Email Delivery 101: How to get your emails to land in your Inbox

Email Delivery 101: How to get your emails to land in your Inbox

By 2023, the number of email users worldwide is expected to grow to 4.3 billion, which is half the world’s population. Consumer brands spend hundreds of thousands of money on email marketing to capitalize on this trend. An email campaign can only be successful if your intended audience opens, reads and interacts with it. Most consumers won’t open any emails sent outside of their inboxes. This is why deliverability is so important.

This blog will cover:

  1. What does email deliveryability mean?
  2. Deliverability differs from email delivery in that it is more difficult to deliver.
  3. Factors that impact deliveryability
  4. Here are some best practices for sending emails to your users’ inboxes

What is deliverability?

Deliverability shows you how many emails are landing in the inbox of your users instead of their junk or spam folders.

“Spam is where emails die.”
-Sadikshya Pant, Senior Email Deliverability Consultant, MoEngage

Spam is a major problem in the world. Gmail found that half of the 293 billion email messages sent each day in 2019 were spam. 70% of these emails were spam, which is marketing content.102 billionEach year, marketing emails disappear into digital oblivion.

Some of your users won’t even know that a spam or trash folder exists. Most users don’t even check their spam folders. ISPs (Internet Service Providers), flag suspicious emails as such. These emails are then deactivated with their images and links.

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Do not confuse deliveryability with deliverability

Deliverability is different from email delivery. The number of emails the user has received is what defines delivery. Delivery measures the number of delivered emails that land in the inbox folder.

Consider an example of an email campaign that targeted 100 users. It was 98% delivered and 60% delivered. This means that 98 of 100 recipients received the emails. However, only 60 users received the email in their inbox folders. The 40 remaining recipients probably ignored or deleted the emails as they were in the wrong folder.

Delivery isn’t the same as deliverability

These numbers can be multiplied by a factor of several thousand, or more, to show the importance of delivery.


Factors that affect email delivery

Unfortunately, ISPs don’t share information about which folders emails land in, be it spam, junk, or any of the subfolders in a user’s inbox (Primary/Promotions/Updates). You can still deduce deliverability by looking at factors such as:

Domain/IP Reputation

Domain and IPReputationEmail engagement directly impacts because email service providers use domain/IP reputation to determine which folder to place an email. List management is a sure-fire way to improve domain reputation.

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List management tip:

To maintain good domain and IP reputations, it is important to regularly clean your email lists. Mailing frequency can be decreased or removed from disinterested users. Early detection of spam traps, hard bounces, and blacklists is important. Your email list should only be populated by users who would like to receive emails.


Performance Metrics and User Engagement

To decide whether to accept or deny emails from senders, ISPs use performance metrics such as opens, clicks, and spam complaint rates. This also helps them decide where to place the accepted emails (Spam/Promotions/Updates folders).

Positive user engagements include:

  • Clicking/opening an email
  • You can read an email carefully or open it multiple times.
  • Replying to, forwarding, and marking an email
  • Add the sender to your address book or bookmark them
  • Move emails to the primary folder

Negative user engagements include:

  • Reporting spam emails to be marked or reported
  • You can delete or ignore emails without interfacing
  • Blocking or snooping the sender

Negative engagements can impact deliveryability and can take a long time to recover. Marketers can change their strategies to reduce negative engagements and increase positive ones.

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Here are some best practices for sending emails to your users’ inboxes

While each ISP has its own policies regarding acceptable email practices and guidelines, many share some common principles that can be used to improve inbox placement.

1. Sender Authentication

Multiple authentication protocols are used by all ISPs to ensure that the sender is authentic. Spammers are a concern for ISPs, so failure to perform basic authentications may result in the email being rejected, blocked or flagged as spam. Failure to authenticate senders can result in both delivery and deliverability being affected.

2. 2.

It is crucial to maintain a clean email list

Use organic methods to collect users. Never purchase an email list. The majority of users on purchased email lists are invalid. Others might report your email spam or unsubscribe. This can affect domain reputation and deliverability data.

There are several clean ways to build user lists organically:

  • Referral programs and promotions can be used to incentivize sign-ups.
  • Third-party apps and websites can be used to promote your brand and build trust.
  • Establish loyalty programs and memberships.
  • Use your products and services to collect email addresses

Clear acquisition methods establish reasonable expectations for customers regarding their experience. They also give them the option to withdraw if they aren’t satisfied with the content.

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3. 3.

All countries have independent mailing laws that protect their users’ rights to privacy and quality of experience. Avoid costly lawsuits by complying with the law and keeping current with any new or revised laws that apply to your location.

