What’s the point of writing an email if nobody reads it?

While it’s always a challenge to move leads down the funnel, it’s another issue just getting in the inbox. That’s because it isn’t a matter of luck — there are factors at work that you need to address.

High email deliverability is essential for any email marketing campaign. Not only does it determine your open rate, but also your sender reputation for future campaigns. This is why you should have an understanding of not only what it means to provide value in your emails, but also how the best email service providers operate.

Email Deliverability Questions

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.

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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.

3. “Does adding an image of the signer at the bottom of an email up your spam score?”

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 email 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.

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