An Introduction to Email Deliverability

Created by Carrie Despaux, Modified on Tue, Oct 3, 2023 at 11:39 AM by Carrie Despaux

What is deliverability and why is it important?

Deliverability is a measure of how many of your emails are reaching subscribers' inboxes versus their spam folders. Ensuring a high deliverability rate is crucial as it guarantees that the effort put into your email marketing doesn't go unnoticed. The goal is to have your messages seen by your subscribers.

How is deliverability determined?

The inbox placement of emails is influenced by various factors. Primarily, mailbox providers are assessing:

  • Is the message safe?
  • Is the message wanted by most subscribers?
  • Is the message wanted by this particular subscriber?

If all these questions garner a 'yes', the email lands in the inbox. Otherwise, it's directed to the spam folder. The decision largely depends on the sender reputation calculated by mailbox providers.

Sender Reputation

Providers like Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc., assign a reputation score to your sending domain. This score, akin to a credit score, however, isn't publicly disclosed. The engagement level of subscribers with your emails significantly impacts your sender reputation.

Subscriber Engagement

Engagement is gauged by how subscribers interact with your emails. Positive interactions improve sender reputation, while negative interactions may lower it. Here are some tips to promote positive engagement:

  • List Health: Maintain a list of subscribers who have opted in willingly. Ensure forms are secure and prune your list regularly to remove unengaged subscribers.

  • Consistency: Keep consistent in your sending domain, volume, and frequency to avoid being flagged as risky by mailbox providers.

  • Content: Although content's influence has diminished over time, it can still impact deliverability, especially for new or inconsistent senders. Avoid link shorteners, spammy words, and gimmicks, while maintaining a good image-to-text ratio and encouraging authentic engagement.


Enhancing deliverability involves focusing on subscriber preferences, building a willing subscriber base, and generating engaging content. These practices will favorably influence mailbox providers to place your emails in the inbox, maximizing the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.

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