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You put significant effort into creating the best possible emails to send to customers and clients. You work at refining your subject lines and tweaking the wording so that your email is as appealing as possible.
Then, you send your email and simply hope that your intended recipients receive and read your email.
That’s not the most professional way to approach email delivery rates. It would be a crying shame if no one saw your hard work, simply because it didn’t appear in their inboxes. An email deliverability test is there to tell you if your email is going to hit inboxes, or wither and die in a spam filter. Essentially, an email deliverability test gives you insight into whether your emails will reach their destination successfully.
Why Do You Need An Email Deliverability Test?
You might think that you can check whether or not your email will be delivered simply by sending a couple of test emails to your own accounts. So why should you use an email deliverability test as well?
Here’s why. Sending an email to your own accounts only gives you insight into your own relationship with your business’s email services provider. It’s most likely that your email hosting service knows to recognize your email campaigns as valuable mail. But how would your email campaigns be treated if you sent them to a new contact? Would it make a difference if you sent 300 emails at the same time? An email deliverability test can answer these questions for you.
At its most basic, an email deliverability test will give you a score (usually between 1 and 10, but sometimes between 1 and 100) that tells you how likely it is that your email campaign will be flagged as spam by different email hosting services.
So ultimately, your email deliverability test will shed light on your digital reputation. It shows your inbox rate and spam rate, and also gives insight into how your email renders in different email clients. A good email deliverability test can rate email campaigns sent from every email marketing services provider, and see how they fare on each of the leading email clients.
What Can You Learn from an Email Deliverability Test?
An email deliverability test can tell you a lot more than just whether or not your email has reached your intended recipients’ inbox. Here are some other valuable things you can learn from a good email deliverability test:
Which email clients have the highest delivery rate for a particular email campaign, and which have the lowest
Whether your email content, tone, or choice of words is likely to trigger spam filters
Whether the format, number, and size of images, along with the length of the email is likely to be considered spam
If there are any broken links in your email
If your email IP address or your domain name is on a blacklist or anti-spam database
Advice about why your email might not be delivered, and how to improve your email delivery rates
Whether your SPF and DKIM authentication technology is working effectively, in order to prove the authenticity of your email campaigns
4 Steps to Effectively Using an Email Deliverability Test
Step #1: Choose a reliable and insightful email deliverability test
Some email marketing services have email deliverability test capabilities built into their framework. For example, Constant Contact and ActiveCampaign allow you to send your email campaigns to a seed list, to check email deliverability.
Other email marketing services offer integration with third-party add-ons that run email deliverability testing. For example, AWeber integrates with ReturnPath and SenderScore to allow users to test email deliverability.
There are also many email deliverability test tools that you can use together with any email marketing service. Some of the most popular are SenderScore, GlockApps, Barracuda Central, and TrustedSource. These independent email deliverability tests frequently have more extensive capabilities, and give you more in-depth data on your email delivery rates, than using an email marketing service.
You should look for an email deliverability test that also gives feedback about the overall tone of your email campaign. These tools will tell you how your email scores, on a range from conversational to spammy. Then take advice from your email deliverability test seriously. Consider the changes it might suggest, and try out different approaches based on the feedback you receive.
Step #2: Create a seed list
This is a list of real email addresses at different email hosts that you use to check your email deliverability rate. This way, you’ll know which email clients accept your campaign and which have more sensitive spam filters. Furthermore, you’ll get insight into how your email campaign renders in different email hosts. Some email deliverability test tools keep their own seed list for your use. Constant Contact invites you to save a seed list of your own for email deliverability test purposes.
Step #3: Run an email deliverability test both before and after sending your email campaign
Testing before you send the campaign allows you to check whether your email might trigger spam filters so that you can make changes before you get hit with a heap of hard bounces. Checking after sending allows you to monitor your real-time delivery rates for deeper deliverability insights.
Step #4: Test, save, and then test again
You can usually save your email deliverability test results, and then make changes to your wording, number of images, or content. Then, you can test the email campaign again to see whether your changes affected your deliverability or spam rating.
An Email Deliverability Test Isn’t Enough
An email deliverability test helps boost your email delivery rates. But on its own, that’s not enough to achieve email delivery success. You need to purge your list regularly, removing duplicate or disinterested contacts. It’s also critical to make sure that your emails provide lots of value, that they read in a conversational manner, and that they avoid spammy language. And if you need help, go with one of the best email marketing services providers that consistently provide high deliverability rates and boast a good reputation.
Bethenny eats, sleeps, and breathes digital marketing. She helps clients take charge of brand awareness and create lead generation strategies via a number of marketing channels, including email, social media, SEO, and content. When not a marketing superwoman, you can find her playing with her three dogs on her five-acre property, or planting yummy treats in her vegetable garden. (She is also a bit of a Real Housewives junky, #guiltypleasure!)