How to build a deliverability optimized email send in HubSpot

If your domain reputation is in bad enough shape, you may need to use very aggressive suppression to fix it. In this article, we're going to be discussing how to build and use a deliverability optimized send in HubSpot.

The deliverability optimized send is one of the most effective workflows you can use to improve domain reputation while also managing short term business goals. It works by sending to your most engaged subscribers first, and then slowly releasing emails to less active subscribers in successive tiers over time. This has several huge advantages over the traditional email blast send:

1. It helps warm up the receiving server

For senders with poor email reputations, email service providers (ESP's) may not deliver your emails all at once. Instead, most email service providers appear to use the first people who receive your email as a gauge for how relevant your content is to your audience.

Because the deliverability optimized send sends to your most engaged subscribers first, you will likely see higher inboxing rates for everyone who comes afterwards in the send.

2. It limits the risk of further hurting your domain reputation

Because your emails will go out over time rather than all at once, you have the option to shut off your send the minute open rates drop too low. Most senders structure their send so it will go over 72 hours or more which gives plenty over opportunity for precise control.

How to build a deliverability optimized send in HubSpot

In this article, we're going to be building a a 11-day deliverability optimized send like the one pictured below:


Step 1: Choose your tiers

The deliverability optimized send is built to deliver to your most engaged contacts first, and then progressively send to less active contacts throughout the send. Before we can build the workflow though, we'll need to define what engaged looks like.

Note: For senders with low but not critically low engagement (7%+ open rates), we recommend using the Seventh Sense Health and Frequency Automation step. It's much simpler to use and will get better results for senders who's email health and reputation is low, but not in critical condition. 

Your tiers should be set based on how often you email your audience. If you email 3-4 times per week. A reasonable tier structure would be the following:

Tier 1 - Opened in last 7 days

Tier 2 - Opened in last 14 days

Tier 3 - Opened in last 30 days

Tier 4 - Open in last 90 days

Tier 5 - opened in last 365 days

Step 2: Choose your delivery windows

The period you send over will depend on your business needs. In general, it's best to send each tier over a 24 hour/1 day weekday window as this gives Seventh Sense the best chance to optimize send times. 

If you do need to accelerate the send however, you can use the 12 hour send option for each tier. In that case, for 5 tiers, your send would be done in 60 hours or 2.5 days.

For this example, we'll be doing a longer send using the following time windows:

Tier 1 - 1 day

Tier 2 - 1 day

Tier 3 - 1 day

Tier 4 - 1 day

Tier 5 - 7 day

Because Tier 5 is likely the largest and least engaged audience, it's helpful to use a larger window so you can check in daily and stop the send when the open rate drops to a harmfully low level (we recommend letting open rates fall no lower than 20%)

Step 3: Build your workflow

To build our delivery optimized send workflow, we'll be using the following structure: 24 hr STO Step > If/then Branch > Email/go to action step

The If/then branch will branch on "Last marketing email open date is less than X days ago"

Let's build the first few steps in the workflow. First add a Batch Delivery Time Optimization step to your workflow:Screen_Shot_2021-08-12_at_3_33_08_PM.png

Select a 1 day window and press "Save":Screen_Shot_2021-08-12_at_3_33_30_PM.png

Add an If/then branch:


Select Contact properties:


Search for "open" and select Last marketing email open date:


Set window to 7 days:


Add your email under the green branch and add you next Batch Delivery Time Optimization (STO step) on the red branch:


Continue by adding your next If/then branch after the Batch Delivery Time Optimization step:


Add a Go to action step to send your email to the next tier:Screen_Shot_2021-08-12_at_3_36_17_PM.png

Continue adding steps using the same formula of STO Step > If/then Branch > Email/go to action step until all your tiers are setup for delivery.

Step 4: Enroll your contacts and monitor your send

Enroll your contacts/list/s as normal into the workflow. If you've included contacts who have not opened emails in a long time (what's a "long" time scale will depend on your email frequency), you'll want to monitor your workflow carefully and turn it off when the open rate and your email drops too low.

Moving forward with better deliverability

Once you've established a healthy domain reputation, you can continue optimizing your email frequency using the Seventh Sense Health and Frequency Automation.




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