Mailgenius guides

What Is a Good Email Deliverability Rate? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

Email deliverability refers to the ability of an email to successfully land in a recipient’s inbox without being filtered out as spam or bouncing back undelivered.

According to Validity’s Email Deliverability Benchmark Report 2023, nearly 1 in 6 messages missed the inbox globally in 2022, with average inbox placement rates (IPRs) falling just below 85%.

IPRs vary across industries, and there is no absolute “good” or “bad” rate. However, a deliverability rate of 95% and above is considered excellent. This means that at least 95 out of every 100 emails you send reach the intended recipients’ inboxes, indicating strong performance and visibility. On the other hand, anything below 80% may mean your emails are falling through the cracks

While achieving a 100% deliverability rate is challenging due to external factors beyond your control — like recipients’ email settings, temporary server issues, or stringent spam filters — it’s important to set realistic expectations and continuously optimize your emails.

What is a Bad Email Deliverability?

When it comes to a “bad” email deliverability rate, there is no specific universally-defined threshold. However, a deliverability rate below 70% is generally considered problematic. If 3 out of 10 of your sent emails aren’t reaching the recipients’ inboxes, it indicates a potential issue with your deliverability that needs immediate attention.

That said, here’s what bad email deliverability entails.

High Bounce Rates

Email bounce rates occur when a message fails to reach the recipient’s inbox and is returned to the sender. 

There are two types of bounces: hard bounces and soft bounces. Hard bounces usually occur when the email address is invalid or doesn’t exist, while soft bounces indicate temporary delivery issues, like a full inbox or a temporary server glitch. If your soft bounce or hard bounce rates are sky-high, it’s a clear sign that your emails are struggling to find their way to their intended destinations.

Low Open Rates 

Low open rates indicate that your emails aren’t capturing the attention and curiosity of your recipients. It could be due to your messages languishing in spam folders, getting lost amidst the clutter, or simply failing to pique the interest of your subscribers. Whatever the case may be, the result is the same – missed opportunities to engage with your audience. Read our recommendations to increase email engagement

Low Click-Through Rates (CTRs):

Low CTRs suggest that your recipients are not motivated to click on the links within your emails. This could be due to various factors, such as content that doesn’t resonate or a lack of relevance to their needs. If this is the case, it’s time to revamp your approach and entice them to take action.

High Spam Complaints

Spam complaints are the bane of email marketers’ existence.

An excessive number of spam complaints can be detrimental to your deliverability as ISPs and email filters consider the number of complaints as an indicator of spammy or irrelevant content.

Consistent Placement in Spam Folders

A telltale sign of a bad deliverability rate is the consistent placement of your emails in the recipient’s spam folders.

Emails filtered in the spam folder face an uphill battle to gain visibility and engagement, as recipients typically overlook or disregard them.

If a significant portion of your emails consistently ends up there, it indicates a lack of trust and relevance in the eyes of the email filters. Your messages are left unread and unnoticed, buried under a pile of unwanted messages. Click here to understand email spam filters.

What Determines Email Deliverability?

Achieving a good email deliverability rate depends on various factors. From email content to domain and IP address reputation, multiple elements can all affect email deliverability and whether your message lands in spam folders or gets delivered at all. 

Here are some of the things that impact your email delivery:

Sender’s Reputation

ISPs stand for Internet Service Providers. ISPs and email filters evaluate your sending history to determine your trustworthiness as a sender. A positive sender reputation is built by maintaining low bounce rates, minimizing spam complaints, and engaging recipients with relevant content.

Authentication and Infrastructure

Configuring authentication protocols, such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance), ensures your emails are properly identified, verified, and authenticated, boosting your deliverability.

List Quality and Engagement

Regularly cleaning your email list to remove inactive or disengaged subscribers is crucial for maintaining good deliverability. Focus on delivering valuable content that encourages recipients to interact with your emails, such as opening, clicking, or replying, as this demonstrates engagement and relevance.

Content and Spam Filters

Crafting well-structured, relevant, and personalized content helps your emails bypass spam filters. Avoiding spam-triggering words or elements such as excessive capitalization, a misleading subject line, or excessive use of links and attachments ensures your emails reach the inbox.

A large attachment file size could be recognized as potentially harmful by many email service providers and could land a message in the spam folder. There are many ways around sending large email files.

ISP Limitations

Different ISPs have their own filtering algorithms and limitations. Stay informed about each ISP’s guidelines and best practices to optimize deliverability across various platforms.

Email Volume

Sending a lot of emails in a short period of time can be a red flag for email service providers. Not only does it indicate a potential spammer, but it can also cause their servers’ performance to drop.

To avoid this issue, brands should space out their sends over a longer period of time and limit the number of emails they send to any one subscriber in a given week or month. This helps email service providers better recognize legitimate email activity from your domain and improves your reputation with them.

If you are suffering from poor performance, try running an audit for your email deliverability.

How Can I Improve My Email Deliverability Rate?

If your email deliverability rate isn’t up to par, there are several strategies you can employ to improve it. They include:

Keep an Eye on Your SPF, DKIM, and DMARC Records

SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) are three important authentication protocols that help verify the origin of emails.

SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is used to check that emails sent from your domain have been authorized by you. It helps prevent spammers or hackers from spoofing your email domain and sending malicious emails.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is another authentication protocol that adds an encrypted digital signature to the emails you send. This signature allows ISPs to verify that the message came from a verified source, thus improving your email deliverability rate.

Lastly, DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance) is a policy that helps ISPs determine whether an email is legitimate or not. This protocol works in tandem with SPF and DKIM to ensure that the emails you send are secure and authentic.

You can use an SPF and DKIM email validation tool to keep tabs on your records. These tools provide comprehensive insights into your email authentication protocols and help you identify any potential issues.

