email marketing

Email Deliverability

“The MONEY IS IN THE LIST” …..a common phrase you hear in digital marketing.

There is one big caveat – what if the emails never reach your intended audience? 

Email deliverability is the big white elephant in the room when running a marketing campaign.

What Is Email Deliverability?

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to a subscriber’s inbox. 

Why does Email Deliverability matters?

Sending emails used to be an innocuous activity. However, with the rise of the number of emails being sent, and receivers being overwhelmed with spammy emails, emails are attracting a lot of attention. Even cyber criminals are now using emails to trick recipients into downloading something to either harm them or use them as an avenue to harm others. This further decreases the likelihood of your target audience unwilling to open your emails, if they have been “tricked” before when they got into a world of trouble when opening up your email.  They have just been email spoofed. Things are definitely not looking good for emails.

In the world of marketing, when running an email campaign, if an email does not reach a subscriber’s inbox then the email campaign is as good as never ever being launched. There is no hope of anything happening if the email does not make it to a subscriber’s inbox. The best written ad copy ever drafted, or award-winning graphics are never going to be viewed and appreciated. Hence, getting email deliverability right is fundamental for any email campaign.

What affects Email Deliverability?

Several factors impact an email eventually arriving in a subscriber’s inbox. However, most of them work behind the scenes without your knowledge. For example, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) monitor their network for abnormal traffic,  domain authentication, domain blacklisted, etc. 

There are also things that campaign managers do that hurt deliverability, like sending emails without a custom domain, not practicing good list hygiene, etc.

Understanding these factors is crucial. It is the first thing any campaign manager should address when running any email campaign. 

Email Bounces

One of the things that any email user will experience by now is receiving an error message when delivering certain emails. They are termed – email bounces. Email bounces are emails the sender receives when the email does not reach the target audience. Understanding and taking actions to address these bounces is critical in ensuring email deliverability. If an ISP detects you are repeatedly sending an email that no longer exists, you will trigger their detection algorithm and land yourself on a blacklist.

Sender Reputation

Sender reputation is the reputation of the domain you are using to send out your email campaigns. Sender reputation is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100 to arrive at the sender score. A good sender score is key to great email deliverability.

Whenever an email campaign is run, a series of vetting checks are done by parties along the email route. They are done by email providers, ISPs, and even the recipient mail services. If they do not fulfil set criteria, the emails will land in the spam folders or not be received at all.  

So what factors increase or decrease a sender’s reputation?

The major consideration that affects your sender reputation is the volume of mail sent from your domain  and the frequency of these emails sent. If you have a large volume of mail going out each day, you will quickly be flagged as a spammer, and eventually land on a blacklist. You want to strategize on your email campaign and determine the volume and frequency that it should run.

Spam traps and blacklists

ISPs are aware that marketing managers love large mailing list. One of the tactics to quickly build a mailing list is to deploy email scarping software to collect emails from websites.  This poses problems for ISPs later on.

To counter such practices, ISPS set up spam traps. Spam traps are fake email accounts placed across the World Wide Web. They mimic real email accounts. Email harvesting bots will unknowingly harvest them and put them in their email database. The purpose of these fake emails is to get into the mailing list of such harvesting applications. Later, when an email is sent to any of these fake emails, ISPs who set them up, will know the authenticity of the sender and blacklist them. Your deliverability will immediately suffer after that.  Needless to say, you don’t want to be on any of these lists.  Hence, you do not want to deploy an email harvesting bot or purchase any email list. Instead, you are better off collecting emails the proper way.

The above are but just some factors that affect email deliverability, To ensure your marketing campaign is running in an optimized fashion, it is imperative that any campaign manager or business owner understands and addresses these issues.

Let’s have a discussion if you need help.