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Do Your Emails Have Deliverability Problems?

By: Elaine Fogel


Pigeon courier boy. Humanized dove postman Cartoon style illustration. Delivery bird. Vector graphic.
According to a recent study by Validity, Inc., one out of every six email messages fails to reach the intended inbox. Globally, the average inbox placement rate was 83% in 2019, a two-percentage drop from 2018.

“Deliverability is a sender’s ability to be delivered to the inbox. Your email program performance and ROI relies on your ability to reach the inbox. No matter how engaging your subject line is or enticing the off­er, if the message doesn’t reach the inbox, subscribers won’t interact with it—costing you potential revenue.”

The challenge to email deliverability rates, according to the study, is that most ESPs (email service providers) only show you whether your messages have been delivered. Delivered rate only measures the amount of email that was accepted and rejected by the mailbox provider due to things like invalid addresses and blacklistings. What your delivered rate doesn’t tell you is if those messages landed in the inbox, the spam folder, or went missing.

Your inbox placement rate is a more accurate and reliable way to measure deliverability and the success of an email campaign, since it measures how much email was delivered to the inbox versus email delivered to the spam folder in addition to messages rejected or blocked.

Inbox Placement in North America

Deliverability to North American inboxes was equal to the global average in 2019, at 83%. United States inboxes saw an average of 82% inbox placement in 2019, while marketers sending to Canadian inboxes exceeded the global and regional average with an inbox placement rate of 89%.

According to Validity, there are four, simple steps that can increase the chances your messages will pass through filters and reach your subscribers.

Track your inbox placement

You can’t fix a problem you don’t know about. Having access to and monitoring your inbox placement rate will allow you to accurately judge the health of your program and can alert you when mailbox providers are blocking your messages.

Keep your list clean

Keeping a subscriber list free from spam traps, unknown users, and inactive subscribers will help boost your reputation and your ability to reach the inbox. Run your entire list through a list hygiene service and make sure any new addresses you add are verified as real, active email accounts.

Monitor your reputation

Your reputation is one of the main factors that mailbox providers use to determine whether to place your messages in the inbox or the spam folder. Always check your sender reputation before you send a new campaign to make sure mailbox providers will evaluate your messages favorably, improving your ability to reach the inbox.

You can learn more about the value of sender reputation in the Sender Score Benchmark Report.

Check to see if you’ve been blacklisted

Blacklists are lists of known spammers that mailbox providers reference when making deliverability decisions. Consult a blacklist lookup service to ensure your IP address hasn’t been blacklisted. If you find that you are listed, consult that specific blacklist’s delisting requirements, and follow their stated procedures.

Published: September 16, 2020

Source: Elaine Fogel

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