Newsletter Crew November 4, 2020

Winning at Deliverability

Yaro Bagriy @yaroslawbagriy

Setting up an email newsletter seems like a no brainer…??

Buy a domain, choose a topic, make a landing page, pick your choice of email software and bobs your uncle….right?

Not quite the case. Your deliverability is important and it means how often your newsletters reach the recipient’s inbox. Believe it or not, the entire concept of how email works is quite complex. You may not realize this when you send your normal emails from Gmail, Outlook or wherever but once you go down the rabbit hole of newsletters, you soon come to realize that there are a lot of technicalities.

Getting your deliverability on point.

When starting out a newsletter, these 3 aspects of deliverability can make or break you and send you straight to the spam box, which is a big “nope” in our game.

These are known as;


Full blog post here

Thank you @TheWonderingZall for writing this blog!

  1. 4

    I built a tool to help with deliverability:

    It’s slowly sends emails to warm up the domain. It’s really built for cold email, but can help with newsletters as well.

    If any IndieHacker want a longer trial for free just holler.

  2. 3

    Does using a system like Substack hurt or help deliverability?

    1. 3

      Generally helps.


      Because they're emailing your emails under their domain, which has a lot of reputation with the ESPs (Gmail, Outlook, etc).

      1. 1

        Yeah agreed here, but Substacks pretty new so I’ll not sure how much authority they have.

        I always generally lean toward having your own domain and sending from that. This approach is harder since if they domain get labeled as spammy, then it could be over for you.

        I think it’s free to start on something like Substack until you get your hands around the business of newsletters.

        1. 1

          Totally agree that it's better to have it on our own domains. It's a big reason why large companies have been able to lock out smaller players in the email space as they offer their services for free (or close to free), lock in their users as they find when they want to move away their deliverability suffers, etc.

    2. 1

      They use shared IP and the reputation is shared with others.

  3. 2

    We spent 14 months in pain learning it all the hard way. So much written on the internet is not correct. A ESP owner taught us the secrets. Forget copy writing, deliverability is everything. We now reach 47,000 with a open rate of 40.04%.

  4. 1

    That is 1% off the challenge. You don't know what you don't know. A owner of a ESP has the knowledge and they will not teach you. As their business and it's survival depends on what they keep secret from the rest of us. Did you know the owner of a ESP has private dashboards with gmail, yahoo, and outlook? Did you know the owner of a ESP gets warnings that they only know how to deal with and they will not teach you, our expose them to you? How do I know this? Well I have seen theses in screen share zoom meetings.

  5. 1

    Happy to be able to contribute!!

  6. 1

    I am having headaches with deliverabilty.

    Last issue i had an open rate of 20%, a fall from 40%-45%....

    I fixed all of that that you said, and I still getting bad points on mail- tester 6/10 then on unspam.mail 82/100.....

    This thing ain't easy..

      1. 1

        Yep, been using the and I get 6/10 on mailer test.

        It says I am listed on Razor so at least 3 to 4 points down...

    1. 2

      Hi Mike, I think if you're comparing emails sent from your own domain to when, I believe previously, was sent from your address, it'll be hard to compare.

      Gmail treats it own domain differently.

      If I'm sending a relatively "cold" email to someone (always do this manually), I always send from a Gmail account. They can click on "Report Spam" until the cows come home and Gmail won't penalize the sender. It may get sent to spam for that one particular receiver, but unlikely for other people you email.

      On your own domain, this is not the case.

      1. 1

        It can be done at scale, you just must know how.

      2. 1

        It was from substack! So I had little to do, they landed straight in the inbox.

    2. 2

      Hey Mike! Have you hooked up your domain to to Google postmaster?

      Usually this a good way for you to monitor your DKIM, DMARC and SPF.

      To my knowledge, I know you’re also a user of EmailOctopus, have you tried getting hold of support and asking them to take a look from their end?

      I did this a while back when my I saw I kept getting error reports in my postmaster dashboard.

      1. 2

        oh yeah, the "three" musketeers are already implemented, in fact, I did it after reading your post. Thomas jumped and pointed out where I should go.

        The domain is also verified in postmaster, but there is no results still, probably becauseI havnt sent an issue since then...

        1. 2

          They should fill up over a few sends!

          That’s strange...I also know you should verify both your domain and email on Emailoctopus too.

          Do you code your own newsletter by any chance or do you use drag and drop?

          1. 2

            the technical part is completely done...will se next Tuesday, maybe is fixed.

            Yep, I do that or template. I am actually working on one with Maizzle

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