In the ever-evolving landscape of digital communication, ensuring that your emails successfully land in your subscribers’ inboxes is critical for the success of your campaigns. Performing an email deliverability test plays a pivotal role in the process, helping you optimize your email campaigns. Spam filters today are highly intelligent and evolved — of all the e-mails sent in 2022, nearly 49% were identified as spam. So, it’s going to take a lot of diligence and testing to ensure your emails do actually land in your customer’s inbox.
By evaluating parameters such as your sender reputation, content quality, and technical configurations, an email deliverability test can help enhance your email delivery rates and achieve higher open rates and conversions, thereby maximizing the impact of your campaigns.
Curious to know more? We’re going to highlight the importance of email deliverability tests, understand how to run these tests to fine-tune your campaign, and then, we’re going to give you the ultimate play-by-play guide for taking your email marketing chops to the next level.
Table of Contents
- What is Email Deliverability?
- The Difference Between Email Deliverability and Delivery
- Factors That Affect Where Your Emails End Up
- How to Test Email Deliverability: Guide for 2023
- Improve Email Deliverability: Tips to Ensure Your Emails Reach the Inbox
- Campaign Refinery: The Best Email Deliverability Solution
- The Ultimate Guide to Email Deliverability — The Inbox Formula!
What is Email Deliverability?
We define email deliverability as the ability of an email to reach the intended recipient’s inbox successfully. High email deliverability is the ultimate goal for all senders, as it signifies that their messages consistently reach the inbox rather than getting exiled to the spam folder or undelivered.
Achieving strong email deliverability relies on numerous factors; this includes your sender reputation, the quality of the email content, authentication protocols (like SPF, DKIM, or DMARC), and compliance with email regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act. Out of these, your sender reputation is vital as a trust metric ESPs (and ISPs) assign to you to assess your credibility and legitimacy.
What is an Email Deliverability Test?
An email deliverability test thoroughly evaluates features that influence whether an email reaches the recipient’s inbox. It considers criteria such as sender reputation, content quality, and authentication status to measure the likelihood of successfully delivering your email. By identifying potential issues and optimizing key aspects, the test ensures your emails are not flagged as spam and consistently reach the recipients on your email lists.
Deliverability tests are crucial for marketers as they empower you to navigate the complex landscape of spam filters and email service provider algorithms. Ultimately, they can guide you toward achieving higher open rates and maximizing the ROI of your email marketing campaigns.
The Difference Between Email Deliverability and Delivery
Email deliverability and email delivery are related concepts, but it’s critical to understand the difference between the two, as they refer to different stages in the email-sending process. This is how they differ:
|Email Delivery||Email Deliverability|
|It includes the initial email delivery and the factors that influence whether the email is accepted and placed in the recipient’s inbox or the spam folder.||Email deliverability is a broader concept; it encompasses the entire journey of an email from the sender to the recipient’s inbox.|
|It involves the physical transfer of the email message through the Internet and email servers.||It includes the initial email delivery and the factors that influence whether the email is accepted and placed in the recipient’s inbox or the spam folder.|
|A successful email delivery means that the email has reached the recipient’s email server, but it doesn’t guarantee that it will land in the recipient’s inbox.||Email deliverability considers sender reputation, authentication, content quality, and recipient engagement, as well as where the email landed.|
As you can see, achieving good email delivery rates is the first challenge for email marketers, while consistently landing in the inbox — excellent email deliverability — is the ultimate goal.
Factors That Affect Where Your Emails End Up
Various bits and pieces come together to determine whether your emails will successfully reach your recipients’ inboxes or be flagged as spam (or even blocked!). Here are several common reasons why your email deliverability rates are taking a hit:
- Sender reputation: Your sender reputation is probably the most crucial factor in email deliverability. It measures your sending history, including email engagement, spam complaints, bounces, and previous deliverability performance. Poor sender reputation translates to low email deliverability.
- Authentication protocols: If you have not added email authentication protocols like SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) to your domain, your deliverability will likely be relatively poor.
- Content: The content of your emails, including subject lines, body text, and attachments, can impact deliverability. Spammy content or using spam trigger words can bring down your deliverability rates.
- List quality: The quality of your email list matters. Poor-quality lists with outdated or invalid email addresses can lead to bounces and spam complaints.
- User engagement: If your recipients don’t engage with your emails, and the ESP notices poor opens, clicks, and replies, it can negatively impact your deliverability.
- Spam reports: Recipient complaints about your emails being spammy can hurt your sender reputation, which, in turn, affects deliverability.
- Regulatory compliance: If you don’t comply with email marketing regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act, it will result in low email deliverability.
Understanding and addressing these pain points is crucial for optimizing email deliverability and ensuring your messages consistently land in the inbox rather than being flagged as spam.
How to Test Email Deliverability: Guide for 2023
Bet you’re curious to know how to run an email deliverability test now!
We’ve listed the steps below, but before you begin, remember to test your emails at different times of the day, and also ensure you run your emails through a spam checker before you send them.
