Email Deliverability: What is it? Why do I care?
What is email deliverability? Email deliverability measures exactly how many of your contacts receive your emails. This metric is key to email marketing success.
Your email marketing strategy is only as strong as how many of your emails actually get delivered to the inbox. You don’t want to spend your blood, sweat, and tears on an amazing email campaign for no one to receive it. This is where deliverability comes in.
Deliverability involves more than just creating an audience, clicking send and hoping for the best. The goal of any successful email marketing campaign is to reach the right audience at the right time. This includes making sure your subscribers actually receive the intended message.
So what is email deliverability?
In email marketing, email deliverability can oftentimes be confused with email delivery. We will get into the differences below but for now, let’s define email *deliverability. *
Deliverability refers to the metric of “inbox placement”. It is whether or not your email has been delivered to the inbox or into the spam folder. You will not receive any feedback knowing if your email is in the inbox or not.
Now email delivery rate is what you see as an acceptance rate and is in the indication of whether your email has been accepted into a mailbox provider (MBP) aka email service provider (ESP) like Gmail or Yahoo. So your delivery rate is whether or not your email has made it to an ESP.
Email deliverability is when an email successfully arrives in the person’s inbox.
Email delivery is when an email is successfully delivered to the receiving server.
It’s possible that your emails are technically being delivered but you have a poor deliverability rate. Just because the email landed in someone’s spam folder doesn’t indicate that you have a good deliverability score.
Essentially delivery is only part of the email’s journey to the inbox. It first has to pass through the ESP. Before services such as Emailables Deliverability tool, email marketers had to make inferences about whether or not their emails were delivered to customers’ inboxes.
Bounce rates that are tracked by ESPs, open rates, unsubscribe rates, click through rates, and spam complaints can give email marketers ideas of whether or not their emails were delivered to inboxes. That’s because these metrics can only occur if recipients are opening their emails and interacting with them.
Engagement is also an important factor in email deliverability because it directly affects sender reputation. An amazing sender reputation score is a big factor when it comes to deliverability.
Why Do We Care About Email Deliverability?
For starters, a successful email campaign can only be successful if people are actually receiving the emails. Email deliverability is the foundation that email marketing is built upon. Your email marketing campaign has to have good email deliverability in order to be fruitful.
Email marketing generates the highest return on investment than any other form of digital marketing. Regardless of the changing times, email marketing remains the most effective and lucrative strategy.
The effort that goes into crafting the perfect email marketing strategy can sometimes feel endless. Email marketers are focusing on crafting the perfect email copy, the best image to text ratios, using a catchy subject line to hook their readers and son on but those factors become obsolete if their emails are never delivered.
It benefits email marketers to manage their marketing in a way that prioritizes deliverability and open rates. Designing a thoughtful email only goes so far if it’s only to be stopped along the way.
As we mentioned earlier, email marketing remains the most fruitful tactic. A recent study by Litmus, for every $1 spent in email marketing you receive $42 in return. So email marketing is not something we want to sleep on.
Inbox Placement is Key
Unfortunately, we are not the only ones who know how important email marketing is. There is growing inbox competition, seemingly constant change of standards from inbox providers, and changing marketings that are making email marketers adapt on the fly. In turn, that means that marketers are all wanting higher open rates and higher conversions. But that can’t happen unless you’re actually in the inbox.
To reach your goals, you need to increase your deliverability rates. When you have a successful and healthy deliverability you will start landing directly in inboxes.
Your inbox placement is a huge factor when it comes to your campaigns.
How To Increase Deliverability
When you’re starting to improve your deliverability, the best place to start is your opt-in list. Make sure that you have the option for your users to opt-in on your email communications. From there, you’re able to start managing and nurturing your list. By keeping good habits of list management you’re able to avoid unnecessary bounces and other factors that could affect your sender reputation score.
Second, double check that you’re not using ‘spammy’ subject lines such as “Order Now” or “Earn More Money”. Spammy subject lines are sure to get you flagged for spam. By adjusting your content to include value for your recipients you’re able to improve engagement and avoid any spam traps.
