What true principles underlie all successful email programs?

Some claims are just too good to be true. Every now and again an email service provider (ESP) insists their platform inherently achieves superior deliverability, and if you would just migrate from another ESP to their new platform, you’d significantly improve your inboxing rates and increase the ROI of your email programs.

As an example, Message Systems launched their hosted SparkPost service in April 2015. With just a few months experience under their belt, they published a white paper claiming their new platform inherently achieves deliverability far superior to other ESPs. Should senders believe this? On the surface, promises of automatic and instant email success do have a certain appeal, but let’s dig deeper. What counts the most if you want your email delivered to the inbox?

Email Deliverability Fundamentals

SendGrid has worked closely with tens of thousands of customers over seven years. We have learned the keys to lasting inbox success: Your email program will succeed when you master the time-tested principles of outstanding email deliverability–when you send email that people truly want (and would even miss if it wasn’t delivered). This may sound simple, but it isn’t always easy. That’s why our email experts are here to help you, every step of the way.

To achieve lasting success in any endeavor, we need to understand and build upon the fundamentals. What are the fundamental principles of email deliverability? Your email program will do well when you send the right message, to the right person, at the right time, with the right frequency. When you incorporate this “SendGrid mantra” into your way of doing business, you get outstanding email results.

Not all senders follow the mantra, however. Some are new to email marketing and are still learning. Some take short cuts, use poor quality data, or make avoidable mistakes that harm their deliverability. Others invest heavily in their people, processes, and tools. They get good coaching, learn, and accumulate experience. Their recipients want (and even expect) their email. They fine-tune their content and sending cadence. They segment their address lists and stop sending to unengaged recipients. They make decisions that lead to good results.

Ultimately, if you send mail that people truly want, it will be inboxed, opened, read and appreciated. If you send mail that people don’t want, some portion of it will get blocked, routed to the spam folder, ignored, complained about, reported as spam, or unsubscribed. Should we expect otherwise?

The Key to Lasting Inbox Success

Success with email is part art, part science. But modern email is complicated. Despite good intentions, it’s easy to make mistakes that impact performance. That’s where we come in. We can be an extension of your email program, working with you to maximize your deliverability. Our experts can coach you to success. SendGrid’s Email Delivery Consulting Services team can assess your email sending program, identify opportunities for improvement, and help you make changes that increase your ROI. When you make good practices a habit, you get lasting results.

So, when an ESP tells you that all you need to do is switch to their platform to solve your deliverability challenges, take a step back and think it through. Fad diets and get rich quick schemes may sound appealing, but we know that sustained success is achieved a different way–we earn it by doing the right things day after day. So it is with success in email delivery.



Paul Kincaid-Smith
Paul Kincaid-Smith is SendGrid's VP of Industry Relations. He helps make email awesome by innovating with "the cool kids" in the technology community. Learn more on LinkedIn, and drop him a line on Twitter.