Where O’ Where Did My Email Go? I hit the send button!

Email Marketer’s, do you wonder how your email actually finds its way to the right customer’s inbox?   Once you hit the Send Button the flow of your email is out of your control.

Of course, email delivery and deliverability is the end goal for email marketers.  Both email delivery and email deliverability go hand in hand,  and at the same time, they are entirely different.  Many marketers know the ins and outs of email deliverability, so this blog is about both email processes.

gmail inbox

Email Delivery Steps

  1. Message CreationEmail marketing messages normally start with design.  The basic steps: 1. Content is added.  2. The message is tested.  3. Once you are satisfied with the message in its creative form hit the send button. it will take a path that leads it directly to an email server.  However, before that happens the message is properly formatted for internet transmission with a standard protocol called  SMTP  (“Simple Mail Transfer Protocol:)

2. Next, the sender’s server,  technically called the “Mail Transfer Agent” or MTA, searches the @domain.com portion of the recipients’ email address to determine the destination mail server called the MX server (“Mail Exchanger”); it delivers the message.

3. The recipient’s email retrieves (downloads the message) using POP,  “Post Office Protocol”,

Email Deliverability

After message creation, in step one above, an email message goes through other routes which can determine its deliverability. The hosting provider’s software should validate the sender as someone who has permission to mail out from the list. If the senders’ email address is confirmed as an approved sender, the email moves to the next step. If the email address is found to be blocked, then the journey of your email ends here.

Once the server has confirmed that you are an approved sender, the recipient’s server then checks the sender’s settings for DKIM, DMARC, SPF, and MX. This “conversation” between the servers (sender and recipient) allows the servers to determine if the email is coming from a trusted source.  When the server’s settings are misconfigured or the senders IP has been blacklisted due to complaints, your email will be stuck here and will not reach its destination.

Using Dundee Internet’s mailing list services –mailmanIf you find your IP has become blacklisted don’t panic just fill out a support ticket and our qualified support team will contact global blacklists (SpamHaus, SpamCop) to whitelist your IP. If this is something you prefer to avoid entirely you may want to consider using a dedicated IP.  Not using Dundee Internet Mailing List Services, but another ESP like MailChimp check with them if your list is blacklisted.

 If the recipient’s server determines it is safe to accept your email it is then inspected by the email provider for content, scored and then sorted. There are three places your emails can end up the inbox, spam box, or quarantine. If your emails spam score is found to be high, it will end up in quarantine where the server’s administrator will monitor and usually delete. If your spam score is moderate it will end up in your recipient’s spam box. If your spam score is low or sent from a trusted email address it will land in the all-important inbox.

If you find that your emails are not reaching their target destination there are many steps during email delivery where emails can become blocked.  Just follow the ” mail with your ESP “steps to determine what is keeping your email from delivery and you can troubleshoot deliverability issues!