Our Best Advice on How to Increase Deliverability

by Cynthia Hamlin

Over the past few years, the emphasis on email deliverability has changed substantially. Previously, the importance was on whether or not your emails were getting blocked by spam filters and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). However, the current challenge is far more concentrated on achieving email delivery to subscribers’ inboxes.

Deliverability is an ever-changing and important piece of a strong email marketing strategy. Several different parties are responsible for your email deliverability. You cannot relinquish your responsibility for your email delivery to your technology partners, and the reverse holds equally true.

An Email Service Provider (ESP) will be responsible for aspects such as:

  • infrastructure
  • bounce handling
  • message throttling
  • authentication
  • ISP relationship management

You the sender will control:

  • how the data is being collected
  • frequency of contact
  • quality of targeting
  • relevancy of the messaging
  • the quality of the content

Both parties have vital roles to fulfill to ensure that your deliverability does not negatively impact your reputation.

In addition to the factors mentioned above, a new set of metrics are becoming increasingly important. Engagement metrics have become the leading determinant of whether an email message reaches your target's inbox or spam folder. These metrics are being measured through whether subscribers are interacting with your emails. Interactions that have a positive influence on your deliverability include opens, click-throughs and the length of time a recipients spends reading your email.

Engaged subscribers may only represent a small percentage of your list, but they have the highest value to your organization. You need to focus on creating programs that get to the inbox and prompt the recipient to interact with them. Continually analyzing data and refining programs accordingly may seem time intensive, but it’s essential for the long-term success of your email programs.

Make sure you keep an active role in your email sender reputation. If your ESP has a dedicated delivery department you should actively involve them in conversations about how they manage your reputation and what you can be doing to land in your subscribers’ inbox.

You’ll also stay pretty busy with your responsibility as a sender. Remember these include how you:

  • Collect your subscriber data
  • Maintain your database and list hygiene
  • Reduce complaints and unsubscribes
  • Segment and deploy relevant content that engages subscribers
  • Design your content and use best practices to send

Whether it is a negative interaction or a positive one, engagement data is now the most important role in determining the placement and positioning of your emails. If you are not taking the time to engage your subscribers, you are hindering your delivery rates. Take a good look at your subscribers and make sure you are providing relevant, timely content and test your subject lines to make sure you deploy strong campaigns that will garner high engagement rates.

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