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Gainsight Inc.

Best Practices for Improving Email Deliverability

Gainsight NXT


This article walks you through multiple aspects of ensuring email deliverability, including best practices within Gainsight, 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 delivers every time. Numerous factors outside the sender’s control can stop or block a message from being received.

Gainsight Best Practices 

Here’s what you can do in Gainsight to increase deliverability:

  • Maintain Clean Contact Lists: You can keep your contact lists clean by removing outdated and inactive recipients. This helps keep your reputation clean as well.

  • Respect the Opt-out process: Only send emails to users who have opted-in to receive email. Do not send emails to opted-out clients to check and see if they would like to opt back in. In many cases, this is illegal and can hurt your reputation. Click here for more information about international opt-in requirements.

  • Monitor Bounced and Spammed messages for your Program: Getting marked as spam or having a high bounce rate hurts your reputation and decreases deliverability. You can see the number of Bounced and Spammed messages in 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 ensure you are sending messages to the right person in the company and that you have their correct email address. It is 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 in deny list from receiving email communication. For more information, refer to the Email Validator article.

  • Use Well Crafted Subject Lines: Subject lines that are informative and persuasive helps 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, do not 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 long as your users are not being bombarded. It is an excellent 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 programs.

As an organization, we also take steps to improve deliverability within our systems internally.

Working with your IT team 

These recommendations likely require working with your IT and security teams to implement them. They must be familiar with your organization's security posture and needs, which must be referenced during implementation.

  • Decide on Sending Domain: You must work with your IT team to decide what domain to use for sending emails and what security measures are required for that domain—using alternate domains or subdomains where possible minimizes potential issues with your primary domain.

  • Allowing your Organization: For more information to complete this process, refer to the Email Service Configuration article. Allowing list essentially shows ISPs that Gainsight has your permission to send messages on your behalf and dramatically increases the deliverability of messages sent through Gainsight. 

  • Maintaining clean DNS records: A DNS lookup indicates that the outer world has permission to send mail on your behalf. Only the first ten lookups that have been added for your domain are honored, and rearranging the order of these lookups does not affect which ones are honored. Sanitizing DNS records involves removing lookups or records that are no longer being utilized. Gainsight must be one of the ten DNS lookups for your domain 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 legally requires, in many instances, and helps protect your reputation. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is meant to protect citizens' data privacy in the EU. Click here to learn more about GDPR. 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 challenging to determine mid-email campaign which customers are based out of the EU or Canada. Click here to learn more about CASL.

  • Monitor Deny lists: Monitoring deny lists helps you keep an eye on reputation. If a domain or IP related to your infrastructure shows up on a deny list, you must quickly resolve any potential issues. Services like MxToolbox help with early detection and can even guide with delisting.

External Resources 

Here are several external articles that also address email deliverability issues you may be experiencing.

  • Click here to learn more about how to address High Bounce Rates with Mandrill.
  • Click here to learn more about DMARC, DKIM, and SPF with Inbox Pros.
  • Click here to learn more about Email Deliverability tips with Inbox Pros.