Email delivery is a complicated thing. There are multiple layers of technology protecting an inbox at modern inbox providers like Google, Yahoo! and Outlook.com. For example:
- Blacklists are used to identify IP addresses that have spammed or otherwise should not be trusted
- SPF identifies legitimate sending IP addresses for a domain
- DKIM allows a domain to sign email to ensure the integrity of the email
- DMARC enables a sending domain to get feedback from Inbox Providers on SPF and DKIM compliance
- Inbox Providers maintain internal Unsubscribe Lists
- Inbox Providers maintains internal Spam Lists
- Inbox Providers run proprietary Spam Content Analyses
- Inbox Providers monitor engagement with emails from a domain
Email Delivery Standards
In the email world, a message is considered successfully delivered when the recipient can access the email. The email could be delivered to any subfolder for example:
- Customer configured Filter or Subfolder
While this does not seem optimal to the recipient or sender, the email is accessible, just not in the main Inbox.
Undelivered email is completely inaccessible to the recipient. An email could be undelivered for multiple reasons, depending on how the Inbox Provider’s algorithms work:
- The sending IP was blacklisted so the system declared the email Spam and rejected it.
- The Sending IP was not listed in the Sending Domain’s SPF record. This is either a misconfiguration or a sign of a deliberate spoofing attempt.
- The DKIM signature does not align with the Sender’s signature.
- The recipient mailbox is full
- The recipient mailbox does not exists
Marketing Delivery Success
Marketers only see email delivery as getting the email to the recipient’s Inbox. That makes sense as their mission is only accomplished when the email is Opened, Read and relevant links Clicked.
Obviously, there’s a bit of a disconnect between how IT sees delivery and how Marketing sees delivery. Both are correct for their purposes. They are simply not speaking the same language.
MxToolbox Helps you Reach the Inbox!
MxToolbox has long developed tools and services around Mailbox Delivery. Our early Delivery Center service focused on the primary technologies supporting email delivery: Blacklisting, SPF, DKIM and DMARC. Our newest features of Delivery Center change this focus to help the Marketer reach the Inbox.
Inbox Providers often have a list of complaints leveraged by their users against Senders. Some even allow access to these complaints, which often include email reported as spam, dead email inboxes, full inboxes and even unsubscribes done only through the Inbox Provider. Delivery Center now includes a feature to integrate and aggregate complaints and make them visible and actionable for you to improve your sending reputation with Inbox Providers. Lowering your complaints goes a long way toward making your email deliverable to the Inbox. Learn more about Complaints.
Ultimately, Marketing looks at metrics like Open Rates, Click-through Rates and Purchases to judge an email campaigns strength. However, these indicators lag something more important: Placement in the Inbox. Delivery Center now contains a tools that enables you to test the inbox placement of an email campaign both before sending it to your customers and simultaneously with the bulk emailing. Inbox Placement works across the large Inbox Providers like Google, Yahoo and Outlook.com. Learn more about Inbox Placement.