What’s the point of writing an email if nobody ever reads it?While it’s always a challenge to move leads down the funnel, just getting into their inbox is another matter entirely. But reaching the inbox isn't a matter of luck, and there are factors at play that you can control.
Good email deliverability is essential for any email marketing campaign. Not only does it determine your open rate for that campaign, but also your sender reputation for future emails. Which is why you should have a well-rounded understanding of not only what it means to provide value in your emails, but also how the best email service providers operate.
To get you up to speed with common deliverability issues, here are the answers to 7 email deliverability questions asked by marketers like you:
1. "What are considered 'spammy' email elements?”
- Avoid words like "free", "promo", and "buy", etc. in the subject line
- Keep the image-to-text ratio balanced
- Keep email size low (around 30 kb)
What determines the “spamminess” of these elements really comes down to two factors: ISPs and the recipient. That’s because each ISP has their own standards for filtering spam.
On the other hand, if your emails reach the inbox, but your recipients consistently don't open them, you have a higher likelihood of being marked as spam by ISPs—that’s why your subject line is critical.
2. "What is SPF and DKIM?"
Basically, they’re the two types of email authentication. Sender Policy Framework (SPF) was started by Hotmail and Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM) by Yahoo – although Gmail uses it too.
The war on spam is never-ending and ISPs are taking extra precautions to ensure recipients’ inboxes are not flooded with unsolicited emails from fake addresses. With shared IPs, which means a single IP is being used by several sites, the SPF and DKIM authentication shows the DNS you’re using belongs to your IP.
If you’re using a dedicated IP, then it's your responsibility to authorize configuration for the ISP you want to use in your DNS.
It shouldn’t be an issue as long as you have a good image-to-text ratio, the image isn’t too big, and you include alt text.
4. "Does it count as an open if someone reads the email in preview mode?"
Email opens, in general, are under-reported. So, technically previews do count, if only for a few percentage points. However, we recommend that you measure multiple KPIs to determine the success of your email campaigns, such as clicks, conversions, AND opens. This is the only way to truly know what’s working and what’s not.
5. “What do you consider the optimal deliverability rate?
98% or higher. This means you have a healthy, engaged email list that is not being blocked by ISPs due to a poor sender score.
It’s essential to monitor deliverability, but it’s the last component of an email campaign. Before you even think about pressing send, see what leading digital marketer Neil Patel does when crafting an email campaign, in our latest email marketing guide: