Email deliverability is a metric which indicates the number of emails that reached the recipients’ inboxes. There are many factors which influence it, but the best option to be on the safe side is to use an authoritative service that cares about all the technical issues.

When gauging email deliverability, note that the email delivery rate does not necessarily mean inbox placement rate. Instead, it refers to the number of emails that were neither rejected nor bounced. Take this for example: a 99% delivery rate means that 99% of the emails sent did not bounce or get rejected. If 33% of those emails ended up in the spam folder, the inbox placement rate is thus 66%.

Why is it important to track email deliverability?

Monitoring email deliverability is vital for several reasons. These are:

  • To know if subscribers received emails. Senders identify the people who opened their emails and the time by tracking email deliverability. Over time, marketers can get useful insights, for example,find out the most active subscribers on their list and discover the factors which boost engagement.
  • To determine whether a lead is “hot” or not. Tracking deliverability helps marketers identify the most qualified leads and those that need nurturing. In turn, they send the “hot” leads to the sales team, and the “warm” ones to the marketing team.
  • To identify referrals. Referrals give a prospective customer the extra confidence to reach out. By tracking email deliverability, marketers can determine both the past and existing customers that vouch for them and thus set out to offer services or products that appeal to the referred customers just as they did to their previous clients.
  • To know what’s wrong. Tracking email deliverability helps marketers understand the causes of unsubscribes. For instance, if there is a sudden spike in the number of unsubscribes, monitoring the email campaign can help the sender to discover common causes such as broken links, problems with the email content, and so forth.
  • To determine if the content is working. Email deliverability tracking enables senders to understand the way subscribers interact with their marketing material, and thus if their emails are performing well.

What affects email deliverability?

Email deliverability is affected by reputation, infrastructure, and authentication. Let’s discuss each of these factors.

Sender reputation

Whenever marketers send email campaigns, mailbox providers run reputation checks. Senders with an excellent reputation get their messages delivered to recipients’ inboxes, while those with poor reputations land in the junk folder or even get rejected at the gateway.

Sender reputation is a score of the email address that a marketer uses to send out email campaigns. Below are ways for maintaining a good sender reputation:

  • Send emails on a regular and consistent schedule based on subscriber preferences.
  • Maintain a clean mailing list to minimize bounce rates.
  • Keep off spam traps.
  • Keep spam complaint rates low and improve delivery by using trustworthy and reliable servers such as those offered by SendPulse SMTP.
  • Do not appear on blacklists.

Infrastructure

Establishing and maintaining infrastructure for email campaigns is complicated and expensive. Thus, it is advisable to use an email service to handle the entire operation for convenience to the marketer. Here are some of the infrastructural aspects that affect email deliverability:

  • IP addresses. For high volume senders and time-sensitive email campaigns, SendPulse dedicated IP will come in quite handy. It ensures that your sender reputation depends only on your actions. So, there are very few chances to get into the spam folder.
  • Feedback loops for reporting complaints to email service providers (ESPs). After a user clicks “Mark as spam” or “Unsubscribe”, they should be removed from your mailing list. There’s no need to keep track of these processes manually since SendPulse cleans the mailing list automatically.

Authentication

Another factor that affects email deliverability is authentication. It refers to the process by which mailbox providers verify if the IP address that a sender uses has permission to send emails. Setting up authentication tells mailbox providers that a marketer consented to an ESP sending emails on their behalf. The two main ways of setting it up are:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF): It is an email validation system that prevents spam by verifying the IP address used by the sender.
  • Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM): It indicates that a specific organization owns a particular email address.

SPF and DKIM should be used together to improve deliverability rates and reduce spam. With SendPulse, one can easily set up SPF and DKIM in simple steps to achieve this.

Set SPF and DKIM records

How to measure email deliverability?

Here is a walkthrough of how to gauge email deliverability with SendPulse.

  1. Go to “My campaigns”. Log in to your SendPulse account and navigate to “My campaigns.”
  2. Select the necessary campaign. After that, select the email campaign you want to track from your list.
  3. Monitor campaign statistics. Track your various email campaign statistics such as: emails delivered, email open rate, CTR, spam complaint, error statistics, etc. With error stat, you can find out the reasons why your emails have failed to reach the inbox. These include spam, “temporarily unavailable,” “address doesn’t exist,” “mailbox full,” and “marked spam by user.”

Here is the formula for calculating email delivery.

Email delivery

Best practices to improve email deliverability

To wind up, let’s highlight some useful tips for email deliverability:

  • Never buy email lists.
  • Use double opt-in subscription method
  • Segment your mailing list into groups to ensure their campaigns deliver optimal value.
  • Send out email campaigns regularly based on subscriber preferences.
  • Regularly monitor email campaign reports
  • Keep a clean subscriber list by regularly checking it for spam traps and invalid addresses.
  • Create an SPF record and configure DKIM

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