Email Deliverability: what is it and how to improve it
Marketers have to do everything in their power to protect their email deliverability. You might ask yourself why. Imagine putting a great amount of time and effort, just to see messages landing in the spam folder.
Having bad email deliverability can do that. But what does this concept mean and what does it stand for?
We prepared this article with everything you should know about email deliverability, how you can protect it, and tips to improve it. This way, you can make your email marketing campaigns more profitable. In this content you will learn:
- What is Email Deliverability?
- Email Deliver vs Email Deliverability: what’s the difference?
- Why is email deliverability so important?
- How to improve your deliverability
- Email Deliverability: FAQs
What is Email Deliverability?
The Email Deliverability Rate measures how successful you are in reaching real mailboxes. Basically, it represents the number of emails that were sent and delivered.
Receiving many spam complaints or having many bounces are some of the clear signs showing your deliverability needs improvement.
Check the four factors that causes an immediate impact on your email deliverability:
- authentication: you must use some kind of email authentication service to avoid being marked as a spam sender;
- reputation: it’s the assessment that your email address has, according to ISPs (Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo, among others). They evaluate aspects such as fewer spam complaints, no spam traps or blocklists, fewer bounces, and consistent sending volume;
- infrastructure: it’s the way your emails are sent, and the tools (hardware and software) used to send them. For example, MX records for your sender domain, shared IPs, IPs for high-volume senders, and IPs for time-sensitive campaigns, among others are considered infrastructure;
- content: it is defined by what texts, images, and videos (and other kinds of communication) are you sending to your subscribers through email.
There are also other factors that are considered positive to your email deliverability, such as:
- Opt-in email lists;
- easy unsubscribe process;
- email list segmentation;
- high engagement.
Email Delivery vs Email Deliverability: what’s the difference?
Email delivery and email deliverability refer to different stages of the sending process. However, both are frequently taken as the same thing. It’s important to understand the differences between them in order to improve communication through email.
It is the stage when the email is delivered to the receiving server. Sometimes, senders have an acceptable delivery, but the email deliverability is very far from the ideal.
This is due to the fact that an email can land in spam folders, which means the message never got to its final destination, the inbox.
It is in this stage that bounces happen. In this case, Email Services Providers (ESPs) will inform you why the emails weren’t delivered through an error notification. This way, the sender will know if the problem was caused by a temporary situation (soft bounce) or a permanent one (hard bounce).
Senders must read it attentively and try to solve the issue as soon as possible to prevent bounces from happening again.
It is the stage when the email arrives at the receiving address (real inboxes). After the email leaves the server and is directed to its destination, there are some obstacles to be overcome, such as spam filters.
As it is related to engagement, adequate email deliverability is hard and constant work. Many factors are taken into account in this stage of the sending process, for instance:
- Bounce Rates must be as low as possible to guarantee good deliverability;
- Open Rate, in turn, must be high;
- Unsubscribe process has to be easy;
- Click-through Rate has to be high;
- Your domain mustn’t receive many spam complaints.
These factors are some of the characteristics associated with good deliverability. Monitoring KPIs and marketing metrics is indispensable to understanding how your audience is receiving your content.
The analysis of these numbers will establish what the next steps are in your marketing campaigns.
Why is email deliverability so important?
What’s the point of writing the best emails if they are going to land in the spam folder? Or worse, they might bounce, returning to you? When you think about these questions, it’s easy to picture the importance of email deliverability.
Following, you can check examples of powerful deliverability.
- The ability to land in real mailboxes will provide a high return on investments: to happen, email marketing campaigns need investment. If the messages are not delivered, you have just lost money. However, if you reach mailboxes, this investment will be compounded, boosting your ROI;
- Good deliverability will keep you away from blocklists: a nightmare for every email sender is to be classified as a dangerous agent in the online world. Having a good online reputation is the ultimate desire here. Protecting your deliverability is the same as taking care of your name in the online universe;
- Understanding deliverability helps you understand your audience: users engaging or not with certain campaigns is fundamental to have some insight about how strong your strategies are. If they don’t even land in mailboxes, it will be impossible to study your audience.
There is no need to further explain the importance of protecting your email deliverability. It is just as important as protecting the physical location of one company.
You do everything to keep it clean, safe, and free of dangers and threats, right? You should do the same to email deliverability.
How to improve your deliverability?
Your email deliverability needs constant care. Improving your ability to have your emails delivered is one of the biggest challenges marketers face. Nevertheless, it all comes down to a few requirements.
If you pay attention to them, you will be able to achieve more success in email marketing campaigns. Let’s get acquainted with them, shall we?
