Email deliverability, which is the measurement of the effectiveness of email hitting the inbox without falling into the unsolicited category, is an essential aspect of email marketing that affects a brand’s relationship with inbox providers, their sending platforms, and also their subscribers.
It’s not just about drafting and sending messages. Still, the goal is to deliver messages to the right audience at the right time while making sure that they receive the letters instead of being directed into the unsolicited email folder.
Three essential categories involve email deliverability: Delivery rate, Deliverability, and Placement
Also called as Acceptance rate, the delivery rate is the confirmation of the mail getting accepted into the Mailbox provider servers or the Internet Service Providers by sending back a message to confirm the status of the shipped email, whether it has been accepted or rejected.
On the other hand, Deliverability is the measurement of inbox placement after the message gets delivered. In contrast, Placement refers to the tab that the sent message goes to within a subscriber’s inbox.
An important question then arises, what affects email deliverability, what leads to email either getting accepted or rejected, or whether they landed in the correct folder or not.
Reasons why Email Deliverability is important:
Deliverability is an email marketer’s best companion, mainly because email provides the highest ROI compared to any other digital marketing channel. The following points can elucidate its importance.
- The foundation for email ROI is built on reaching the inbox: Brands that have invested time, work, and money into email marketing are seeing their profits eroded by increased inbox competition, changing mailbox provider requirements, and shifting markets. As a result, Marketers want more opens, clicks, and conversions, but that isn’t possible unless the message reaches the recipient’s inbox. If consumers don’t see the notes in their inbox, they won’t respond to them or connect with the brand sending those messages.
- Good Deliverability ensures that investment made in email marketing doesn’t go wasted: There is nothing more irritating than spending time and effort strategizing, creating, designing, and sending messages and finding that they are getting categorized into the recipients’ unsolicited email folders or unable to deliver emails because of being blocked by a certain MBP. This is because the failure of Deliverability results in direct revenue loss due to recipients’ inability to interact with the sent emails.
- Deliverability leads to better metrics and a higher ROI: Unlike the way it used to be, MPBs are putting a lot more emphasis on recipient interaction than before. And this is for both the good kinds of engagement like opens, clicks, and answers, as well as harmful types like user complaints, email deletion without opening, and even a lack of involvement. MBPs will recognize the Placement of emails belonging in the inbox if the focus is on crafting emails that the readers want to connect with and cultivating an audience that finds value in the sent email. Brands will grow a more extensive and more qualified email list that will lead to more money for them if they can regularly hit the inbox by following the industry’s best practices and monitoring the metrics to ensure continued targeting of the right audience.
- A MBP must distinguish malicious users from non-malicious ones: It’s incredible how big the internet is and how many fraudulent emails are sent every day. Statistically, Gmail receives more than 50% of unsolicited emails, with more than 100 million phishing emails per day and 10 million emails blocked every minute.
With so many nasty emails being sent to MBPs every day, it is of utmost importance for legitimate senders to set themselves apart from spammers and fraudsters by following industry best practices. It will help them build a list of highly engaged recipients while also demonstrating to MBPs that the recipients look forward to their emails.
Factors that affect Email Deliverability:
- Reputation (IP and Domain): It is essential to ensure both the sending IP and sending domain maintain a strong reputation. You can track this reputation with free tools designed to check domain and IP against common blocklists and generate reports directly from Mailbox provider servers.
- Sending Infrastructure: Apart from maintaining the requisite reputation, another essential aspect to take care of is to ensure proper configuration of the ESP and internal mailing system for email creation and sending along with appropriate management. All engagement data might include opens and clicks and sender reputation impacting events like email bounces, unsubscribing of emails, and any complaints made.
- Authentication: The MBPs should ensure to set up SPF and DKIM records on the sending domain so that you can authenticate the sender’s identity. But just this is not enough as even spammers establish too. Hence, you should set up newer authentication protocols like DMARC to protect the sender’s reputation when using the sending domain. Also, it’s an excellent option to look into the many other online resources available to set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC
- List collection and management practices: Consistent inbox placement necessitates permission. If the mails are sent to those who haven’t signed up for it, then the engagement rates of the sender get affected. And the same can be said for those who didn’t open the mails despite signing up for it.
Another aspect to be taken care of is the data collection practices. Witnessing low delivery rates is a clear indication of poor data collection practices. If there are hard bounces, then the data collection practices are the first thing you should look into.
Along with the issue mentioned above, this aspect of low delivery rates also points to sender reputation issues if the mails are getting categorized into the unsolicited email folder or blocked because of any policy reasons.
And even after achieving reasonable delivery rates, if the marketing campaigns are returning open rates less than 15-20%, then clearly, it’s the targeting that you should look into.
- Email contents: The content of the email does play a significant part. Issues such as HTML emails containing only images but no texts, or links in the body of the email having a poor reputation, are all the catalyst that drives the email into the unsolicited email category.
Also, it is not necessary that an email with any particular subject line would be categorized as unsolicited. Often, it’s not the word in the subject line, but it’s the recipient’s response that decides the results or the outcome.
Without a doubt, the importance of mastering email deliverability and the different ways by which brands can influence it, along with understanding their own sending reputation, cannot be emphasized any less for achieving long-term success with the email marketing campaigns.
Encircl is an award-winning digital marketing services and products company catering to agencies and enterprises. Explore our Email Deliverability services and discuss how we can support your next project.