According to most sources on the internet, in 2015 Email Marketing continues to be on the rise, while during that same time period. email deliverability declined. This observation came from several online marketing authorities, including Return Path who published their findings in the Deliverability Benchmark Report for 2015. Return Path writes in part “deliverability rates fell to 79 percent, down from 83 percent in 2014. The news was even worse for U.S. email marketers: overall deliverability fell from 83 percent in 2014 to 76 percent in 2015.”

Did you see a decline in your deliverability rates? And just to make sure we’re on the same page, the deliverability rate is one way to measure the success of an email campaign, in other words did your email campaign actually delver those sent emails to your subscriber? How would you know?

Email deliverability does not mean the inbox, it means the email sent is delivered, whether it lands in the inbox or your recipient’s junk or spam folder. As long as it got to the designated email address it’s counted as a positive delivery.

Conversely email that cannot be delivered, usually caused by the lack of a viable destination email address is normally termed undeliverable email.

Keep that undeliverable number down with consistent list hygiene such as:

  1. Integrity checking. Are email addresses in the right @ format, do they end with a .com, .net, .org or other domain. Do you have role address, such as president, info or sales instead of a destination person like websplat@gmail.com.
  2. Upfront vetting and common sense. Was there typos when the email address was entered, so that email address for that recipient just doesn’t exist, perhaps the user did enter the right email address then switched accounts or left the company. Maybe their email box was full and not accepting email. *
  3. Automatic bounce handling, which should be part of your ESP offering. Without it you must, on a regular basis, remove bad addresses from your list. (Dundee’a email platform handles all error mail, including bounces (transient and permanent failures)
  4. Questioning. Was your ESP having connection issues, black list issues or other technical difficulties?

Email deliverability, of course, will affect your open rate percentage.

Open Rate = email open/email sent- bounces

Open Rate =
email open/email sent- bounces

Here too the percentage of open rates, like many other statistics, is not an exact science. It’s not 100% accurate.

When you send text only email, if opened and read, your email hosting provider does not record this action. For some ESPs, when someone reads your html message in their preview window, i.e. Outlook, unless the recipient downloads the image(s), that email cannot be recorded as an open. I’ve also read that some mobile devices don’t report opened messages properly.

Opens can be recorded differently. For example, Dundee Internet ListManager email hosting platform defines opens as the number of unique recipients who opened the message using an email client which can read HTML. If a recipient opened the message in two different clients, or with a client and a web browser, only one open will be registered. Tracking statistics will show how many people opened a particular message, clicked on a tracking link or who has gone from one of the mailings you sent to other pages on your website.

Open rates may be more important than deliverability, but of course you can’t have one without the other. Higher open rates indicate that your email marketing efforts are working. Even if deliverability rates are on a downward trend your opens are important and if they are higher you’re doing something right.

I welcome your comments.

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