Why You May Need Email Deliverability Consultant?

A full guid on email deliverability expertis

Written by : Mandana Soroush

In today's digital age, the process of an email reaching its intended inbox is far from straightforward. The moment you press "send," you might anticipate that your emails will swiftly land in your clients' inboxes, providing them with valuable information and services. Yet, whether it's a confirmation email, a meticulously composed newsletter, or an update about a new product feature, there's a chance it could vanish into the vastness of the Internet, never to be seen again.

The statistics are eye-opening: over 20% of emails never make it to their destination, instead getting filtered directly into spam and junk folders. This translates to about 3 in every 20 of your users missing out on learning about your latest offerings, being unable to reset their passwords, or perhaps cancelling their subscription before even concluding their free trial period.

The absence of email interaction leads to a lack of trust.

It sounds quite grim, doesn't it?

Indeed, the significance of email deliverability cannot be overstated for businesses of all sizes and industries. It's of such importance that tech giants like Google and Yahoo have released updated sender guidelines for 2024. Implementing these requirements might seem daunting.

Thankfully, there are dedicated professionals whose role is to ensure that your emails reliably reach your customers' inboxes, exactly as you intended.

1. Who is an email deliverability consultant?

An email deliverability consultant is a specialist who focuses on maximizing the rate at which sent emails successfully reach the recipients' inboxes, avoiding filters that reroute them to spam or junk folders. These consultants possess deep knowledge of email systems, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), email regulations, and best practices for email marketing. Their expertise covers several key areas:

  • Email Authentication and Security: They help set up and manage technical aspects like SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) records to authenticate emails and protect against phishing and spoofing.

  • List Management and Hygiene: Consultants advise on maintaining a healthy email list, including strategies for acquiring, verifying, and cleaning email addresses to reduce bounce rates and improve engagement.

  • Deliverability Analysis and Monitoring: They analyze email campaigns to identify deliverability issues, monitor sender reputation, and provide insights on how to improve email visibility in recipients' inboxes.

  • Compliance and Regulations: Deliverability consultants ensure that email marketing practices comply with laws and regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act, GDPR, and others, protecting businesses from legal and financial penalties.

  • Strategy and Best Practices: They offer guidance on content optimization, frequency and timing of emails, and segmentation strategies to improve open rates, click-through rates, and overall engagement.

  • ISP and Blacklist Negotiation: In cases where an organization's email deliverability is compromised by blacklisting or poor sender reputation, consultants can liaise with ISPs and blacklist operators to resolve issues and restore deliverability.

By working with an email deliverability consultant, businesses can significantly improve their email marketing effectiveness, ensuring that their messages reach their intended audience, which in turn can lead to higher engagement, conversions, and customer retention.

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2. Questions for Your Email Deliverability Consultant: A Guide

When consulting with an email deliverability expert, having a checklist of questions can help ensure you cover all critical areas to improve your email performance. This checklist is designed to help you gain valuable insights and actionable recommendations from your deliverability consultant.

1. Email Infrastructure and Authentication

  • How can we improve our email authentication practices (SPF, DKIM, DMARC)?
  • Are there any weaknesses in our current email infrastructure that could affect deliverability?

2. Email List Health and Management

  • What strategies do you recommend for maintaining a healthy email list?
  • How can we effectively manage our subscribers to enhance engagement and reduce churn?

3. Deliverability Performance Analysis

  • Can you help us analyze our current deliverability rates and identify the main factors impacting them?
  • What benchmarks should we be aiming for in our industry/sector?

4. Compliance and Best Practices

  • Are we fully compliant with current email regulations (e.g., GDPR, CAN-SPAM Act)?
  • What best practices should we follow to ensure compliance and optimize deliverability?

5. Content and Campaign Strategy

  • How does our email content potentially affect our deliverability?
  • What improvements can we make to our content strategy to improve open and click-through rates?

6. ISP and Blacklist Issues

  • Have any of our IP addresses or domains been blacklisted, and how can we address this?
  • How can we build better relationships with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and improve our sender reputation?

7. Monitoring and Reporting

  • What tools or services do you recommend for monitoring our email deliverability and sender reputation?
  • How often should we conduct deliverability audits to stay ahead of potential issues?

8. Recovery and Action Plans

  • If we encounter deliverability issues, what immediate steps should we take to mitigate them?
  • Can you provide a recovery plan for major deliverability setbacks?

