The popularity of email marketing has soared during the pandemic as consumers have relied more on online shopping in the wake of retail shutdowns.

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While always a tried-and-true way to engage consumers, email continues to thrive due to its extreme effectiveness. In fact, the 2020 Litmus State of Email Report shows that for every dollar brands invest in email marketing, they receive 36 dollars in return—that’s an incredible 3600% return on investment.

Despite the increased reliance on email, many brands face challenges that limit their email marketing effectiveness. The most common challenge? Email deliverability. Meaning, did your emails have the highest probability of being seen?

The sad reality is, no matter how carefully you plan your email campaign strategy, if your emails aren’t hitting the right inboxes, you won’t engage your subscribers or see ROI on your campaigns.

So, what to do? You’ve come to the right place. Our guide is designed to help your emails land in the inbox by identifying four key ways to ensure you are maximizing the effectiveness of your email campaigns.

Email deliverability vs. inbox placement

First, let’s tackle the lingo. Many marketers talk about email deliverability. But what does it mean? To better understand the term, ask yourself a question: Can my receiver accept my email message?

Deliverability means the receiver accepts the message you’ve sent. In other words, the email address and domain exist, and the IP address isn’t blocked. A “deliverable” email is one that is successfully delivered to the mailbox of its intended recipient. But here’s the kicker—that could be your recipient’s inbox, or it could be their spam folder.

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Once you understand this nuance, it’s easy to see why the term email deliverability can be deceptive. Your email marketing platform could show 99% email deliverability on your campaigns. But does that mean your email messages are making it into your recipients’ inboxes? Not necessarily.

We believe the real Holy Grail of email marketing is inbox placement. This term describes a critical piece of the process—where the email ends up once it is delivered. Successful inbox placement means the email ended up in the recipient’s inbox, not in a spam folder or some other folder.

The two terms, deliverability and inbox placement, speak to different potential issues with your email campaigns. If you’re having deliverability issues, that may be due to bad records on your list or problems with your infrastructure.

Inbox placement issues typically happen if you have a large number of inactive subscribers. Or worse, if your subscribers aren’t engaged with your content. Often, if you see conversions or engagement trending downward, that could signal an inbox-placement issue.

Investing in email marketing

The increased reliance on email marketing makes it more important than ever for brands to ensure their emails are hitting the right inboxes at the right time.

By looking at the issue through the lens of inbox placement (did my email reach my recipient’s inbox?) vs. deliverability (did my email reach any of my recipient’s folders, spam or otherwise?), you can circumvent issues that may negatively impact the effectiveness of your campaigns.

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Inbox placement problems can be subtle—many email marketers may not even recognize that they have one. DEG manages billions of email sends every year for national and global brands.

If you think you have a deliverability or inbox placement issue, we can help you identify it and fix it quickly. Schedule a meeting with one of our email marketing experts.

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