4. Segmentation and the Optimal Send Frequency

Think back to the last time that you unsubscribed from promotional emails. You probably unsubscribed because you received too many emails or product suggestions that were not relevant to your purchase.

It is irritating to send too many emails to people, and it doesn’t help build brand recognition. It is important to determine the best frequency to send emails to your customer. This means that the customer will want to receive the most number of emails without any adverse reactions. This is an iterative process that will not work for every customer.

Find the optimal send frequency for each user segment

This neatly brings up the topic of segmentation, i.e., the categorization of users based on overlapping criteria. Users love preferential treatment–a ‘one-size-fits-all’ package doesn’t work. It is important to segment your customers based on previous purchases, relevant events, location, and frequency of site visits.

MoEngage allows you to categorize emails based on user behavior and adjust your mailing frequency accordingly. By engaging users with relevant content at the right moment, you can create a personal experience that exceeds their expectations and encourages investment in your brand.

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Here are some ways to segment users.

  • You can run trigger campaigns based on events and target customers based upon products viewed, bought, added to cart or other factors.
  • Post-purchase engagement campaigns can be created, such as product reviews requests within a few days of delivery. Followed by personalized email recommendations about bundled products or custom codes for future purchase.
  • After registering, collect personal information and use it to personalize your communications.

5. For Better Delivery

Marketers’ worst nightmare is spamming their email lists, which can lead to poor domain reputations and a loss of resources. Sunsetting is a strategy to keep user lists clean and remove inactive or stale users. Inactive email addresses are turned into spam traps by ISPs, which trap spammers and cause list quality to decline. This can further impact performance metrics and deliverability data.

Reactivation campaigns can be used to bring back inactive users by adjusting the frequency or content of emails, or using different channels. However, lost causes must be quickly acknowledged and addressed accordingly.

6. 6. Automated removal of bad actors

Sunsetting is about retiring users based upon their activity. However, there are some users (a.k.a. Bad actors (hard bouncers and unsubscribers) should be removed immediately. This will stop any future actions that could affect your reputation.

It is essential that your users have an easy exit route. If they wish to unsubscribe, make your button prominent.

7. Personalization

True to the modern consumer mindset, people love tailored content suited to their needs. Unique content leads to higher open rates, clicks and replies as well as forwards and conversions.

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Capture your user’s attention with personalized emails

Here are some basic methods to help you personalize your emails:

  • A compelling subject line, but not misleading: A compelling subject line that is deceiving or irrelevant to the content of the email’s contents will make users reach for the unsubscribe buttons faster than anything else.
  • Clear and consistent informationEnsure that your sender’s name and email address reflect your brand’s identity. It is important to clearly state vital information such as the terms and conditions or privacy policies.
  • Direct call to actionCustomers can be pushed to take desired actions, such as reading the newsletter or using a limited-time offer. This is done by using clear calls-to-actions, a simplified design, and insisting on clear instructions.
  • Compatibility between platforms and devicesYou risk irritating users by not ensuring that your emails work across all devices and platforms.
  • Brand conformityTo build upon the customer’s subconscious, maintain your brand aesthetic in all subsequent emails. To establish the brand’s physical presence, add contact information.

8. Understanding spam filters

Every ISP has a content scanner which scans email for spam-like characteristics, and filters them. These are the rules that will ensure your email isn’t classified as spam.

  • Don’t create image-heavy emailsGood text-to-image ratios of 40:60 are acceptable.
  • Standardize the template sizesStandard HTML email templates are 600 pixels wide for desktops and 320 pixels vertically for mobile devices. Horizontal views for mobile devices can be viewed at 480 pixels.
  • Keep it simpleMessages should not exceed 102kB. Gmail will hide any content behind a link that says “View the entire message”.
  • Use alt tagsAlt tags should be used for images to display text in the event that images do not render.
  • Avoid spammy subject linesSpam filters can be activated by special characters ($$$), or tokens “spam keywords” (F R EE) that are not scams.Here are some spam keywords you should avoid.
  • Reputable image hosting services are recommendedCloudflare or Amazon AWS for faster loading times and better security.
  • Your HTML code should be simple and clearWithout hidden images or URLs


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9. Google Annotations

Gmail and other ISPs that analyze user interactions in real time can sort marketing emails into the Promotions tab of their inbox. Google Annotations can be used to highlight emails and increase user interaction.

