Just like Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster, deliverability myths have long been a topic of debate. While getting to the inbox is like the mythical “white whale” for a lot of businesses, it doesn’t have to be.
By debunking some of the following myths, understanding deliverability and how to better reach the inbox should no longer be a mystery.
Fact or Fiction? If I have insight into my engagement metrics, that should tell me what I need to know about my inbox placement.
Fiction! Although engagement metrics such as clicks, read rate, and opens are great, they don’t always directly correlate to your inbox placement. The bottom line is that different metrics measure different aspects of your email program. Engagement metrics do exactly what they sound like they do; they look at how your customers are engaging with your mail—not whether they received it. Deliverability metrics look at where your mail gets delivered (inbox, spam, or missing) and act as a basis for your engagement metrics. Not only are engagement rates a poor measure of deliverability, you’ll also get an inaccurate picture of engagement if you don’t understand your deliverability.
Fact or Fiction? Complaints can come from places other than just the “This is Spam” button.
Fact! Your complaint rate largely consists of customers reporting mail as spam, but it also includes other metrics such as:
Fact or Fiction? Having a list unsubscribe link in the footer of my email is sufficient.
Fiction! CAN-SPAM legally requires you to include an easily viewable unsubscribe link in all of your email messages. But that alone is often not enough to mitigate customer complaints. Adding a list-unsubscribe header is a great way to improve your deliverability by reducing complaints. Gmail and Outlook in particular are adopters of this method and recommend adding the header as a best practice. The list-unsubscribe header is a simple concept that shows the unsubscribe link in the email header so that customers don’t have to dig for the unsubscribe link in the footer of the email. Plus adding the list-unsubscribe header helps customers avoid getting blacklisted on Lashback and SORBS.
Fact or Fiction? If I am missing 100% consistently at a mailbox provider then I must be blocked from that mailbox.
Fiction! A 100% missing rate is sometimes an indicator of a block, but that is not always the case. Consistent 100% missing rate could indicate:
Fact or Fiction? Certification can improve my deliverability.
Fact! Return Path’s Certification program provides qualified senders an opportunity to be “whitelisted” with with major mailbox providers like Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL and more. Once certified, mailbox providers acknowledge you as a safe sender, so in turn, your emails receive reduced filtering at participating mailbox providers. By following the standards of the Certification program and staying below the thresholds, you receive the benefits of Certification hat your competitors might not have.
Although Return Path Certification cannot guarantee inbox placement, it is likely that certified senders will see improved inbox placement. Return Path’s global coverage is the widest in the industry covering AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cox, Comcast, Yandex, Cloudmark, Mail.ru, Orange, Spamassassin, and Spam Cop. Certification has other perks that help with inbox placement, such as unblocked images and active links, bypassing mailbox filters, real time alerts, and professional assistance.
To learn more about deliverability, check out our latest ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Email Deliverability.