Unlocking the Secrets of Email Delivery & Reputation: Navigating the Landscape of Deliverability

In the vast realm of digital communication, the journey of an email from clicking send to the inbox is far more intricate than one might imagine.

The Science of Getting in the Inbox is a complex dance, choreographed by Email Service Providers (ESPs) and mailbox giants like Yahoo, Google, Hotmail, MSN, Microsoft, and AOL. This article unveils the mystery behind the scenes, delving into the critical facets of email reputation and deliverability.

As of February 1st 2024, new rules are coming into play. This means you need to ensure your email server settings (DNS Domain Name Servers) are configured correctly so that your emails don’t end up in the Junk Folder.

What are email rules?

When you press send on that carefully crafted email, a series of behind-the-scenes evaluations kick into gear. These are the email rules, the criteria set by ESPs and mailbox providers to ensure their users’ inboxes are protected from spammers. These rules consider not just your DNS setup, but also other aspects such as email frequency, bounce rates, engagement metrics, and content nature.

Imagine your email as a traveller crossing borders. The email rules act as checkpoints, scrutinising its legitimacy. Your email’s frequency and volume, how often recipients engage (scroll, click …), and whether you’ve inadvertently stepped on a spam trap – they all play a role in determining its fate. It’s a meticulous examination that boils down to one thing: your sender reputation.

Why are Email Rules Important?

The significance of adhering to email rules becomes apparent when your emails find themselves in the unwanted territory of spam and junk folders. Have you ever poured resources into growing your email list, only to witness your best content bouncing or taking a detour to the spam folder? 

It’s not just frustrating; it’s a roadblock to effective communication.

In the email world, everyone has a reputation or sender score. Low reputation equates to the spam folder, regardless of your content’s quality. 

In a world where digital landscapes are in constant flux, staying ahead means understanding the rules set by the gatekeepers.

What is Email Authentication Anyway?

To navigate the intricate web of email deliverability, authentication is your shield. It’s the key to ensuring your emails aren’t mistaken for phishing attempts or spam. In the world of DNS (Domain Name Servers), where your domain resides, three authentication methods reign supreme:

SPF (Sender Policy Framework): This tells the servers that the service sending the mail has permission to send on behalf of your domain.

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail): Think of it as a digital signature specific to your email service account, providing a unique identifier for your emails.

DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance): The guardian against spoofing, DMARC checks if SPF and DKIM align, granting permission for the email’s delivery.

Ensuring your authentication is in order is like having a digital passport for your domain. Without it, you might find yourself stranded in the no man’s land of spam folders. But, as with any journey, it’s not just about having the passport; it’s about following the rules set by both technology and email marketing best practices.

The Headlines You Need To Know Before February 1st 2024

  1. Make sure that you have a single SPF record for each sending domain.
  2. Make sure you have a DMARC policy for each sending domain.
  3. Make sure you have a DKIM for each sending platform (HL, Outlook etc).

This blog merely scratches the surface of the intricate dance that is email reputation. Whether you’re a seasoned email marketer or just dipping your toes into the digital waters, understanding these elements is crucial for your success. Download your copy of ‘The Science Of Getting In The Inbox’ guide to learn all about email reputation, unravelling the complexities that shape the fate of your emails in the vast expanse of cyberspace.