When it comes to the essential metrics to gauge the success of your email campaign, email deliverability ranks right at the top. The quality of your emails will not matter if your target audience can’t receive the email in the first place. In this article we will learn about email delivery and deliverability, which are similar-sounding but distinct from each other.
How Does The Email Travel From The Sender To The Recipient?
After you click on send, a lot goes on behind the scenes to deliver the email correctly to the recipients. You can better understand the difference between email delivery and email deliverability once you learn about the path of an email. Email transmission is similar to that of physical mail transmission.
- After you click on send, the email goes to the mail server. The mail server is governed by the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol or SMTP. SMTP is like the post office which receives the mail and prepares them to send them to the recipient.
- However, the SMTP can not read the domain name. It uses the DNS server to translate the email address of the person into an IP address.
- Once the IP address has been figured out, the SMTP checks if the domain has any mail exchange servers (MX).
- Finally, the SMTP sends the email to the recipient’s inbox.
Email Delivery and Email Deliverability
Email delivery is all about sending the email from your system to the recipient. If the email address is wrong, the email will bounce back to the sender. Frequent bouncing of emails will affect the sender’s reputation and will affect the email deliverability. Therefore, you should avoid buying email lists, as they are known to have higher bounce rates. Error with SMTP and DNS servers will also result in a lower email delivery rate.
On the other hand, email deliverability checks whether the email lands in the inbox or ends up in the spam folder. It is also known as inbox placement. While it is easier to track email delivery, it is hard to track email deliverability. The rate of email deliverability is often extrapolated from other data like bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, open rates, click-through rates, etc. If the spam filter finds anything dubious in your email, it will immediately flag it as spam, and the email will never reach your target audience’s inbox.
How Does a Spam Filter Work?
The sole objective of the spam filter is to keep intrusive emails out of the inbox. There are a few different types of spam filters that analyze different parts of the email. By understanding the workings of a spam filter, you should be able to design an email that passes through the filters seamlessly. Here are a few examples of spam filters.
Blacklist filter compares your email address with the list of spam email ids. If it matches, your emails will end up in the spam folder. The spam list is also updated frequently. Individuals may use customized blacklist filters to keep their inboxes clean.
Similarly, the header filter analyzes the head of the email to check the legitimacy of the sender. This includes analyzing the IP address of the spammers. Header filter also checks whether the email is a single copy or not. As you can see below, these two senders have almost similar headers, which means that this template has been used a few times. Emails like this go directly to the spam folder.
(Source: My Inbox)
As the name suggests, the content filter searches the body of the email for trigger words. The content of the spam emails is highly predictive, and words like ‘offer’ and ‘discount’ are used repeatedly. The content filter also flags the email as spam if it contains any abusive language. You can use the MailChimp template design to make unique email content to avoid this filter.
Try to structure your emails in a way to avoid these filters to increase your email deliverability rate.
How to Improve Deliverability?
Set the protocols in a manner such that it is easier to identify the sender of the emails. The protocols include Sender Policy Framework (SPF), Domain-Based Message Authentication Reporting and conformance (DMARC), and Domain key Identified Mail (DKIM).
You should ensure that the content of your emails is relevant and adds value to the life of the receiver. If you use scammy sentences like “Click here to make money easily”, you will most definitely get flagged as spam. Try to keep your emails clean and devoid of weird formatting and URL shorteners. The content of your email will be a defining factor in your email deliverability rate. The MailChimp template design ensures that your content seems legit.
Each internet service provider scores email senders according to their own criteria. The higher your score, the higher your deliverability rate. You can increase your reputation by generating positive behavior from your subscribers and decreasing the unsubscribe rate. You can also send personalized emails to your audience to boost your reputation amongst the ISPs.
How To Improve Your Email Delivery Rate?
Optimizing the email delivery process is comparatively easier than upgrading your email deliverability rate. To start the optimization process you need to maintain the hygiene of your email list. Maintaining the hygiene of the email list means removing the inactive subscribers, duplicate email addresses, role accounts, and addresses with incorrect domain names. Filtering will allow you to continually engage with your warmer audience while removing the colder ones. Through filtering, you will also reduce the number of bounces.
You should keep away from buying email lists. Instead, focus on creating opt-in forms for your website which stokes the curiosity of the visitors and makes them subscribe to your list. In addition to making your forms, send your subscribers confirmation emails.
Finally, you should authenticate your email address to avoid spoofing. If you are running an email marketing campaign from a verified business account, it will be easier for you to reach your audience as compared to using individual email accounts.
By leveraging the personal touch which the readers can feel through the email campaigns, you can score in the email deliverability space. And maintaining list hygiene can play a crucial role in boosting your email delivery rates. We hope this article has cleared the fog for you when it comes to email delivery and deliverability.
Author: Kevin George is the head of marketing at Email Uplers, that specializes in crafting Professional Email Templates, PSD to Email conversion, and Mailchimp Templates. Kevin loves gadgets, bikes & jazz, and he breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on email marketing blog.