Improving your deliverability isn’t one size fits all, it depends on your industry and market.
Conscious Efforts to Minimize Spam Complaints
Unfortunately, even the smallest of spam complaints can damage your campaigns and jeopardize your deliverability. There is no point to crafting phenomenal content if you’re not minimizing the risk of spam complaints and doing what you can to avoid them.
If you’re noticing more and more spain complaints think about pausing your campaign for a second and assessing why. Inbox providers will not hesitate to send you to their spam folder or not even deliver messages if they think you could be spam. An inbox provider’s first priority is to their users.
The bad news is that churn is inevitable, some users just don’t want to hear from you and will opt out of your communication. But the good news is that you now have the tools that will help avoid complaints and keep yourself in good standings with inbox providers and stay off any blacklists.
Opt Out Option
Allow your users to opt out of email communication if they want to. This means having an easily accessible ‘unsubscribe’ link at the bottom of every email you send. Not only does this help you maintain a clean and healthy list but it also keeps you within the CAN-SPAM protocols. A great rule of thumb is to only engage with your subscribers that actually want to receive your emails.
If your subscribers have no way to get off your mailing list, then they’ll end up sending you to spam which then furthers your risk of spam traps and blacklists.
Keep in mind how many emails you’re sending you start to become annoying, overwhelming, and unwanted. When you overwhelm their inboxes they’re more inclined to mark you as spam. Give your subscribers the option to ‘take a break’ from your list and give them the option to decide which email communications they would like to receive. Which helps you further your personalization and improve your deliverability.
Clean Email Lists
One of the best tools in your tool shed is an email verification service. This is where you can upload your big list of email subscribers and have it cleaned right before your eyes.
Sending emails to invalid, non-existent, or misspelled recipients is another way to damage your reputation and end you in the spam folder.
Any spam trap that detects you will prohibit your content from entering any inbox and depending on how many times this happens, it may wind you up on a blacklist where _none _of your emails will be delivered (even to a spam folder).
When you have a clean and healthy email list, this helps you avoid any unnecessary obstacles or issues that could damage your campaign. When you use an email verification service such as Emailable, you’ll receive a full report of emails that are “deliverable”, “undeliverable”, or “risky’‘. Cleaning your lists puts you on the fast track to boosting inbox placement and deliverability.
Keep An Eye on Engagement Metrics
As we’ve mentioned before, the game of email marketing is constantly evolving and so are spam filters. To best adapt and grow while they are ever evolving, make sure you’re tracking key metrics for your campaigns. To ensure a better deliverability track your engagement metrics and key email campaign metrics such as:
- Your subscribers are marking “Not Spam”, or adding your emails to a ‘safe senders’ list. This helps tell email service providers that you’re, in fact, not spam as well as ISP’s that are responsible for blacklists will note this in their system.
- What’s your forward rate like? This is a great metric to look out for as it tells you how your content is being distributed from subscribers to their peers. Email service providers also notice this and are more likely to deliver your email communications.
- Your reply rate is also a great metric to see how your emails are doing. Try to send from an email account that allows your recipients to reply to emails. This helps drive your engagement and it’s encouraging them to reach out to you if they have any questions.
Email deliverability is the rate at which your emails land in an inbox, not just an email service provider. This inbox placement is a key element to a successful email marketing campaign. There are big differences if your emails are deliverable, meaning they are being sent to an email service provider but it doesn’t give any indication if your emails are in the inbox or spam folder. In order to minimize the spam folder landing and maximize your email marketing efforts, you need to focus on deliverability and the tools to help increase it.
- Reduce spammy phrasing
- Provide easy opt-out options
- Reduce frequency of email communications
- Have clean and healthy email lists
- Focus on the key metrics we mentioned above to help gauge where your emails are landing and use the tools to help improve deliverability
Your amazing content can only take you so far. Your delivery rate is only half the equation, your deliverability is what takes your campaigns from good to GREAT. Deliverability is the final piece of the puzzle when it comes to successful campaigns. Know your emails are landing in recipients inboxes.