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Delivery vs. Deliverability

There are two distinctions to consider with regard to your email marketing campaign: 

Delivery vs Deliverability

Delivery refers to the success of your emails reaching an email address. It could end up in a primary inbox, it could end up in spam. Regardless of exactly where the email lands, if it winds up in an inbox, spam or other folder, the delivery is considered successful. 

Some factors that determine whether or not Delivery to an address can occur are:

  •  the validity of the email address
  •  whether or not the domain exists
  •  if the IP address is blocked. 

Any of these will thwart the email from reaching a destination.

Here’s how Simplero’s email delivery works:

  1. We send data to SendGrid and tell them to send an email. Sendgrid is our marketing and transactional emailing platform that acts as the go-between for Simplero and your email recipients.
  2. SendGrid communicates with the provider (Gmail for example)
  3. Gmail receives the email and decides what to do with it
  4. At this point, they will either deliver it, delay (retry) or bounce it

If we get to step 3 above and Gmail doesn't reject it, then it was effectively delivered. According to SendGrid, our delivery rate is 98% at this moment - pretty good! 

And as further reassurance, most email providers nowadays do have a high rate of delivery but it’s not a guarantee that those communications will land specifically in a recipient’s inbox.

Deliverability (also called inboxing) is the decision-making process that occurs after step 4 which determines where an email lands.  This is based on its credibility: the inbox (ideally), spam folder, or another folder. Factors that can affect your email deliverability are:

  • IP reputation (managed through SendGrid)
  • Sending domain reputation
  • List hygiene - i.e. sending emails to spam traps, cold subscribers, malformed email addresses, etc.
  • Email content
  • DKIM/SPF validation
  • Sending frequency/consistency

Simplero can help customers troubleshoot any of the above deliverability issues and suggest best practices to ensure optimum deliverability. For example, we would suggest not sending repeat emails to thousands of subscribers if they never open them. This will lead to a flagging spam rating, and we want our customers to both deliver valuable content and have maximum ROI!

This is a great guide to email deliverability from SendGrid


If you believe that your emails are landing in your subscribers’ spam in error, your subscribers can whitelist your sender address so that your emails are filtered to their inbox. And in fact, you should encourage your subscribers to whitelist your sending address at the time they signup! 

If your emails will add value to their inbox (and lives), you shouldn’t feel ashamed of asking them to add your email to their contact list. After all, they requested to receive info from you. Also, it will protect you from spam filters and poor deliverability ratings, so it’s quite important.

Here are step-by-step instructions on how subscribers can whitelist your email address so that your emails don’t end up in spam (using Gmail as an example):

Last updated 26 Oct 2022.