App Tutorial

Understanding Email Deliverability: Best Practices 2024

Jason Gong
App automation expert
Apps used
May 16, 2024

In 2024, emails remain a vital communication channel for sales professionals, playing a crucial role in nurturing leads, closing deals, and maintaining customer relationships. Despite the rise of social media and instant messaging, mastering the art of email communication is essential for success in the fast-paced world of sales.

Consider these email deliverability statistics that directly impact sales activities:

  • 21.5% of opt-in emails never reach the inbox, meaning 1 in 5 emails go missing
  • 70.5% of emails are read within 6 seconds of being opened, underscoring the importance of inbox placement
  • Emails with a single call-to-action increase clicks by 371%
  • 43% of email recipients mark emails as spam based on the "from" name or email address

In this comprehensive guide, we'll dive deep into the world of email deliverability, exploring its intricacies and providing actionable insights to help you optimize your email campaigns. Get ready to uncover the secrets of landing in your prospects' inboxes and driving meaningful engagement.

Ever wondered why some of your carefully crafted sales emails seem to vanish into thin air? It's time to demystify the art and science of email deliverability. Buckle up and get ready to become an email deliverability ninja!

What is email deliverability?

Email deliverability is the ability of an email message to arrive in the recipient's main email inbox. It measures the percentage of emails accepted by the ISP. For example, if you send an email campaign to 1,000 subscribers and 950 emails are successfully delivered, your email deliverability rate is 95%.

Deliverability encompasses not just the email arriving at the destination inbox, but also where it is placed – whether it lands in the primary inbox, a secondary tab like Promotions or Social, or the dreaded Spam folder. Consider this scenario: a sales rep sends a carefully crafted pitch to a promising lead, but it never reaches their inbox and ends up in spam. That lost opportunity highlights why email deliverability is critical for sales success.

Why does email deliverability matter for sales?

Email deliverability is crucial for sales professionals to nurture leads, close deals, and drive revenue. Even a slight dip in deliverability can have an outsized impact. If a sales rep has a 97% deliverability rate on 1,000 emails sent, that's still 30 emails that never reach the intended recipient. Considering average email open rates hover around 20-40%, every single delivered email counts in engaging prospects and hitting quota.

Next, let's clarify the difference between email delivery and deliverability, two commonly confused terms in the world of email marketing and sales outreach.

A Common Mistake: Email Deliverability vs Delivery

Email delivery and deliverability are often confused, but they are distinct concepts. Delivery refers to whether an email is accepted by the recipient's server, while deliverability indicates if the email reaches the inbox. Sales professionals commonly misunderstand this distinction.

For example, if an email is sent and not bounced back, it has been delivered, even if it lands in the spam folder. However, if it reaches the primary inbox, it has achieved good deliverability. Delivery does not guarantee inbox placement.

Consider two scenarios:

  • Delivery: Your email is sent to 100 recipients. 95 emails are accepted by the servers and don't bounce. Your delivery rate is 95%, but you don't know how many reached the inbox.
  • Deliverability: Out of those 95 delivered emails, 80 land in the primary inbox, 10 in the promotions tab, and 5 in spam. Your deliverability to the inbox is 80/95 = 84.2%.

Deliverability is key, as emails in the primary inbox are most likely to be seen and engaged with by recipients.

Next, we'll explore the factors that impact email deliverability and how to optimize them for better inbox placement and sales success.

Factors Affecting Email Deliverability (& How to Improve)

Email deliverability is influenced by both factors you can control and external factors beyond your control. The key controllable factors are:

  • Reputation: Maintaining a good sender reputation is critical for optimal deliverability.
  • Authentication: Properly authenticating your emails helps establish trust with ISPs.
  • Infrastructure: Having the right email infrastructure in place supports deliverability efforts.
  • Content: Crafting engaging, relevant content that resonates with your audience is essential.

External factors impacting deliverability include ISP algorithms, blacklists, and user engagement patterns, which can fluctuate over time.

Reputation: The Key to Email Deliverability Success

Consistency in email volume helps maintain a steady reputation with ISPs. Sudden spikes or dips can trigger spam filters. Regularly cleaning your email lists reduces bounce rates, as invalid or inactive addresses negatively impact reputation. High spam complaint rates are detrimental to your sender reputation. Ensure your content is relevant and valuable.

Avoid spam traps, which are email addresses used to identify spammers. Maintain clean, organically-grown lists. Getting blacklisted can severely damage your reputation. Follow best practices to steer clear of blacklists.

By focusing on these reputation factors, you can significantly boost your email deliverability and maintain a strong sender reputation.

Authentication: Proving Your Email Legitimacy

Implementing these authentication measures demonstrates your commitment to security and legitimacy, improving deliverability.

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework) verifies your sender IP, ensuring emails originate from authorized servers.
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) confirms ownership of email messages, preventing spoofing and tampering.
  • Encrypting emails with TLS (Transport Layer Security) builds trust with recipients and mailbox providers.

