While email deliverability looks like a simple concept that every marketer works hard for, it is actually a surprisingly difficult word to define. This concept, which can be confusing from time to time, is actually one of the key elements of email marketing success.


The point where the confusion starts is the deliverability rate. This rate shows how much your brand has reached the “mailbox” of your members, without “soft bounce” and “hard bounce”. However, reaching the mailbox does not mean reaching the inbox folder, even corporate security systems can label your emails as SPAM and your messages will go unnoticed.


“How come? I am not a spammer, my emails should land in inboxes ” you might say. You may be right, but the spam box is not just for spammers. ISPs examine each sender and content according to different criteria in order to protect users from spam or malicious content. Accordingly, it decides whether the email belongs to the inbox or the spam folder.


A brief history of Spam


Explanation of the word spam is still under discussion since the establishment of Arpanet, known as the first internet network in the early 1970s. Spam in common sense is sending unwanted or unauthorized content to a large number of recipients.


A marketer who does his job right should move forward by sending marketing emails of interest to the right audience. In this context, it should also be careful not to fall into spam. This is important for brand prestige and campaign success.


Where does the word spam come from?


The first email was sent by Ray Tomlinson in 1971. By 1978, Gary Thuerk emailed hundreds of people through the Arpanet system to promote a computer owned by Digital Equipment Corporation. Responses were mixed. While some found it annoying, some did not care much and even bought the product. The fact that computers worth $ 13 million were sold as a result of this action made Thuerk a kind of “father of spam and email marketing”.


An unwanted product was called spam in a comedy series in the 1980s, and then the increase in unwanted messages with the explosion of the internet in the 1990s helped the word spam to gain meaning.


Despite the decrease in the volume of spam with each passing year, according to the research conducted by Statista, 53.95 percent of all emails sent worldwide are spam, according to March 2020 figures.


Why are spam filters important?


Filters organize emails according to some criteria. In the beginning, the purpose of the filters was only to detect spam emails, to redirect them to the spam folder or to block them entirely. Today, ISPs use filters even to categorize emails like social media related or promotional.


Whether the email you send falls into the inbox or spam folder or is completely blocked, it will definitely pass through a filter. Filter technology plays a key role in your success in email marketing. For this reason, being comfortable with filters, understanding how they work, and learning how ISPs are used will increase your success in this channel.


Why do ISPs filter emails?


ISPs are eager to use a spam filter, whether they set up their own security system, get help from a 3rd party company, or use both by combining them. Spam is as dangerous as it is disturbing. While malicious software (Malware) and phishing emails provide high profits for those doing this kind of work, they can also be extremely costly for ISPs to prevent. We can say that spam filters significantly alleviate the load on the servers since more than 50 percent of all e-mails sent in the world are spam.


Until the email from the sender reaches the end-user, it is faced with many filters that affect accessibility and entering the inbox.


In the next part of our series, we’ll go into further detail on email filters.


Feel free to contact us for your email marketing related questions.