What Is Email Deliverability? (And How Do I Improve My Email Deliverability?)

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to a subscriber’s inbox. Open rates, unsubscribe rates, and overall user engagement impact email deliverability. Removing inactive subscribers and using double opt-in are a few strategies for improving email deliverability.

Keep reading to learn more about deliverability in email marketing, including:

What is email deliverability?

So, what is email deliverability? Email deliverability is the delivery of emails to subscribers’ main inboxes. When you send an email to subscribers, there’s always a risk it can end up in another folder, like a spam folder. The deliverability of emails tells you if your emails reach subscribers’ inboxes.

Email deliverability vs. email delivery

When talking about deliverability of emails, it’s important to note that this is different from email delivery.

Email delivery: Measures whether your email gets accepted by the recipient, regardless of where it ends up (inbox, spam, etc.).

Starbucks email about happy hour

Email delivery failures happen when a domain name or email address doesn’t exist, or your IP address is blocked. When this happens, the email never reaches the recipient, which is considered an email delivery failure.

Email deliverability: Focuses on where the email goes once it gets to the recipient. If your emails constantly go to a person’s spam or junk folder, you have low deliverability.

What affects email deliverability?

When determining the likelihood of deliverability with your emails, it’s essential to understand which factors impact your emails reaching your subscribers.

Here are three key components that affect email deliverability:

1. Identification

The first component that impacts email marketing deliverability is identification. If you want your emails to end up in users’ inboxes, you must ensure your identification credentials are correct.

You need to prove that you are the company you claim to be. You do this through protocols like the Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and the Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC). These protocols enable you to verify your business and emails are legit.

2. Reputation score

Another critical component that impacts your the deliverability of emails is your reputation score. Your reputation score signals how trustworthy your emails are for subscribers. Every company is graded by its Internet Service Provider (ISP).

A significant factor that impacts your ISP rating is how subscribers interact with your content. If ISPs see a lot of positive subscriber behavior, like open emails or clicking buttons on them, it can help improve your reputation and increase email deliverability.

3. Content

The content you include in your emails also impacts the deliverability of your emails. If you want to ensure your emails get delivered, you must include relevant information. When your emails have relevant information, your subscribers are more likely to engage with them.

Email from Dunkin' celebrating donut day

For example, if you’re sending an email about your new line of water bottles, your email should focus on that information, rather than your line of backpacks.

Additionally, you’ll want to avoid spammy-sounding sub lines and content. You can do this by avoiding common spam words, like “100% free” or “fast cash.” Generally, you want to avoid language that makes your offer or information sound too good to be true.

Increased engagement leads to an improved deliverability rate for your business. If subscribers engage with your email content, it indicates your content is legit and improves your reputation score. As a result, more emails make it to subscribers’ inboxes.

6 tips for how to improve email deliverability

If you’re finding that your emails end up in users’ spam folders, it’s time to improve your email deliverability. We’ve got six tips to help you get more emails to your subscribers’ inboxes.

Here’s how to improve deliverability with emails:

1. Check your sender reputation score

As mentioned earlier, your reputation impacts whether your emails make it to a users’ inbox. If you have a poor reputation score, it could explain why your emails aren’t reaching users’ inboxes and going straight to spam.

You can check your reputation score by using a tool like Sender Score. Sender Score allows you to input your IP address and business information to generate a report on your current score.

If you have a score below 70, it’s an indication that your reputation isn’t good, and you need to take time to repair it. You’ll need to improve your email practices to help improve your brand reputation.

When your score falls between 70 and 80, you need to take serious steps to help more emails end up in users’ inboxes. If your score is 80 and above, you can continue optimizing your deliverability to maintain your score.

2. Clean your email subscriber list

If you want to improve email deliverability, you need to regularly clean your email subscriber list. You’ll have people who sign up for your email list that aren’t interested anymore and don’t engage. This lack of engagement can hurt your reputation because it makes it appear like your emails aren’t relevant or engaging to your audience.

Not to mention, you may be sending emails to spam email accounts or fake email accounts, which also hurts deliverability.

To ensure that you’re sending emails to valid subscribers, scrub out your email list. Check to make sure the emails you’re contacting are valid and accurate.

If you have subscribers that haven’t engaged with your emails in a while, send them an email and ask if they still want to hear from you. While it may be hard to lose subscribers, it’s better to have a list of subscribers that want to hear from you and engage with your content than subscribers that aren’t interested.

3. Use double opt-in lists

When you’re trying to improve email marketing deliverability, try using double or confirmed opt-in lists. With double opt-in lists, subscribers have to verify that they want to receive your emails after they sign up.

This strategy helps ensure that you’re only adding interested subscribers to your email list. Users will have to first sign up for your emails and then confirm their subscriptions once you send a confirmation email. This prevents people from entering your email lists if they didn’t mean to sign up.

4. Create enticing subject lines

A key component of success with your email marketing is getting users to engage with your email content. You need to hook these users from the beginning by crafting an enticing subject line. Your subject line determines if subscribers open your emails or send them to the trash.

Make sure your subject lines are creative and enticing. A subject line like “Open this email to see our sales!” isn’t very exciting. A subject line like “These can’t-miss deals are going in 3,2,1….” is much more enticing.

Here are some tips and tricks for creating better subject lines:

  • Personalize the message to the subscriber
  • Use emojis to make subject lines visually engaging
  • Create a cliffhanger that requires subscribers to open the email to find the answer
  • Create a sense of urgency

Subject line for an email from Hims

These are tactics you can use to entice more subscribers to open your emails and engage with your email content.

5.  Make sure your emails are relevant and personalized

To improve email deliverability, you need to create relevant and personalized emails for your audience. Your subscribers receive dozens of emails from different businesses each day — they don’t have time to waste on irrelevant email content.

To ensure people engage with your content, you’ll want to focus on delivering relevant information that matters most to them. You can segment your subscribers based on their interests and send them information that way.

When you deliver a more personalized experience, your audience is more likely to engage with your emails. As a result, you’ll build a better reputation for your brand, leading to an improved email deliverability rate.

6. Create a schedule for sending your emails

If you want to improve email deliverability, you must set a schedule for when you’re sending emails. Having an erratic emailing schedule can lead to a low reputation score, impacting the performance of your emails.

To improve your email marketing deliverability, you need to create a consistent email schedule. Having a consistent schedule helps your audience know when you’re sending emails, so they know when to expect them.

When you determine your consistency, make sure you’re upfront with your subscribers about it. You can choose to send emails:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Biweekly
  • Monthly

However often you choose to send, make sure the frequency is good with your audience. You don’t want to lose their interest by sending too few emails or annoy them by sending too many.

Time to Level Up Your Sales

Our long list of services helps you grow every aspect of your business with marketing strategies that are proven to increase bottom-line metrics like revenue and conversions.

In the past 5 years, we’ve managed more than 12.9 MILLION transactions across our client base.

Get help improving your email deliverability today

Improving your email marketing deliverability puts you on the fast track to driving better results with your email marketing. Your emails will appear in more subscribers’ inboxes, which will lead to an increase in engagement for your business.

If you need help improving your email deliverability rate, WebFX has a team of over 500 marketing experts ready to help. We’ll develop a custom email marketing strategy to help your business engage subscribers and drive the results you desire with your marketing.

Ready to drive more revenue with your email marketing? Contact us online or call us today at 888-601-5359 to speak with a strategist about our email marketing services!

WebFX Careers

Join our mission to provide industry-leading digital marketing services to businesses around the globe - all while building your personal knowledge and growing as an individual.

We're Hiring!
View 30+ job openings!