Inbox Insight—Data Can Troubleshoot Deliverability Problems

Posted by Heather Steffonich on

You are an avid user of Return Path’s Inbox Monitor. You use it daily to diagnose deliverability issues and see what happens at each mailbox provider. That’s great! That’s exactly what the tool is designed to do. But what happens when you hit a roadblock? What happens when Return Path’s Inbox Optimizer’s were not able to diagnose any issues, but you’re still seeing low deliverability rates?

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Have you tried your Inbox Insight tool? Yes, it is a great tool for competitive analysis but it can also help diagnose deliverability issues.

For starters, Inbox Insight gives you a glimpse into engagement rates:

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Engagement-based data helps you better understand what subscribers do with your mail. It’s also important to note many mailbox providers, Gmail and Yahoo in particular, are engagement-based providers. This means they look at engagement as a means of filtering.

Inbox Insight’s read rate, delete without reading rate, and mailbox provider–marked spam rate, look at these metrics for a customer’s consumer network. Therefore, the information displayed comes from your actual subscribers.

To decipher what a good average read rate is or what you should strive for, just take a look at what your competitors are doing. They are a great way to benchmark best practices in the industry:

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So how can you increase your engagement rates? The best place to start is to look at trends of your competitors and see what they are doing:

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Look at your high performing competitors—what send frequency do they use? Look at what days they send their mail. Adjust your sending strategies to increase your read rates.

Another cool tool is campaign details. The campaign details page shows you detailed engagement metrics from campaign to campaign. You can see what campaigns might need a facelift and gain inspiration from your competitor’s high-performing campaigns.

How can we go from here:

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To here?:

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Did you know that within Inbox Insight you can even look at your competitor’s creatives within the “Campaign Details” tab? Here are a few tips on what to look for in your competitor’s creatives:

  • Subject lines
    • How long are they?
    • Do they use a preheader? If so, what does it contain?
    • Are the subject lines playful or informative?
  • Content
    • Is the content relevant to the subject line?
    • Is it personalized/targeted?
    • How long is the email?
    • Where are their unsubscribe links? Where is their privacy policy?
    • Do they have a preference center? If so, what is the user experience?
    • What is the message/call to action of the email? Is it feasible?
  • Creative
    • How does their text to image ratio look?
    • What kind of colors do they use?
    • How is it branded (or co-branded)?

These are just a few things to pay attention to when looking at your competitor’s creatives. But keep in mind these are not the end all, be all answers to increasing your engagement rates. There are many other factors that impact engagement rates such as complaints, spam traps, and unknown users.

Inbox Insight is a great tool for competitive insight, but can also be used to troubleshoot engagement-based issues. By using Inbox Insight in conjunction with Inbox Monitor you may be able to glean results you never thought of before.

For more information on Inbox Insight visit our website, read another blog with tips for using Inbox Insight, or contact your Return Path Relationship Manager.


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About Heather Steffonich

As a Technical Account Manager at Return Path, Heather works with many customers to optimize their email programs. Heather enjoys playing "technical detective" by digging into to customer's accounts and troubleshooting deliverability issues. When not at work, you can catch Heather teaching tap, jazz, and ballet to students of all ages. Connect with her at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/heathersack

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