10. Monitor Ongoing Sends

Look beyond vanity metrics to get the full picture

To ensure that all marketing strategies work together, create a system. These trends and metrics should be monitored:

  • Volume trendsVolume trends are usually gradual. Abnormal activity is characterized by sudden spikes in email volume or frequency. They can affect user interaction if they are not addressed.
  • Performance metricsDeliverability is negatively affected by unusual trends in hard bounces and opens, clicks or spam complaints, spam traps, unsubscribes, blacklists and spam traps.
  • Reputation dataObserve your inbox placement data using third-party apps like eDataSource, ReturnPath or 250ok. If you notice any anomalies, immediately correct them.



It is difficult and not always easy to achieve successful email delivery. It’s essential to invest in a good email deliverability consultancy that can tell you what’s working and what’s not–and how to improve deliverability with actionable insights.

At MoEngage, we offer deliverability consultancy services which include setting up proper authentications, email strategy discussions, assistance with inbox placement/bulking issues, troubleshooting blogs and blacklisting issues, content analysis, and reviewing industry best practices. To establish brand authenticity, we can help you implement new features such as BIMI and Google Annotations.

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8 Finest Food Delivery Services for Restaurants in 2020

If you are running a contemporary restaurant, your takeout customers can be just as rewarding as your dine-in customers. If you have fought to enlarge the to-go facet of your company, it may be because you do not have a successful food delivery system.

Managing an whole delivery team can be hard, but third party providers have simplified the procedure. There are now numerous tech companies which use intuitive apps to process customer requests, track delivery timeframes, and collect cash. Not only does this require the shipping management process from your own hands, but in addition, it lets you access the millions of consumers using food delivery apps.

So, what would be the ideal food delivery solutions for restaurants? We have compiled a list of the top eight choices — let’s check them out!


UberEats is the food delivery service backed by Uber — the world’s biggest ride-sharing app. The platform connects restaurant owners with tens of thousands of meals delivery drivers with a seamless smartphone application.

Drivers get a notification when a nearby order is placed. Following the driver accepts the job, they visit the restaurant, pick the order up, and send it to the destination. Payment is handled electronically through the app, and customers can track the progress of their purchase in the comfort of their own home — it is an entirely hands-off procedure for restaurant owners.

Just like most modern restaurant delivery services, UberEats permits you to bypass employing your delivery team. Still, this advantage comes at a price — Uber is notorious for charging some of the greatest food delivery commissions on the current market, which can eat into your restaurant’s bottom line. At the moment, you can expect to pay around 30% of an order’s worth in commission.

See also:





The principal benefit of partnering with UberEats is its size. Since the company has over 300,000 nationwide restaurants, it has become a popular platform for customers that want variety. If you would like exposure to UberEats’ loyal customer base, you want to partner with their services.

Who It’s ideal For: Restaurant owners in massive cities that need access to UberEats clients. In addition, it is suitable if you do not have money to invest on your own delivery team.

Availability (Service Area): All significant cities in the USA (100s of choices ). Global cities are also available (900 total worldwide cities).


DoorDash is among UberEats’ fiercest competitions. The company, which is based in San Francisco, first started offering meal delivery services in 2013. It’s now among the biggest third-party restaurant delivery services in the nation.

DoorDash operates exactly the same manner as UberEats. Drivers are notified of local jobs, and orders are completed entirely through the DoorDash app. Clients submit their credit card information and other payment information directly to their telephones.

While DoorDash does not have the identical number of consumers as UberEats, the business is expanding at a fast pace. Additionally, you will be charged a 20% commission, which is 10 percent less than the current rate at UberEats.

At the moment, DoorDash has over 250,000 partner restaurants in 300 cities. However, UberEats has a broader customer pool.

Who It’s ideal For: This is ideal for a restaurant that needs a third party shipping service with a huge network of drivers. If you reside in a big city, this can be a less expensive alternative than UberEats (but it does not have as big of a client base).

Availability (Service Area): 300 nationwide cities (all major US cities).


Postmates is just another San Francisco-based startup that is trying to dominate the third party food delivery market. Additionally, it provides clients an easy-to-use app that will process orders and handle deliveries.

1 main benefit of Postmates is that users can also purchase from shops and non-partner restaurants. While this doesn’t offer you a massive benefit to restaurant owners, it is vital to know how the system works for customers.

This is not to say that Postmates does not partner with restaurants. The business is firmly committed to assisting restaurant owners choose prices and meal-types which are most acceptable for delivery. It can help you guarantee excellent food is delivered to your clients.

Postmates will require a 10-20percent commission from a sale, but this will be dependent on a number of factors. The business is well known for offering extensive promotions to clients.

Who It’s ideal For: restaurants that need access to an extensive network and inexpensive commission structure.

Availability (Service Area): Important cities in all 50 states (100s of choices ).

