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Improving Email Deliverability with SPF and DKIM and Other Best Practices

ClearSlide is committed to delivering a complete sales engagement platform that integrates content management, communications, and engagement analytics. We are continuing improve email deliverability rates by including support for DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) in addition to SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and SMTP(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) email authentication.

What is SPF?
SPF determines if the sender is permitted to send an email on behalf of a domain owner by verifying the record of the sender against the domain owner. If the sender is not permitted, the email will fail the SPF check on the receiving server and the spam settings on the receiving server will determine what happens with the email.

What is DKIM?
DKIM is also an email authentication protocol used by email receivers to determine the authenticity of an email sender. DKIM improves deliverability of emails into the inbox by validating the domain name identity associated with an email using cryptographic authentication. Senders insert a digital signature into the message in the DKIM-Signature header, which the receiver uses to verify. DKIM allows senders to improve their domain reputation (lower spam score) which helps increase email delivery rates of future sends.

Using DKIM and SPF – Better Together
Many customers leverage both DKIM and SPF email authentication protocols to ensure that the receiving server knows that your organization has authorized ClearSlide to send emails on your behalf. While SPF adds information to a message envelope, DKIM also encrypts a signature within the message header providing a stronger form of authentication. As a result, emails have a higher likelihood of receipt and lesser chance of being treated as spam (which may occur when emails are addressed from your domain but are sent from an IP address with a ClearSlide domain).

Best Practices to Improve Email Deliverability
An email can go to spam for any number of reasons, and it’s difficult to avoid in all cases because the decision of what goes to spam ultimately resides with the recipient mail system. Most spam filters and mail servers use a scoring method to determine what goes to spam. A higher spam score means a lower likelihood of reaching the recipient’s inbox. Here are some tips to minimize your spam score:

  1. Update Your Outbound Email Settings
    This allows ClearSlide to send an email from your organization’s email address instead of from a ClearSlide email address. By routing emails through your own email system, we will be able to increase credibility as your sender address will remain intact. Please reach out to our support team for more information.
  2. Subject Lines Matter – for Open Rates and Spam Filters
    If your subject line includes words and phrases that are spam triggers it can negatively influence deliverability. Phrases like “act now”, “giving away”, or “You’re a winner!” are common catches. With ClearSlide, Sales and Marketing Teams can work together to create optimized templates based on email open and content engagement data.
  3. Use Links Instead of Large Attachments
    Send content using ClearSlide email tracking links instead of attachments. A well labeled link is more likely to clear spam filters and will also capture real time, slide level engagement data.
  4. Engage with Dynamics Previews and Links
    Including too many images or too many large files can prevent email from clearing spam filters. Using ClearSlide email to generate dynamic previews of rich media links (i.e., videos, images, GIFs) avoids spam and file size issues and drives higher open rates.
  5. Review and Clean Up Your Lists
    Ensure email lists contain valid addresses and are not spam traps. Remove email addresses for outdated contacts, email addresses with typos, or duplicates – and check quality of purchased lists.

To receive an email deliverability health check with your ClearSlide Customer Success Manager, fill out this form. We’ll discuss customizing your email settings, enabling SPF and/or DKIM, and share best practices for how you can improve your email deliverability.

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