What is Email Deliverability?
To ensure clarity, let’s establish a common understanding of the distinction between “Delivered” and “Deliverability” since they have distinct meanings.
DELIVERED – This particular statistic can be observed in your SMTP dashboard along with metrics such as opens, replies, clicks, bounces, complaints, and more.
Examples: Mailgun Dashboard
DELIVERY – Delivery indicates the email has reached the recipient’s mail server, although its final destination within the recipient’s email account may vary. It could land in the inbox, spam folder, promotions tab, updates section, or elsewhere. While there is a possibility that the mail server may choose not to deliver it to the email account, this is less common, as most mail servers prefer to reject the email outright and provide feedback to the sender.
This situation can be likened to when a postal carrier marks a package as “delivered” in their system, but it is nowhere to be found in your mailbox. As a result, you may search around your doorstep and inquire with neighbors if they received it by mistake but ultimately need help finding a trace of it.
An ideal Delivery rate is 98% or higher. Why? Because the alternative is not desirable. The opposite of “Delivered” is “Undelivered,” indicating that the email failed to reach its destination. It could have bounced, been rejected by the receiving mail server, or experienced other delivery issues. None of these outcomes align with our objectives.
It’s worth noting that many email marketing tools do not provide the “Delivered” statistic. Why? Because it would require them to be accountable for it. Instead, they often focus on metrics such as the number of recipients in a campaign or automation and then skip over the “Delivered” metric to display only the Open rate.
An ideal Deliverability rate would be as close to 100% as possible. However, it’s important to note that achieving a 100% inbox delivery rate every time is not realistically attainable due to various factors at play. Understanding these factors is crucial to optimize deliverability and strive for the highest possible success rate.
FACTORS influencing email deliverability include:
- IP and domain reputation: Reputation is crucial and is influenced by volume, consistency, and engagement metrics such as opens, clicks, replies, bounces, complaints, and unsubscribes.
- Individual Email Service Provider (ESP) filtering preferences: Different email service providers have their own filtering algorithms but don’t disclose their exact logic.
- Authentication: Proper configuration of DNS records like SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and MX records is essential to avoid spam and ensure delivery.
- Domain age: Both root domains and subdomains are affected by domain age, and starting with a new domain requires a gradual warm-up process to establish a reputation.
- Domain suffix: Certain domain suffixes have a better reputation, such as .com, .co, .net, and .org, while others may be associated with spam. Check here.
- The subject line and body copy: The content of your email, including the subject line and body copy, impacts deliverability. Avoid using spammy words or phrases, and optimize your messaging.
- Blacklistings: Being blacklisted can severely impact deliverability. Regularly check if your domain or IP is listed on any blacklists. Check here.
- Link types, link length, number of links, and link reputation: Including links in your email can affect deliverability, especially if they are associated with blacklists or have a poor reputation.
- Text to HTML ratio: Balancing text and HTML content in your email is important. While some HTML templates can be used, it’s generally recommended to have a higher ratio of text content.
- Volume and consistency: The volume, speed, and frequency of your email can influence domain or IP reputation, so it’s crucial to avoid spam-like sending behavior.
- Recipient email behavior: How recipients interact with their own email accounts can impact the delivery of your emails. Understanding recipient behavior and incorporating it into your deliverability strategy is valuable.
These are just some of the factors that can affect email deliverability, and there are many others to consider as well.
While we may not have control over every factor influencing deliverability, it’s crucial to identify and focus on the aspects we can control, even if they offer limited influence. By taking charge of these controllable factors, we should strive to exert maximum control over them and make every effort to manage them effectively.
If you need assistance, we’re here to help!
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