Debunking Deliverability Myths
Disproving misconceptions about Deliverability
Throughout the journey of educating customers on best practices, what to do and not to do, and how to approach sending emails, we come across certain assumptions about Deliverability that are still taken as fact by those who are sending the emails. Whether for the lack of a better understanding of what Deliverability is and what it entails, or having received inaccurate information in the past, here are some of the common misconceptions about Deliverability that we have had to correct for some of our clients.
THE MORE EMAILS YOU SEND, THE BETTER
This, unfortunately, is still a common misconception amongst some senders. That the more emails they’re able to send, the more results they will see. This comes from a fundamental lack of understanding about audience engagement and deliverability as a whole.
This is perhaps due to external pressures, however, the sooner senders understand that deliverability is a matter of quality over quantity, the quicker they’ll be able to lift their open and click rates.
The truth could be inversely proportional: the fewer emails they send, the higher their metrics will look. One email sent, opened and clicked: 100% open and click rate! The problem is that, now, we’re speaking merely about statistics.
It’s important to go beyond the numbers to understand what motivated subscribers to sign-up, and what instigates them to continue their journey as a subscriber.
AUTHENTICATION GUARANTEES INBOX PLACEMENT
“My emails are authenticated! Why am I not reaching the inbox?” It’s because having authentication set up (SPF/DKIM/DMARC) is the bare minimum legitimate senders can have set up for their emails to help inbox providers distinguish legitimate senders from spammers.
Back in time immemorial, SPF was sufficient, until it wasn’t anymore. Then there was DKIM, and all was well. Until it wasn’t anymore. Now we have DMARC. Spammers are sophisticated in their approach, and again, we’re seeing that DMARC may not be enough to create trust between sender and inbox providers. That’s why we have BIMI, but how long until inbox providers require TLS and DANE for SMTP to receive emails?
Senders must take into account that it’s their behavior over time + data which has the greater impact in terms of having emails delivered.
UNSUBSCRIBES ARE BAD
Unsubscribes may seem bad, because it shows subscribers are no longer interested in hearing from you. It can reduce the size of a list, yes. However, it’s better to let go of a subscriber, who may for other reasons return in the future, than to have that subscriber in the database not engaging with the emails being sent, or even worse, complaining that the messages you’re sending are spam.
As a whole, it can contribute to understanding what causes a user to unsubscriber, which is something that can be addressed. But more importantly, the unsubscribe rate will not affect the deliverability of emails to those who are subscribed to receive them.
THERE’S NO SILVER BULLET TO THE INBOX
I’m here to tell you that there is: it’s your data, and how you use it (sending behavior). Sending emails indiscriminately is, arguably, the most harmful practice one can adopt.
You need to know that by far, the biggest contributor to great deliverability, and as a consequence effective email marketing, is your database. If you have to focus on only one thing to optimize your deliverability, let it be database curation.
Maintaining list health is a constant practice, and the best way to begin is by focusing on your active subscribers. Imagine you’re looking after a house plant. You have to water it constantly, and sometimes pruning may be necessary. In the same way ongoing data management helps you grow and maintain a healthy list.
And finally if these people are still not showing any engagement or are active, it is time to say goodbye and let go. In doing so, you lose the dead weight of inactive addresses cluttering your lists, and get the most potential from the active and engaged audience.
The Deliverability team here sincerely hopes to shed some light on the topics discussed above, because it’s important to move away from those misconceptions to really understand how deliverability works. We’re here to help, and within our platform, you have access to detailed information about the metrics above and more. Account Insights is a reporting tool that tracks the performance of all of your sent mailings over time. Led by informative graphs and charts, Insights gives you a bird's eye view of how your audience is growing so you can use the data to improve future campaigns or to more readily act on any changes in engagement.
Want to apply what you've learned isn't true about deliverability to what you know is true about your specific account insights? You can find further details about account insights here.