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What Is “Good” Deliverability and How Do You Get It?

You may be thrilled to see your deliverability rate is well above 50%, but is it cause for celebration? Sadly, the answer isn’t a resounding “Yes”. While a deliverability rate around 75-80% is strong, it still means that roughly 20 of every 100 email recipients are not receiving your emails – which, depending on the size of your subscriber lists, is a major missed opportunity.

The impact of deliverability loss is different for every brand, so consider what that means for yours. Regardless, there are tried and true tactics to improve email deliverability rates over time and keep your emails out of the spam folder. Thankfully, the keys to deliverability unlock all sorts of email marketing potential.

One of your best marketing tactics is generously using personalization and segmentation, both of which use information you already have in your database of emails. Using one or both can help deliverability and ensure consumers are getting the information most relevant to them.

There are also more technical aspects of email deliverability you should always use as well.

The first is sending an email with custom authentication, which allows internet service providers (ISPs) to acknowledge your email as legitimate. To do so, you will need to ensure your Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) – two forms of email authentication that detect forgery and prevent spam – are in place. SPF is a mechanism that defines which IP addresses can be used to send emails from your domain, while DKIM is an authentication tool that allows a recipient’s server to check whether or not you are the sender. By engaging SPF and DKIM settings, your subscribers’ mailboxes can better detect whether your email campaigns are real or fraudulent.

Another key to deliverability is sending emails from an official company domain, as opposed to using a free domain email address or a domain other than your own. Service providers look for non-authoritative communication to mark as spam, so using a send-from address tailored to your company or a particular part of your brand’s business is important to help subscribers immediately recognize your domain and ensure you stay out of the spam box.

Yet another technical flaw is to avoid using URL shorteners in email. Spammers regularly hide dangerous links in short URLs, so they are quick to trigger spam filters – even if the link is legitimate. To avoid this issue, hyperlink the appropriate text to the domain you wish to include; this will not only prevent spam blocking issues, but it looks cleaner and is easier for the subscriber to read and click through.

Finally, avoid designing an email with too many images. Spammers notoriously send emails with very little HTML text, so spam filters are easily triggered by emails with little copy and many images. It’s also important to remember that not all email clients or devices are able to display images by default, so it’s best practice to avoid image-only emails all together, even if your sender reputation is flawless.

So, is there ever a “good” deliverability rate? The answer is complicated. Any missed opportunity hurts your brand, so there is almost always room for improvement. But by following these tactics, you’re well on your way to establishing your brand reputation and seeing the ROI your email campaigns deserve.

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