9. Future Planning and Strategy

  • How can we future-proof our email deliverability strategy against evolving email landscape changes?
  • What emerging trends or technologies should we be aware of?

10. Custom Advice and Insights

  • Based on our specific challenges and goals, what tailored advice can you offer?
  • Are there any industry-specific considerations we should be aware of?

This comprehensive set of questions is designed to help you extract maximum value from your consultation with an email deliverability expert, ensuring that your email marketing efforts are as effective and efficient as possible.

Our deliverability experts are here to help. Startawesomeeffortlessintelligentfrom the beginning.

3. What an email deliverability consultant can’t influence

An email deliverability consultant plays a crucial role in optimizing your email campaigns to ensure they reach the recipient's inbox. However, there are certain factors outside their scope of influence:

1. Recipient Behavior

  • Email Opening and Engagement Rates: They can provide strategies to improve these metrics, but actual user engagement is ultimately determined by the recipient's interest and behavior.
  • Spam Reporting by Recipients: Consultants can suggest practices to minimize spam complaints, but they cannot control individual actions of marking emails as spam.

2. Internal Company Policies

  • Content Creation: While they can offer best practices for content likely to achieve high deliverability, the final content decisions rest with the company.
  • Budget Constraints: They may recommend tools or strategies that incur additional costs, but budget limitations are decided by the client's organization.

3. Email Platform Capabilities

  • Technical Limitations of Email Service Providers (ESPs): Consultants can optimize within the constraints of your ESP but can't change its inherent limitations.
  • Integration with Third-Party Tools: They can recommend integrations but cannot ensure those third-party tools align perfectly with your ESP's capabilities or limitations.

4. External Regulations and Compliance

  • Changing Legal Regulations: They can advise on compliance with current laws like GDPR or CAN-SPAM, but they cannot influence or predict changes in legal regulations.
  • ISP Policies and Blacklisting Criteria: While they can guide on best practices to avoid blacklists, the specific criteria and decisions of ISPs and blacklist operators are beyond their control.

5. Market Trends and Email Technology Evolution

  • Emerging Technologies: They can keep you informed about new tools and practices, but the pace and direction of technological advancements are outside their control.
  • Competitor Strategies: Consultants can analyze trends and competitor actions but cannot control or predict competitor strategies directly.

In summary, while an email deliverability consultant can provide expert guidance, strategy optimization, and best practices implementation, several external factors influencing the success of an email campaign are beyond their direct control. These include recipient behavior, company policies, platform capabilities, external regulations, and evolving market trends.

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4. What is a good deliverability rate?

A good email deliverability rate, often referred to as inbox placement rate, is one of the key metrics for assessing the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns. It measures the percentage of emails that successfully land in the recipients' inboxes, as opposed to being filtered into spam folders or blocked entirely.

  • Ideal Range: A deliverability rate of 90% to 95% is generally considered good. This range indicates that the vast majority of your emails are reaching their intended targets, which is crucial for successful email communication and marketing strategies.

  • Industry Benchmarks: It's important to note that deliverability rates can vary by industry. Factors such as different email sending practices, audience expectations, and engagement levels can influence what's considered a "good" rate in each sector. Therefore, comparing your rates with industry-specific benchmarks can provide a more accurate assessment.

  • Factors Influencing Deliverability: Several elements affect your deliverability rate, including sender reputation, email authentication (SPF, DKIM, DMARC), list hygiene, engagement rates, and the quality of your content. High rates of hard bounces, complaints, and spam trap hits can negatively impact your deliverability.

  • Continuous Improvement: Even if you're within the desired range, it's essential to continually monitor and improve your email practices. This includes regularly cleaning your email list, segmenting your audience, personalizing content, and staying updated with the latest email marketing trends and best practices.

Maintaining a high deliverability rate is crucial for ensuring that your messages reach your audience, thereby improving your chances of engagement and conversion. Regularly reviewing and optimizing your email strategies based on deliverability metrics can help sustain and improve your email marketing performance.

The journey of an email from send to inbox is a tale of strategy, compliance, and engagement, where deliverability rates are the narrator.
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5. How much does deliverability consulting cost?

The cost of deliverability consulting can vary widely depending on several factors, including the consultant's experience, the complexity of the services required, and the scope of the project. Here's a broad overview:

1. Consultant Experience and Expertise

  • Freelancers or Independent Consultants may charge anywhere from $50 to $200 per hour, based on their expertise and the specific needs of your project.
  • Agencies or Firms that offer comprehensive email marketing and deliverability services might have higher rates, starting from $100 to over $300 per hour, due to their broader resources and expertise.

