inbox hacking logo

🧪2024 deliverability test: best & worst ESPs

list of ESPs

If a friend forwarded you this link, get a free subscription. Inbox Hacking is packed with marketing insights, tools, & tactics. *Content below contains sponsored offers we’d love you to take a peek at – thanks!

Today’s Wednesday – as far as I can tell. So, after we hit Today’s Feature Story to sort out the best and worst ESPs for deliverability and inboxing, we’ll get to:

  • The Knowledge Base 
  • Self Help (erase words & thoughts)
  • Facts & Stats 
  • Get Hacking (OpenAI’s marketing playbook)

Now – time to see which email service providers are hitting the inbox like you’re paying them to do.

List of ESPs Tested & Results

Thankfully EmailToolTester takes the time to do rigorous testing on email marketing platforms. 

See their full report here. My highlights with a few insights are below.

ESPs Most likely to have your emails marked as SPAM:

  1. Benchmark
  2. Sendpulse
  3. Omnisend

Least likely to have your emails marked as SPAM:

  1. GetResponse
  2. MailerLite
  3. Moosend

Remember that when comparing bells and whistles of ESPs you’re considering. Fancy design and “brilliant” AI email composers don’t mean much if SPAM filters catch your campaigns like flies on those gross sticky things, Aunt Helen used in 1985.

Of course, deliverability also hinges on email content that doesn’t suck and technical set-up done by an email expert. Still, ESP choice is a big factor, and nothing’s static…

Big Swings

Things change fast with email platforms. This tested list of ESPs saw one platform’s (Brevo) deliverability rise over 20% since the last test (just 6 months prior).

The average deliverability drop among the entire list of ESPs was 2.6%. And the overall average of 83.1% deliverability was the third lowest average of the past nine tests (since 2019).

Where the emails are going matters a bunch too. How much? Amazingly, 100% of Benchmark’s emails were blocked by AOL and Yahoo mailboxes! 

Swinging to the positive side – hitting Gmail’s main tab 100% of the time were these ESPs:

  1. ActiveCampaign
  2. Brevo
  3. MailChimp
  4. Moosend
  5. Constant Contact
  6. SendPulse

Number #1 on the List of ESPs?

Out of the four ESPs ranking the highest overall, the top platform was…

ActiveCampaign with an average deliverability rate of 94.2%.

Or if you think consistency matters more, the list of ESPs tested over the last five rounds shows MailerLite with the highest average during those last five tests (typically done about every six months).

Want to test some things yourself before you toss your ESP in the incinerator?

5 Ways to Test Your ESP for Deliverability

  1. Test email addresses across various domains (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.) to check if they are being delivered or landing in spam folders (seed list testing)
  2. Use spam testing services to analyze email content, structure, and headers for spam triggers.
  3. Ensure your ESP has properly configured email authentication protocols (SPF, DKIM, and DMARC).
  4. Use GlockApps or Litmus to test inbox placement across various email clients and ISPs.
  5. Test how your emails render across email clients, devices, and platforms (poor rendering can trigger spam filters).

BTW, GlockApps was used by EmailToolTester to do their testing.

I’ve included a couple more email marketing statistics in the Facts and Stats section. First, check out…

The Knowledge Base 

💫Positive spin on an ad everyone picked on

11 cures for a nasty bounce rate

🗺️Free SEO roadmap (w/ tips)

Reddit: the web’s new SEO overlord (charts)

💰Great tips on abandoned cart recovery

Any of these 5 things hurting your email campaigns?

🫛Podbean lives & can convert your YT videos to podcasts

5 ways to improve CTA buttons that get no action (video)

🥂Intuit slings free cash to small biz owners

Should all celebrities be advocates? (some shouldn’t even be celebrities!)

Self Help

Dang if it ain’t hard to say the right thing to someone to lift their spirits. The perfect combination of words is rarely available.

Since I like the easy way, let me suggest this. Work on NOT saying the wrong thing that might discourage someone. Works on yourself too. Smush those tiny dark thoughts before they grow. If they do grow, drag them up a mountain hiking trail or ridiculously long run/walk – they’ll fade. That’s what I’ve found.

Facts and Stats

  • Nearly half of car dealers say their customers aren’t interested in EVs because charging is too difficult or takes too long (Media Post)

  • 52% of consumers say they prioritize restaurants offering bigger portions because of the leftovers benefit (Popmenu survey)

  • Share of marketing email open rates above 50% worldwide is 9.3%. Age group most likely to opt out of mailing lists in U.S. is 55-64 (Statista)

Bonus: “Spending on video games is down, and so is consumer tech, footwear, apparel, sports equipment, and toys. But people are spending on over-the-counter healthcare” (possibly to avoid costly doctor visits). ~Circana via MediaPost


You don’t even know who I am…

That isn’t just a sad line in a country song — it’s the sad truth about leads on your email list.

Change that tune by learning more about who’s really on your email list. 

  • What percentage of those leads are engaging with email campaigns at all (upload your list to check that percentage – it’s FREE)
  • Pinpoint the best (most engaged) leads to target
  • Verify a new email list’s quality
  • Avoid dead segments of your old email list that hurt deliverability

Try Inbox Activity Checker for free – upload your list here.

Questions? Schedule a free 1:1 Demo.

demo Activity Checker

Get Hacking

This is pretty easy. Follow OpenAI’s marketing playbook. They don’t even have a CMO and are making the bully on the block, Google, look a fool with every announcement – but that’s just a bonus. They get major buzz and free PR every week. You can use similar tactics.

Create a calendar of announcements for “upcoming” cool features, products, services, events, etc. Announce them before any planning (fire, ready, aim).

OpenAI gains attention by bragging about new features even if the most exciting features will be “rolled out over the next few weeks.” This strategy gets attention plus creates positive pressure to create and innovate.

Thanks for making time for us. If you know another genius marketer, please share Inbox Hacking with them.

Shane McLendon, Copy Kingpin – Inbox Hacking 

P.S. *Smart Recognition gives you the same access to “machine fingerprinting” that successful Fortune 500 Companies get to use for lead gen. Get started improving your lead gen – Book a Free Demo.