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What does Deliverability mean?

Florian Vierke, Senior Manager in Deliverability Services @ Mapp
What does Deliverability mean?
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Deliverability supports clients with the core function of their email business: delivering email to the client’s inboxes. It’s usually measured as the percentage of emails accepted by the internet service provider (ISP).

While email deliverability is often thought about as the emails you’ve sent that had gotten lost on their way to your customer’s inboxes, it also refers to the inbox placement of that email, be it the inbox, promotions tab, or spam folder.

At first glance, deliverability may seem straightforward. But really, it presents several challenges.

Understanding the Email Ecosystem

Deliverability can also be viewed as an interface or translator between the various players in the email business. To navigate your emails successfully through the jungle of the World Wide Web and ensure they reach customers’ inboxes, you need to understand all involved parties, goals, and challenges.

Mapp's diagram on where Deliverability sits in the email ecosystem

On the client side, deliverability plays a pivotal role in supporting the entire customer lifecycle: starting from vetting prospects and supporting pre-sales calls, deliverability does the IP onboarding, warmup, and supports clients in production with inbox support.

On the technical side, deliverability needs to understand ISPs (Internet Service providers). Delivering email simply means following the rules of the ISP. Those are usually checked with different metrics and summarized in a “reputation” value. Blocklists (formerly known as blacklists) usually check list-management practices. This information is played back to the ISPs, or IPs/Domains are blocklisted. And finally, there are technical issues, from time to time, that require “finetuning” between two (or more) communicating mail servers.

Mapp's diagram on what impact email sender reputation and impacts deliverability

Why Does Deliverability Matter?

Email marketers rely on deliverability to gauge whether their emails are effectively reaching their customers. The deliverability rate, which indicates the percentage of successfully delivered emails, holds huge importance.

Because even if you achieve a 95% deliverability rate, the remaining 5% of recipients will never see your email – and these could be high-value customers. Pair that with an open rate of around 20-30%, and you have to figure out if those emails are even landing in your recipients’ inboxes. But it’s often difficult to get clear answers as to where your emails are going.

Instead, your strategy should be inbox placement – that’s ensuring every subscriber can engage with your emails.

What Are the Common Causes of Poor Email Deliverability?

  1. Unengaged Subscribers: There are a portion of recipients who aren’t opening or interacting with your emails. ISPs might mark your messages as less relevant, which leads to lower inbox placement.
  2. Spam Traps: Sending emails to inactive or outdated email addresses can trigger spam traps, indicating poor list hygiene and a negative impact on your reputation.
  3. High Bounce Rates: Frequent bouncing of emails can signal ISPs that your list is outdated or poorly managed. This affects your deliverability.
  4. Unoptimized Content: Emails with excessive images, certain keywords, or inadequate text-to-image ratios trigger spam filters, reducing deliverability.
  5. Misleading Subject Lines: Deceptive or misleading subject lines can lead to recipients marking your emails as spam. This harms your sender reputation.
  6. Authentication Failures: Inadequate implementation of SPF, DKIM, and DMARC protocols can result in ISPs marking your emails as suspicious.
  7. Sending Frequency: One that’s often overlooked are the drastic changes in your sending frequency or volume can raise red flags for ISPs and affect your deliverability. Sending too many emails in a short span can be marked as spammy behavior, impacting your deliverability.
  8. IP Reputation: Sharing IP addresses with other senders, especially those with poor sending practices, can negatively affect your IP reputation.

By not addressing the issues above, you could have a low sender reputation. Factors like spam complaints, blacklisting, and authentication issues, contribute to this – and a poor reputation often leads to your emails being filtered to spam folders.

Improve Your Deliverability the Mapp Way

Our Deliverability Team are experts in setting up and monitoring your domains, supporting its clients in 6 languages (English, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese) with a huge network built over years. Our team will take you through a swift deliverability audit to ensure your domains will be protected against future phishing attempts, and we distribute a weekly report to our clients while monitoring and reviewing your activity.

If you’re not yet a Mapp customer but need help with your deliverability, learn all about our deliverability services here!

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