding these can help you optimize your email campaigns.

What is an Email Bounce?

An email bounce occurs when an email you send fails to reach the recipient's inbox. This can happen for various reasons, and understanding these reasons is key to improving your email marketing efforts.

Soft Bounce

A soft bounce is a temporary issue that prevents your email from being delivered. Common causes include:

  • The recipient's mailbox is full.
  • The email server is down.
  • The email message is too large.

Soft bounces are usually not your fault and can often resolve themselves once the temporary issue is addressed.

Hard Bounce 

A hard bounce, on the other hand, is a permanent failure in email delivery. This occurs when:

  • The email address is invalid.
  • The email address does not exist.
  • The email server rejects the message due to spammy content or other issues.

Hard bounces are more concerning because they indicate a fundamental problem with your email list or content, and they can negatively impact your sender reputation.

Avoiding Google Workspace Blocks

Google Workspace users frequently face account blocks due to spam complaints from recipients. This can significantly impact business operations, but by adhering to Google's official recommendations, you can minimize the risk of blocks. Here’s how:

Ensure Good Email Practices

Professional and Relevant Content: Always ensure your emails are professional and provide value to the recipient. Irrelevant or overly promotional content can be quickly marked as spam. Feel free to use our free Spam Keyword Checker to analyze 

Respectful Frequency: Avoid overwhelming your recipients with too many emails. Maintain a consistent and reasonable frequency that respects their inbox space.

Authenticate Your Emails

SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Records: Setting up these records authenticates your domain, reducing the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam. These protocols verify that your emails are sent from legitimate sources, thus protecting your domain's reputation.

Monitor Your Email Metrics

Bounce Rates

High bounce rates indicate poor list quality or outdated addresses. Regularly clean your email list to maintain low bounce rates.

Complaint Rates 

Keep an eye on how often recipients mark your emails as spam. High complaint rates can lead to blocks and a damaged sender reputation.

Engagement Metrics

Monitor metrics such as open rates and click-through rates. Low engagement can signal that your content is not resonating with recipients, increasing the risk of spam complaints.

If your account does get blocked, you can appeal through Google’s support channels. However, it’s essential to address the root causes to prevent future issues. Consistently sticking to best practices can help maintain your account's health and avoid disruptions.

Key Factors Influencing Email Deliverability

IP Reputation

The IP address from which your emails are sent plays a crucial role in deliverability. Email providers track IP reputations to filter spam. This is especially important if you’re using a VPN.

A poor IP reputation, often due to sending spam or high volumes of unsolicited emails, can lead to your emails being blocked or routed to spam folders.

Email Volume and Frequency

Sending too many emails in a short period can trigger spam filters. Conversely, too few emails might lead to a lack of engagement. Maintain a consistent and reasonable email volume. Gradually increase your sending volume to avoid triggering spam filters.

Reply Rate and Bounce Rate

High reply rates indicate that recipients find your emails relevant and engaging. Low bounce rates mean your email list is clean and up-to-date. Encourage interactions and regularly clean your email list to remove invalid addresses.

Spam Reports

If recipients mark your emails as spam, it negatively impacts your sender reputation. Provide an easy opt-out mechanism and ensure your content is relevant to reduce the chances of being marked as spam.

Domain Settings

Properly configuring SPF, DKIM, and DMARC settings verifies your emails’ legitimacy, preventing them from being flagged as spam. Ensure these records are correctly set up to enhance email deliverability and protect your domain from being spoofed.

Best Practices to Avoid Spam Filters

Common Triggers for Spam Filters

Spam filters are sophisticated and constantly evolving, but understanding common triggers can help you avoid them:

Content-Related Triggers

Spam Keywords: Avoid phrases like "free money," "win now," or "urgent." Use tools like Mail-Tester to analyze and improve your email content.

Capitalization Issues: Emails with all caps in the subject line or body often appear spammy and unprofessional.

