What is Email Deliverability and Why It Matters to B2B Marketers and Sales Teams?
In 2022, email continues to be a B2B selling powerhouse. Of the three main channels for B2B selling, emails are the most criticized, often even called dead. Yet, it continues to be one of the most effective channels for outreach compared to phones and social networks. Email drives sales and marketing, and sales teams continue to focus, optimize, and innovate.
Yet, marketers have veered away from running large-scale marketing campaigns due to fears around email deliverability and issues with their marketing automation systems. Sales teams can be effective when writing one-to-one emails to prospects but often abuse mass email, which can cause havoc for your company’s email system. Without a good understanding of email deliverability, sales and marketing teams can run into issues such as:
- Harming sender reputation
- Being pushed to spam
- Suspended by marketing automation, sales automation and email providers
To achieve maximum business impact, run the most effective sales and marketing outreach, maximize lead generation and pipeline, and generate the most revenue, you’ll want to leverage your email channel to its fullest potential. To do so, you’ll want to understand email deliverability.
This article will explain email deliverability, why it’s important, how to set up email infrastructure, and use verified, accurate B2B data and well-targeted, inbox friendly content to reach your audience. Read on to learn how to successfully land in your customer’s inbox and convert leads while protecting your email marketing service and domain.
What is Email Deliverability?
Email deliverability is a term you may not be familiar with but is very important regarding successful email marketing campaigns. Email deliverability refers to the number of emails accepted by the recipient’s mailbox provider and delivered to the inbox. After accepting an email (what email geeks call the “250ok”), the mailbox provider has three options:
- Send to inbox
- Send to spam folder
The goal is to land in the inbox (obviously). The data from an email deliverability report allows marketers to understand the effectiveness of their marketing automation platform and if it’s maximizing its full potential with brand awareness and lead generation.
Inbox Placement: Email Delivery vs. Network Acceptance
Email deliverability does not include all delivered emails and should not be confused with network acceptance (that so called “250ok”). Network acceptance refers to the number of emails that the recipient’s mailbox provider accepted – this includes the number of emails that landed directly in the inbox and the spam folder and are deleted by the inbox provider before even reaching a user. It’s essential to monitor your email delivery rate, but it’s more important to know your inbox placement rate. This is the data that will let you know the health of your email program.
Why is Email Deliverability Important and How Can It Accelerate Your Sales & Marketing Campaigns?
Sales and marketing teams depend on successful email campaigns to help drive conversions, making email deliverability such an essential factor. Email deliverability measures how many contacts in your marketing automation platform have received your email in their inbox.
How does email deliverability positively and negatively affect sales and marketing campaigns?
For your marketing strategy to work, the key is to get into the inbox. Crafting the perfect content won’t matter if no one is receiving your emails. Email marketing can be a highly effective communication channel with the right setup and tools, but only if your email gets in front of your customers.
Email deliverability will help you drive growth and generate revenue including benefits such as:
- Brand awareness
- Getting your product/service messaging in front of the customer
- Lead generation and nurturing
- Pipeline growth
- Boosting sales of your product/service
- Customer retention
On the other hand, failing to manage email deliverability can have drastic consequences:
- Failure to reach your audience
- Ineffective marketing and sales campaigns
- Always landing in spam
- Inaccurate and untrustworthy campaign reports
- Poor sender reputation and email domain issues
- Getting flagged or suspended by your marketing automation platform
- Wasted time, money and resources
- Lack of Leads!
Understanding The Common Challenges with Maintaining Email Deliverability
On average, 20% of emails are sent but not received. Email marketing efforts are wasted because your emails are undelivered or end up in the spam folder. So what can you do to prevent this from happening? The first step is knowing how to read your email engagement metrics and maintaining your email deliverability score. Although it sounds simple, this process can be complex. It involves many factors, such as having a reliable service provider, maintaining your sender’s domain, a quality email list, email frequency, IP reputation, and sender’s reputation.
According to Josh Aberant, Email Deliverability Expert, “Two of the most significant challenges sales and marketing teams face are email optimization and maintaining email deliverability. Ask yourself: How do you drive more results? How do you consistently achieve deliverability? Once you can master these two aspects of email marketing, you’re on the road to success.”
