Common Deliverability Myths, Debunked | Email Deliverability Unfiltered – Episode 7

Common Deliverability Myths, Debunked | Email Deliverability Unfiltered - Episode 7

Host: Lauren Meyer, VP of Industry Relations & Compliance at Kickbox
Co-Host: Brian Dayman, Marketing Manager at Kickbox

With the increasing importance of deliverability in a more competitive email marketing world, marketers are looking to understand deliverability better. However, there are a lot of myths circling around the email community that need to be put to rest. Here are our top deliverabiliy myths, based on our interaction with customers and the email community, including myths about General Email Marketing, Email Content, Data Collection and Email Verification <

General Email Marketing Myths

MYTH: Email is dead.

There are more than 3.9 billion email users in the world today, and their email addresses have become a form of digital identity, allowing entry into other services, including social media accounts, paid subscriptions and user accounts. They’re also the go-to method for recovering forgotten passwords.

Social networks, messaging platforms and even a re-envisioned type of email service released in 2020 called Hey have been trying to replace email as the go-to communication method for years. Slack probably came the closest, but just this week, Slack had a big outage. And you know what people did when they couldn’t Slack me? They returned to old faithful and sent me an email.

Email has an average return on investment of 42:1, which is 4-10 times higher than any other digital marketing channel. While averages are by no means a guarantee of ROI for your business, there is more user engagement data available within email than other channels, allowing you to better understand how you’re performing over time.

It’s searchable, storable, and indexable. It’s a “push” channel: unlike on social media or your website, where you need to rely on people to be online when you post or to come and find you, email allows your audience to engage with you on their time. This allows for a stronger connection to be built with potential customers.

Email is open-sourced, meaning unlike with social networks where your followers are ultimately users of another platform who can disappear if that service shuts down or decides to block your account, once you have a person’s email address, you can contact them “forever” (unless they opt-out, that is).

It can also be personalized. And I’m not just talking about the ability for email marketers to personalize the content of their emails… as a recipient, you have the ability to personalize your email experience. You can choose what types of emails you sign up to receive, whether emails are delivered to your inbox or a folder, and you can block senders if you no longer want to hear from them, among many other options.

TL;DR: Email is not only still alive… it’s thriving!

MYTH: All email is spam.

Many of us working in email have heard this misunderstanding before from friends and relatives.

Within the industry, spam email is defined as unsolicited and unwanted junk email sent out in bulk to an indiscriminate recipient list. If someone has signed up for your mailing list or gave you their consent to receive email communications, it’s not spam.

However email recipients do have the ability to mark your emails as spam if they don’t enjoy the email content you send – even if they signed up to hear from you!

If you’re having a hard time explaining to loved ones why your job isn’t to “send spam”, take the advice of Jeanne Jennings, Founder of Email Optimization Shop:

“…I mention a brand or publisher they like and ask if they get email from them. And usually, they do. And then I ask if they like it — they usually say yes. And then I ask if those emails are spam. And then they’re usually really quiet…”

If you’re experiencing issues with your email recipients thinking your email is spam, you’ve got a bit more homework to do because your issue could be stemming from list collection, list management, content, etc.

Tune in to my recent conversation with Skyler Holobach, Senior Manager, Email Reputation at Pardot & Salesforce Marketing Cloud, to learn how to optimize your list collection process to properly set expectations about what will happen after someone signs up, send quality content that will keep them coming back for more, and also make the unsubscribe process as easy as possible.

MYTH: Sending more emails = more ROI

Email deliverability is a numbers game. And to drive high return-on-investment from email, your emails need to be hitting the inbox!

To achieve consistent inbox placement, your goal should be to prove to Mailbox providers (MBPs) that the mail you’re sending is trustworthy, valued, and worthy of going to the inbox of their users.

The best way to do that is by generating as many positive reactions (such as opens and clicks) from recipients as possible, and at the same time, as few negative reactions (such as user complaints, unsubscribes and deleting without opening) as possible.

