What Is Email Delivery, and Why Does It Matter? (Part 3)
When it comes to marketing and advertising, the importance of email cannot be overstated. It’s the most direct and measurable way to reach your target audience.
Since you found this article, we’ll assume you’re using email as an advertising or marketing channel. So what exactly is delivery, and why does it matter? Let’s take a look.
Just in case, check out Parts 1 and 2 of our series on email deliverability and what factors affect it.
Have you ever blasted out an email that you were proud of, only to see the open rate end up far lower than you had hoped? If so, there was likely a problem with either your email delivery or your email deliverability.
What Is Email Delivery?
An email must be received by an incoming mail server (also known as an Internet Message Access Protocol server) before it reaches your inbox. This server acts as a bridge between you, the email sender, and your target recipient’s inbox.
When your email is successfully delivered by your email service provider (ESP) to the receiving incoming mail server, that is email delivery.
The check and spam filters that your email must pass through to reach your recipient’s inbox determine email deliverability. An email delivery failure occurs when the email cannot be opened or clicked on.
It’s possible to have good email delivery rates but poor email deliverability metrics because of the differences between them.
Your emails might be received comfortably by the incoming mail server, which means you don’t have email delivery problems. However, many emails may end up in your email lists’ spam folders, indicating deliverability issues.
There Are Several Reasons Why Inbox Placement Rates Might Be Low, Including:
- Not having a clear unsubscribe link and low opt-out rates
- Subject lines aren’t proofread
- Inaccurate information in the “ROM” (Read-Only Memory) file
- Pricing-related spam trigger words are used
- Poorly designed emails
- Target audience is not receiving your previous campaign’s low open rates
- You have been flagged for spamming based on your IP address
- You’ve been added to email spam lists
How Does Email Delivery Work?
Your emails’ journey is far more complex than you might think.First, design an email, then set it up in your email delivery service, and, finally, send it. Simple, right?
But here’s what happens behind the scenes: An email client must connect to an outgoing Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) server. SMTP, the fundamental protocol every mail server uses, relies on email application programming interfaces (email APIs) to associate with email-receiving servers like Gmail.
Email messages can include images, non-ASCII text, and attachments of audio, video, images, and application programs, all of which are delivered in Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) format, which extends the email format to include such elements.
Before an email is sent, the SMTP verifies the sender’s information using Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) authentication to ensure its authenticity.
The recipient’s email receiving server (e.g., Google’s Gmail, Microsoft Outlook/Hotmail, Apple’s iCloud) is connected through an email API and then sends the email through the SMTP protocol. Once the recipient server has validated the recipient’s account, the email is delivered to their inbox.
The recipient can then view the email in their email program.
Why Does Email Delivery Fail?
There are several common reasons for email delivery failure.
The first issue is that the “from” email address you entered is not valid. Make sure the address is spelled correctly and the account is active.
Your emails are bouncing either because the recipient’s email inbox is full (a soft bounce) or the email address you’ve sent it to doesn’t exist (a hard bounce). Check your bounce rate from previous campaigns and make sure you have a return path established in your email program.
A spam virus may have compromised your email address to spam other individuals. Verify that your account is safe and you did not send any spam emails before sending out your campaign (if you received spam complaints). A good sender reputation is important.
How Does Email Delivery Affect the Success of Email Marketing Campaigns?
To begin, you must set goals for your marketing campaign. Think about what you want to accomplish. Are you trying to gain new subscribers? Are you introducing a new product or service? Sending content related to your goals will improve your chances of converting your subscribers into paid customers.
Many businesses tie their email marketing objectives to their general sales conversions. This is logical, since the ultimate objective of any company is to generate sales. Here are some typical objectives for email marketing campaigns:
- Tell new subscribers about your company, and begin to build a trusting relationship.
- Send your subscribers valuable content, or promote a helpful webinar or event to engage with them.
- Actively engage with your existing subscribers who may be reading your content but haven’t converted yet. Send your subscribers through a sales funnel with each message you send.
- Attempt to reestablish contact with inactive subscribers.
Timing is critical, as they say. It can make a big difference whether you send your messages at the right time. Do your readers work and check their emails throughout the day? If so, should your product or service be intended for entertainment after work, it’s likely your readers will be reading your material in the evening. You can establish when to send your emails based on this information, and then perform A/B testing to see which ones perform best.
Personalize your subscribers’ experience by sending them what they want at the right time as you get to know them better. If you time it just right, this will lead them to spend money with you or buy from you again as they move through the sales funnel.
To Sum It Up
Email deliverability is the process of ensuring that an email reaches the intended recipient. Many factors affect email deliverability and deliverability rates. It’s important to understand the impact each factor has on your deliverability rate and take appropriate action.
For example, if you see a high bounce rate, it might be a sign that you have a problem with your email deliverability. It could be caused by a lack of Domain Authority (DA) for your domain or your website’s content quality. Another possible reason for high bounce rates is that you may be sending too many emails to too many people.
I hope this knowledge helps you in promoting your business if you’re starting down this path.