- Set up your seed list: A seed list is a list of email addresses you manage. You can use these addresses to test email deliverability without sending emails to your real subscribers. The best way to create a seed list is to create new email accounts at each major email provider (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.).
- Send a test email: Now that your seed list is set up, send a test email to your addresses. Be sure to include all the elements you would typically include in a regular email, such as a subject line, preheader text, body content, and images.
- Check your results: It’s time to check your results to see how your email performed. There are a few different ways to do this — one option is to manually check all your email inboxes and see how many of your test emails were delivered. Another option is to use the online tools mentioned in the table below.
- Analyze your results: Here’s the fun part! Analyzing the results will tell you how good or bad your deliverability rates are. The three metrics you need to pay attention to are the number of emails that were delivered to the inbox (inbox placement rate), the emails that went to spam, and the number of emails that weren’t delivered at all.
Testing your email deliverability on a regular basis is a good way to verify that your emails are reaching your subscribers’ inboxes. By following the steps above, you can easily test your deliverability and identify areas where you can improve.
Online Tools to Help You Run Deliverability Tests
Numerous services can help you test email address deliverability if you want a quicker solution. Here are the most popular ones:
If you use any of these tools and discover that your inbox placement rate is low, know that there is a way to fix it.
Improve Email Deliverability: Tips to Ensure Your Emails Reach the Inbox
If you want to improve your email deliverability, go through the points below.
- Authenticate your email domain: At Campaign Refinery, we make it mandatory for our clients to implement email authentication protocols including SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance). We do it for a good reason: adding these to your domain helps verify the legitimacy of your emails and enhances trust with ESPs.
- Use a safe IP address: Use a dedicated IP address to send emails instead of shared IPs if you don’t trust another sender to share it with. However, if you trust a fellow sender and their policies align with email marketing best practices, you can opt for a shared IP address and still remain safe. It’s about knowing who uses your IP address and in what way. If unsure, get a dedicated one.
- Keep your email list clean: This means removing inactive subscribers from your list. A clean email list will help improve your open and click-through rates, which are two important factors ESPs use to determine deliverability. At Campaign Refinery, our clients don’t worry about manually cleaning lists — we offer automated list cleaning, removing all invalid emails, spam traps, role, and dormant email addresses.
- Write your content carefully: Avoid using all caps, excessive punctuation, and spam trigger words in your subject lines and copy. Instead, focus on writing clear and concise content that accurately reflects the intent of your email.
- Segment your email list: This allows you to send more targeted emails to your subscribers. For example, you could segment your list by industry, location, or interests.
- Send emails at the right time: Email deliverability can vary depending on the time and day of the week. Experiment with different send times to see what works best for your audience.
- Test and preview: Regularly testing emails across different email clients, devices, and browsers to ensure compatibility and readability can impact recipient engagement.
Following these tips can help you to improve your email deliverability and ensure your emails avoid the spam folder!
Campaign Refinery: The Best Email Deliverability Solution
One of the most critical factors in ensuring excellent email deliverability is your email service provider. And you deserve a platform that delivers top-notch results because what is the point of burning money on campaigns if your emails aren’t making it to your customers’ inboxes?
Campaign Refinery offers the best deliverability on the market today, helping all types of businesses reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals. Our platform is powered by state-of-the-art software that helps you analyze and understand your email data and identify potential issues. This gives you actionable insights, which you can use to improve your email campaigns.
Here are the top benefits of teaming up with Campaign Refinery:
- A user-friendly editor that makes it easy to create beautiful and engaging emails,
- An automated email list management system that helps you to keep your lists clean and up-to-date,
- Advanced email automation features that allow you to send personalized emails to your subscribers at the right time,
- A rewards program that will raise your engagement rates significantly,
- Powerful analytics and reporting tools that help you to track your email performance.
And you don’t have to take our word for it! Here are a couple of customer testimonials:
“If you’re fed up with poor deliverability, definitely check out Campaign Refinery. It might just change your open rates forever.”— Troy Ericson, Copywriting.org
“Switching to Campaign Refinery immediately increased my stats 4x, and revenue followed suit. I really wish I had made the move sooner.”— Dave Miz, The Email Experience
The Ultimate Guide to Email Deliverability — The Inbox Formula!
The secret to our excellent deliverability rates lies in our decades of experience. Campaign Refinery has been in the email game long enough to know exactly what works and what doesn’t. And we took all of this knowledge and wish to offer it to you in a compact guidebook — for free.
It’s called The Inbox Formula, and it includes everything an aspiring email expert would want to learn — tons of knowledge, industry insights, best practices, and tips to make your sender reputation skyrocket. This guidebook is packed with actionable tips and advice you can use immediately. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced email marketer, The Inbox Formula will help you take your email marketing to the next level.
Grab it here: The Inbox Formula.
And if you’d like to understand better how Campaign Refinery can help your business specifically, check out our packages and apply to become our client!