Delivery vs. Deliverability

Updated on 20 Mar 2023

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):

Spam Traps, invalid and frequent reporter email addresses

What are they?

Spam traps (also called honeypots) are email addresses used by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and blocklist operators to identify senders who aren't following email best practices. These spam trap email addresses may have been legitimate at one time, but are now abandoned or invalid.

Invalid emails have been confirmed to be no longer used, which we recommend removing from your mailing list.

Frequent reporters' emails belong to people who are known to click Spam report links in emails in an abusive manner.

Why is this relevant to you if you’re not a spammer? Unfortunately, even well-intentioned senders can end up with spam traps on their contact list. Spam traps can cause your IP address or domain to be list denied, affecting your sending reputation and email deliverability.

How do I avoid them?

You can usually prevent spam traps by maintaining a healthy contact list and following email best practices. Checking email addresses, and keeping your list updated with contacts that show engagement is a great starting point but obviously can become a lot of work if your list grows fast.

The great news is that Simplero helps you monitor all email addresses you send emails to so we can find those spam traps for you before they damage your IPs and sender domains.

We use a dedicated software called Zerobounce that analyzes every email address and reports back to us when they have been identified as spam traps.

They will automatically be updated as Do not contact in your Simplero account until you edit the contact email address.

We'll also briefly describe whether it's been identified as a spam trap, an invalid, or a frequent reporter email address.

If you'd like to know more about Spam Traps, check out Zerobounce's blog post about it here.

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