• ResponseGenius

Defining Delivery and Deliverability – And What That Means for You

You can walk the walk, but can you talk the talk of email marketing? Understanding the lingo of this industry doesn’t come easily, and you’d be surprised how often professionals confuse some of the most important terminology.

One of the biggest mix-ups in email marketing language is the difference between deliverability and delivery rate. Not only do they sound similar, but it’s easy to see how clients—and even seasoned marketers—can confuse the two terms. A recent article by Litmus breaks down the differences between the two, and what you should know about both.

Let’s start with the textbook definition, at least as it relates to email marketing. Delivery is the measurement of how many of your emails were received by the servers of your subscriber’s inbox providers, meaning it didn’t bounce. According to Litmus, delivery rate is the number of emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent.

Meanwhile, deliverability is all about where the email goes once it’s accepted by the server. It’s contingent on your domain’s setup, authentication, and reputation, which means that, unlike delivery, you have more control over this. It’s also important to understand how you’re performing in these two categories and what it means for your marketing efforts. Litmus explains that even if your delivery rate looks healthy, it’s possible that your emails aren’t making it to the inbox but are instead getting directed to the spam folder.

What complicates things even further is that because ESPs and ISPs cannot provide insight into how you’re performing, the best way to ensure deliverability is to be preemptive in avoiding issues in the first place. It’s critical to remain hyper-vigilant of email problems that will land your messages in the spam box, including everything from misleading subject lines to over-sending. Spam testing tools also exist to help monitor and flag these issues in the first place. Some of the best validation functionality are standard functionality in the ResponseGenius platform.

So, while delivery is much easier to measure, don’t let confusion about deliverability prevent you from identifying and being proactive about fixing problems before they arise.

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