Each and every sender needs to monitor their email stats regularly to ensure they are properly balancing quality with quantity.

MYTH: High Sender Scores mean your emails will always go to the inbox.

While Sender Scores and other types of deliverability ratings provided by ESPs and 3rd party tools can be helpful if you have no idea whether you’re hitting the inbox, marketers rarely stop to understand how those scores have been calculated or how much relevance they have on future deliverability.

This can actually be detrimental to your email strategy in the long run… not to mention, leave you wasting a LOT of time chasing non-issues.

Without knowing how a score was calculated, you can’t be sure if it’s relevant to the destinations you send to the most. For example, Gmail’s anti-spam filters care mostly about engagement, so it wouldn’t be meaningful to have a high deliverability rate within a spam-scoring algorithm that is highly focused on issues driven by spammy email content.

Also note that these scores do not have a direct impact on deliverability. These are predictive scores based on historical data, meant only to give marketers a very high level idea of how their deliverability should be faring. They do not determine the future ability of your emails to land in the inbox.

The key to properly utilizing deliverability scores is to monitor your results over time, and in conjunction with engagement metrics such as opens, clicks and conversions.

MYTH: Landing in the Promotions tab is a bad thing.

You may be aware of the fact that Gmail offers a tabbed inbox that includes a Primary tab, as well as Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. Other MBPs including Outlook have started to offer this recently as well.

We often hear email marketers griping about emails landing in the dreaded promotions tab, and how bad that has been for their business.

Some even treat it like it’s equivalent to the spam folder. But it’s not! It’s part of the inbox!

In fact, studies have been released to confirm that while open rates may be up when emails go to the Primary tab vs Promotions tab, this is not because the email is all of a sudden that much more attractive to recipients. They’re likely opening that message simply to get it out of their way and reach inbox zero.

Studies also show that email recipients are not in the right frame of mind to receive promotional content when it’s mixed in between email received from friends, family and things they have told Gmail they find important. This can lead to elevated spam complaint and unsubscribe rates.

Additionally, many marketers are not aware of the low adoption rates of the tabs view:

  • 55% of emails are read on devices that do not offer tabs.
  • Only 20% of Gmail users have a tabs view enabled.
  • 50% of tabs users are reading the promotions tab daily — and when they’re there, they’re in the right mindset to purchase. This leads to higher conversion rates.

Ultimately, if you’re sending promotional content, then landing in the Promotions tab in Gmail is not an indicator of poor deliverability or a damaged sender reputation. It’s where you’re meant to be. And even if you wanted to fight it, Gmail’s filters are changing in real-time, so trying to find loopholes is like chasing a fire that never goes out.

Instead of trying to game the system, pour your energy into lasting efforts like building a quality list and providing real value to your subscribers!

Still not convinced? Check out what 9 other email experts had to say on the topic of Gmail tabs.

MYTH: Unsubscribes are just as bad for deliverability as spam complaints.

Not true! When a recipient marks an email as spam, it’s a clear indication to a MBP that the mail is unwanted. Elevated spam complaints make it easy for MBPs to identify when a particular sender’s emails are unwanted.

When a recipient unsubscribes, they’re simply asking to get off the ride. And that’s ok with MBPs! In fact, some have done their part to help make the unsubscribe process easier by offering unsubscribe buttons within their email clients, allowing for 1-click unsubscribes, and in Gmail’s case, even prompting users to ask if they want to unsubscribe when they haven’t engaged with a brand’s emails in the last 30 days.

Our advice is to view unsubscribes as a convenient way to clean up your list and learn from what your subscribers are telling you (whether you have a preference center or not). They can be used to identify issues with list collection, segmentation, offer and content selection.

Always make it easy for people to unsubscribe, and take action to reduce high unsubscribe rates quickly, because the next time, someone might decide to mark the mail as spam instead… that’s worse for deliverability and usually much easier to do.

MYTH: Authenticated email will always go to the inbox.

Authenticating with SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail) helps MBPs and recipients have more trust in the mail you’re sending.