Excessive Punctuation: Overusing symbols like "$" and "!" can make your email look suspicious.

Poor Spelling and Grammar: Ensure your emails are well-written and free from errors to maintain professionalism and credibility.

Suspicious Subject Lines: Avoid overly promotional or scam-like subject lines. Be clear and direct about the email’s content.

Structural Issues

Inconsistent Domain Usage: Ensure the sending domain matches the domains in your email's links and contact information. Consistency builds trust.

Poor Domain Reputation: Use reputable domain providers and avoid domains with a history of abuse. Regularly monitor your domain’s reputation.

Use of Images and Links in Initial Emails: Avoid including images and multiple links in your first email to a new contact. Keep initial emails simple to build trust and avoid being flagged by spam filterTo maintain high deliverability rates and avoid spam filters, follow these best practices:

Using Secondary Domains

Secondary Domain for Outreach: Use a secondary domain (not an alias) for cold emails to protect your main domain’s reputation.

Choosing Safe TLDs: Opt for top-level domains (TLDs) with good reputations, such as .com, .io, .eu, and .net.

Avoid Low-Reputation Providers: Steer clear of domain providers with poor reputations, such as those known for selling cheap, spam-prone domains.

Technical Settings

Set Up DKIM, DMARC, SPF: Properly configure these settings to authenticate your emails and reduce the likelihood of being marked as spam.

Postmaster Tools: Use tools like Google Postmaster and MS365 Postmaster to monitor your domain’s reputation.

Email Warm-Up and Frequency

Mailbox Warm-Up: Warm up new mailboxes gradually. Start by sending emails to known contacts before ramping up to larger campaigns.

Consistent Email Volume: Maintain a steady email volume to avoid triggering spam filters. Sudden spikes in email activity can look suspicious.

Content and Formatting Tips

Avoid All Caps: Do not use all caps in your subject lines or email body.

Send Plain-Text Emails Initially: Send plain-text emails without links or images in the first touchpoint email. You can include these elements in follow-up emails.

Spam Keyword Checkers: Regularly use spam keyword checkers to ensure your content is clean and unlikely to be flagged.

Advanced Email Deliverability Techniques

For those looking to go beyond the basics, consider these advanced techniques:

Monitoring IP Reputation: Use tools like Talos to check your IP reputation regularly.

Domain Health Checks: Verify that your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC settings are correctly configured using tools like MXToolbox and Google toolbox.

Invest in Advanced Tools: Subscriptions to services like Glockapps and Sendforensics can provide deeper insights into your email deliverability and help you address issues proactively.

Scheduling and Timing:

Time Zone Considerations: Schedule emails to be sent at appropriate times in the recipient's time zone to avoid looking suspicious.

Spread Out Send Times: Use tools to send emails at intervals (e.g., every 2 minutes) to mimic natural sending patterns.

Email Deliverability Audit Tools

Email Deliverability Audit Checklist

We’ve put together a comprehensive email deliverability audit checklist so that you can rapidly analyze where your email deliverability health stands, and how you can improve it. You can access it using this link or through the image below. Make sure to make a copy of the doc and fill it out using your own details!

Email Deliverability Spam Keyword Checker

We’ve also built a free spam keyword checker, specifically crafted for B2B outbound sales, that you can use to check whether your email copy is likely to trigger the spam filters used by most common email providers. You can access it right here. It also automatically checks your narcissism levels, ensuring that you keep your email copy focused more on your prospect and less on yourself.


Improving email deliverability and avoiding spam filters requires a comprehensive approach that includes understanding why emails bounce, setting up proper technical configurations, following best practices, and continuously monitoring your email metrics. By implementing these strategies, you can enhance your email marketing effectiveness and ensure that your messages reach your intended audience.

Additional Resources

For further reading and tools mentioned in this article, check out the following resources:

By adopting these practices and leveraging these tools, you can significantly improve your email deliverability, minimize the occurrence of email bounces, and reduce the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam.

Other Posts

Request a Demo