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❌Why your emails fail to hit the inbox (email deliverability issues)

email deliverability issues

This is Inbox Hacking, a free newsletter with Email Marketing insights, tools, & tactics sent twice per week. Join marketers from Hyatt, the NBA, & BASF, and sign up for a Free subscription. Today, 7 fresh insights on why emails fail to reach the inbox + how radio ad tactics can be used in email marketing.

🚨New Deliverability Webinar ⭐Wednesday September 13th at 12pm EST🚨 Save Your Spot to learn how to overcome inbox placement struggles & increase engagement. Plus you can now re-engage your dead email list even without an ESP. Sign up here.


Been up since 4:45 a.m., got my truck washed in the dark, so let’s get after it, Inbox Hackers.

Today’s feature gives you 7 quick insights from MailGun’s dire 2023 deliverability report. And I’ll give you 3 ways to step up your email strategy using proven radio tactics that still work today. (Radio’s far from dead, as you’ll see)

3 Fast Takes: Email Deliverability Issues Report 

  • Many organizations are not using foundational deliverability practices
  • Deliverability experts are in short supply
  • Uncertainty, low-confidence, and confusion are rampant

“The uncertainty isn’t surprising given the variety of businesses, email program complexity, and send volumes.” ~MailGun Report Team

7 Insights to Overcome Email Deliverability Issues

#1 Nearly 1 in 4 emailers didn’t know if they had been blocklisted (in past two years).

24 months is not enough time to click on a link to check? Easy fixes, folks.

#2 List hygiene is easy with automated tools – which 50+ percent of senders are not using.

Holy hell. Everyone wants AI to write worthless songs but using AI for a worthwhile task… nah.

#3 A certain percentage of readers will get tired of a brand’s emails. Let those subscribers go (60% of senders have no policy in place to do so)

Morning Brew loses engagement. So does Tim Ferris’ 5 Bullets Thingy. No marketer can keep 100% of readers happy. Cut them loose when they don’t open or click after a set number of weeks.

#4 Poor deliverability keeps vital emails like password resets or transactional emails from arriving.

What it means… readers get miffed, upset, irate forget your brand exists.

#5 Focusing on email deliverability issues should increase ROI from your email channel. 

No-brainer. A newspaper boy who tossed newspapers in the dumpster versus people’s driveways would have been fired (perhaps stoned in the street). Emails must get delivered to recipients before all else.

#6 Nearly 20% of senders admitted they were “somewhat or very unconfident” in their deliverability knowledge.

Terrifying because that 19.1%… those were just the honest responses! (Full report here BTW)

#7 Biggest benefit of prioritizing email deliverability? 18.6% said “increases revenue.”

Notice this response is not some vague ideal. These businesses had experienced increased revenue by fixing email deliverability issues.

*I’ll leave you with one more flabbergasting statistic from the report before I drop those radio tactics on ya.

40% of senders say they don’t separate transactional emails from marketing emails. 

Madness. Might as well put “sPaM $$$$” in the subject line of every email. (Transactional emails have better odds of reaching the inbox than marketing emails)

3 Tactics Email Marketers Can Use from the Radio Industry

(Audience share of AM/FM radio is 19x larger than ad-supported Spotify and 13x larger than ad-supported Pandora)

Radio listeners are distracted (driving) just like email subscribers. So these tactics translate.

  • Radio ads repeat the most vital info multiple times (i.e. phone number / CTA).

  • Effective radio ads convey ONE message, so the audience isn’t confused.

  • Teases from DJs keep listeners tuned in past commercial breaks + creative contests keep people listening all day.

Why people think radio is dead…

“The first law of marketing is that you are not the market. Everything you think and do is from a highly unrepresentative poll of 1”. ~Mark Ritson, Marketing Professor

Read below for new email etiquette study & Today’s Hack

What if You Could Triple Your Open Rates?

There’s a new technology enabling you to send one-of-a-kind engagement triggers to your list.

This creates a virtuous cycle that boosts your reputation, deliverability, sender score, and IP health — all at once.

Brands leveraging this innovative tech are tripling their open rates. Click volume goes up too.

Schedule a demo of Inbox Mailers to see how effective it is to engage subscribers by targeting them while they are in their inbox!


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Knowledge Base

⚡Knowledge is power, inspo is too. Period

Video: Using evidence-based content to build trust

😨An email etiquette study (for the job-scared)

Avoid customer churn with these 10 retention strategies (7 & 10👍)

🎣Short-form video hooks & pattern interruption tips

Follow Inbox Mailers…

Self Help

self help

Got contacted about writing a real estate newsletter. 

They’re unhappy with their current writer. I won’t say what I thought of the examples.


The main issue was not the writer though. I asked how they built their email list.

Purchased many of the addresses.” 

JK Rowling nor Zig Ziglar could get people to read emails they didn’t sign up for.

Look for foundational reasons people don’t open marketing emails before digging deeper. 

(Sleep tip – get under 8 hrs)

* Inbox Hackers Shout-out:

📢Stephanie at The Virtual Gurus (VAs)

📢Barbara at Exact Data (leads)

Facts and Stats

  • Using email newsletters to boost content visibility: 68% of B2B vs. 55% of B2C (Statista)

  • 70% of salespeople stop at one email. Send more and you’ve got a 25% chance of hearing back. (YesWare)

  • 38.7% of senders say they rarely or never practice email list hygiene (MailGun) 

  • Pinterest Ads boast a 32% higher return on ad spend than other digital platforms (Stacked Marketer)

Bonus: How long does it take most people to delete roughly half their emails? 5 minutes (HubSpot)

Get Hacking

Know why this newsletter comes at 9:43 a.m.?

Nope, I’m not too hungover to send it at an exact time.

We don’t send at the top of the hour or on the :30s because everyone else sends then.

Test sending your next email a few minutes before the top of the hour. Inboxes are less busy.

ALT hack: Reduce eradicate exclamation marks in emails. If everything is an exclamation, nothing is. Pass it on so we can stamp out this blight on email and the written word.


Don’t forget…

🚨New Deliverability Webinar ⭐Wednesday September 13th at 12pm EST🚨

Save Your Spot to learn how to overcome inbox placement struggles & increase engagement. Plus you can now re-engage your dead email list even without an ESP. Sign up here.

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