Email deliverability is more than just another concept in digital marketing. It is a metric that should matter to you, your audience and your email marketing strategy.
In 2020, Influencer Marketing Hub reported that 20.4% of all emails either go to spam or remain undelivered.
If this is your first time hearing this term, keep this in mind: the best email campaigns will not be successful without following a deliverability process and having the best practices in place.
Email deliverability can seem complicated, but I’m here to help make it a tad easier.
Delivery Vs. Deliverability | What’s the Difference?
Email Delivery and Email Deliverability sound extremely similar but they are different and are both important concepts to remember in email marketing. In some ways their functionality is like magic and in another way like science. Let’s break down the definition of both:
Email Delivery is when the email is successfully sent to the server of the recipient.
Email Deliverability is defined as the measurement and understanding of how successful a sender is at getting their marketing email into people’s inboxes.
Keep in mind that it is possible to have good email delivery where the email lands in the person’s inbox but poor deliverability in that your emails land in Spam folder.
Email Delivery refers to whether or not an email server accepts the message. Think of the Email Delivery as the first part of the email’s journey to successfully arriving in the inbox.
Have you ever sent an email to someone and received a “message rejected” response? That message is usually coming from an Email Service Providers (ESP), to let you know that your message successfully reached the ESP, but it was not delivered to an inbox.
Usually the response contains details about why the message was not delivered–for example, the address does not exist, or the inbox has been deactivated. Messages that do not reach the recipient’s inbox for any reason are generally referred to as bounced.
The Predictive Email Marketing App allows you to accurately track and measure delivery rates and to know which of your emails are accepted versus bounced. Bounced emails fall into two categories:
- Soft bounces happen when there is a temporary delivery error, such as when the server is unavailable or the inbox is full – when a soft bounce occurs, the Predictive server will attempt to resend the message three times and then will designate the address as an inactive bounced address.
- Hard bounces are a permanent error because the email address is not valid or is no longer active. After one hard bounce, Predictive automatically designates the email address as an inactive bounced address.
Now that your email has been accepted by the email server, what happens next?
Email Deliverability, at a high level, is the destination of that email once it reaches the recipient’s email server. That location could be : Spam, the main Inbox, a filtered location, or somewhere else. The reputation and history of the sender does play a part in the success of your deliverability. According to Socketlabs , your email service provider will give your IP address a score based on your sending practices–which is why it is so important to stop sending mail to addresses that have bounced (see above). This score determines whether or not your email will hit the inbox or hit the spam folder.
Be honest, how many messages in the spam folder are actually opened?
3 Reasons Why Email Deliverability Should Matter to Marketers
Poor email deliverability can have drastic negative effects on your business and brand. Picture this:
You invest $5,000+ in email marketing tools and resources to put together a campaign for your upcoming product launch. You’ve sent out several email blasts throughout the month and you haven’t received a single response. Instead your inbox is filled with “Kickback” emails, that are basically server rejection emails, or you may receive unsubscribe notices, because the recipients think that your messages are spam.
In this example, the work and time that went into putting together a beautiful campaign led to a negative return on the investment. Let’s dive into a few reasons why improving email deliverability should be a priority for marketers.
Your Brand Reputation Will Suffer
If your emails consistently land in the spam folder, your brand will not be viewed as authentic and that is dangerous. If your emails find their way to spam you run the risk being flagged by your potential customers’ data security systems. The spam folder is a location for unwanted, useless mail. It is more commonly referred to as the junk folder.
If the message you are hoping to get across to your audience is valuable, the last place you want your email to land is the junk folder.
As always, remember that the content of the message matters too- messages that look like spam will almost always be sent to the spam folder. With Predictive Marketing, you have tools like a built in Litmus test, to test and see if your email contains content that will be blocked by spam filters.
Your Competitors Will Have The Upper Hand
If you are struggling to get your emails to the top of your potential customers’ inboxes, your competitors with better email deliverability are probably having more email engagement. This means, they have more opportunities to connect and build trust with your potential customers and you are missing out on the attention and conversions they are receiving.
Missed Communication And Opportunities
For example, if part of your email marketing includes sending receipts and confirmation emails to your customers after a purchase, it is extremely important for that email to reach the inbox of the recipient and not spam. You run the risk of customer dissatisfaction if they are unable to find verification of their monetary purchases.
If there are changes and updates happening within your organization or services that you provide to your customers via email, it is important for those messages to land in the inbox as well. Usually email newsletters, help with delivering this type of information.