Do You Know the Difference Between Email Delivery vs. Deliverability?

Email marketing is a must-have for your digital marketing strategy – these days, many if not most of your customers will only interact with you online. Anti-spam and scam safeguards are more aggressive than ever, and they can put a major cramp in your email marketing mojo. How do you ensure that your emails get where they need to go? In this post, we’ll talk about email delivery vs. email deliverability, so you can learn the difference!


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Click here to read about launching an email marketing campaign.

What Is Delivery?

Delivery is a primary concern. Simply put, will a customer be physically able to access your emails? This step comes before a spam folder. Does your domain or email address exist? Is your IP address blocked?

What Is Deliverability?

Deliverability is a little more complicated. Deliverability refers to inbox placement, or where a message ends up once it arrives. Deliverability rests on three pillars:

Identification: Can your email be identified as coming from you? Can it be authenticated by tools such as Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC)? Think of these steps as background checks for your email. Your own domain name and a consistent set of protocols for sending marketing emails are the best way to present a reassuring identification profile.

Reputation: Reputation tells email clients how trustworthy you are. Different providers will have different metrics for awarding your score, but as a rule of thumb, the best way to get a high score is to engage with customers in positive, routine ways. Transactional emails like order confirmations and delivery updates are a great way to make sure that your sales emails also land in your customers’ inboxes.

Content: Think of this as a Turing test designed to sort robo-emails from genuine messages directed at clients. Is your content appropriate? Is it relevant? Does it include spammy copy like “Work from home!” or “$$$ DISCOUNTS $$$!!!” Have you made it difficult for annoyed readers to unsubscribe? All the above can get you flagged as spam and permanently exiled. This is like a no-fly list for email marketing, and it’s hard to recover from.

Click here to learn how to make your marketing emails compliant with anti-spam regulations.  

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How Can You Guarantee Deliverability?

Think of deliverability as your personal quest to stand out from spam. There are several ways to do this, and they’re all pretty straightforward.

Make Sure Your Email List is Squeaky-Clean

They call it “spam” because it’s mass-produced – and unappealing.  Your email list is a handy way to tell whether you’re sending mass emails. If you have a high level of inactive email addresses, then your engagement metrics will drop and you’ll start to look more like a nuisance and less like a legitimate business.

Even worse, email lists can accidentally include “spam traps,” which look like legitimate email addresses but are used to trap spammers. If you’re sending mass emails to these addresses, you can be tagged as a spammer and permanently shut out. Regular maintenance of your email lists, to clean out defunct and invalid addresses, is the best way to safeguard against this problem.

Click here to read three innovative ways to collect emails for your mailing list.

Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

This might seem counterintuitive, but an email list is one instance where quality is much more important than quantity! You have a responsibility to your subscribers to let them bow out when they want to. You even have a legal obligation under anti-spam regulations to make that process straightforward and painless. If you make sure that it’s easy to unsubscribe, people on your list will feel appreciated, and you won’t run the risk of being reported as spam.

Make Emails Personal and Relevant

It’s one thing to avoid being tagged as spam by a filter or a provider – but it’s more difficult to gain the confidence of a subscriber choosing whether to discard your email or open and click through. You can resolve doubt by making all of your emails personal, relevant, and concise. Make sure that every email comes marked with a team member’s name alongside the name of your company. Address recipients by name whenever possible. Give all of your emails a clear objective and subject, so that your customers don’t feel like you’re wasting their time.

If this sounds time-consuming, that’s because it will require conscientious effort over time. Mail marketing companies like MailChimp include deliverability troubleshooting in their service menus, so you might consider hiring professional help. Given the vital role of email marketing, this is one investment that will pay off.

Click here to read about how to make sales emails more effective.

 Email is one of the most personal approaches to new prospects and loyal customers. If done right, it can be a vital tool in your marketing arsenal, a way to keep in touch and convert leads. If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be on your way to building a satisfied customer base in no time!

Are you interested in learning more about effective email marketing? We recommend talking to a digital marketing firm whose team will create a customized solution for your business. Contact Square 1 Group for a consultation today! 

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