4 Major Factors That Affect Email Deliverability

by | Oct 5, 2016 | Email Marketing

5 Min Read. |

Email-Marketing-ListEMAIL marketing is one of the most cost-effective ways of doing marketing, this has been well proven in the past and which still holds true that it provide the maximum ROI (Return on Investment). This fact is well accepted in the industry and that’s why almost all the major brands take up to EMAIL marketing in one way or the other. Since the major benefit of email marketing is being cost effective this also becomes the major boon as well for email marketers across the globe. Since nowadays everybody has started using email marketing as a source of communication. The issues arise for the end recipient who receives hundreds of emails in their inboxes regularly. Which is also the reason following things happen

  • We have started deleting e-mails by reading the subject line itself.
  • We start unsubscribing if that brand bombards us with loads of communication.
  • Worse, we even go to a stage where we start marking them as spam.

Now because of these issues even the Internet Service providers (ISP) have started following a strict procedure before allowing an email to hit the inbox. Most of the ISP’s directly categorise the emails in various labels like promotions, social (In the case of GMAIL) or directly in Spam / Junk folders (In a case of Yahoo). We all know one thing for sure not many recipients even know that there are such folders, as most of them don’t even check folders other than Inbox. There are few of us who do check spam folders but just directly delete the mail without even checking it once.

This is the reason Email Deliverability is the first step that decides how successful an email campaign would be much before the content, design, layout or even the offer or discount.

There are various factors that can be considered important which can impact email deliverability but according to me mentioned are 4 Major factors that impact deliverability.

  1. Bounce – soft bounce and hard bounce

A bounce happens when an incoming email is rejected by the server which is further classified into the soft bounce and hard bounce, bounce only happens at a server level.

Soft bounce – Is an issue with a lesser impact to the sender since this type of bounce can happen when the mail size is big or when the recipient’s mailbox is full or there is some issue with the Server (which happens in a rare case). In such cases,  the sender- SMTP (Simple mail transfer protocol) tries 3 times before giving up and finally displays a message unable to deliver the message.

Hard Bounce is a serious issue which happens if the sender is trying to send the mail to a wrong address, wrong domain name. This is a serious issue since SMTP doesn’t even try again to deliver such kind of emails.

  1. Reputation Check

     Once the mail is cleared by the SMTP server of the recipient. Next is even the ISP’s judge the emails on various parameters before delivering it to the inbox. Few notable checkpoints are mentioned below

  • Track record of IP addresses for sending high volume emails.
  • Spam complaints – How many subscribers have marked the emails as spam.
  • Blacklist history – How many times the emails get bounced. Since most of the email marketers use dynamic IP address, is the IP address has been a part of a blacklist previously.
  • Unsubscribed list – Number of subscriber’s unsubscribing from the emails.
  • Spam traps – Many marketers use this concept, emails which are not actively used but just actively monitored.
  • Email analytics – IP addresses are also judged not only by the volume of the emails that are circulated or delivered in the email boxes but also judged on the responses. Which means how many recipients have bothered to open the mail, how many of them have responded to the mail etc.
  1. Authentication Check / ID Proof Check– Post the reputation check the next check done of the ISP’s is called an authentication check or an Identification proof check. This is done by verifying the sender’s IP address to know whether the sender has genuinely shared the email to discuss the product / services etc. Many times the professional hackers modify the email content before it’s delivered to the recipient’s inbox. ISP’s also check if the sender is an Email villain who is trying to do phishing by asking to share the personal details or is trying to do spoofing by using a forged sender address. These are some of the key reasons why ISP’s also do a thorough check before allowing the mail to be delivered to the inbox. Constantly new criteria’s are implemented and strict norms are followed to check the authenticity of an email.
  1. Is the message safe to be delivered – Checking the content ?

ISP’s go a step further and even check the content of the email and then finally it allows a particular email to be get delivered in the inbox of the recipient.

  • Malicious embeds – Many times hackers implant viruses in a legitimate looking mail, this affects the recipient subscriber by taking control of the system and sharing the confidential things like passwords etc. Hackers widely use such techniques as online advertisers use significant efforts to attract users to sell or advertise the products.
  • Check spam words and phrases – each and every word of the mail is checked to know if there is any spam word or a phrase in the email content.
  • Link to word ratio – This is also very important criteria. As the mailer should not only have links as such kind of things are identified as spam by the ISP’s. That’s why a good email marketer keeps a mix of text and links.
  • Text to Image ratio – The mail body should not only contain images, the acceptable ratio between text to image is 70:30

As discussed previously email deliverability is one of the key criteria which the marketers can’t ignore. The success of an email campaign is heavily dependent on the above mentioned key aspects. Marketers stand a chance of jeopardising the success of the of the email campaign if they neglect any of the above-mentioned points. Though there can be various other reasons as well which can impact the mail delivery. Like even if the marketer after clearing all the above checkpoints manager to hit the inbox of the subscriber or recipient, Service providers have given the final authority to the recipient who can still choose to ignore any email and mark it as a spam. Though those reasons can be attributed to the design, layout, fonts used offers displayed overall the look and feel of an email. Such things can be managed and can be worked upon to get a better result.

Nitin Bhandari

(A working professional with 10+ years of experience in Sales Domain)

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1 Comment

  1. Anees

    This article increases my knowledge about email marketing more. I follow these steps for my own success.


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