Email Deliverability Challenges

Google the term “attention span” and you’ll find an enormous volume of research that confirms just how quickly we can be distracted from the task at hand. Microsoft famously discovered that we typically lose concentration after only eight seconds – that’s one second faster than a goldfish!

Yet, The Relevancy Group’s new report, “Keys to Email Delivery for App Developers & Product Managers,” reveals that the biggest challenge businesses face when trying to engage with their customers online is not getting them to read emails. It’s delivering those messages to users’ inboxes in the first place.

Mean delivery rates are falling, and that can have catastrophic consequences for your user engagement numbers.

Fortunately, the report also provides The Relevancy Group’s expert advice on how to reverse this trend and create more opportunities to delight, educate and positively impact the user experience.

Good News, Bad News

First the good news. Users are engaging with email at a greater rate today than they did in 2016. Mean open rates in 2017 were up 8% compared to 2016, and click-through rates jumped 14% over that same time period. When emails arrive, users are likely to open and read them.

Now the bad news. It’s getting more difficult for email senders to ensure messages are not delayed or fail to reach users altogether. Mean delivery rates are down from 90 percent in 2015 to under 87 percent in 2017. That means senders are not reaching up to 13 percent of their users!

Other red flags: Nearly a third (30%) do not use any data validation technology at the point of collection; and over 70% have not implemented the three key authentication and security standards (SPF, DKIM and DMARC).

The report debunks the old myth that email delivery “just happens,” and explains how it is actually a very complex process that relies on several factors. For example, delivery rates inevitably fall when a sender fails to:

  • Create and maintain a strong reputation
  • Fix latency issues within their apps or online user experiences
  • Prepare for volume spikes
  • Consider all relevant laws and industry regulations in their customers’ countries (i.e, CAN-SPAM in the US, CASL in Canada, and GDPR in the EU).

Recommendations for Best Practices

After identifying the many challenges you face while working to build and maintain a positive sending reputation and reach the inbox, the report explains how to succeed by focusing on several core areas.

These include maintaining a consistently high level of data integrity to avoid those dreaded ‘hard bounces’ that will tarnish any sender’s reputation; implementing and managing the numerous and necessary security and authentication standards; and tips for maintaining an ongoing (and constructive) dialogue with Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and other key inbox providers responsible for delivering your email to your customers.

The report provides a deep dive into each of these eight core areas. You will also learn why the Relevancy Group advises partnering with a specialized email deliverability expert to help implement, monitor, and maintain positive sending reputations and productive email programs. In fact, 86% of senders surveyed either currently leverage an outside delivery service (53%), or plan to engage email deliverability experts this year (33%).

Whether you’re a marketing professional, product manager or app developer, the Keys to Email Delivery report will serve as a blueprint you can follow to more consistently drive positive user experiences with well-orchestrated, perfectly-timed email communications.