Ever wondered why your meticulously crafted emails are landing in the spam folder instead of the inbox?

Or perhaps bouncing back altogether? You’re not alone.

It’s an issue many businesses grapple with and it can be a complex one to solve.

But here’s the thing – every internet service provider has several measures in place to protect its users from spam, phishing, or malicious emails. Thus, the key to reaching your recipient’s inbox is understanding these rules and ensuring your emails comply.

Welcome to the world of email deliverability.

The most efficient way to analyze your email performance and understand how well your emails are being delivered is by conducting an email deliverability audit. Stay with me as I break down how you can do this effectively. 

Email deliverability audits are crucial, not only to diagnose present problems but also to make your improve the performance of your future email campaigns.

What is an email deliverability audit?

An email deliverability audit, simply put, is a comprehensive examination of your email marketing processes (and performance). It’s like a health check-up for your emails, making sure they are being delivered as effectively as possible to your target audience’s inbox, instead of being redirected to the spam or junk folders

During an audit, various aspects will be evaluated, such as your email metrics, IP reputation, domain reputation, email content and format, email authentication setup, list hygiene, and the use of deliverability best practices.

The primary aim of this audit is to identify any weaknesses, flag potential issues, and develop targeted strategies to optimize your email deliverability. 

The importance of this process cannot be overstated, as email continues to remain a crucial channel for reaching customers.

The ROI from email as a channel is significantly better than most other marketing channels. See below:

However, optimum email deliverability is not a given.

Issues like spam filters, faulty configurations, poor targeting & audience management, or poor email sender practices can severely impact the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Email performance and deliverability contain two pillars:

1. The Technical Pillar – this includes your email authentication – SPF, DKIM & DMARC, your sending domain (and reputation), and for advanced large senders – your sending IPs

2. The Engagement Pillar – this includes your audience management, targeting, subscriber journey and how many percent of your list is actually engaged.

You need to focus on both for success in email marketing.

Therefore, conducting a regular email deliverability audit is an excellent preventive measure to ensure your marketing messages are reaching your subscribers.

How does email deliverability affect my business?

Approximately 20% of legitimate emails never reach the inbox.

It’s crucial to gain an in-depth understanding of how email deliverability influences your business. After all, a significant part of your marketing strategy is likely dedicated to email outreach, right?

When the emails you’re sending aren’t reaching the intended recipients, all that hard work is essentially wasted. 

An email that lands in the junk folder, or worse, blocked entirely at the server level, is one less potential interaction with a customer or prospect. This could be a missed sale, a missed opportunity for engagement, or a missed chance to build and nurture that all-important customer relationship.

Drilling down a bit more affects your email sender’s reputation, preventing even your most valuable emails from reaching your audience. 

But here’s the good news: an email deliverability audit can shed light on weak points in your current email strategy, and it can provide the insights you need to address them proactively. By improving email deliverability, you not only optimize your current marketing efforts, you also open the door to greater subscriber engagement and, ultimately, more revenue. 

Think of your emails like a well-engineered vehicle. Even the smallest unattended issue can disrupt their smooth travel. In this case, email deliverability issues are those small disruptions that, if not addressed, might lead to a bumpy ride or even a complete breakdown of your entire marketing efforts. 

Email deliverability is not set in stone.

Like your business, it needs continual monitoring, nurturing, strategy, and optimization.

So, conduct regular email deliverability audits. Use the findings to fine-tune your email marketing strategies. It’s like performing regular maintenance on that well-engineered vehicle – you ensure the smooth running of the engine and steer your business confidently towards success. 

Email Marketing AspectData to Consider
Bounce RateA measure of how many emails were not delivered. High bounce rates could indicate issues with your sender reputation, email list or email content.
Open RateThis metric shows how many people open your emails. Low open rates may indicate that your subject lines aren’t engaging or that emails are going straight to the spam folder.
Click-Through RateThe percentage of recipients who click a link within your email. Low rates could mean your content isn’t compelling or your call-to-action isn’t clear.
Unsubscribe RateAn indication of how many recipients chose to stop receiving your emails. If the unsubscribe rate is high, you may need to reassess your content strategy, targeting or frequency of emails.
Spam Complaint RateThe number of recipients marking your emails as spam. High spam complaints are a clear sign that you need serious change in your email strategy and targeting.

What are some of the steps involved in an email deliverability audit?

