Email is a foundational component of business communication. It’s the conduit for sharing crucial information between a company and its employees, customers, partners, and prospects. More than 300 billion emails are sent and received daily, which experts predict will only grow. But effective email communication means ensuring your audience receives your message. That makes email deliverability one of the most critical factors for obtaining ROI from your email efforts.
What does email deliverability mean, and why does it matter?
Email deliverability is a metric that measures the percentage of emails that successfully reach a recipient’s email address. A deliverability rate is high when the number of emails delivered is exceptionally close to or equal to the total number of emails sent. Alternatively, a deliverability rate can be low when emails bounce or an email server flags a message as spam.
While email deliverability is an excellent metric to monitor for all types of communications, it’s a make-or-break determinant of a program’s success in customer-facing roles like email marketing, customer support, and sales. If customers and prospects don’t see your content, how will they know your product or service can alleviate their pain points?
Let’s explore email marketing, for example. According to a recent study, 30% of email marketers see deliverability as their top challenge, and 67% report their inbox placement rate is 89% or less.
We’ll explain how to improve email deliverability later on, but first, you should know the factors contributing to this metric.
Which components influence email deliverability?
When you send an email, your message passes through various internet service provider (ISP) spam-blocking measures before arriving in your recipient’s inbox. ISPs want to provide the best service for their customers, and their goal is to keep inboxes completely spam-free. Once they’ve categorized an email as unwanted or unsolicited, they’ll aim to block future messages with similar characteristics.
Every ISP is different; however, they all use related data points to determine if an email is spam-worthy. Here are a few examples they look out for:
- A reliable blocklist operator (e.g., Spamhaus or SpamCop) blocks the sending IP address
- Email content includes non-reputable URLs that show up on public or ISP-generated blocklists
- Messages contain previously reported images or multiple pictures unaccompanied by text
- Subject lines or body content use suspicious or overly promotional words and phrases
- The sender’s recent activity shows messages sent to non-existent recipients or past emails were marked as spam by other users
Some companies also work with third-party email services (e.g., MailChimp or SendGrid) that help them send transactional emails as well as sales, marketing, and other communications. Transactional emails facilitate transactions, such as account confirmations or unsubscribe correspondences. Sales and marketing emails are typically sent in mass quantities and blasted to users worldwide.
And these email marketing providers send billions of emails on behalf of their clients daily using a shared IP address. This is where it’s essential to proceed with caution: you could negatively impact your sending reputation if you send emails using the same IP address as bad actors exhibiting spammy behaviors.
Additionally, these vendors will send messages without differentiating the IP address between transactional and sales and marketing emails. The latter kinds of emails often yield higher bounce and unsubscribe rates, causing overall deliverability issues for every party using the mass email service.
Transactional email service providers may offer an option to send messages with a dedicated IP address; however, you will encounter added costs and other challenges.
The implications of poor email deliverability
Low email deliverability can create a snowball effect across your organization. It can harm user and customer engagement, brand perception, and ROI. Research indicates more than 90% of marketers believe poor email deliverability has a negative financial impact on their business.
It is critical to implement email deliverability best practices as soon as possible. Businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars trying to fix poor email deliverability. Take the CRM Nowsite, for example. The company initially built an email integration with a well-known transactional email service. However, it resulted in problematic deliverability rates – often close to 0%.
“No matter what we did, all outgoing emails continued ending up in spam folders. A few bad apples spoil the bunch. We tried various solutions to address the problem, including spending $20,000-30,000 on outside consultants, filtering, and spam scoring – nothing worked. It was really frustrating for us.” — Justin Belobaba, Nowsite Founder and CEO
Achieve nearly 100% deliverability with an email API
To increase email deliverability rates, you’ll want to consider using an email API like Nylas. With Nylas, Nowsite solved its deliverability problem overnight, increasing rates from close to 0% to nearly 100%. Nowsite users can now access their email accounts within the platform, leveraging their own email addresses and reputation.
The Nylas Email API enables nearly 100% email deliverability by allowing users to send messages directly from their email address versus a shared domain or IP address. Other email APIs may allow you to send messages on behalf of users, but it’s a one-way action for sending emails only. Nylas enables users to send and receive emails and manage their entire inbox within your application. By providing full CRUD capabilities, Nylas’ APIs reduce context switching and increase user productivity.
Nylas’ bi-directional solution is ideal for both 1-to-1 and 1-to-many emails and campaigns where personalization and deliverability are top priorities. You get assurance about email deliverability, performance, and security, as well as a host of standout features.
Nylas is the only bi-directional API solution that:
Find out how your developers can achieve near-perfect email deliverability with the Nylas Email API, or get more details on how Nowsite cut churn by 75% and added more than $1 million ARR.