Trusted mail is more likely to generate positive engagement by subscribers. And that positive engagement shows MBPs that email from you is not only trustworthy but also wanted by subscribers, resulting in more of your future emails being placed in the inbox.

But email authentication is not an all-access pass to the inbox because spammers authenticate, too! It’s just one of the many aspects that you must excel at in order to truly optimize your email program.

It’s essential to have at least a basic understanding of how authentication works, why it’s important, and how it can help (or hurt) your deliverability. If you haven’t done so yet, check out my recent conversation with Matthew Vernhout, VP of Deliverability North America for Netcore Solutions, to learn basically everything you need to know about email authentication.

MYTH: “We just need to fix (any single metric). That’s our only KPI.”

Email marketers are busy people, so it can be tempting to focus only on the metrics that seem to matter most (such as email opens). But if the key performance indicators (KPIs) you’re tracking aren’t well-aligned with your actual goals with email, then hitting those KPIs will not have the desired effect of driving conversions for your business.

And no email metric should be monitored within a vacuum! After all, it’s great to have high open rates, but aggressive subject lines can result in a spike in unsubscribes or spam complaints, and bait and switch offers that spike clicks can result in bad website visits or a damaged brand reputation.

When you’re working to set your business goals with email, consider that every step within the email process leads to a chance for engagement, and all of those interactions are important to you achieving your desired ROI from email.

Before a recipient can lead to a conversion, they must:

  1. Receive the email in their inbox.
  2. Find the subject line interesting enough to open the email.
  3. Find the content of your email compelling enough to click on your CTA.
  4. Find your offering worthy of their attention, driving a conversion.

So consider the full picture, and work on optimizing every step in the journey your email recipients are taking. This will lead to a greater understanding of the interests of your email audience, as well as an ability to optimize all of your metrics, not just that one that your management team thinks is most important.

MYTH: Inbox placement can be guaranteed.

This one applies to ESPs, list sellers, and email validation vendors alike.

To be clear: nobody can put a guarantee on something that is outside of their control!

Together, mailbox providers and recipients are the ones who decide which messages land in the inbox, not email senders or any kind of third party vendor.

Email Content Myths

MYTH: All email clients render/display emails the same way.

Oh boy, do I wish this one was true! Unfortunately, emails look a little bit different on almost every email client, browser and device your recipients are using. What works well in one view might look very strange or different in another, making a designer’s job incredibly difficult.

Thankfully, there are lovely companies like Email on Acid, Litmus, and Kickbox (!!) to provide you with powerful testing tools allowing you to see exactly what recipients will see when your email lands in their inboxes.

Email design tests show how your emails render across 90+ devices, including dark mode. They can also identify formatting, link, and code errors before your message reaches subscribers, reducing the stress that can come with hitting ‘Send’.

Want to perfect your emails and create an outstanding user experience across different browsers, clients and devices? Get your free consultation today to see if the Kickbox Deliverability Suite is right for you.

MYTH: Sending text-only emails improves deliverability.

Some email marketers claim they can “game” the system by sending text-only emails instead of the more standard practice of sending both an HTML (HyperText Markup Language) and plain-text version. The difference is plain-text emails don’t include images, special layout options or formatting such as bold, italics and underlines.

The truth is, while some senders do experience greater performance when sending text-only emails, the reason for this is not because MBPs like text-only emails better. It’s because those senders are giving email recipients the type of content they prefer, which boosts recipient engagement. And MBPs love recipient engagement! It’s a main driver for building a positive sender reputation and optimizing inbox placement.

A few reasons why including both types of emails is normally recommended:

  1. Including a text-version ensures your content is still accessible to recipients, even when the HTML content is not able to be displayed due to the email client and settings your recipients are using.
  2. Anti-spam filters aren’t able to read image content, so if your HTML emails are image-heavy, MBPs have a hard time knowing if your email is safe for their users. Including a text-version allows them to review your email content and quickly confirm it’s not suspicious.
  3. Text-only emails don’t include the tracking images that are normally needed to track opens in HTML emails, so you may have less data available for segmentation and personalization purposes.
  4. URLs within plain-text emails can look messy, particularly if they are long. Including an HTML version allows you to make use of Hyperlinks, which look more polished.

