Getting in the door at The Inbox

Community Manager
Community Manager

When I explain things, I like to do so using analogies.  Here is the one I like to use when people ask me how they can improve their deliverability.


So, imagine there's this hot new nightclub in town called The Inbox, and you really want to get in.  If you want to get past the doorman, you are going to need to be well-dressed, well-known and liked, you can't have a history of getting thrown out of bars for bad behavior, and you need a valid ID.  In deliverability terms, it breaks out like this:


  • Well-dressed - This is your content.  You don't want it looking spammy, so make sure your content and design are on point.
  • Well-known - This is your reputation.  Do people open and click on your emails?  Great!  People like you!  If your emails go straight to the trash over and over, however, this isn't good for your reputation, so it's best to focus your efforts on leads who opt in and interact with your content.
  • Don't get thrown out of the bar - Don't hit spam traps, stay off blacklists.  If you have a history of hitting spam traps, you'll get a rep as a troublemaker and they will stop letting you in.
  • Valid ID - This is your SPF and your DKIM.  You should have both set up because a lot of people won't let you in without it.


There's one more thing to consider - getting on The List.  You know how people cut to the front of the line and tell the doorman, "I'm on the list," and they get right in?  That's the whitelist.  Whenever possible, get your important customers to whitelist you.  If you have a dedicated IP, this is pretty easy.  If you are on the shared IP, this can be a little trickier.  Sometimes customers push back and are unwilling to whitelist all of the Marketo network. Fair enough.  In that case, it may be possible for a customer to whitelist something other than Marketo IPs to ensure delivery of Marketo email only from a specific instance.  For this we recommend using regex version of the Return Path header.  Because this header changes dynamically this regex creates wildcards where the dynamic information is.   Because the Return Path is specific to the Marketo instance, if you would like to use this option, contact Marketo Support and we can provide you with the regex Return Path header for your instance.

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