Email Deliverability: 5 Quick & Effective Ways to Increase It [+IG]

How to Achieve Great Email Deliverability and Reach the Inbox in 2024: Proven Strategies for Email Marketing Success

With over 4 billion daily email users worldwide, email remains one of the most powerful channels for marketers to engage customers and drive revenue. However, getting your carefully crafted emails into recipients‘ inboxes is far from guaranteed.

In fact, more than 20% of legitimate email gets blocked or filtered to the spam folder, causing significant missed opportunities for senders. That‘s why every marketer must make email deliverability a top priority.

What is email deliverability? It‘s the ability to get your emails delivered to recipients‘ inboxes (as opposed to bouncing back or getting filtered to the spam folder). While some marketers use the terms "delivery" and "deliverability" interchangeably, they‘re two distinct concepts:

  • Delivery refers to whether the receiving mail server accepts the email you sent. An email is considered "delivered" if it doesn‘t hard bounce, even if it ends up in spam.

  • Deliverability refers to where the email gets placed after it‘s accepted – the inbox, spam folder, promotions tab, etc. High deliverability means getting emails into inboxes consistently.

Deliverability is critical because messages that miss the inbox don‘t get seen, opened, or clicked, wasting the time and effort that goes into email creation. And chronically low inbox placement signals that recipients find your emails irrelevant, damaging your sender reputation and email ROI.

Fortunately, by understanding key deliverability factors and following email marketing best practices, you can reach the inbox more reliably and maximize email performance. Here‘s what you need to know to improve your deliverability in 2024:

Key Factors That Impact Email Deliverability

  1. Sender Reputation
    Your sender reputation is a score that receiving mail servers assign to you based on your past sending behavior. Think of it like a credit score for email.

Positive signals that boost your reputation include:

  • High engagement (opens, clicks, replies)
  • Low spam complaints
  • Consistent volume and frequency

Activities that damage your reputation include:

  • High bounces
  • Spam trap hits
  • Sudden spikes in volume
  • Low engagement

Mail servers use complex algorithms to calculate your reputation, but in general, senders with higher reputations enjoy better deliverability. Monitoring your reputation across major mailbox providers is key to identifying issues before they impact results.

  1. Email Authentication
    Another critical deliverability factor is email authentication – technical standards that prove you are a legitimate sender authorized to send from your domain. The main email authentication protocols are:
  • Sender Policy Framework (SPF): Lists the IP addresses permitted to send email on behalf of your domain.

  • DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM): Adds an encrypted signature to your messages to verify they haven‘t been tampered with in transit.

  • Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC): Aligns SPF and DKIM to protect your domain from unauthorized use (email spoofing).

In 2024, implementing these protocols is essential as major mailbox providers like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo are cracking down on unauthenticated email to combat spam and phishing. Properly setting up authentication can significantly boost deliverability.

  1. Email Content and Formatting
    The content and design of your emails also impact deliverability. Some common mistakes that can trigger spam filters or hurt engagement include:
  • Misleading, spammy, or off-brand subject lines
  • Excessive use of sales/promotional language
  • Sloppy code or large image files that delay loading
  • Lack of plain text version for multi-part MIME
  • Missing or incorrect physical mailing address

To avoid these issues:

  • Craft authentic, compelling subject lines
  • Balance text and images (60/40 ratio)
  • Optimize email load time (< 3 seconds)
  • Include plain text version of HTML emails
  • Provide clear unsubscribe link and mailing address

Clean, professional, engaging email creative improves the recipient experience, boosting engagement signals and inbox placement.

  1. Recipient Engagement
    Speaking of engagement, how your recipients interact with your email heavily influences future deliverability. Positive actions like opening, clicking, replying, forwarding, and moving messages to other folders tells mail servers that people want your emails, improving your reputation.

Negative indicators include:

  • Deleting without opening
  • Ignoring messages repeatedly
  • Reporting emails as spam
  • Unsubscribing

To maintain strong engagement:

  • Follow email frequency best practices (e.g. 2-4 sends/month)
  • Segment your audience to target relevant content
  • Personalize email copy, offers, and creative
  • A/B test subject lines and content to optimize response
  • Automate lifecycle/behavioral messaging like welcome series

Driving positive, consistent engagement is one of the best ways to safeguard inbox placement in 2024 and beyond.

