Email Delivery vs. Email Deliverability

Marketers conflate two important terms: Email Deliverability and Email Delivery. Let’s set the difference.

Imagine creating the perfect campaign for which you only receive a few bounces. This can make you think that the deliverability is excellent due to the delivery rate being high. If thought this, you might have fallen for the common misconception about deliverability.

Marketers conflate two important terms: Email Deliverability and Email Delivery. Let’s set the difference:

  • Delivery tells you whether your emails were received by the servers of your prospects’ inbox providers. If the email is not bounced, it will be deemed delivered. The percentage of the number of emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent is how you can calculate the delivery rate. Example: You’ve sent 10 emails, and only 8 of them end up delivered. This means that the delivery rate would be 80%.

  • Deliverability tells you where your message lands. It’s based on your domain’s setup, authentication, and reputation. After mailbox providers receive the message, they can place it in the spam/junk folder. Even if your deliverability is excellent, you can still experience deliverability issues. But fear not! You can still tackle these issues and get to the inbox!

Deliverability consists of 3 parts:


Your sender reputation represents a grade that indicates how reliable you are. Ratings provided by each company or service provider may vary.

The best way to improve your sender reputation is to encourage positive subscriber behaviour. This means opening your email, replying, and communicating through it. You can do this by sending your contacts relevant, personalized emails.


Are you reaching the right people? For maximum impact, tailor your message to your audience's concerns. Make sure to test your subject lines, and content and confirm that your message is suitable for the audience.


Last, but not least, you must authenticate yourself when sending emails. This includes SPF, DKIM, and DMARC.

Each of these terms works like an identification document which proves who you are. Who’s to say if you are John Smith, the CEO of an agency from the UK or John Smith, the chemical engineer from Ireland? Showing the documents would provide proof.

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