email deliverability guide

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Post on 17-Dec-2019




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Platformly’s email deliverability guide goes into detail about all the factors that define success in email marketing campaigns. Using actionable insights, this guide offers tips that will be useful not only for beginners but also for experts in email marketing who are looking for something new. This is a comprehensive guide about everything you always wanted to know about email deliverability and how to reach your recipient’s inbox. It’s perfect for marketers but also for businesses who want to learn a bit more about email marketing for their internal marketing department. It is a detailed ebook but it is also an easy read - you don’t need to have an in-depth technical background to understand it. However, it will also be of use for seasoned marketing veterans who are looking for a straightforward guide that will make their email marketing easier.



    1. Common Email Deliverability Myths 4

    2. Understanding How Email Works 6

    3. Email Marketing Today 9

    4. What Does Email Deliverability Mean? 12

    5. What Affects Email Deliverability? 13

    6. Before Sending Your First Email 15

    7. Launching Your Email Marketing Campaign 24

    8. After Your Email Marketing Campaign 32

  • Have you noticed that fewer of your subscribers are opening and engag-ing with your emails? Is your deliverability low and you dont know what is causing it?

    Email deliverability is a much debated yet still misunderstood concept by many email marketers.

    By the end of this guide you will have a clear understanding on why your emails may not land into your intended recipients Inbox and how to change it.

    You will also learn that common beliefs marketers have about email deliv-erability are simply myths and have little to do with reality today.

    We have broken down our learnings from sending billions of emails, to help you successfully deliver emails to your audience. Heres what is in-cluded.

    Five email deliverability myths that most marketers still believe. How email authentication and security work. The state of email marketing today. What email deliverability and delivery rate are and why they matter. How does email deliverability work and what affects it. What to do before launching your first email marketing campaign. How to setup sender authentication for improved deliverability rate. How to successfully launch your email campaign. Email warm up and other actionable strategies to increase your

    sender reputation. How to properly format your email content for improved inbox place-

    ment. What to do after your campaign for long term success.

  • 1. Common Email Deliverability Myths

    Lets start by debunking some common beliefs that are prevalent today but far from the truth.

    Including keywords like Free will automatically land your email inside the spam folder

    Content filtering is only a minor deliverability factor today as filtering algo-rithms have gotten much smarter. Although it is true that an email heavy on HTML and images will raise a few flags a good sender reputation will bypass content filters.


  • Landing into the primary inbox of your subscriber instead of the promotions tab is better

    Gmail introduced tabs that separate content by category into a users in-box. Although many marketers actively try to fight being placed into the promotions tab there is credible data that suggests promotional content performs better in the promotions tab.

    A bigger email list is always better

    You have worked hard to gather the contact details of over 100,000 in-dividuals in your industry. Yet, your email marketing efforts have yielded little success. The plain truth is that 55% clickthrough rate in a 10,000 per-son contact list is often much better than 2,5% of 100,000.

    Switching to a new email service provider impacts your open rates and deliverability

    You may have seen a drop in your deliverability when switching to a new email service provider. Although many people are quick to blame the ESP they are rarely the one to blame. When you move to a new provider you typically get a new sender IP. Without properly warming up and following email best practices your deliverability will suffer.

    Deliverability and delivery rate are the same

    Many marketers believe that deliverability and delivery rate are the same metric. This is not the case. The delivery rate indicates how many emails did not bounce or got rejected by the receiving server. Deliverability one the other hand is a complex cocktail of different variables.

    Are you surprised by any of these myths?

    Let us take a deep dive into everything regarding email deliverabili-ty and how you can build, grow and strengthen the relationship with your subscribers the right way.


  • 2. Understanding How Email Works

    To understand deliverability, we need to understand how email works.

    Lets take it from the top

    In 1971 when Ray Tomlinson made history by sending the first email ever via ARPANET, the father of the internet as we know it today.

    Back then there wasnt much need for SPAM filters or complicated algo-rithms that protect users from phishing, scam or other malicious emails.

    Their primary concern at the time was simply to make email work

    Not even in their wildest dreams did they consider that about 40 years later over 90% of all emails sent would be phishing, malware or spam.

    According to Verizons 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report 93% of so-cial attack-based data breaches involved phishing, with email being the most common social attack method.

    Email is today used by billions of people, but until recently emails biggest flaw was the inability to authenticate and validate a senders true identity.

  • Major flows in how the system worked allowed for major exploitation of email in the early 2000s.

    Any user could impersonate anyone

    Entering any valid email in the visible to the receiver from field and a dif-ferent email in the hidden return path field. This allowed users to send unauthorized emails from any valid email.

    This and other security vulnerabilities enabled criminals to steal informa-tion from individuals and corporations alike through hard to detect exact domain spear phishing attacks.

    As a result, the reputation of email marketing and its effectiveness suf-fered, a ripple effect of which we can still see today.

    However, email was here to stay, with over 270 billion emails were sent every day in 2017, there was an urgent need to enhance the security of the communications medium and protect users with enhanced authentica-tion.

    A new era for email authentication

    In 2003, Sender Policy Framework (SPF) the first of the three new security standards was established, with DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) following.

  • Email continues to grow

    Email remains the most effective way of communication both for per-sonal and commercial purposes. Up until recently, it was difficult to know whether any received email comes from who it claims to be from.

    With authentication, however, senders identities are easier to verify, re-storing consumer trust and making email one of the most profitable and cost-effective communication means for brands.

    Emails go through a long journey across servers throughout the internet and through each step they need to pass various authentications.

    To successfully complete this journey from a sender to receiver it is crucial that your email passes authentication checks throughout all stages.


  • Most emails should take only a few minutes to complete this journey. If it takes longer, then you are most likely missing some essential component in the email deliverability mix.

    3. Email Marketing Today

    Email is an essential part of our professional and personal lives. Over 98% of consumers check their emails daily and spend on average 6 hours re-plying and reading emails.

    Whats more interesting is that 82% of consumers sign up for email news-letters with 66% of them buying online as a direct result of the email.

  • With 84% of all email being spam or phish however, protection of the con-sumer is the number one priority for Internet Service Providers.

    Sophisticated and ever-evolving algorithms intercept over 60 billion mali-cious emails daily, yet over 100 million still make it to their final destination.

  • Are you a spammer?

    All major mailbox providers have made significant progress in protecting consumers from spam and phishing.

    Apple Mail, Gmail, and others have introduced an unsubscribe button for users to quickly remove themselves from a newsletter.

    Gmail added penalties for unencrypted and unauthenticated messages, showing a warning to users and introduced tabs that automatically sort incoming emails for all users.

    Therefore, even if you are not a spammer and spend hours crafting en-gaging messages to send to your customers who willingly agreed to re-ceive them, in the eyes of mailbox providers you may be indistinguishable from traditional spammers and your email deliverability may suffer.


  • To avoid email deliverability issues it is important to follow essential best practices and ensure your email authentication is intact.

    4. What does email deliverability mean?

    One of the biggest misconceptions marketers have is that deliverability and delivery rate are indistinguishable from each other.

    The first step to improvin