What is the definition of email deliverability?

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Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s have a look what other experts on the field answered on “what is the definition of email deliverability?”.

“Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to subscribers’ inboxes.”

campaignmonitor.com, 2021

“The measurement and understanding of how successful a sender is at getting their marketing email into people’s inboxes.”

dmcceqa.com, 2021

“Email deliverability is a metric that indicates the number of emails that reached the recipients’ inboxes.”

sendpulse.com, 2021

An example of problem #1:

“We have sent 1000 emails in our cold email outreach campaign. Only 845 were delivered.”
Where did the remaining 155 emails land (15,5%)?
1st option: They bounced – it means that the email does not exist or the server has issues receiving emails.

With serious cold email outreach campaigns the results can be damaging. See the comparison below, between verified emails and non verified email that are having the deliverability issue.

An example of problem #2:

“We have sent 1000 emails in our cold email outreach campaign. Bounce rate is low but the open rate is below 15%”
Why do we have only 15% open rate?
1st option: Your emails started to land in spam because of your sender domain reputation.
2nd option: Your targeted audience simply doesn’t use or open that specific email inbox account.
3rd option: Your subject lines are ? not appealing.

Why do we talk more and more about email deliverability and how to avoid the problem?

Deliverability of emails plays a big role in email outreach campaigns and in email marketing (newsletter or product onboarding). In both cases it can have a huge impact when it comes down to results. Good deliverability will improve your results while bad deliverability can put your domain under bad reputation and you’ll find yourself in a very tough position. For well established products / domains this can become simply too big of a risk when sending emails to masses.

“Good deliverability will improve your results while bad deliverability can put your domain under bad reputation”

When doing email outreach campaign with a purpose to sell – 1000 automated sent emails can have a very big results difference where only 900 of emails were actually delivered. That is 10% missed opportunity that will impact your goal metrics. If your emails start ending in spam, this metric can be way worse.

Examples where deliverability finds place

The same goes for marketing (newsletter or product onboarding emails) campaigns. The impact in this case is especially visible with large amount of subscribers. But essentially it comes down to what is the aim/goal of your campaign. If you are simply informing the subscribers about new content on your page, deliverability doesn’t play as big of a role as it does with onboarding emails for example.

1. Newsletter emails target your subscribers. Those have an important role to play but not as much compared to cold email outreach campaigns and onboarding emails. Before you decide to focus on deliverability improvement with newsletter make sure you have your priorities written down.

2. Onboarding emails are sometimes essential to help convert registered trial users into paying customers. The global benchmark for conversion between free trial and paying customer usually ranges between 1-15%, depending on the industry and market. Improving the onboarding process for free trial users that might help you to increase that percentage, can have a decent impact on your revenue flow.

Depending on your product and pricing – converting 7 instead of 6 subscribers (e.g. from 6% to 7% on 100 new monthly trial subscriptions) to paying customers can substantially increase your income on annual basis. That being said, email onboarding messages for specific range of product types can help you with that and everything starts with deliverability, open rates and engagement of your emails.

3. Email outreach campaigns are a clear winner when speaking of return on investment within usage of email. We are giving it a designated heading below.

Deliverability plays a big role in email outreach campaigns

When discussing the definition of email deliverability, it always brings us to essentials that ask; When does this topic become important enough to start approaching it as an issue?

The highest returns usually come from cold email outreach. Selling has an immediate return on investment therefore poor deliverability becomes a big topic when we identify the opportunity costs. Simple improvement in conversion rates (open rate, click rate or reply rate) can make a huge different in results (LINK). One of the possible Improvements with email deliverability will increase the amount of emails landing in your prospect inboxes and save you from damaging your domain reputation.

We gathered some suggestions to keep you away from email deliverability issues. Always try to:

  • Maintain list hygiene (verify emails in your database or use tools that searches for verified email for your email outreach campaign)
  • Categorize inactive subscribers and exclude them from relevant campaigns
  • Use verified tools with good reviews for deliverability
  • Using double rather than single opt-in
  • Make it really easy to unsubscribe
  • Avoid using URL shorteners
  • Format emails in a way that promote engagement of your recipients (attractive subject lines, good copy in the emails, clear click to action)
  • Use warm up tools (automated sends, replies and engagement with emails)

Do you think there are any better answers about definition of email deliverability? Let us know.


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Product manager 

Creator of Prospect Role. Product manager during the day and content writer overnight. Growth focused all day long =)