Contradiction: email marketers find it hard to reach the inbox but at the same time don’t seem to care too much

Deliverability is a hot topic in email marketing today. There are many reasons for that: an increased volume of emails sent (email has recently been used more frequently due to the recession), a growth of lists, changing techniques at the ISPs to filter emails, etc.

The emphasis increasingly lies with relevance, content and interaction by and with the email recipients.

The ‘Email Marketing Industry Census 2010 report’ by Econsultancy, carried out in cooperation with Adestra, shows that the number of businesses claiming to have problems reaching their email subscribers’ mailboxes has increased by 3% compared to last year, reaching no less than 54%. 

24% of all respondents claim that deliverability is a major obstacle for a successful campaign. Last year, that number was only 13%.

The biggest change in barriers to effective email marketing is the quality of the email database, followed by deliverability issues.


Many email marketers have primarily themselves to blame (although ESPs and ISPs are very popular scapegoats in this respect).

Email deliverability: your email list is crucial for your sender reputation

The so-called ‘sender reputation’ depends on many factors. But it is safe to say that one of those factors is definitely the way in which lists are being handled. 

The quality of your database is of the essence: so keep your lists ‘clean’. By performing regular list hygiene, you can have an active and healthy file, which leads to fewer complaints, fewer bounces and thus a better reputation.

We like to say ‘the money is in the list’ but so is the reputation.

Manage your lists carefully. Of course you always ask permission prior to sending an email. Use double opt-in subscription where possible.

Tell new subscribers from where the email will be sent and ask them to add it to their trusted senders list of their spam filter. Keep your lists up-to-date. Remove email addresses that don’t exist anymore and look at your bounces.

And know and send what your recipients want and how they want it!

However, what does the Econsultancy study also tell us?

That only one third (32%) of all respondents has indicated list and data quality as being part of the top three priorities for 2010.

Deliverability is a top three priority for…15% of all respondents.

Maybe I miss something but I don’t get it. Do you?

You can see more data and charts in the YouTube ‘slideshare style’ presentation movie I quickly made below.

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