This article will walk you through multiple aspects of ensuring email deliverability, including best practices within Gainsight and Salesforce, steps you can take with your IT team, and external resources.
Note: When working to improve Email Deliverability, it is important to remember that while each step can increase the rate of success, it is impossible to guarantee that every message will be delivered every time. There are numerous factors outside the sender’s control that can stop or block a message from being received.
Gainsight and Salesforce Best Practices
Here’s what you can do within Gainsight and SFDC to increase deliverability:
- Maintain Clean Contact Lists: You can keep your contact lists clean by removing outdated and inactive recipients. This will help keep your reputation clean as well.
- Review Power Lists: Keeping a clean database is the best way to prevent bad email addresses from being added to a Power List, but you should also make a point of double-checking your lists after they are created. Look for anything that might be out-of-date or incorrect. You can view the list of contacts by clicking the Participants Icon within the Power List. With Programs, you can remove individual contacts that you have added via a Power List. For more information on editing contacts within Programs, refer to Adding Participants to a Program. For more information on creating Power Lists, refer to Create Journey Orchestrator Power List (aka, email contact list).
- Respect the Opt-out process: Only send emails to users who have opted-in to receive email from you. Do not send emails to opted-out clients to check and see if they would like to opt back in. In many instances, this is illegal and can hurt your reputation. You can read more about international opt-in requirements here.
- Monitor Bounced and Spammed messages for your Outreach: Getting marked as spam, or having a high bounce rate, will hurt your reputation and decrease deliverability. You can see the number of Bounced and Spammed messages within the analytics section of an Outreach or a Program. If you observe that certain email addresses are bouncing messages back, or marking you as spam, check the contact’s information to make sure you are sending messages to the right person in the company and that you have their correct email address. It’s possible your message is not being sent to a person who considers you a trusted source.
- Use Email Validator: The Gainsight Email Validator can help Admins check whether an email address is blacklisted from receiving email communication. Refer to Email Validator for more information.
- Use Well Crafted Subject Lines: Subject lines that are informative and persuasive will help users recognize your domain as a trusted source and help prevent your emails from getting marked as spam.
- Send Messages Appropriately: Sending messages too frequently can also lead to getting marked as spam. As a general rule, don’t send “Relationship” surveys (such as NPS) more than twice a year. “Transactional” surveys, which are typically sent after a training, onboarding, or support engagement, can be sent as needed as long as your users aren’t being bombarded. It’s a good idea to coordinate with other departments, such as Marketing, Product or Services, to ensure that you are not sending out surveys too closely together, particularly if you are not using a shared calendar for outreaches.
As an organization, we also take steps to internally improve deliverability within our own systems.
Working with your IT team
These recommendations will likely require working with your IT and security teams in order to implement them. They should be familiar with the security posture and needs of your organization, which will need to be referenced during implementation.
- Decide on Sending Domain: You will need to work with your IT team to decide what domain to use for sending emails, and what security measures are needed for that domain. Using alternate domains or subdomains where possible will minimize potential issues with your primary domain.
- Whitelabel your Organization: refer to Email Service Configuration (Whitelabeling) to complete this process. Whitelabeling essentially shows ISPs that Gainsight has your permission to send messages on your behalf and will greatly increase the deliverability of messages sent through Gainsight. You can learn more about Whitelabeling here.
- Maintaining clean DNS records: A DNS lookup indicates to the outer world who has permission to send mail on your behalf. Only the first ten lookups that have been added for your domain will be honored, and rearranging the order of these lookups does not affect which ones will be honored. Sanitizing DNS records involves removing lookups or records that are no longer being utilized. Gainsight will need to be one of the ten DNS lookups for your domain in order to avoid deliverability issues. This limit is applied to all domains sending mail and is not controlled by Gainsight.
- Comply with GDPR and CASL regulations: These regulations are becoming the industry standard for sending emails. Following them will be legally required in many instances, and will help protect your reputation. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is meant to protect the data privacy of citizens in the EU. Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) is meant to protect Canadian citizens and businesses from spam. International customers should follow these regulations at all times as it can often be difficult to determine mid-email campaign which customers are based out of the EU or Canada. You can learn more about GDPR here and CASL here.
- Monitor Blacklists: Monitoring blacklists helps you keep an eye on reputation. If a domain or IP related to your infrastructure shows up on a blacklist, you will want to act quickly to resolve any potential issues. Services like MxToolbox help with early detection and can even provide guidance with delisting.