Ultimately, the type of email that performs best for your email program will be heavily dependent on your goals with email, the content you send, as well as what your audience tends to prefer. You cannot know what your audience likes unless you’re consistently monitoring your stats and engaging in some A/B testing!

Kath Pay, Founder of Holistic Email Marketing, joined us for a recent episode of Email Deliverability Unfiltered on Customer Experience and shared some great advice on how to implement a testing process that can help optimize your email program, even with limited resources. If you’re in need of some guidance, check it out.

MYTH: Content no longer causes deliverability issues.

A quick internet search returns pages upon pages of articles written about how to avoid spam filters and keep your emails flowing into the inbox by removing “spammy words” from your subject lines and content.

As a result, many email experts have spoken up to refute this claim, pointing out that you can use “FREE!!!!!!!” all day in your subject lines because this is not the thing that determines whether your email will go to the inbox or not.

The reality is, it depends on the destinations you’re sending to. In the eyes of most MBPs (including Gmail, Outlook and Verizon Media Group), it’s the reaction that your recipients have to your content that matters most. If they react favorably (e.g., opening, clicking, replying, forwarding to friends), your mail is likely to continue going to the inbox. If recipients react unfavorably (e.g., clicking “this is spam”, dragging emails to the spam folder, deleting without opening), this will start to impact inbox placement.

Marcel Becker, Sr. Director Product Management for Verizon Media shared how this works within his network:

“Some folks really believe that in this day and age “content” (specific words, subject, emoji etc.) really impacts deliverability. What they fail to understand is not that it’s “specific” words, subject or emojis. It’s that really what they send — and how it might look (emojis again) — is just annoying to recipients. And THAT will impact their deliverability…”

Marcel went on to explain a bit more about what he means by “content”, since there is often a lot of debate within the senders community about how this is defined by MBPs:

“While it’s true that we don’t look at specific words, emojis, phrases etc. (things you would call “content”) — we do look at “patterns” (like others as well). But that doesn’t mean that we look for patterns which might look spammy. It rather means that machines (remember, that most of this stuff is powered by Machine Learning (or to use the fancy word: “AI”)) might look for patterns that match things users currently or previously deemed spammy. But that also means it goes back to what I said: The specific strings don’t matter — but when users get annoyed by that stuff, it will have an impact sooner or later.”

But that’s not to suggest content doesn’t cause delivery issues at any destination. As Vytis Marciulionis, Deliverability Manager for Emarsys points out:

“…it depends on the provider. For example, Orange.fr is very clear that they reject messages based on spammy words in subject lines. Freenet.de clearly stated that they filter mails with emojis in subject lines (or even if From Name is the same as sending domain). GMX/web.de has bounces based on content “patterns”. In my opinion, content issues should not be very high on the priority list of the sender, but it should also not be considered as an obsolete factor in email deliverability.”

While there is no doubt that content still plays a part in anti-spam filtering, it’s not nearly as simple as avoiding certain words to bypass spam determinations.

Pay attention to the destinations you’re sending to, be on the lookout for a high percentage of failures within one network to spot issues such as those described above, and do your best to remember: recipient reaction is ultimately the key! If your content is loved by your recipients, you should have very little issue hitting the inbox.

MYTH: Deceptive subject lines are good for deliverability since they boost open rates.

Some email marketers have started using tricky subject lines that include RE: or fake FWD: in an attempt to increase their open rates. Others have gone to even further lengths, such as creating fake shipping notifications, with the same idea in mind: to get recipients to engage with their emails.

As Skyler Holobach shared in our Email Deliverability Unfiltered post on Deliverability Resolutions to Keep in 2021:

“There may be a brief increase in open rates, but that will not sustain. It’s more likely to wind up getting more unsubscribes and spam complaints from your subscriber base.

