Send It: How Email Deliverability Performance is Measured

Posted by Patty Atwater 

There are many elements that impact your deliverability—simply knowing what metrics those are isn’t enough. In order to have the confidence to Send It, you need advanced visibility into how you are really performing and insight into problems that many email marketers miss. Today, let’s focus on two data sources—CoreSeeds and SmartSeeds—specifically designed to show you deeper insight into inbox placement. 

 CoreSeeds
CoreSeeds are one of the original methods used to measure inbox placement. Have you ever tested an email campaign’s deliverability by sending it to your personal email address? That’s similar to how CoreSeed addresses work. Return Path is the only solution to have CoreSeed addresses at hundreds of mailbox providers around the world. When marketers send emails to CoreSeeds, our platform reports whether the email message went to the inbox, the spam folder, or was rejected (blocked) by the mailbox provider.  

CoreSeeds provide additional insights like: 

  • Email performance at 140 different mailbox providers 
  • Insight into gateway filtering at mailbox providers and potential blocking  
  • Alerts to reputation issues that block your email from subscribers 
  • Near real-time deliverability results, providing the opportunity to pause a campaign if major deliverability issues are seen 

 By understanding where messages land, CoreSeeds show marketers when there is something impacting their deliverability. However, since they are not owned by an “active subscriber”, these email addresses don’t interact with your messages and are missing a valuable component—engagement-based placement data.  

SmartSeeds
In order to measure the impact of engagement, we built SmartSeedsSmartSeeds are designed to mimic the most common engagement personas — showing you how different interactions from subscribers on your list can affect the placement of email. 

SmartSeeds are bucketed into four main groups of relative engagement—engaged, loyal, potential, and disinterested. These engagement “personas” were developed by using our observations, analytics, and experience from over eight years of anonymized data from real users.   

SmartSeeds portray these different engagement types and “interact” with your email the same as real-life subscriber would. By interacting with the messages at different levels, we can track how mailbox providers change their placement decisions based on the engagement of your subscribers. As a result, we gain a better understanding of how and why senders get filtered.  

Get a complete view of your deliverability
By combining the reputation and infrastructure insights of CoreSeeds with the advanced subscriber behavior provided with SmartSeeds, marketers get a truly holistic view of their email program performance. Interested in learning more? We’d love to help you get the insights and data you need to send your emails with confidence. Let’s talk! 

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About Patty Atwater

Patty Atwater is the Content Marketing Manager at Return Path. She loves digging into email data to discover new marketing insights and craft new, informative ways to tell the story. In her spare time, Patty loves traveling to new places, hanging out with friends, and continuing her mission to find the best guacamole in NYC. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

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