Take care of your sender reputation
Senders that have a faulty reputation usually have trouble with email deliverability. Protecting your reputation as a sender is fundamental to making your emails delivered. There are some positive practices that you should do to protect your sender reputation, such as:
- your sending volume must be consistent and organized, that is, sending emails at random moments is not an option if you want to cause a good impression in relation to ISPs;
- always clean your email lists, to remove invalid addresses and other kinds of emails that can destroy your reputation;
- be aware of spam complaints, focus on the content you produce, get permission from the user to send emails, and let subscribers choose the frequency of the messages, as well as their types;
- do everything you can to stay away from blocklists, respecting the security guidelines present in the legislation.
Such actions are the most important ones when we talk about protecting your email deliverability. Not only will you have a better online reputation, but they also will make you provide a better experience for your subscribers.
Use sender authentication
Using authentication protocols is primordial to eliminating any problem related to having your emails delivered. These protocols help ISPs in their analysis to determine if an email is legitimate or not.
This is even more essential when you use services from a third party to send emails on your behalf. If the pieces of information, related to the origin of the email and the service used for its delivery, spam filters will be activated, causing a decrease in the email deliverability.
You need to authorize and legitimate every domain or sender IP that is employed to send messages to your audience. When you don’t do that, the messages sent through other services will be taken as spam, which is terrible for your online reputation.
Emails must be properly authenticated. Setting up an SPF record to verify and authorize addresses to send emails under your name is recommendable to protect your domain and improve your email deliverability.
Segment your audience
Every audience is plural, which means emails must be personalized. The time of writing messages as if your public were composed of only one profile of consumer is long gone.
That’s why you have to segment your audience, according to the criterion you see fit. For instance, you might want to consider the location, gender, behavior on your platforms, stage on the sales funnel, and age, as smaller groups that belong to your target audience.
Email list management is the first thing you have to do when planning a new project. This way, you can better analyze which segment can have more engagement in a marketing campaign.
Never treat your subscribers as if they were all the same. They are all different, and these differences should be explored, never ignored. This is one of the most important strategies to improve your email deliverability.
Keep your lists clean
Some emails never get to see their recipients, partly because of poor hygiene on email lists. That’s why marketers must clean email lists frequently, removing addresses that are unengaged in responding to your pieces of communication, identifying invalid addresses to delete them, and locating disposable addresses as well.
These email addresses might be the reason why you are receiving spam flags. Cleaning your lists can lead your company to a higher Open Rate and Click Through Rate. This will help you lower bounces, make you more respected as a sender, and the list of benefits goes on.
Using an email checker tool to verify and validate email addresses is one thing that helps you keep your mailing lists clean.
Another way to verify and validate email addresses, to protect your email deliverability is using the email verifier tool by SafetyMails. Find out and learn all about improving your email deliverability.
Email Deliverability: FAQs
Email deliverability can be defined as the ability to have your messages delivered to their final destinations, that is, reaching real mailboxes.
It measures the likelihood of email campaigns reaching the target audience, considering relevant aspects, such as:
. spam-related problems;
. overall engagement.
There isn’t a magic number to be associated with good email deliverability. You should aim at reaching 95% or higher if you are a mass email service provider.
There are some things you can’t control, so a rate of 100% is unrealistic. For instance, it’s impossible to know when someone’s mailbox is full, or when there will be a server malfunction, even though these are causes for emails to bounce.
Nevertheless, you should do everything within your reach to keep this rate as high as possible. Finally, the overall Bounce Rate (soft and hard bounces) shouldn’t be higher than 3%.
The email deliverability is connected to four aspects:
. domain reputation;
If you are currently having problems with your email deliverability or experiencing too many bounces or spam complaints, you should review the best practices in these aspects.
As examples of what should be done when your deliverability is weak, you can consider:
. reducing spam complaints;
. checking if your domain or sender IP is present in blocklists;
. cleaning your email lists regularly;
. verifying and validating email addresses through an email checker service, such as SafetyMails;
. adopting Opt-in mailing lists;
. authenticate services to send emails on your behalf through SPF records;
. reviewing the quality of your content;
. studying your bounces and fixing the issues presented by error notifications;
. scheduling your emails to be sent with frequency and consistency;
. asking for users’ consent before sending any messages;
. letting subscribers choose their email preferences;
. checking if the services you use to manage lists are trustworthy;
. respecting the legislation that regulates the market for mass email senders;
. adopting an easy method to unsubscribe.
This long list of tasks will make you achieve the email deliverability you expect, while you help to turn the online world into a safer place by helping spam filters stop the circulation of poisonous emails.
Many things can hurt your email deliverability, hence, your ability to reach users’ mailboxes. Some of the actions that hurt your email deliverability are:
. having too many bounces;
. hitting a lot of spam traps;
. receiving countless spam complaints;
. being deleted without being opened;
. poor engagement;
. sending mass emails inadvertently;
. not authenticating sender IPs
The content you send also affects your email deliverability. If you use spammy words or sentences, spam filters will be triggered, so your messages won’t arrive at their final destination.
If the messages are uninteresting or not targeted to specific audiences, you will eventually be marked as spam, which is another factor that affects your email deliverability. Engagement is strictly linked to the ability to land in real mailboxes.