Intro to Email Deliverability: Getting Your Emails in the Inbox

picture of laptop displaying gmail on the screen

Have you ever sent an email and wondered if it made it to the recipient’s inbox? Well, you’re not alone.   

Your emails being sent to your recipient’s inbox may seem like something that should just happen, but there are a lot of technical aspects that can impact whether or not it’s received. But don’t worry. We’re here to explain how you can improve your email deliverability so more people get your messages. 


What is Email Deliverability?

There’s no point in sending an email if it never gets seen. There are a few things that can influence whether your email makes it to its destination, for example, the reputation of the sender, the email’s content, and the recipient’s email client filtering system.

To complicate matters even more, different types of emails require different approaches to ensure they’re delivered successfully. It can be confusing, so it’s crucial to understand these differences and tailor your email marketing strategies accordingly.

Personal (Direct) Emails

Personal emails are the ones that you send from one person to another. You might use an email client like Outlook or webmail like Gmail to send these types of emails. They’re usually more informal and are typically used for personal communication. 


Transactional Emails

Transactional emails are sent to customers or users as part of doing business together. These emails serve as confirmations or reminders of significant transactions, such as purchases, registrations, or password changes. Some examples of transactional emails include forgotten password emails, e-commerce receipts, and customer surveys. 


Marketing Emails

Marketing emails are the ones businesses send to promote their products, services, or events. They’re crafted to motivate the reader to take action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. Marketing emails can handle many forms, like newsletters, promotional emails, event invitations, and updates.  

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Ensuring High Email Deliverability Rates 

Making sure your emails actually reach the people you send them to is super important for good communication and keeping your audience engaged. To boost deliverability, it’s essential to follow some smart guidelines and steer clear of things that trigger spam filters.  

There are some simple steps that can greatly increase the likelihood of your emails landing in the right inboxes. Let’s check out some helpful strategies for improving email deliverability.

Avoid Spammy Content

One thing you can do to improve email deliverability is to avoid using spammy content in your emails. Nobody likes receiving spam, and email filters are designed to weed out emails that look like spam. Some things that can trigger spam filters include using all caps in your subject line, using too many exclamation points, or including words like “free” or “urgent.” 


DNS Records

Email authentication mechanisms (or DNS records) are important because they help protect us from receiving potentially harmful emails. Here are some of the mechanisms: 

  • SPF (Sender Policy Framework): verifies that the sender’s email server is authorized to send an email on behalf of the domain in the message’s “from” address. 
  • DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): uses digital signatures to verify that the message was not altered during transmission and came from the domain it claims to be from. 
  • DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): helps to prevent email spoofing and phishing by specifying how to handle messages that fail authentication checks. 

Overall, by setting up DNS records and implementing these authentication mechanisms, you enhance your email deliverability by establishing trust with recipient servers. This increases the likelihood of your emails reaching the intended recipients’ inboxes rather than being flagged as spam or rejected altogether.


Utilize SMTP to Send Mail

When it comes to sending emails from most websites, including WordPress sites, there are two main ways: PHP mail and Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP). 

The PHP mail function is the default method in WordPress. It’s a built-in feature that comes with the programming language PHP, which WordPress is based on. This function lets you send emails directly from your web server, without needing extra setup or outside help. However, it can have some issues with getting emails delivered and has certain limitations. 


On the other hand, SMTP works differently. It relies on an external server, either a dedicated email service provider or the SMTP server provided by your web host, to handle the email delivery process. Using SMTP can improve the chances of your emails getting delivered successfully. It also offers advanced features that can be useful. 


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Email Deliverability – Part 2! 

So, there you have it – a brief overview of email deliverability and how it can impact your emailing efforts. By understanding the different types of emails and their purposes, implementing best practices, and avoiding spammy content, you can increase the likelihood of your emails reaching the intended recipient’s inbox 


And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ll be sharing more tips and strategies on our blog in part 2 of our email deliverability series!