5 Primary Reasons for a Low Email Deliverability Rate
An email holds its true worth when it reaches the inbox of the intended target. In the arena of email marketing, billions of emails are sent and received per day but a significant portion of it turns into an irrelevant effort. This is because a delivered email does not always reflect success as it can end up in spam, junk or can even get blocked. In addition to this, a high volume of spams and junks may have an immense negative impact on a sender’s reputation.
In this digital era, automated spam filters are more vigilant than ever due to which 48.16 percent of all global emails are marked as junk email. The struggle of marketers has been pushed to an all new level.
In short, email-deliverability and reaching the subscriber’s inbox are not the same and if a marketer is not achieving the latter then email marketing is a massive waste of time and money.
Let us start with understanding what email deliverability actually is!
In the simplest terms, Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to the target audiences’ inboxes without bouncing or being set apart as spam. It should not be confused with delivered. They are very different and have different meanings when it comes to the email world!
Delivered describes how many emails were completely transferred to the intended recipient’s mailbox provider. This does not mean that the email made it to the recipient’s inbox. Deliverability is the measure (usually expressed as a percentage) of how many emails actually make it into the inbox. This is usually broken down into open and click statistics.
The Journey Of An Email
There are three parties involved in the process of getting an email delivered to the recipient’s inbox:
1. Senders- Businesses sending the email. 2. Gateways- Companies making it possible to send an email. 3. Recipients- Prospects, customers, clients, etc.
Now each party can be categorized as:
Between the sender and the recipient, an email travels through a lot of internal filters. We call it Gateways. When the sender composes an email, he does it in an email client like Gmail or Yahoo. But what happens after hitting the send button? The email has to pass ISP checks and filters. This is where the email gets delivered, but it’s yet to confirm that it has reached the recipient’s inbox.
The message in the email is formatted to be transmitted over the internet using a system called “Simple Mail Transfer Protocol” (SMTP). Now it’s time for the recipient’s mail server to look up the domain portion of the receiver’s email address on a Domain Name System (DNS) server to decide which Mail Exchanger (destination mail server) should be contacted to deliver the message. Then, both the sending and receiving servers transmit using the SMTP protocol.
The third step includes the recipient’s server accepting the message and delivering it. The recipient receives the email using standards like the Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP) so that it can be downloaded and read.
Why e-mail deliverability should be a priority on your radar?
● For an effective email marketing campaign: Audiences’ engagement with a campaign decides the success, failure and apparently the effectiveness of a campaign. The deliverability impacts the success or failure of your email marketing campaign, and ultimately your email return on investment (ROI).
● To maintain a good sender reputation: Mailbox service providers, for e.g. Yahoo, Gmail and internet service providers like Comcast, Roadrunner generate an email reputation score based on a number of factors like ○ Number of emails sent ○ Number of complaint rates ○ The bounce-back rate ○ Inactive/old addresses, if any ○ Number of times you’ve landed in a spam folder and much more A low score makes it hard for your emails to land in the inbox of the target.
● To avoid being labeled as a spammer: Your ISP’s take a look at how much the recipients are engaged with your messages and how relevant it is to them. Keeping track of click rates, open rates, spam complaints, unsubscribers and other factors is the job of the ISP. If a significant portion of people marks your email as spam, you may land up in trouble and future emails you send to other people might end up in the spam folder too.
Non-maintenance of your email list health, use non-permission based data or letting the quality of your email content slide can damage your sender reputation in a way that can be difficult to repair.
What are the indications of a low email deliverability rate?
The most prominent signs of an email deliverability issue are ● You're encountering a drop in engagement rates like opens and clicks. ● An increased rate in email bounces. ● You're being blocked at a mailbox provider.
