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Email marketing

Key Causes of disappointing deliverability

21 Feb 2018 by Sadie Burgess

Are you experiencing a drop in opens and clicks and seeing an increase in bounces? Are you being blocked by an ISP? Lets start with a couple of definitions

Delivery vs Deliverability

  • Delivery refers to whether or not a receiver accepts your email. This comes before the inbox or spam folder distinction. Can the message physically be accepted in the first place?
  • Deliverability or Inbox Placement refers to where that message ends up once it is accepted; in other words, the inbox, spam folder, or another folder.


It is getting more difficult to reach your subscribers’ inboxes. Inbox placement and deliverability will directly affect the success or failure of your email marketing strategy, and ultimately your campaign’s return on investment.

Key Causes of disappointing deliverability

    1. Negative sender reputation. Sender reputation is an indication of the trustworthiness of the sender’s IP address and sending domain. ISPs and mailbox providers take various things into account when they are determining a sender score including; spam complaints, mailing to dead or non-existent emails, industry blacklists, and more
    2. Lack of Authentication. Also known as validation, is a collection of techniques aimed at equipping messages of the email transport system with verifiable information about their origin. (DKIM, SPF and DMARC are the key authentication protocols
    3. High Complaint Rates. The key to email marketing is to ensure you are sending relevant and timely emails to people who want to receive them. If you aren’t, then you are opening yourself up for subscriber complaints. Keeping your subscriber complaint rate low is crucial to maintaining a positive sender reputation and high deliverability rates
    4. Poor list quality. Having a good quality list of subscribers is essential for inbox placement, brimming with active users rather than unknown or inactive addresses and even the dreaded spam traps.
    5. Getting blacklisted A blacklist is a list of domains and/or IP addresses that have been reported to be “known” sources of spam. If your practices or your content look spammy, you could wind up being blacklisted, regardless of whether or not you’re a legitimate, permission-based sender.


Deliverability is essential for a success with email marketing, because you won’t get results if your mails aren’t seen!

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Tags: deliverability