How to Check and Improve Email Deliverability

 Email deliverability is an integral component of your email marketing efforts. No matter how much time and money you spend on designing the perfect email, it won’t work unless you can deliver it.

Before unleashing your email marketing campaign, it’s important to check email deliverability. By ensuring all your emails reach the target audience, you are improving your chances of achieving conversions.

Email deliverability testing isn’t just important for pushing the target audience down the sales funnel. You need it to retain the existing clients and nurture their loyalty.

What is Email Deliverability?

It is an important metric that can help you build and adjust your marketing campaign. It’s important to understand that email delivery and deliverability are two different things.

  •         Email delivery – when the email is delivered to the destination server.
  •         Email deliverability – when an email arrives at the recipient’s inbox successfully.

You can have an excellent email delivery rate but poor email deliverability. When the email arrives at the server, it can be filtered as spam and settle into the spam folder, thus hindering your deliverability rates.

If the email is rejected by the server, you can get information about why it happened. If it’s filtered down the road, you may never know what went wrong. Checking email deliverability can shed the light on what you are doing right or wrong.


Why Email Deliverability Check is Important


1. Successful Marketing Campaign

Email deliverability is part of the email marketing campaign’s foundation. You are paying the email service provider (ESP) to deliver emails. However, their deliverability depends on your efforts. If the email doesn’t reach the recipient, the ROI of the marketing campaign goes down.

While email marketing generates a huge ROI, it’s impossible to achieve unless the deliverability rates are sufficient.

Marketing teams spend time and money crafting the ideal email with the highest conversion and relationship-building potential. Without high deliverability, it’s lost in vain.

2. Winning the Inbox Competition

Since the fight for the client’s attention is becoming more and more rigorous, one error along the marketing campaign route could turn into a huge monetary loss.

By testing, you can make sure the email ends up in the inbox instead of the spam folder. Your competition potential in the spam folder is at 0%.

 How to Test Email Deliverability

To test your deliverability, you need to take advantage of email deliverability testing tools. You need to use them before you start the campaign and throughout the process.

If you suspect that delivery rates are too low or an ESP is blocking you, you need to check deliverability issues. Such a tool can help you discover the cause of the deliverability problem.

What Does The Email Deliverability Test Check?

When you use a special tool, the program will look into the following issues:

  •         Spam potential – the tool checks for the spam potential of your email. Will an ESP view your email as spam? If the test comes up positive, you need to adjust the structure and contents of your email. The tool should also show if you are blacklisted or have any broken links in the message
  •         Email Address validation – the email validation tool checks the address you are sending the email to. It gives you answers to the following questions. Can it receive emails? Does it have typos?  Is it a spam trap? What is the status of the email domain? Is the email active? When did the user open it the last time?


How to Improve Email Deliverability: Best Practices

How can you improve the deliverability of your emails? Take advantage of the below practices to ensure email quality and deliverability.

1. Practice Deliverability Monitoring

Even if the email deliverability test came up “clean”, you still need to continue monitoring the process. Make sure to check the quality of your emails and email addresses throughout your campaign.

An email address can go inactive at any time, lowering your deliverability rates and hindering your marketing campaign.

2. Make Your IP Address Trustworthy

ISP filters defend your potential clients against spammy emails. How can you show these filters that your IP address deserves their trust? You can start by sending small batches of emails solely to addressees, whom you know are engaged.

The more emails are received, opened, and not sent to the spam folder, the more trustworthy your IP address appears. Increase the number of such emails you send slowly.

3. Boost Your Sender Reputation

Your sender’s reputation is evaluated by using such metrics as unsubscribing rates and spam reports.

Check your sender reputation. If it’s low, your email deliverability can be low as well. Improve the sender’s reputation, and good email deliverability rates will follow.

4. Set up A Sending Schedule

Your emails may be rejected is if you send them in an erratic fashion. Irregular email sending activity may make filters view your message as spammy. Set up and email sending schedule and stick to it.

5. Improve Your Content

Messages with plenty of links (especially broken), capitalized phrases in headings, and thin content may be filtered out as spam. Common red flags in the headings are “FREE”, “Risk-Free”, and “Debt”

Make sure your emails are filled with high-quality content, images, and links. The more value your emails bring, the more likely they are to be opened. Thus, you can earn the trust of ESP and improve email deliverability.  

6. Use the Brand Name in the “From” Line

Using the brand name in the “from” line (e.g. Jennifer from Byteplant) can reduce the spam complaints and boost open rates. Such emails look professional and trustworthy.

7. Check Blacklists

If you can’t find the reason for your email deliverability problems, your IP may have been blacklisted. You can check the MX Lookup Tool to see if that’s the case.

If you find your IP on such lists, you can send a request to be removed. Meanwhile, you’d need to rethink your email sending strategies to avoid such lists in the future.