Use a reputable sending service that allows for custom IP addresses.

Using a reputable sending service helps ensure that your emails get to their destinations and doesn’t increase the chances of them getting marked as spam. When choosing a service, make sure they allow you to use custom IP addresses, so you can track email deliverability more easily and take corrective action if needed.

For example, MailChimp is one of the most popular email services, and it allows for custom IP addresses, so you can track your deliverability performance more easily.

Monitor your email lists and keep them clean and updated

The content of your emails should always be relevant to your subscribers. To ensure this, it’s important to monitor your email lists and make sure they’re up-to-date. This includes removing any inactive or unengaged subscribers who may not be interested in receiving your messages.

You can do this manually or use a tool like MailChimp’s List Cleanup, which automatically removes any invalid or invalid email addresses from your list.

Send emails regularly and reduce email volume if necessary

Regularly sending relevant emails to your subscribers keeps them engaged and helps maintain consistent deliverability.

However, be sure to keep your email volume in check. As we mentioned earlier, an email service provider may see too many emails sent from a single domain as suspicious and mark them as spam.

If your email volume is too high, try reducing it by sending fewer emails or segmenting your list into smaller groups and sending targeted messages to each group. This way, you can still maintain regular contact with your subscribers without overwhelming them.

Test to find the best send times for each list

The time of day you send your emails can have a big impact on engagement and affects email deliverability too. Test different send times to see which ones get the most opens and clicks. Then, use those results to determine when is the best time to send emails to each list.

For example, if you have a list of new parents, try sending emails during the morning or afternoon when they’re more likely to be available and paying attention. If your list consists of working professionals, try sending emails in the evening or on weekends when they’re more likely to have some free time.

Use a double opt-in process to ensure that subscribers really want to get your emails

Using a double opt-in process helps make sure that subscribers really want to receive your emails. It requires them to confirm their subscription by clicking on a link sent via email before they become part of your list. This way, you can be confident that all the people on your list are genuine and interested in receiving your messages.

Not only does this help improve engagement and deliverability, but it also helps protect your reputation by ensuring that no one is added to your list without their permission.

Measure your email reputations (ISP, IP address, domain) and take corrective action if needed

Monitoring the reputation of your ISP, IP address, and domain can help you identify any potential issues that could be affecting your deliverability. If you find any problems with your IP reputation or domain reputation, take corrective action immediately to ensure that your emails are delivered successfully.

For example, if you detect a sudden drop in email deliverability due to a high bounce or complaint rate, make sure to investigate the issue and take measures to correct it quickly. This can be as simple as removing any bad addresses from your list or tweaking the content of your emails to make them more relevant.

Analyze user engagement with heat maps

Heat maps are great for understanding user engagement in emails. They provide an overview of how users interact with your email content, including which links they click, where they scroll, and when they abandon the message. Heat maps help you pinpoint areas that may need improvement or optimization so you can make sure your messages capture their attention and keep them engaged.

Utilize feedback loops from mail providers

Most major mailbox providers offer feedback loops that provide real-time data on your emails’ performance. This data can help you understand why your emails may not be getting delivered and take steps to improve your email delivery rate. For example, feedback loops can provide insights into the types of complaints users are making about your emails so you can address any issues quickly.

Provide a straightforward unsubscribe option

You should always make it easy for your subscribers to unsubscribe from your list if they no longer wish to receive emails from you. This may seem counterintuitive, after all, you want to grow your list not shrink it. But making it easy for people to unsubscribe actually helps improve your delivery rate.

When someone chooses to unsubscribe from your list, they are indicating that they didn’t find the content of interest. If you make it difficult for them to opt out or ignore their request altogether, then you might end up with high spam complaints. This could damage your reputation and lead to lower deliverability rates for future emails.

Here are a few ways to make it easy for people to unsubscribe:

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your email list is filled with engaged subscribers who are genuinely interested in your content.

Create targeted content that is relevant to your subscribers

Content plays the biggest role in email deliverability. People are more likely to open and engage with emails that contain relevant content tailored to their interests and needs.

Creating targeted content takes time, but it’s worth the effort if you want to keep your subscribers engaged and ensure that your emails get delivered successfully. You can segment your list into smaller groups based on demographics or behaviors, and then create tailored content for each group. This will help you ensure that your emails are reaching the right people with the right message, thus improving your delivery rate.

Test your emails before sending

Email testing is an essential part of the email marketing process and can help you identify any potential issues before sending out a message. This includes checking for broken links, typos, missing attachments, or other errors that could affect the deliverability rate of your messages.

You should also use spam checkers like Mail-tester or GlockApps to identify any words or phrases that could trigger a spam filter. These tools help ensure that your emails make it through the filters and into your subscribers’ inboxes.

Here’s how you can use MailGenius to test your emails.

There are also A/B testing tools available that allow you to test two versions of an email message with small subsets of your list and compare the results.

Take advantage of email automation

Email automation is a great way to streamline your workflow and ensure that emails are delivered successfully. Automating the process of sending out emails, from segmentation to scheduling, helps you stay on top of your email marketing campaign and save time. You can set up automated triggers based on user behaviors to send personalized messages when it matters most. For example, you can set up automated welcome emails, reminders for abandoned carts, or even thank-you notes after a purchase.

Final Words: What Is a Good Email Deliverability Rate?

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for ensuring good email deliverability rates, but providing valuable content that resonates with your subscribers can go a long way towards increasing engagement. Make sure to keep an eye on your email authentication protocols, analyze user engagement with heat maps, and provide a straightforward unsubscribe option to ensure that you are maximizing the success of your emails. With the right approach, you can enjoy greater deliverability rates for all of your email campaigns.