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Getting the most emails to candidate inboxes (validation policies, email warming, sub-domains)
Getting the most emails to candidate inboxes (validation policies, email warming, sub-domains)

Send Sales, Marketing or Business Development outreach campaigns and maximize your results

Arbee avatar
Written by Arbee
Updated this week

Suggestions to maximize deliverability and ensure your outreach gets to their inbox.

Overview

This article will provide simple, actionable advice to ensure that the majority of your emails go to a candidate’s inbox and reduce the amount reported as spam.

If your messages are well-crafted, your open rate will be above 65%, and your response rate will be above 8%. Note that these numbers apply mainly to email campaigns to prospective job candidates, not necessarily to sales/marketing campaigns. For sales campaigns, an open rate of 30% and a response rate of 1% is considered good.

This article summarizes the challenges we see most commonly with our customers, such as:

  • Email and domain host settings, policies, security, authentication protocols

  • Message construction, content, and strategy

  • Address(es) used, their effects and validity

  • Increasing or decreasing volume of emails sent

  • Advanced spam protection

But don’t just take our word for it— get Google’s perspective on reducing your spam rate.

Setting up the basics

In order to maximize email-deliverability, you need to make sure your email sending infrastructure is secure. You need to setup SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Conceptually, they are like having SSL enabled for your website.

Setting up SPF Protection

  • Instructions for Gmail: Click Here

    • For example with RecruitBot, our information is...

      • Record Name: recruitbot.com

      • Record Type: TXT

      • Value: v=spf1 include:_spf.google.com ~all

  • Instructions for Outlook: Click Here

    • For example with RecruitBot, our information is...

      • Record Type: TXT

      • Record Name: recruitbot.com

      • Value: v=spf1 include:spf.protection.outlook.com ~all

Setting up DKIM Protection

  • Instructions for Gmail: Click Here

    • For example with Recruitbot, our information is…

      • Record Type: TXT

      • Record Name: google._domainkey.recruitbot.com

      • Value: v=DKIM; k=rsa; p=<FROM GOOGLE>

    • Use this DKIM link to get the P value

  • Instructions for Outlook: Click Here

    • For example with Recruitbot, our information is…

      • Record Type: CNAME

      • Record Name: selector1._domainkey.recruitbot.com

      • Value: selector1-recruitbot-com._domainkey.recruitbot.onmicrosoft.com

Setting up DMARC (WHat is DMARC and why is it important?)

  • Click here for DMARC setup for Gmail.

  • Click here for DMARC setup for Outlook/Exchange.

Also check out this great article from Postmark on why DMARC is important, and how it improves your email deliverability.

Validating Setup

  • Once you have completed it, you can use Google Toolbox to validate that everything is set up correctly.

  • Alternatively, you can use MXToolbox to validate your domain. Here's an example of a 'healthy domain' with everything configured:

  • If it isn’t, reach out and we’re happy to help.

  • You can also use https://intodns.com/ for a more thorough report. (You can ignore the “Reverse MX A records” warning here).

Maximizing the visibility of your outreach messages

Tactful construction, content, and strategies implemented in your emails lead to higher open rates. However, your messages should look and feel as organic as possible. They should be personable enough to resemble a private, direct email to a single individual.

That being said, it’s not as daunting as it sounds— here are some simple, small changes you can make for a big impact:

Explore additional tactics to improve your open (and response) rates here.

Selecting your email address

You will see much better deliverability rates if the email address is that of a real person in your company. Concretely, what this means is that you should always send your emails from an address like janedoe@company.com, versus an address like careers@company.com. Part of this is that your personal email address likely has a history of usage consistent with a human user.

If you want to be super-cautious, you can create a brand new email address on your domain to send outreach. Referencing the above, perhaps your new email can be jane@company.com, or doe@company.com. If you do this, make sure you ramp up usage slowly, since these new accounts don’t have the credibility of older, more established accounts.

Ramping email volume

A sudden surge in email activity is a red flag for spam systems— to combat this, gradually increase the number of emails you’re sending from RecruitBot, especially if it’s from a newer account.

A good rule of thumb is to send 10 emails to start, and then double the number of emails you send every day. Be mindful that this total includes every email sent from RecruitBot, including all subsequent drips in a drip campaign.

If you have been using your email address for a long time and send quite a lot of emails, spam systems will mark you as a more credible source. If this is the case, you don’t need to worry about volume influx as much because your messages are less likely to be marked as spam.

Email "Warmers"

While we don't recommend any specific product, we do use an email warmer here called Mailreach.io. Mailreach helps you increase the reliability and health of a new email so other systems such as Google and Outlook don't immediately send your messages to spam. If you're creating a new email address or domain for the sole purpose of sending outreach, sales/marketing or BD campaigns, we recommend warming your email first--or, sending a VERY limited number of emails over a longer period.

Validated email addresses

We have partnered with multiple email validation providers to validate that the email addresses you are reaching out to are likely to be valid, because sending frequent emails to invalid addresses will hurt your deliverability rate.

Different icons— check for good, question mark for unknown —are associated with different email addresses. Try to only send to candidates with checkmarks (as seen in the example below).

validated_email_v1.gif

Validate an email if it’s going to spam

If you are concerned a specific email may be repeatedly sent to candidates’ spam folders, we recommend trying glockapps.com, isnotspam.com and mail-tester.com to validate everything and ensure the message is “healthy”. Typically, challenges arise only if the SPF or DKIM records are incorrectly configured.

Advanced spam protection

By following the suggestions above, most RecruitBot users bypass spam systems and experience high open rates. Still, some inquire about additional layers of protection.

In this case, we recommend setting up an email subdomain. Email subdomains are treated as completely distinct by spam analyzers. If you use something like bsmith@mail.mycompany.com or bsmith@team.mycompany.com instead, then you can protect against the incredibly rare case that an entire domain is labeled as spam.

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