Frequently Asked Questions

What affects email deliverability?

Deliverability is affected by various parameters. If you believe that your emails aren’t reaching the subscribers’ inboxes or end up in the spam folder, you need to review the following factors.

  •         The content of your message is extremely important for deliverability issues. From enticing subject lines to images and links, the quality and proper structure of the content can make a difference between being opened and being blocked by spam filters.
  •         The sending history and sender reputation also affect your email deliverability. If your IP address or domain appear suspicious, your message may never reach its destination. If you keep sending suspicious messages, your email address and IP will eventually be blacklisted. For example, if you send 10 messages daily, suddenly starting to send 100 messages per day may appear suspicious to the recipient’s ESP (email service provider).
  •         The email deliverability could also depend on how available the recipient’s system is. A sending serve queues messages for some time when the receiving server is unavailable. The email may be delivered later once the server becomes available.

How can I avoid spam filters?

Spam filters are the key barriers that prevent you from upping your deliverability rate. No matter how well designed your email is, it may never reach the inbox unless you consider the spam filters. Before sending emails, make sure you take care of the following issues:

  •         Always use a recognizable sender’s name.
  •         The ESP you use is reliable and reputable.
  •         Check if your address may have been blacklisted.
  •         Test the quality of your email before sending it to subscribers’ inboxes. You can see if it may be flagged by the common spam filters.
  •         Don’t use Caps for each letter of your subject line.
  •         Keep your email list clean.
  •         Never buy email lists since they may contain invalid addresses and spam traps.
  •         Get rid of inactive subscribers. They may damage your domain reputation.
  •         Always provide the unsubscription options according to the CAN-SPAM act.
  •         Steer clear of spam trigger words.
  •         Don’t add attachments.
  •         Avoid overusing media in the message’s body since it can be marked as adult content.

What is a sender reputation?

Sender reputation is one of the major factors that affect your email deliverability. It’s a score your company is assigned by the Internet Service Provider when you send an email. The higher this score is, the more likely your message will reach the inboxes of your subscribers.

If this score goes down substantially, the ISP may start sending your emails to the subscribers’ spam folders automatically. The following factors affect your sender reputation:

  •         The number of emails you send regularly.
  •         The number of recipients who mark your messages as spam.
  •         How often your emails hit the provider’s spam trap.
  •         How many blacklists your email address is on.
  •         How many emails you send bounce.
  •         How many recipients open your emails as well as reply, forward or delete them.
  •         How many recipients click on the links in the message’s body.
  •         How many recipients unsubscribe from your email list.

Each ISP has its own list of factors that go into determining the sender’s reputation. However, the general rules are similar for all of them.

What is an open rate?

Open rate is a metric that shows the percentage of emails that were opened by the recipients and subscribers. It is an indicator of how well you designed your email messages and managed to avoid spam filters.

A good open rate is between 15% and 30% for the majority of industries. Generally, a company should work toward achieving an average open rate for the industry. A low open rate may mean that you need to adjust your email marketing tactics.

An open rate isn’t always an indicator of the company’s success. Ultimately, what matters is the number of conversions. If the recipient opens the email only to send the message to the spam folder, it’s obviously a failure. To improve your open rate, you should:

  •         Work on removing invalid addresses from your email lists in order to avoid hard bounces
  •         Segment your email list to design personalized messages for different segments of your target audience.
  •         Make sure your message is formatted to suit mobile users.

What are spam traps?

One of the reasons your email deliverability rate can suffer dramatically is if you fall into a spam trap.

A spam trap is an email address designed specifically to monitor the sender’s actions. The address isn’t actively used. However, if it receives an email, it raises a huge red flag. Because if such a message arrives at an invalid address, the company isn’t careful about checking its email lists. One of the easiest ways to be caught by the spam trap is to buy email lists.

What happens if a spam trap makes its way into your list? Depending on the organization that has created the trap and how often you hit it, you could face being blacklisted. Meanwhile, the ISP can block your IP address. That’s why you must clean your lists carefully before sending promotional emails.

Make sure to check your email lists at least twice a year by using an email validator.

Should I clean my subscriber list?

While it’s fairly easy to keep the email list clean, you should pay special attention to your subscriber list. These are the people who opted for receiving your emails. Can they possibly be a burden for your list? They can.

Some subscribers may have changed email addresses or unsubscribed. Others may have stopped needing your services and continuously send your messages to the spam folders. Make sure to run re-engagement campaigns occasionally to see if the subscribers still need your services. If not, remove them from your list timely since they could be damaging your open rate and sender’s reputation.

Final Thoughts

Checking email deliverability is an integral part of any email marketing campaign. By making sure your emails end up in the inbox, you are increasing the ROI of your promotional and retention efforts. 

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