How to test email deliverability

With roughly 281 billion emails sent and received each day, our inboxes have never been more crowded. This makes it really hard for email marketers to catch the attention of their audience. However, getting your email opened and replied to might be the biggest challenge in email marketing.

Before you start wondering why your emails fail to generate any results, make sure they actually reach the inboxes of your audience and check your email campaign deliverability.

Why to test email deliverability regularly

If there is a drop in the open- and click-through rates of your emails, an increase in bounce rate, or your emails are not getting delivered to people on Yahoo or Gmail or any other ISPs, then it’s time to suspect that something is wrong with your email deliverability.

The SPAM folder is where emails go to die. Once your emails start to get flagged as SPAM, the damage is irreversible!

A lot of effort and time goes in – setting up a domain for mailers, setting up email marketing software, then creating and sending a campaign. So if your emails start to land in SPAM or Promotions folders, all the effort and costs invested in email marketing is at risk of being wasted.

That’s why it is important to be sure at all times that a large number of your emails are not going to spam. Or in other words, you need to monitor your sender score and email deliverability on regular basis.

Monitor the actual opening rate on regular basis

The simplest way to keep track of email deliverability and sender reputation is to keep track of opening rates. There is no way to check how many emails land in the inbox but it is relatively easier to measure how many emails are being opened.

Most email marketing software platforms provide a detailed report of email opening and click rates. For example, Fuzen’s cold email automation tool will tell you how many time each email was opened and clicked. It will also tell you who is engaging with your emails. That gives you a good idea of average email opening and click rates.

Regularly measuring the opening rates for all your campaigns will help you monitor campaigns, evaluate them, and design even better-performing campaigns for the future.

But more importantly you can use this as an indicator that your email campaigns are in healthy territory. Any significant dip in the average opening rates would signal potential deliverability issues. So that you can resolve any problems before they become serious.

You can go even further and use following tools to find out the health of your marketing campaigns and reputation as a sender.

Tools for testing email deliverability

1. MX Toolbox

This tool offers monitoring and lookup solutions to ensure that you have enabled Sender Policy Framework (SPF), DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), and Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC).

test email deliverability on MS Toolbox

Wondering what this words mean?

SPF stands for Sender Policy Framework. You can use them to prevent spammers from using your domain for sending unauthorized emails also called email spoofing.

DKIM provides a mechanism to verify that the email has come from the domain it is claiming to without any tampering.

The way in which DKIM prevents email spoofing is by adding a digital signature to outgoing email message headers.

The number of domains implementing DKIM and SPF records is really less. So, the onus of classifying an email as spam or blocking it is still left on mailbox providers.

DMARC is a way to make it easier for email senders and receivers to determine whether or not a given message is legitimately from the sender, and what to do if it isn’t.

MxToolbox also provides you with information on:

  • Who is sending email purporting to be from your domain
  • What is the reputation of your senders’ IPs
  • Geolocation of your senders
  • You also get an immediate alert to changes in your email reputation.

Free users receive one free monitor with access to the top 30 blacklists.

Paid users get access to multiple monitors, more blacklists, and advanced email delivery tools.

Paid users also get access to their dedicated teams to help you understand the causes for your blacklisting. Also, what you need to do to improve your email configuration to avoid blacklisting in the future. And, how to improve your email delivery.

2. GlockApps

GlockApps is a email deliverability and spam test tool in one place.

It shows you delivery results in real-time for each seed list account. A seed list is a test ID and a list of email addresses across the top ISPs – Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook, Yahoo, AOL, and others.

Test email deliverability with GlockApps

You can see whether your email has landed in the Inbox, Spam folder, Promotional/Social tabs, or was never delivered.

They also test authentication records like SPF and DKIM, sender IP address reputation, sender score, and message spam score. After the analysis, a detailed report about what elements in the email are increasing your spam score is sent to you.

GlockApps Bounce Monitor, a tool that tracks bounced emails & collects all the analytics, can be integrated with Amazon SES, SparkPost, SendGrid, and Mailgun.

3. SpamCheck

Spamcheck is an easy to use tool that judges the deliverability of your email by analyzing its content & giving it a score. You simply paste your email’s HTML code into the box, along with all the headers.

It will give you a score that can be zero or above that. Anything close to 5 or higher will most probably be marked as spam by your subscriber’s email providers.

Lower the score the better it is.

using spamcheck to monitor email deliverability

You can also get details about how to improve your email, addressing:

  • The quality of links in the content
  • Authentications of the sender domain
  • Text to image ratio
  • The quality of HTML used to draft your email

4. MailTester

Created by geeky email software engineers, it’s a cheap, simple, and efficient way to quickly test the quality of your newsletter.

free tool to check email deliverability

MailTester will analyze your message, mail server & sending IP. It will then generate a detailed report of what’s configured properly and what’s not. Your result will be accessible for 7 days with the free version, or for 30 days if you choose a paid plan and create an account.

If you occasionally perform manual tests, you can access their web-interface for free, without even creating an account.

5. SendForensics

It’s a standalone email deliverability system that helps your email marketing regardless of your chosen sending platform.

Features provided:

  • Test and optimize your campaigns BEFORE you broadcast.
  • Needs no integration or complicated setup.
  • Detailed content, infrastructure & reputation analyses.
  • Built-in compliance keeps you informed of the latest updates in the changing global legalities of email marketing.
  • Free testing, monitoring & deliverability alerts.
  • Multiple ESP plugins are available.

They offer a free email deliverability test. You just need to sign up & add the unique email address provided by them to your mailing list for real time deliverability testing.

send forensics dashboard for email deliverability

They first advise any correction of your sending infrastructure, then they check your content & give you a final score.

There is no limit to the number of email tests you can send to SendForensics to test, so it is not an issue to test every single campaign prior to launch to maximize the deliverability.

SendForensics also compares the results of all your tests, so you can quickly see if the changes you make in your copy and settings actually affect your deliverability in a positive or a negative way.

Conclusion

If your emails don’t land in inbox, they are almost useless. So your email deliverability should always be ensured to be healthy.

Any damage to email deliverability or sender score is nearly irreversible. So it is important to regularly monitor these factors.

You can use different tools, depending on your requirements, email sending volumes, target audience etc.

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