Infrastructure: Building a Solid Email Foundation

High-volume senders benefit from using a dedicated IP address to establish a unique reputation. For time-sensitive campaigns, a dedicated email address ensures prompt delivery without throttling. Shared IPs are suitable for lower-volume senders, leveraging the collective reputation of the IP pool.

Monitoring feedback loops allows you to promptly address complaints and maintain a healthy reputation. Setting up an abuse reporting mailbox streamlines the handling of any issues that arise. Configuring MX records for your sender domain is crucial for proper email routing and authentication.

Investing in a robust email infrastructure lays the groundwork for optimal deliverability and campaign success.

Content: Crafting Emails That Engage and Deliver

Send relevant, valuable content that aligns with your subscribers' interests and expectations. Maintain a consistent design and branding across your emails to build recognition and trust. Ensure your emails are mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of opens occur on mobile devices. Exercise caution when using URL shorteners, as they can be associated with spammy behavior.

Avoid using spammy words, excessive punctuation, or all-caps in your subject lines and content. Refrain from using free, personal email addresses for your campaigns. Stick to professional, branded domains. Always include a plain-text version of your emails along with the HTML version for better compatibility. Pay attention to the image-to-text ratio, striking a balance to avoid triggering spam filters.

By crafting engaging, spam-free content, you can improve deliverability and build stronger connections with your audience.

Other Factors Influencing Email Deliverability

Implement a double opt-in process to ensure a clean, engaged subscriber list from the start. Segment your campaigns to deliver highly targeted, relevant content to each subscriber group. Make the unsubscribe process easy and prominent to avoid frustration and potential spam complaints.

Avoid using "no-reply" sender addresses, as they can hinder engagement and deliverability. By optimizing these additional factors, you can further enhance your email deliverability and foster positive relationships with your subscribers.

Next, we'll explore the key email deliverability metrics you should track to gauge the health and effectiveness of your email program.

The Email Deliverability Metrics You Should Care About

Tracking email deliverability metrics is crucial for making informed decisions and optimizing your email campaigns. These metrics provide valuable insights into the health and effectiveness of your email program, allowing you to proactively address any issues.

Delivery Rate

The delivery rate represents the percentage of emails successfully delivered to recipients' inboxes. It is calculated by dividing the number of delivered emails by the total number of emails sent.

Open Rate

The open rate measures the percentage of recipients who opened your email. It is calculated by dividing the number of unique opens by the total number of delivered emails.

Click Rate

The click rate indicates the percentage of recipients who clicked on at least one link within your email. It is calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the total number of delivered emails.

Spam Rate

The spam rate represents the percentage of emails marked as spam by recipients or caught by spam filters. It is calculated by dividing the number of spam complaints by the total number of delivered emails.

Spam Complaints Rate

The spam complaints rate measures the percentage of recipients who actively mark your email as spam. It is calculated by dividing the number of spam complaints by the total number of delivered emails.

Bounce Rate

The bounce rate represents the percentage of emails that failed to reach recipients' inboxes. It is calculated by dividing the number of bounced emails by the total number of emails sent. Soft bounces are temporary delivery failures, while hard bounces indicate permanent delivery failures due to invalid or non-existent email addresses.

Monitoring these metrics is essential for maintaining a healthy email program and maximizing the impact of your campaigns.

How to Test Email Deliverability

While email platforms provide some insights into deliverability, sales professionals should not solely rely on them. Utilizing additional tools can provide a more comprehensive understanding of your email deliverability and help you make data-driven decisions to optimize your campaigns.


GlockApps focuses on spam tests and provides real-time reports showing whether your email landed in the subscriber's inbox, spam folder, or wasn't delivered successfully. Its personalized draft sales outreach emails feature is particularly useful for testing deliverability.


MxToolBox aims to boost your email deliverability by focusing on authentication methods like DMARC, DKIM, and SPF. It provides configurable alerts and historical statistics for in-depth analysis.

Mail Tester

Mail Tester is a simple and effective tool that checks your email list and scores your email content. It analyzes your email on all significant parameters, including authentication and content, to predict deliverability accurately.

By utilizing these tools alongside your email platform, you can gain valuable insights into your email deliverability. Take advantage of their unique features to identify areas for improvement and optimize your campaigns for maximum impact.


Emails remain crucial for sales activities in 2024, despite the abundance of communication channels available. We discussed why and how:

  • Statistics highlight the importance of email deliverability for sales professionals.
  • Email deliverability refers to an email's ability to land in the recipient's primary inbox.
  • Factors like reputation, authentication, infrastructure, and content affect deliverability.
  • Key email deliverability metrics include delivery rate, open rate, click rate, spam rate, spam complaints rate, and bounce rate.
  • Monitoring these metrics helps make data-driven decisions.

Finally, sales professionals should use additional tools like GlockApps, MxToolBox, and Mail Tester alongside their email platform to gain comprehensive insights into email deliverability and optimize their campaigns.

Email deliverability is the backbone of successful sales campaigns. After all, if your emails don't reach the inbox, your sales might just go "poof!"

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