header image of the blog title "Understanding Email Deliverability: A Quick Guide" with a white background of a laptop's keyboard and email icons flying out from the screen of the laptop
header image of the blog title "Understanding Email Deliverability: A Quick Guide" with a white background of a laptop's keyboard and email icons flying out from the screen of the laptop

Understanding Email Deliverability: A Quick Guide

October 10, 2017 Email Deliverability, Email Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Automation, Marketing Automation Platforms, Marketing Tips 0 Comments

One of the most often overlooked aspects of email marketing is email deliverability – the ability to deliver an email to an inbox.

An email marketer needs to write relevant and engaging content that converts leads into sales. He or she is also required to effectively design an email template that will deliver the right message to the recipients. Besides that, an email marketer should come up with a landing page that is engaging enough to urge a subscriber to take the desired action.

However, all of this work will be put to waste if an email marketer does not have a solid understanding of what email deliverability is and why it is important.

What Is Email Deliverability?

It is a term used in email marketing campaign that refers to the ability to deliver an email to a recipient’s inbox, instead of going to the spam folder. This is what email marketers use to determine the capacity of their email campaigns to reach the inboxes of their subscribers and avoid the chances of their messages to be lost or blocked. It is different from the term “email delivery” which is often called as “acceptance rate.”

a cardboard image with blue envelopes flying out from a white hand drawing, this is an example of an email marketing campaign

3 Factors That Affect Email Deliverability

Three elements affect the deliverability of an email:

  1. Identification. In this stage, the subscriber’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) set a standard of protocols such as Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC); DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) to determine the sender’s identity. The protocols serve as a gatekeeper to the recipient’s inbox.
  2. Reputation. It is a score given to the domain of the sender that determines what the ISP will do to an email, will it go to the subscriber’s inbox or spam folder? This score shows the level of trustworthiness of a sender and is based on some factors such as spam trap hits, email volume, complaint rates, bounce rates, blacklist listings, IP address and domain reputation.
  3. Content. It is important that the content of an email is high-quality and relevant. The quality of an email marketing copy has a strong influence on whether or not it is delivered to the subscriber’s inbox. An email marketer needs to avoid bad practices such as need data hygiene and using spammy subject lines so that the subscriber’s ISP would not consider the email as a red flag and end up in the spam trap.

Common Email Deliverability Terminologies

The key phrases that every email marketer needs to know are the following:

  1. Blacklist

It is a real-time database that filters out spam email. It determines whether or not an email will be delivered to a recipient’s inbox. Knowing what an email blacklist is, helps email marketers improve their deliverability, reputation score, and user experience regarding recipient is opening the email.

  1. CAN-SPAM Act

It is a law that protects consumers. It establishes a requirement for all commercial messages and gives a recipient the right to stop receiving unsolicited commercial email. Violators of this law are given strict penalties.

The impact requirements of this law are:

– The sender must not use fake or deceptive header information.

– The sender must not use misleading subject lines

– The message must be identified as an ad

– The message must include an authentic physical postal address to inform recipients where the sender is located

– The message must include a clear explanation of how a recipient opt-out or unsubscribe from receiving emails in the future

– The sender must recognize an opt-out request within ten business days

  1. Hard Bounce

There are different types of bounces, one of which is the hard bounce. A hard bounce happens when an email is permanently rejected and returned to the sender because the email address does not exist or is invalid.

  1. Soft Bounce

A soft bounce is another type of an email bounce wherein an email with a valid address bounces back because of the following reasons:

– The recipient’s mailbox is full

– The server of the recipient is down,

– The email is too large for the recipient’s inbox

  1. Spam Trap or Honey Pot

It is a type of tool used by major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and blacklist providers. It does fraud management wherein it identifies the spammers and blocks their emails.

There are different types of spam traps:

– Pure spam traps are created with a sole purpose of attracting spammers by ruling them out as a bait.

– Recycled email addresses are very old email addresses that the original owner is no longer using. This type of spam trap shows that the owner does not keep its email list up to date.

– Invalid email addresses are addresses that have typos. It can also be a case wherein someone subscribes to something using a fake email address. This might because they do not want to receive any email.

Importance of Email Deliverability

Deliverability involves how email marketers measure the success of their campaign by safeguarding their messages to get into their customer’s’ mailbox.

Email marketers need to make sure that a recipient wants to read the email they sent. One significant factor for good email deliverability is email reputation. This score will determine whether or not an email would make it into the inbox of the recipient. Which is why it is important that email marketers need to know what the factors are that negatively affect their email reputation.

3 white envelopes flying out from a blue mail box with a violet background, this is an exmaple of email deliverability

Another reason why email marketers should care about email deliverability is they would know how their emails would not be labeled as a spammer.

One thing that email marketers can do to avoid their emails from ending up in the spam folder is setting clear expectations for recipients. By creating relevant content, an email will get a good reputation score and are routed to the recipient’s inbox.

An email-marketing program is only successful if it has a good amount of subscribers who receive and respond to the messages sent to them. By knowing the main factors and key phrases of email marketing services, an email marketer would be able to gain a better understanding and value its importance that will help them create a successful campaign.

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