Email Myths: Deliverability vs. Inbox Placement

By Genna Matson in Creative on May 20th, 2016

Email Myths Deliverability vs. Inbox Placement

Have you ever wondered why your deliverability rates are always above 98% but your open and click through rates are low? It’s probably due to the fact that you are confusing deliverability with inbox placement. Many marketers think these metrics are one and the same, but there is a world of difference.  

Let’s start with a vocabulary lesson.

Deliverability  —– the percentage of emails being delivered or the total percentage of non-bounces. 

Inbox Placement — where in the mailbox the email was placed; in which folder (or tab, if you are referring to gmail) the email’s final resting place is (i.e., inbox, spam, promotions, etc.)

These are two similar metrics that are frequently confused. However, while deliverability does affect inbox placement, inbox placement never affects deliverability.

Deliverability rates are heavily influenced by the quality of your data. If regular maintenance such as removal of unsubscribes, hard bounces and unengaged subscribers is not performed on your subscriber list, it will negatively impact your sending IP’s (Internet Protocol) reputation.

Inbox placement is determined by the reputation of the IP, authentication of the sending domain (DNS signatures including DKIM, SPF and/or DMARC), from fields, subject line and, in some cases, (gmail) engagement. Customer complaints (Oh no, not the spam button!) also impact inbox placement. If more than 0.1% of your audience complains about your campaign, your emails will be moved to the junk box.

As a marketer, you know how much competition there is in your customer's inbox. Make sure your messages are getting there, and staying there. By keeping an eye on both deliverability and inbox placement as vital metrics of your email campaign, you can safeguard your conversion rates and your ROI.