Below are the standard steps you should be taking to ensure your group has good deliverability on Action Network or any platform. While these steps are essential, they are not the only things you can do to run a great email program. Please (PLEASE!) read our Deliverability Guide here for an in-depth overview of how to get in an inbox and avoid the spam folder. To learn more about deliverability, watch our 105 Deliverability Training.
✅ Send to a 100% opted in list
- Action Network is a 100% opt in only platform. You can only upload and email people who have explicitly opted in to receive emails from your group.
✅ Send from a domain you own, authenticated with DKIM and SPF
- This means the email address in your reply-to is linked to a domain you control, not a Gmail, Yahoo, Protonmail, etc. address. If you own your domain, make sure you have DKIM and SPF installed. If you're sending over 5,000 emails/month, you should also set up DMARC. You can learn more about this here.
✅ Welcome series setup
- Welcome series are a great way to introduce people to your organization and help them understand why your work matters (important if you do a lot of joint actions). You can use this to collect key info like what content activists are interested in and how often they want to hear from you. Click here to learn how to set this up using ladders.
✅ Give activists something to click on
- When it comes to deliverability, engagement is the name of the game. Each email should give activists the chance to engage in some positive way, and clicks are the most effective. It can be as simple as having one link at the end of the email that says 'Click here to see a video of cute puppies!'
✅ Target based on engagement
- Engagement based targeting is the most effective way to protect and improve deliverability. On Action Network you can use the Open, Action, and Click Activity fields for this. We'd recommend the Email Engagement field for this as it includes all of these metrics of engagement. You will see a warning message at the bottom of the Email Targeting page if you don't select any targeting filters. If you still wish to proceed, tick the box to indicate you understand it may cause deliverability issues and wish to send to the full list anyway.
✅ Exclude people who have not engaged with you recently (in the last 180 days)
- The number of emails sent to long term, non engaged people is the primary factor in your sender reputation. Sending to these activists will damage your deliverability. Click here to learn how to automatically reactivate or sunset these users with ladders.
✅ Monitor stats using the Deliverability Dashboard
- In Emails tab of the Group Manage page, click 'Show last week's stats' to view the Dashboard. You'll see key stats on opens, clicks, unsubscribes, bounces, and spam complaints. Click on a stat to see a graph of how you're doing. Aim to keep metrics in the yellow or green. Use this to monitor your group's deliverability over time. Click here to learn more.
BONUS: Shrink your audience if your deliverability is low
If you're noticing your program has suddenly had much lower open rates over a period of 2-4 weeks, your deliverability has likely suffered. Sending to a smaller, more engaged set up of people for a few weeks at least can help it recover. Let your engagement numbers be your guide – if they improve, you can test sending more widely, if they deteriorate, tighten your targeting.