5 Primary Reasons that lead to a Low Email Deliverability Rate
1. Unfavourable Sender Reputation
As a marketer you need to evaluate your existing sender reputation by the following factors:
•Open Rate: This is a direct indication of the quality of the list you are targeting. Single opt-in lists normally have lower open rates than double opt-in. •Recipient Engagement: This determines how long your subscribers are looking at the content of the email •Email Content: Whether the content being promoted is relevant to the audience targetted •Spam Traps: A spam trap looks like a real email address, but it doesn't belong to a real person and can't be used for any kind of communication. The above-mentioned factors contribute to how the mailbox providers treat you. A strong built up in these factors shows a positive sender reputation. •Unsubscription: Taking away the control from readers to unsubscribe doesn’t help a business in any way. It increases the chances of emails transferring into the spam folder and tarnishes your reputation.
•Authenticating your domain verifies your identity and is good for your sender’s reputation. •Warm-up your IP address. Sending emails in bulk from a new IP address can mark you as suspicious and hamper your sender’s reputation. •Eliminate invalid, inactive, and spam addresses from your email list to keep it tidy. •Use the double opt-in feature to ensure that the recipient wants to receive your emails. It also helps to avoid spam traps and only verified and interested people are added to your subscription list. •Provide a single-click to unsubscribe option to your readers. Or you might end up getting blocked, which is worse for your reputation.
2. Unusual Complaint Rates
A recipient marking an email as spam is the strongest negative signal to mailbox providers about your email. Complaint rates above 0.2% are considered high and may result in poor deliverability. In the case of mailbox providers, like Gmail, a spam rate as low as .08% can start to affect your deliverability, which is why you need to keep a close eye on it.
A lot of factors affect your complaint rates. Some of them include incorrect domain names; getting flooded with too many emails; Irrelevant and too lengthy content; not consciously opting in, or opting in for only one company rather than companies under the same parent company; no option, a difficult process for opting out of emails. All of these can annoy recipients, putting you in serious trouble.
•The recipients do not favor an imbalanced frequency of emails. High-frequency emails are annoying, while low-frequency ones feel out of touch and unfamiliar. Try to send a fair amount of emails based on your industry. •Make sure that your email content is relevant and well optimized. •Make sure to keep it clear what people are subscribing to. Lying to them or deceiving them into subscribing to your emails can be bad. •Contacting non-subscribers should be avoided. The effort isn't worth it if the sender is not interested in your offer.
3. Being Blacklisted
A high number of spam trap hits or complaints lead to blacklisting of your IP or sending domain. The mailbox providers monitor such lists to determine which senders to block or filter from their user inbox. You can avoid blacklists by sending relevant content to recipients who have recently engaged with your emails.
•You can avoid blacklists by sending relevant content to recipients who have recently engaged with your emails. •It's a good idea to keep a regular check on the list of organizations using DNS-based blacklists which are available to protect recipients from a lot of spam reports. You need to make sure that your IP is not on the list.
4. Poor List Quality
“The more, the merrier” should not mean bulking up your list with every email address that you can get your hands on. If you only focus on the quantity of subscribers’ list, the quality gets compromised. The quality of your email list decides whether your email will land in the inbox, spam or junk. A poor list can increase your bounce-back rates, ultimately leading to a lower deliverability rate.
•Use Email Verification services to regularly clean and update your email lists to ensure that every email ID in your list is valid. •Don’t buy mailing lists from unknown sources as they have low credibility. You need to be very precise with your list to avoid complications. In addition to that, GDPR clarifies that you need the individual's consent before sending them an email. •Instead, build a quality list with the email addresses of people who might actually be interested in your emails.
5. Lack of Email Authentication
Email authentication can be highly technical and extremely confusing. Even the most seasoned security professionals need help both navigating this space and explaining it in digestible yet accurate terms to non-technical colleagues.
Improper authentication setup or not updating DNS changes can make your emails end up in the spam folder. Taking good care of emails is necessary for a healthy deliverability rate.
•Make sure to set up email authentication protocols. There are three primary methods of authentication: SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These email authentication protocols are the technical way to ensure that an email is not forged. So that no one can pretend to be you and commit fraud under your name.
Email as a medium provides a very high return on investment, but the next time you initiate one, do consider the above-mentioned factors and come out with true colors of success.