  1. Email List Health
    The quality of your email list – the hygiene of the email addresses you‘re mailing to – is another key deliverability factor. Sending to invalid, inactive, or purchased/rented emails can lead to high bounces, spam traps, and low engagement that damage your sender reputation.

To maintain good list hygiene in 2024:

  • Regularly remove hard bounces, unsubscribes, and long-term inactive emails
  • Implement confirmed opt-in to ensure consent
  • Never purchase or rent email lists (this violates laws like GDPR)
  • Use real-time address validation to identify risky emails before mailing
  • Re-engage or suppress inactive subscribers to boost list quality

Following these list management practices protects your reputation by maximizing the % of your list that wants and engages with your email. The higher your list quality score, the better your deliverability.

Emerging Trends Impacting Email Deliverability in 2024
In addition to these key deliverability factors, marketers must also monitor emerging email trends and adapt to changing consumer behaviors and regulations. Some major developments that will shape email success in 2024 include:

  1. Stricter Privacy Laws
    The EU‘s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have ushered in a new era of data privacy, with more US states planning similar legislation in 2024. To avoid hefty fines, senders must collect proper consent, provide clear opt-out mechanisms, and safeguard subscriber data. Building trust through lawful email practices will be essential for deliverability.

  2. Adoption of AMP for Email
    In 2024, interactive emails powered by AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) will move into the mainstream, enabling real-time content, app-like experiences, and dynamic personalization within the inbox. As more senders embrace this engaging new format, those still sending static emails may see lower response. Creating compelling AMP emails will become a competitive differentiator.

  3. AI-Powered Spam Filters
    As artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, global mailbox providers are using AI and machine learning to better identify and filter spam. These advanced algorithms take into account each individual recipient‘s engagement to determine inbox placement, making subscriber-level relevance more important than ever. Senders must lean into personalization and automation to connect with customers intelligently.

  4. New Authentication Standards
    The email industry is also developing new protocols to enhance security and trust, such as:

  • Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), which displays verified brand logos next to authenticated emails.
  • Authenticated Received Chain (ARC), which helps preserve authentication when messages pass through intermediaries like mailing lists.

Senders that embrace innovation and adapt to these technical standards will be well-positioned to reach the inbox consistently.

Real-World Examples of Strong Email Deliverability
Need some inspiration for your own email program? These brands are leading the way with exemplary deliverability and email marketing success:

  1. Patagonia
    This outdoor retailer maintains near-perfect deliverability across major mailbox providers by combining strong authentication practices with relevant, engaging content. Patagonia‘s emails reflect the brand‘s mission and values, fostering loyalty and positive engagement with a highly targeted audience.

  2. Airbnb
    Airbnb achieves 97%+ inbox placement by personalizing emails based on past booking behavior, browser activity, and real-time data. For instance, Airbnb sends price drop alerts for listings browsers have viewed and recommendations based on past trips. This timely, subscriber-level relevance keeps engagement high and messages in the inbox.

  3. Spotify
    Music streaming service Spotify has built a reputation as an email leader by using data to power highly personalized campaigns like Spotify Wrapped recaps, new release alerts from followed artists, and curated playlist digests. By keeping emails authentic and tailored to each subscriber‘s tastes, Spotify maintains strong open rates and deliverability.

These brands showcase how the path to high email deliverability in 2024 and beyond is paved with strong technical fundamentals, data-driven personalization, and a relentless focus on subscriber needs and wants.

Wrapping Up: Make Email Deliverability Your #1 Priority

By understanding the key factors that influence deliverability and staying on top of the latest email trends, you can reach the inbox more consistently to achieve your email marketing goals. Remember to constantly monitor your reputation, engagement, and list hygiene – and don‘t hesitate to seek expert deliverability services if you need help.

To learn more about optimizing your email program for 2024, check out these helpful resources:

  • The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing
  • DMARC Explained: How to Protect Your Email Deliverability
  • 5 Keys to Improving Subscriber Engagement
  • Email Marketing Best Practices for 2024

Here‘s to your email deliverability success!