When sending emails to your subscribers, there are a lot of different factors you need to take into account to make sure they’re being read and not falling into the dreaded spam folder. The two most important statistics when it comes to sending emails are the email delivery rate and the email deliverability rate. And it doesn’t matter if you’re sending marketing or transactional emails via SMTP relay or email server with API.

So let’s get to it: What are these two metrics, what do they measure, and why do you need to know them both? Keep reading for more details.

Email Deliverability and Why It Matters

The term “email deliverability” refers to whether an email is successfully delivered to a recipient’s inbox or spam folder. It is vitally significant for businesses to maintain high email deliverability rates to ensure their emails reach the right audience. Many factors affect email deliverability, such as content, format, length, and frequency. Maintaining high email deliverability rates can be challenging, especially for businesses with large lists. There are several things businesses can do to ensure high deliverability rates, such as using opt-in email lists and avoiding spammy content.

Despite everything else you do to boost your email marketing performance, it all counts for nothing if your emails aren’t reaching the inboxes of your recipients. In other words, unlike email delivery rate, which refers to the proportion of emails that land in the inboxes of your recipients’ email service providers, email deliverability refers only to those delivered and seen by recipients. That’s why only email deliverability matters when assessing the performance of your email marketing campaigns.

Before you can consider your message delivered and contributing to your success, a wide range of conditions must be met.

Only a few senders can make their message reach the recipient. A sender with a good reputation relies on a healthy domain and a reliable dedicated IP address in addition to consistent and legitimate mailbox activity.

When receiving servers can’t verify whether an email originated from the domain listed in the sender’s address, the message is sent to a spam folder. Domain Name System (DNS) records, such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records, DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) signatures, and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC) policies, are used to authenticate incoming emails and show they haven’t been tampered with or sent without the domain owner’s permission.

How Does Email Deliverability Work?

The three things that affect deliverability are identification, reputation, and content. An identification system is what allows a computer to identify objects or people. It is vitally important for servers to ensure customers are receiving authentic emails. You must be able to verify your identity to ensure your message gets delivered.

You can correctly identify yourself using the following protocols:

  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM)
  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC)

Proper identification depends on these protocols.

To Build a Good Reputation Is to Build a Good Future

Every email campaign you send impacts your sender’s reputation. Your sender reputation is a “score” that proves your brand’s emails are trustworthy and deliverable. The more positive interactions you have with happy, engaged subscribers, the better. Purchasing lists, mailing to people who didn’t sign up, ignoring unsubscribes, and similar actions would harm your reputation beyond repair.

Good Content Has the Following Characteristics

Your content should be appropriate and relevant for your subscribers. If your emails are not relevant, your subscribers are more likely to unsubscribe—or, worse yet, mark you as spam. If you send bad emails, your subscribers will not interact with them, either. Poor engagement or earning bad engagement due to content may negatively impact your business in the long term.

What Is a Good Email Deliverability Rate?

It’s difficult to establish what a good deliverability percentage is for email. Every advertiser wishes to see their message delivered to every person. Unfortunately, achieving such a high percentage is extremely rare.

The following metrics should be tracked for your overall email deliverability:

  • A mass email service provider should aim for a 95% or higher delivery rate.
  • More than 3% of bounces should be classified as hard bounces.
  • As long as your spam rate doesn’t exceed 8%, you should be fine.

In part, your email deliverability is determined by the platform you use to send emails. All email service providers have different delivery rates. Deliveries usually range from 88% to 99%.

To Sum It Up

Email deliverability is vitally important for businesses, as it ensures your messages are reaching customers’ inboxes. Maintaining a healthy inbox is vital to making sure your clients and customers feel engaged, and it also helps boost your reputation.

And while we’re on the subject of deliverability, there are some other things to keep in mind as well. If you’re sending transactional emails via SMTP relay or email server with API, it’s significant that you regularly monitor your deliverability rates. Sending your emails via API is a way to ensure your recipients are getting your messages, but it can also lower your overall deliverability rate.

In the next part of our overview, we will tell you more about factors that affect your email deliverability.

About Yurii Shumak

I’m a technical content writer and Mailtrap contributor passionate about helping companies and products bridge the gap between people, processes, and technology. In other words: the trenches are where I spend most of my time.

Get in touch with Yurii

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