In email marketing, deliverability is a big deal. All your campaign performance KPIs — from open rates to CTRs to event lag and more — depend on your message landing in customers’ inboxes in the first place. So when you’re shopping for an ESP, the platform’s deliverability performance may be top of mind.
However, here’s where brands can run into problems: the control your ESP has over your campaigns’ deliverability is much more limited than you may think. When ESPs tout their overall deliverability performance, it may seem like you’ll automatically enjoy the same performance, but it’s a disingenuous claim. Relying on that metric can lead to choosing an ESP that doesn’t truly meet your needs and, worse, becoming lax about the practices that actually make the biggest difference in your deliverability.
Let’s break down what actually goes into deliverability performance and how you can ensure yours remain high.
Your ESP is responsible for providing a healthy platform that sets the stage for high deliverability, but it only has power over certain things.
While there will always be unscrupulous platforms out there, most of the ESPs you’ll encounter adhere to strict standards. So instead of asking about a platform’s overall deliverability, ask about the specific specs and processes they have in place to position their senders for success.
The good news is that the most important influencing factors for deliverability, list health and domain reputation, remain squarely in your hands. To avoid spam complaints and maintain engagement rates that satisfy email clients, implement these best practices to ensure your messages are actually welcome in people’s inboxes.
Bring in valid contacts
Maintain list health
When an ESP claims, “We have great deliverability,” what they’re really saying is, “Our customers have great deliverability.” After all, the performance of an entire platform is built collectively by all the senders using it.
At the end of the day, the foundation of all email performance is simple: send messages that people actually want to receive. Delivering those emails calls for shared responsibility: your ESP’s obligation to uphold high standards plus your commitment to best practices that benefit your own deliverability — which affects the platform’s performance and, ultimately, the experience your customers have.
One more thing your ESP can do to support your deliverability: empower you with tools and education! To that end, here are some helpful resources to explore next:
Our team of email experts monitor, analyze, and advise on sender authentication and reputation to ensure maximum deliverability.
Consultation: The truth is, we take deliverability seriously and care about your performance. We work with you to identify potential risks, troubleshoot reputation issues, and guide you to maintain a strong reputation.
Mike is the Deliverability Services Manager at Customer.io.