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Grubhub is just another restaurant food delivery titan which has clients throughout the country. This Chicago-based startup has invested heavily in creating an intuitive app and a large community of customers. Again, users may place an order, and a Grubhub delivery driver will pay a visit to your restaurant and deliver the meals to its destination.

Grubhub permits you to use its delivery platform on requests via your own site. If a customer orders through your site and you use a Grubhub driver, then you will only pay a 10 percent commission. If the Grubhub app is used for shipping, it is going to cost around 20% in addition to the standard delivery fee.

Grubhub has recently come under fire for putting restaurants within their app without notifying the owners. It follows that a restaurant may suffer from association with the platform if an order is not processed properly.

Nonetheless, there’s no denying that Grubhub has a good market share concerning nationwide consumers. The business has done an exceptional job of marketing itself over the last few decades.

Who It’s ideal For: If you’re looking for a shipping service that also lets you use its drivers to get a lesser cost, this is an exceptional option.

Availability (Service Area): 3,200 cities in the USA.


Seamless is one of the oldest titles in the third party food delivery industry — this New York City-based firm has been operating since 1999. The business merged with Grubhub in 2013, and it is now part of a larger set of restaurant food delivery solutions.

Seamless also provides a smartphone app, third-party drivers, and automated order processing. While you may tap into Seamless’s driver pool, in addition, this is an outstanding option if you would like to provide online ordering for pickup orders. Clients can order through the Seamless app and collect the items from the shop.

While Seamless has been effective at helping companies grow, it is currently only available in 14 cities in america.

Who It’s ideal For: Restaurant owners who want a market shipping service which also offers in-store pickup features.

Availability (Service Area): Atlanta, Dallas, Austin, Detroit, Miami, Houston, Minneapolis, Nashville, San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and St. Louis


Eat24 was purchased by the restaurant inspection platform Yelp just a couple of years back. Since Yelp decided it no longer wanted access to the food delivery market, it sold the firm to Grubhub in 2017.

At first, the business continued to function as Eat24, but it’s now fully merged into Grubhub. If you see the Eat24 site, you will be redirected to Grubhub.

Who It’s ideal For: The exact same sort of customer that is looking to tap into GrubHub’s extensive user base.

Availability (Service Area): Grubhub’s service area (listed previously).


Caviar was originally owned by Square (a payment processing giant), but the business was sold to DoorDash in 2019. While the companies are now under the same ownership group, Caviar continues to run its site and mobile application. I suspect both platforms will completely merge later on.

At the moment, Caviar charges the same rates as DoorDash — that is noticeably less expensive than UberEats. However, Caviar has a ways to go. While the business is popular with its customers, it is only available in 28 cities across the nation.

Who It’s ideal For: Restaurant owners searching for a niche service in one of Caviar’s 28 target towns.

Availability (Service Area): Boston, Brooklyn & Queens, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Worth, Greater Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Manhattan, Marin County, North Jersey, Northern Virginia, Orange County, Peninsula, Philadelphia, Portland, Richmond, Rockville, San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, East Bay, Seattle, Seattle Eastside, South Jersey, Walnut Creek, Washington DC, and Woodbridge.


SkipTheDishes is a Canadian food delivery service that’s increasing in popularity in the USA and across the world. The business offers the identical user-friendly mobile app approach as other suppliers on our list.

The business offers different commission percentages based on various things, which means you’ll need to contact them to ascertain the price your restaurant will pay for shipping.

While SkipTheDishes partners with McDonald’s, KFC, Subway, and a number of other important brands, it will not have a substantial presence in america. The alternatives on our list are better if you are trying to target a substantial market segment.

Who It’s ideal For: Restaurant owners searching for a niche site with custom commission structures.

Availability (Service Area): Buffalo, Omaha, St. Louis, Cincinnati, and Columbus.


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Bonus — Your POS System

While the third party restaurant delivery services on our site can help you tap into new markets, they are also costly. If you believe it is excessive to pay as much as 30 percent to a third-party shipping supplier, you are not alone. Many restaurants are now bringing their delivery solutions back’in house’ to prevent this issue.

Fortunately, point of sales platforms today provides an fantastic way to streamline your shipping choices. Many contemporary restaurant POS solutions integrate with delivery platforms to offer online ordering, delivery tracking, and a host of other premium features — this means you could accept online orders and automatically process them via your in-store POS applications (and you won’t need to pay commissions).

Some POS platforms also provide driver management portal sites that help you manage your delivery team. Additionally, you won’t be at the mercy of a third party platform’s drivers. Sometimes clients complain that DoorDash and UberEats deliveries arrive cold!

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