It is quite common among people involved in email marketing to not realize that every sent email doesn’t necessarily reach the recipient. This makes them ignore delivery metrics and focus on open and click through rate. A true marketer understands that it is his/her responsibility to be aware that all your emails do land on your users emails because if it doesn’t happen then he/she won’t be able to go through your emails.
This showcases that delivery rate as an email metric metric is crucial and cannot be overlooked. As part of your list of email marketing best practices, this should feature as priority. In this article, we will be discussing the importance of delivery rate along with giving it all the attention that it actually deserves.
Definition & Calculation:
The delivery rate is nothing but the percentage of emails sent which actually landed in the recipient’s inbox.
In order to calculate the delivery rate of an email, one has to subtract the number of hard and soft bounces from the total number of emails sent and finally divide that number by the total number of emails sent. Little bit tricker, I know, but I’ll explain in a bit.
Why so much fuss regarding delivery rate? Why does it matter a lot? In simple words, the delivery rate is a crucial factor on which depends the success and failure of your email campaigns. If you are trying to engage a customer or prospect through an email, it has to first land in their inbox. In case that doesn’t seem like a possibility, then all your efforts and hard work that you put into the creation of the email becomes worthless.
With around 19% of permission-based, commercial emails not being delivered to the intended inboxes, this is a situation that marketers across the world are going through, irrespective of them being aware or unaware about the entire scenario. So what is that determines if your emails are delivered or not?
Factors that Affect Email Deliverability:
The answer to the previous question has multiple parts to it. There are various reasons which lead to your emails being diverted to spam folders or undelivered completely blocked or dropped. However, the most common reasons are high spam complaint rates, your reputation among email service providers and sending emails to deleted or stale addresses.
Stale or Deleted Email Addresses:
Almost all of us, at some point have deleted or changed our email addresses. Like, the name being kiddish, something embarrassing, after leaving a job, and various other reasons. So, once we change or delete our email addresses, we obviously don’t go out informing everybody about it which results in email bouncing.
Bounce rate of an email campaign is the percentage of sent messages that actually didn’t get delivered. Bounce rates can be both, ‘hard’ or ‘soft’. A hard bounce is when we are trying to deliver the email to an invalid address while a soft bounce is when the email server faces an issue like an inbox reaching its capacity.
One doesn’t really intend to get a high bounce rate but with people changing or deleting their email addresses quite frequently, it is bound to happen. However, you can always find ways to prevent high bounce rates and which can be done by keeping a well managed list. These include the following:
- For those who don’t email frequently, the chances become higher that their list will comprise more of email addresses which might have changed, leading to higher bounce rates. So, you have to be a frequently mailing to be updated and be aware of email addresses that are actually the correct ones. This will automatically decrease the rate of emails reaching the wrong addresses.
- When you keep sending emails to the changed or deleted email addresses, not only your delivery rate but even your reputation with your email service providers will suffer tremendously. Keep removing the bounced email addresses.
These factors clearly indicate that one should keep their list clean of the stale email addresses and try to maintain frequent communication to avoid high bounce rates.
Spam Complaint Rates:
Spam can have different meanings to different people. Here, we consider spam as unnecessary and unwanted email which has been sent to a large amount of people. For example, you could have purchased an email list with consisting of amazing prospects you would love to get in touch with. Sounds cool right?
Though the point is that it’s you who is excited and aware not the person who you want to connect to. In that case, whatever email you send them will be considered spam. So, whenever someone hits the “Mark as Spam” button on your email, automatically an alert is sent to internet service providers, which could affect your deliverability rate.
At times, your email might not even reach the prospect before being marked as a spam. To prevent spam emails, the internet providers have spam filters. These filters help in judging the degree to which the mail can be spammy. Every single email is provided with a score based on these criterias and if it goes beyond a certain level, the email is considered spam and lands in the spam folder.
Reputation of IP Address:
Despite being a factor that seems quite surprising, what affects the delivery rate is the reputation of your IP address among internet and email and service providers. Let’s see, how it works:
Email service providers such as MailChimp who are considered the pioneers are officially required to enforce spam laws. They do keep a tab on people sending spammy emails. This isn’t only due to their legal responsibility but also because it affects the deliverability rate to their other customers. For e.g. you’ve send an email campaign through MailChimp and it is delivered through your servers so when one person sends a spammy email, it will in turn affects other users.
This would result in being punished with a suspended account or a low deliverability rate, if you keep sending a lot of spammy emails.
How can I keep my delivery rate low?
Keep cleaning and updating your list. Take off all the inactive subscribers who you feel are not really using the account. Once you figure out that the email hasn’t reached or the user doesn’t seem to be interested, better to get rid of them before they put you in the spam list. Follow this procedure every few months.
Ideal Delivery Rate:
I am sure you would want to know as to what could be the ideal delivery rate? Aim for a delivery rate above 95% and if there is a drop then you know what you have to start doing...Happy Scrubbing.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. After reading this, I am sure you are better aware and all prepared to shift your focus towards deliverability rate. Tell us if it did help you? What was your experience?
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