People are opening these emails because it is stressful to look at a RE: and try to figure out when and why you responded to that email… I’m going to open that email to figure out what is going on so I can do damage control. Opening it to find it’s another sales email is deeply frustrating, and it’s going to result in both email reputation damage and brand reputation damage.”

While MBPs love to see positive engagement from their users like opens and clicks, they do not like to see their users quickly marking an email as ‘spam’ after it’s been opened, so these tactics can end up being more harmful to your deliverability than helpful.

If you’re experimenting with subject lines in an attempt to boost open rates, make sure to keep an eye on your other email metrics as well, to ensure your unsubscribe and spam complaint rates remain healthy.

MYTH: Changing IPs or ESPs will solve your deliverability issues.

While we’d love to tell you that any deliverability issues you’re facing will magically disappear by sending through a new IP or switching ESPs, this is not usually the case.

MBPs have become more sophisticated over the past several years, and domain reputation continues to play a bigger role in determining a sender’s reputation.

Not all MBPs are monitoring domain reputation closely – yet – but most of the biggest providers, particularly Gmail, include this in their anti-spam filtering process, and so do many of the 3rd party filtering services used by corporate, educational and government domains.

The tricky part is: since domain reputation is tied to your sending domain, which in most cases is also tied to your company’s website, it can follow you, even if you switch IPs or ESPs.

If you’re considering a new email vendor because of missing features or poor customer service, a request for proposal (RFP) process will be a good starting point to determine the right ESP for your organization’s email needs.

But if you’re asking your ESP for new IPs or totally jumping ship in an attempt to escape a deliverability issue, slow down and take some time to consider all of the steps involved in moving your email program to a new IP or email provider. This can be a large undertaking, involving weeks if not months of planning and execution. And you still might be facing a deliverability issue if you haven’t resolved what caused it to begin with!

Incorporating good sending practices will continue to be more and more important over time as domain reputation is adopted more widely, so it’s best for you to work with your current provider (or a deliverability consultant) to understand what’s driving your deliverability issue and what steps are required to resolve it.

Interested to learn more? Check out this session from the CSA Digital Summit 2020 where Tamara Bond, Delivery Operations Manager at dotdigital, and Alice Cornell, Director of Email Deliverability for Change.org, break down the responsibilities of ESPs vs Brands: Who Delivers?

MYTH: Warm-ups only apply to IPs.

The email warm-up process allows you to establish a sender reputation by starting to send with a small volume of emails, and gradually increasing your email volume over time.

In the past, MBPs were much more focused on IP reputation, so email marketers typically only felt the need to warm-up their IPs.

However if you’ve been paying attention, you know that domain reputation continues to play a bigger role in determining a sender’s reputation as technology progresses. So it should come as no surprise that warming up a new sending domain, just like you would for a new IP, has become more important as well.

The best way to approach your warm-up period is to make all of your changes at once. MBPs love consistency, and they can be wary of changes happening frequently, so if you’re planning to move to a new IP and also send through a brand new sending domain, do it all at the same time so MBPs can adjust to your new configuration and start getting used to it.

Data Collection Myths

MYTH: Sign-ups collected through a double opt-in process won’t flag your emails as ‘Spam’.

A double opt-in process (DOI), also sometimes referred to as a confirmed opt-in (COI), is a process where a new email address is only added to your mailing list after the address owner confirms the sign-up was legit by clicking a confirmation link that is sent to them via email.

Requiring this extra step can give marketers greater confidence in the quality of their database and the interest of recipients, but it doesn’t protect your emails from being flagged as spam. If the emails you send are not valued by recipients, or the content / frequency of your emails doesn’t match up with their expectations, it can still lead to a spam complaint, just like unsolicited emails.

For this reason, it’s important to always follow your engagement metrics, and take action to resolve any issues with campaigns generating high rates of unsubscribes or complaints, as well as those with low open and click rates.