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges you may encounter when trying to keep up with your email deliverability.
Failure To Reach Your Audience
Email marketing has remained a powerful channel in sales and marketing campaigns. But, email campaigns can be ineffective if your message fails to reach your target audience. Sales and marketing teams cannot successfully compete with today’s oversaturated marketing efforts if they are not getting their emails in front of the recipient. Thus wasting valuable time, money, and resources and the inability to generate quality leads.
Always Landing In The Spam Box
With email deliverability, once an email is sent, the mailbox service provider has three choices when accepting an email: send it to the inbox, send it to the spam folder, or delete it altogether. If your email is being sent to the spam folder you might be experiencing issues with:
- Email deliverability infrastructure issues
- IP address marked as spam
- Low deliverability rates
- Servers are down
- ISPs flag your lists as spam due to low engagement
- Emails not getting through spam filters
- Broken links embedded in your emails
If you see low engagement or conversion rates, then your emails might be hitting the spam folder. If this is the case, you should try to figure out why. You could start by looking to see what is affecting your email deliverability.
Not getting past spam filters
After crafting the perfect email marketing campaign, the worst thing to happen is all your efforts land in the spam box. But why is that? Why are your mass email campaigns and one-on-one messages going to the spam box? There could be many reasons why your emails aren’t getting past spam filters, but it’s most likely that you probably have some email deliverability issues.
What are spam filters?
Spam filters are used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to analyze and filter out unwanted and unsolicited junk mail (that could be sent by spammers) and prevent it from reaching the inbox. The slightest spammy detail included in your email will be flagged as spam. These filters ensure that spammers’ irrelevant and poorly written content never hits the inbox making spam filters detrimental to your targeted emails.
Losing Your Email Channel
Losing your email channel is a huge challenge to face if you don’t properly maintain your email deliverability. When you lose your email channel, you have no access to it for what could be an extended period. While you work on getting your channel back, you lose revenue and have little to no engagement with your customers.
Shutting Down Your B2B Pipeline
If email is your primary communication channel with your customers, you can’t afford to lose deliverability. If you do not properly manage your domains, you can lose deliverability, potentially shutting down your B2B pipeline. Shutting down your pipeline hinders your discovery and sales process, tanks your engagement, and drastically affects pipeline generation.
Breaking your email domain creates a domino effect of challenges in itself. If you break your email domain, your sales and marketing team lose the ability to communicate with your customers. If you can’t contact your customers, you’re probably also failing to follow up with any current prospects in your pipeline.
A broken email domain can also tarnish your domain reputation, causing email authentication to fail and your emails to be flagged as spam. Broken email domains basically shut down your company’s ability to communicate with the outside world, which is a challenge no business wants to face.
Suspended by Marketing Automation Platforms
It’s crucial to make sure that you are continuously analyzing your email marketing metrics. The more you know, the better. If you are not monitoring your email marketing data, including your email deliverability score, you risk being suspended or permanently removed from your marketing automation platform. It doesn’t matter which platform you use – MailChimp, HubSpot, Salesforce, or others – you can be suspended.
Serious email deliverability issues with consistent big bounce rates or bad content/campaigns can trigger postmasters to reach out to your email service provider (ESP). Postmasters will dig deeper into the issues you are facing and make sure you aren’t going to cause any real damage. If they decide that you are causing too much damage, you could potentially be permanently tossed off your marketing automation platform.
These catastrophes can be extremely hard to recover from, but it’s not impossible. If you have faced any of these common challenges with email deliverability, then it’s time to look at what you can do to improve it.
Email Deliverability Makes A Difference
As we’ve learned in this article, many different factors can impact email deliverability. But, by correctly setting up your emails, you can maximize the deliverability and skyrocket your engagement statistics. Next up in this series, we will explain how to correctly set up your email infrastructure and improve your email deliverability score.
Successful sales and marketing teams manage all aspects of email marketing within their control by consistently monitoring deliverability and other email marketing metrics. Maintaining your email deliverability by using clean, accurate, and up-to-date B2B data lists with 98% accuracy rates is vital for your campaign’s success. Let DealSignal help land your sales and marketing campaigns in the inbox of your prospects and customers. Get in touch with DealSignal today to get started.