An email deliverability audit begins with “Audience Management” and a thorough evaluation of your email list (and their engagement level). This involves checking for inactive or invalid email addresses and how to deal with them.

Another crucial step is to review your sender’s reputation. This can be done by checking your IP and domain health across the internet (as well as a detailed performance analysis). If your sender’s reputation is poor, it could be due to factors such as high complaint rates, spam trap hits, or low engagement rates, to name a few.

Next, you need to review your email content. This includes checking for spam triggers in your subject lines and email body, ensuring your emails are mobile-friendly, and that they contain a good balance of text and images. It’s also crucial to ensure your emails are personalized and relevant to the recipient.

Analyzing your email metrics is also a key part of an email deliverability audit. This involves looking at your open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribe rates. These metrics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your email campaigns and help identify areas for improvement.

Checking your email authentication is another important step. This involves ensuring that your emails are properly authenticated using standards like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Proper email authentication can help improve your deliverability by reducing the likelihood of your emails being flagged as spam.

Finally, you should conduct a thorough review of your email infrastructure. This includes checking your email server configuration, ensuring that your IP addresses are not blacklisted, and verifying that you’re adhering to best practices for email sending. This step can help identify technical issues that could be impacting your email deliverability.

What are some common issues found during an email deliverability audit and how can they be fixed?

Let’s delve into some typical problems you might identify during an email deliverability audit.

For starters, you might find that your emails are landing in the spam folder rather than making it to your recipient’s inbox. This is often due to a poor sender reputation, resulting from a high number of spam complaints, high bounce rates, or sending to cold (non-optin) subscribers

Another prevalent issue is that your email content might trigger spam filters. The use of spammy words or phrases, excessive use of capital letters, multiple exclamation points, or HTML coding errors can all send your emails straight to the spam box. 

Lack of list hygiene can also cause email delivery issues. If you’re not regularly removing bounced emails, unsubscribers, and inactive users from your lists, this will negatively impact your sender reputation. Therefore, it is paramount to maintain a clean, engaged email list. 

Low open and click-through rates can also be a problem. This could be due to unappealing subject lines, poor content, or sending emails at the wrong time. To increase these rates, test different subject lines, personalize your content, and use analytics to determine the best times to send your emails.

Last but not least, you may find that your emails are going out at the wrong times, leading to lower open rates and higher unsubscribe rates. Sending emails when your subscribers are most likely to open and read them can dramatically increase your email engagement rates.

Running an email deliverability audit can be complex and time-consuming, but it’s critical for maintaining a healthy email program. Keep these common issues in mind as they might be what’s standing between you and improved deliverability.

Lastly, a lack of segmentation and personalization can lead to low engagement and high unsubscribe rates. If your subscribers feel that your emails are not relevant to them, they are less likely to engage and more likely to unsubscribe.

To address this, segment your email list based on factors like purchase history or subscriber behavior, and personalize your emails to make them more relevant and engaging.

What are the benefits of conducting an email deliverability audit?

An audit can help enhance your understanding of your current email performance and deliverability rate.

It can give you detailed insights into how many of your emails are reaching the inboxes of your subscribers. This can help you benchmark your performance. In essence, you’ll gain a clearer picture of where things stand now (and be able to have historical data to compare to moving forward). 

Secondly, you will get an inside look at the health of your email list. Duplicates, invalid email addresses, and inactive subscribers can severely hurt your reputation as a sender. With an audit, you’ll be able to remove these problematic elements and focus on maintaining a high-quality list. 

It’s also an opportunity to improve your IP reputation. Email service providers decide whether to deliver your emails based on your reputation. An audit helps you identify and fix issues causing your emails to be blocked or land in the spam folder, ultimately improving your IP reputation and email deliverability. 

Remember, the key goal is to ensure your emails are successfully delivered to the intended recipient. In this sense, running an email deliverability audit is like a digital health check for your email marketing efforts.

Ultimately, it’s evident that the deliverability of your emails can directly influence your results and overall marketing performance. An email deliverability audit is vital for maintaining the health of your email campaigns, assuring that your emails make it to the inbox of your subscribers.

Do you want to boost your email performance? I’m here to help.

Don’t leave your email delivery success up to chance. Reach out to me today for a comprehensive, detailed email deliverability audit.

Let’s make your email communication as impactful as possible.

Contact me now and see the difference a professional audit can make!