Keep in mind that MBPs cannot know if an email recipient has opted in. They can only see how their users react to the emails you send and make judgements about your legitimacy based on if recipients seem to engage positively or negatively with your content. So it’s up to you to deliver content that your recipients love and engage with positively.

MYTH: Purchasing email lists is ok as long as the data is “opt-in”.

Most of the vendors selling email lists will lead with the fact that the personal details they are selling to you are fully compliant with CAN-SPAM (a law in the US which does not require an opt-in from recipients prior to emailing them).

They may go a step further by confirming all of the email addresses you’re about to buy have opted in, meaning they may be compliant with stricter email laws as well.

But I hate to break it to you, email friends: legality does not equal inbox placement. If you’re aiming for the inbox, you’ll have to set your bar quite a bit higher when it comes to list collection.

This is because if recipients haven’t opted in to hear from you, then you’re putting your email program at risk for deliverability issues stemming from high user complaints and hard bounces, spam trap hits, blocklistings, spam folder placement, blocked emails, and potentially even termination by your ESP for non-compliance with their terms of service.

MYTH: Adding leads from third parties is an ideal way to grow your mailing list.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

While it may be quite nerdy of me to quote the Spider-Man pledge in a blog post, the guy is giving some great advice.

Translated to email speak, I’d like to think Spider-Man is telling you that just because you have someone’s email address, doesn’t mean you should send to it.

Anyone who’s even tried to grow their prospect or customer base has been tempted to add a list of email addresses they were given by the organizer of a tradeshow, partner webinar or other type of (now virtual) event.

While those people may have given an email address to register for the event, and may have also agreed to receive email communications from sponsors within the fine print or privacy policy of something they signed up for, this is rarely a good idea without some thoughtful segmentation and content explaining why they’re hearing from you.

Similar to an opt-in that came through a purchased list, if the recipient isn’t expecting to hear from your brand, the end result can be very bad for deliverability.

Email Verification Myths

MYTH: Email list verification can fix a problematic mailing list.

Also referred to as email validation, email verification is a process that allows email marketers to separate low-quality email addresses from high-value contacts by identifying invalid and non-deliverable email addresses and verifying legitimate addresses, giving marketers the ability to improve their delivery and engagement.

Email verification has a rightful place within every marketer’s deliverability tech stack, because it can help improve data quality, troubleshoot issues with list collection, and particularly the real-time verification method, can help marketers avoid missed connections with potential new customers.

It can be helpful in scenarios such as re-engagement campaigns or if your company has recently gone through a merger or acquisition and you have no idea how their email list was built or managed.

The benefit in this type of activity is to remove any addresses on your list that may have turned into a hard bounce since they signed up, as well as to have a better understanding of the makeup of your list.

  • Is there a high presence of role accounts or disposable addresses?
  • Are many addresses being flagged as “Undeliverable”, even though you were told all recipients have been mailed to recently? This can suggest data management might be an issue.
  • If you have multiple data collection sources, it can help you identify which one(s) are causing problems.

But email verification cannot be used to solve all issues with your mailing list. For example, it cannot create permission where actual consent from the recipient hasn’t been given.

MYTH: Email verification can remove ALL spam traps on your list.

While we’re on the topic of email verification, another common misconception that is actually spread by other vendors in the space is that they are able to detect and remove every single spam trap from your mailing list.

Email verification should never be seen as a way to remove spam traps from a poorly built list, because there is absolutely no way to know every single spam trap out there. The whole point of a spam trap is that it is kept secret. MBPs and anti-spam agencies never purposefully disclose them, and they are creating new traps all the time!

Is it possible to identify spam traps? Sure. Most people in the industry have stumbled upon them at some point while doing a deliverability investigation.

But telling customers that you can definitively remove every spam trap from their list – including ones from MBPs and very credible sources like Spamhaus – it’s simply not possible.

If you’re working with an email verification provider who does provide a list of the spam traps on your list, resist the temptation to simply remove those traps from your list and go back to business as usual. Because if you haven’t dealt with the reason why those traps are on your list in the first place, then you’re basically spending a lot of money to put a bandaid on a bullet wound. You haven’t removed the problem… you’ve simply removed your view of the problem, making it harder to solve.

