July 13, 2023

What Are the Best Practices for Managing Email Deliverability Issues?

"My customers are telling me my emails are all going to spam!"

We hear this panicked line a lot when people reach out about fixing deliverability issues.

Unfortunately, fixing email deliverability isn't as simple as changing a light bulb. Your email deliverability is determined by many factors.

That said, there are multiple levers we can pull to start improving your deliverability. This involves going through a sequential set of steps to benchmark the deliverability rates, profile the current deliverability factor rankings, identify suspected causes of low deliverability, make changes, and finally to evaluate the impact.

Step 1: Benchmark Deliverability Rates
You can't hit a target without knowing what it is. That's why the first step to addressing deliverability issues is to benchmark your current deliverability rates.

You can check out our post on how to best measure deliverability.

Once you've established a benchmark of where your current deliverability rates sit, you can then proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Establish a Deliverability Target
Since now you know your current deliverability baseline, you'll want to establish your target deliverability rate as well as the timeline for getting there.

Remember to keep your target realistic. Hitting 100% deliverability rate on every send across every inbox is an aspirational goal, but it's better to set proper expectations, considering the global average deliverability is around 85%. So a good overall deliverability rate is 90%-100%.

Likewise, improving deliverability takes time. While some improvements can be seen immediately, more often than not, it may take days, weeks, or even months before you see substantial improvements in your deliverability rates.

Step 3: Profile the Deliverability Factors
Email deliverability is determined by a set of different deliverability factors. You want to create such a profile ranking of each factor against your current setup to identify weak spots.

These weak spots will form the starting point of your path to improving your deliverability.

Step 4: Make Changes
The next step is to make positive changes to the identified weak spots in your deliverability factors.

For example, if email engagement is weak, your next step may be: For the next 4 email campaigns, only send to subscribers who've opened or clicked a previous campaign within the last 30 days.

Or if your content is poor, you could:
  • Check all outgoing campaigns against spam filters and remove trigger words.
  • Shrink the email code size
  • Remove attachments
  • Improve the text-to-image ratio of the emails

Step 5: Evaluate the Impact
After you've made the changes, you'll want to re-measure your email deliverability rates. Compare these new rates against the benchmarks you took earlier. If you are seeing significant improvement or have hit your deliverability targets, then kudos!

If not, you'll need to look at other sub-optimal deliverability factors and make new changes. Repeat this cycle of making changes and measuring the impact until you resolve your deliverability issues.

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