Email Deliverability Terms Explained

Your hard work in creating emails is wasted if they don't end up in the recipient's inbox.

This is why deliverability is important, even though it may seem complicated due to technical aspects. However, it's not that complex as it's mainly about landing in the primary inbox and avoiding being flagged as spam. To achieve this, it's crucial to get high reply rates and low spam complaints by not sending spam. Although there may be technical jargon involved, don't worry as we're here to help.

  • Authentication: In order to send an email, the recipient's inbox must confirm the identity of the sender. This is comparable to showing identification when someone asks for your name. Authentication is used to verify that the sender of an email is indeed who they claim to be. If you encounter issues with authentication, it is necessary to examine how your email is linked to your DNS (domain name system).
  • Blacklist: This is a compilation of email addresses or domains that are recognized as sources of spam or harmful emails. It's similar to a list of phone numbers that you may have blocked because they sent you unwanted messages. These blacklists exist within organizations and third-party entities, and they can affect whether your emails end up in the spam folder. You can use tools like Mailtester and MxToolBox to determine if your email address is on these lists.
  • Content Filtering: The process of inspecting the contents of an email to determine if it contains undesirable material like spam, malware, or other unwanted content. This can also be achieved through the use of software like Mail Meteor, MailCleaner and SpamTitan.
  • Custom Domain Tracking: A distinct web address (the part that comes after the "@" symbol in your email) or a sub-address that is only used to monitor when people open and click on links in your emails. By using your own web address for tracking links, you can avoid being associated with any malicious activity that might occur on a third-party domain. This can help safeguard your reputation as a sender, which in turn can improve the chances of your emails being delivered successfully and performing well.
  • Deliverability: Deliverability refers to the effectiveness of an email in reaching the intended recipient's inbox without being flagged as spam or bounced back. It is important to ensure that emails are successfully delivered to their intended recipients. Good deliverability indicates that emails are reaching their addressees.
  • Delivery Rate: Your deliverability is determined by the percentage of emails that are successfully sent to the recipient's server. It can be compared to delivering a package to someone's house, where the delivery rate is the percentage of packages (emails) that actually reach the person's house (email server).
  • DKIM: Domain Keys Identified Mail or DKIM is a technique for verifying the authenticity of an email by using cryptographic signatures to confirm that it was sent by an authorized sender. The purpose of DKIM is to prevent fraudulent emails from being sent by someone pretending to be the actual sender. It can be compared to wearing a unique bracelet that identifies you as a member of a particular group. DKIM employs specific codes to demonstrate that the email is indeed from the correct individual.
  • DNS: The acronym DNS refers to the "domain name system." A DNS record is a record in a database that links domain names to IP (internet protocol) addresses. It can be compared to a telephone directory for the internet, providing a directory that assists us in locating the website or email address we desire. Your DNS records store items such as DKIM and DMARC.
  • DMARC: The message authentication, reporting, and conformance system is a method of verifying the authenticity of an email using SPF and DKIM. DMARC is comparable to using two locks to secure a bicycle, as it employs two techniques to confirm that an email is genuinely from the sender it claims to be from.
  • Email Client: An email client allows the recipient to access and read their email messages. It serves as a mailbox for emails and examples of email clients include Google Mail, Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird, macOS Mail, among others.
  • Hard Bounce: A hard bounce occurs when an email cannot be delivered due to an incorrect or non-existent email address. It is similar to sending a letter to a friend who has moved without knowing their new address. If you receive a hard bounce notification, you should try to find a valid email address for the recipient.
  • Inbox Placement: The concept of inbox placement is not just about avoiding spam filters, but also about ensuring that your email ends up in the recipient's main inbox rather than in the promotions or updates tab. It is important to aim for primary inbox placement when sending emails. Being relegated to the promotions or updates tab can be just as detrimental as being marked as spam.
  • IP Reputation: The term "IP Reputation" refers to the reputation of a device's internet protocol address. Every device that connects to the internet is assigned a unique number, similar to a license plate for a car. This number is known as the IP address. The IP reputation is like a report card that evaluates the online behavior of the device and determines whether it has a good or bad reputation. Some email systems group users under a single IP address, which is common in marketing tools. The IP reputation of a company can be affected by the behavior of individual employees, which can impact whether emails from higher-level executives are marked as spam.
  • ISP: or Internet Service Provider, is a business that offers internet access to its clients. It can be compared to a postal carrier who delivers your mail. The ISP is a service provider that enables you to connect to the internet, allowing you to send and receive emails.
  • List Cleaning: List cleaning involves removing email addresses that have become outdated or inactive due to people changing jobs or not being contacted for a long time. Failure to remove these emails can harm your reputation, making it crucial to regularly clean your email lists.
  • Reputation Score: also known as domain reputation or sender reputation, is a rating given to a domain based on its past behavior and history of sending emails. It is similar to a grade that a company receives based on the quality of their email communication. If the emails are well-received and free from errors such as spamming or excessive sending, the company will receive a high grade.
  • SMTP: stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, is the commonly accepted method for sending and receiving emails over the internet. It can be thought of as a specialized computer language used specifically for email communication and transmission.
  • SPF: The Sender Policy Framework (SPF) is a technique used for verifying the authenticity of email messages by verifying if they were sent from an authorized server. It functions like a confidential code that guarantees the sender's identity, ensuring that emails are sent from a legitimate and secure source. It verifies whether the email originated from a genuine and secure location.
  • Spam: Refers to sending a large number of unsolicited emails, usually with the intention of promoting something or engaging in malicious activities.
  • Spam Folder: Designated location in your email client where potentially unwanted emails are stored. These emails are directed there by your email server to prevent them from cluttering your main inbox.
  • Soft Bounce: Situation where an email cannot be delivered to the recipient due to a problem, such as their mailbox being full.
  • Unsubscribe Link: Hyperlink that is added to email messages, which enables the recipients to choose not to receive any further communications.
  • Whitelist: Compilation of email addresses or domains that are permitted to bypass spam filters and directly reach the recipient's inbox. It functions as a guide that informs your email which senders are reliable and can be allowed into your inbox without any risk.
  • Warm up for IP: Gradual increase in the number of emails sent from a new IP address in order to establish a good reputation for sending emails. It's similar to introducing yourself as a new sender and assuring that you will send good emails, so that your emails are delivered to the recipient's inbox.

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