2. Scope and Complexity of the Project

  • Audits and Analysis: Initial deliverability audits to assess your current email setup and identify issues can range from $500 to $5,000 or more, depending on the depth of the analysis.
  • Ongoing Services: For continuous deliverability optimization, including strategy development and implementation, prices can vary significantly. Monthly retainers for these services might range from $1,000 to $10,000 or more, reflecting the ongoing commitment and resources required.

3. Project-Based vs. Retainer Agreements

  • Project-Based: Some consultants offer specific packages for tasks like setting up authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, DMARC) or resolving blacklistings, with fixed prices that can range widely based on the project's complexity.
  • Retainer Agreements: Many businesses prefer retainers for ongoing deliverability management, ensuring they have expert assistance on hand. This can be cost-effective for continuous improvement but requires a consistent budget.

4. Customization and Additional Services

  • Prices may increase for highly customized solutions or additional services beyond basic deliverability consulting, such as content strategy, design, and advanced analytics.

Given the wide range of potential services and the specific needs of each business, it's crucial to clearly define your goals and budget when seeking deliverability consulting. Requesting detailed proposals from several consultants or agencies can help you understand the market rates and what services you can expect within your budget. Remember, investing in deliverability consulting can significantly impact your email marketing ROI, making it a valuable consideration for businesses looking to optimize their email strategies.

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6. Key steps in email deliverability

Ensuring your emails reach the recipient's inbox involves several key steps that together form a comprehensive email deliverability strategy. Here are the essential steps in email deliverability:

Email Authentication

Email Authentication

Implement standard email authentication protocols such as SPF (Sender Policy Framework), DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail), and DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance). These help verify your identity as the sender and protect against phishing and spoofing.
Manage Your Email List

Manage Your Email List

  • Regular Cleaning: Remove inactive subscribers and invalid email addresses to maintain a healthy email list.
  • Double Opt-In: Encourage a double opt-in process for subscribers to ensure they genuinely want to receive your emails and reduce the risk of spam complaints.
Monitor Sender Reputation

Monitor Sender Reputation

Your sender reputation influences whether your emails will be delivered to the inbox or spam folder. Monitor your IP address and domain reputation regularly using tools provided by ISPs or third-party services.
Follow ISP Policies

Follow ISP Policies

Different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have their own set of rules and algorithms for filtering emails. Familiarize yourself with these policies and ensure your email sending practices align with their requirements.
Optimize Email Content

Optimize Email Content

  • Avoid Spam Triggers: Be mindful of words, phrases, and formatting that could trigger spam filters.
  • Personalization and Relevance: Customize your emails to suit your audience's interests and behaviors to improve engagement.
Implement Feedback Loops

Implement Feedback Loops

Set up feedback loops with major ISPs to receive notifications when recipients mark your emails as spam. This allows you to remove these contacts from your list and reduce future complaints.
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8. How our email deliverability experts help you?


Understand & Audit

First, our email deliverability consultants will seek to thoroughly understand your goals and constraints. Then, we perform a comprehensive deliverability audit which includes authentication and configuration, mailing reputation, blocklist and spam trap checks, as well as inbox placement testing. Next, we dive into the historical analysis of your sending practices, messaging strategies, data acquisition processes, and list hygiene policy. And finally, we perform a risk assessment of your email lists to identify and remove hidden threats. So, we will assess your email campaigns to pinpoint problems that could adversely affect deliverability, including low open rates, high bounce rates, or an increase in spam complaints.

Identify & Execute

Upon completing the audit, we will deliver a prioritized action plan or email playbook, offer assistance with implementation as required, and provide continuous support during our collaboration. We will troubleshoot and fix any technical issues that may cause emails to be filtered out by spam filters or marked as spam.

Monitor & Optimize

Our email consultants will oversee the sender's reputation score to guarantee emails reach the inbox, avoiding being blocked by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) or mailbox providers. Additionally, we will refine email content to make sure it is pertinent, captivating, and matches the preferences of the recipient.

Provide Best Practice

Best practices in email marketing are strategies and techniques that have been proven to increase engagement, improve deliverability, and drive conversions. These practices are essential for building strong relationships with subscribers and achieving your marketing objectives. Our email deliverability consultants will offer advice on the most effective email marketing strategies, including segmentation, personalization, and A/B testing, to enhance engagement and performance.
Maximizing your email deliverability

Top email deliverability experts & consultants

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