Guestblog written by Alice Cornell, Director of Email Deliverability,

Simply stated, email deliverability is the art of reaching the inbox. Unfortunately, for organisations that rely on email to communicate with supporters, monitoring and maintaining deliverability is not so simple. Inbox service providers are continually re-evaluating what constitutes spam and constantly tweaking their algorithms and inbox prioritization techniques to provide the best inbox experience for their users. This patchwork of policies and technologies is tough for even the largest organisations to stay on top of.

I wake up everyday with a single mission–ensure that emails reach our users. I paired up on a webinar with Dan Szymczak, Director of Technology at Engaging Networks, to share their expertise with organisations who need to improve deliverability.

Once upon a time content used to be the key driver for email being filtered to the spam folder. Words like “free” or excessive exclamation points signaled spammy content. These days mailbox providers are more likely to use a combination of sender behavior and user engagement to evaluate email programs. These factors make up “sender reputation” which is how mailbox providers differentiate good mail from bad. In fact, according to Return Path, 83% of the time, sender reputation determines inbox placement.

Unfortunately, the rules of the deliverability road aren’t always clear. Each mailbox provider has different thresholds for the key metrics used to determine reputation and therefore inbox placement. What may be true at Hotmail may not be true at Yahoo! or at…

To help you make sense of it all, watch the webinar above and download this cheat-sheet with the 8 steps to improve your deliverability.

Email deliverability resources:



Feedback Loops and Whitelists:
Hotmail Junk Mail Reporting Partner Program
Spamcop FBL
United Online Whitelist 
Yahoo! Mail 

List hygiene

Spam traps:

Bounce Processing:

User Experience


Deliverability Monitoring