Instead, use that data to trace your spam trap issue back to the source, and plug that hole where the spam traps are appearing!

MYTH: Existing email lists require re-validation regularly.

While B2B addresses are known to show higher turnover than B2C addresses, there is no hard and fast rule that says existing mailing lists need to be re-validated on multiple occasions.

As Laura Atkins, owner of Word to the Wise explains in a previous edition of Email Deliverability Unfiltered focusing on list management:

“…mailing regularly is the best data hygiene out there. Companies who send mail at least quarterly and remove addresses that no longer exist are doing data hygiene every time they mail. The data they have on their subscribers is better than any data a third party company will have.”

Best case scenario, they get back the same list they handed over. Worst case, the data hygiene company pulls off active subscribers depriving them of mail they want. In the normal case, it’s just all a waste of time and money and effort.”

Lots of customers come to Kickbox to clean up a problematic list – and while we can help, this is not the best way to grow your list or optimize your deliverability.

Focus on implementing real-time email verification on the front end instead! It allows you to capture a valid email address, reducing hard bounce rates (good for deliverability), but it also increases your opportunity to connect with every potential lead who legitimately shows interest in your brand. All of this is, of course, good for ROI.

One thing we talked about with Kate Barrett during our State of Email Sign-Ups Report was the fact that 95% of customers will come to your website or physical location only once, and never return again. If this is even close to being true, then implementing a tool that allows you to avoid losing new sign-ups due to typos seems like a no-brainer.

Consider what the lifetime value of an email recipient is for your company… whether it’s $10 or $1,000… missing connections with even just a handful of potential customers each month can lead to a huge amount of missed revenue each year.

Tips for Spotting Deliverability Myths

With so much information being created in the deliverability space, and very little of it coming directly from the Mailbox providers themselves, it’s hard to know who to trust.

Expand your network.

Our advice is to surround yourself with industry colleagues you trust: those who have a track record for delivering solid advice, support and/or expertise. There are several industry groups you can turn to for suggestions, such as the #emailgeeks Slack group, Women of Email and Better Messengers. All of these communities require an application, but they are free to join.

There are also industry groups that are available with a paid membership, such as the Messaging, Malware and Mobile Anti-Abuse Working Group (M3AAWG), Only Influencers, and the Email Experience Council (EEC), among many others. Many of these groups offer special interest groups or committees you can join to learn and share your knowledge with others.

Review content with a suspicious eye.

Have you heard of the author or company before? Do you trust them? Are their claims backed up with data, customer feedback or any kind of facts?

Even if an article is shared from a seemingly credible source, be willing to dig a little deeper and do your own research.

Never stop learning.

One of the keys to success in deliverability is continuing to learn about the evolving trends within the industry, as well as within your own email performance metrics. It will be much easier for you to spot articles sharing questionable information and form your own opinion on a topic if you’ve already read the perspective of several experts.

Ask questions.

Whether you’ve become a member of the groups above or prefer to engage with folks in your industry on LinkedIn, Twitter or somewhere else, do not be afraid to ask questions!

Even the veterans who have been in the email industry for 20+ years will tell you that they are consistently learning new things and/or questioning something they thought they knew.

Conclusion

In order to master email, it’s important that we not only understand how deliverability works but also which pitfalls to avoid along the way. This can be the difference between knowing where your emails are likely to land instead of wondering “what happened’ when something goes awry with your email deliverability. While there are many more deliverability myths and misconceptions out there, knowing how to avoid the aforementioned ones will help you to build unshakeable confidence in your deliverability and your email program.

Stay tuned for more awesome content

In our next episode, where we’ll cover Issue Mitigation in Deliverability. You can also listen to all episodes in our Email Deliverability Unfiltered series now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Anchor.

Not caught up on the series? Check out our last episode all about email permission, why it’s important and how it impacts deliverability.

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