Email Deliverability

Email deliverability is the ability to deliver emails to subscriber’s inboxes. It is what some marketers use to measure the likelihood of their email campaigns reaching their subscriber’s inboxes related to actual delivery.

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Elements that hurt deliverability include:

  • Sending to purchased email lists
  • Not respecting customer consent
  • Sending from outside SFMC
  • Making it difficult to unsubscribe
  • Using URL shorteners
  • Lack of engagement​​​​​​​

In terms of delivery, email service providers (ESPs) show why a message was rejected (bounced), based on the details the receiving server sends back in the error message

Email delivery and deliverability can be complicated. We can start first by defining them:

Email delivery is when an email is successfully delivered to the receiving server. This can be measured in SFMC. 

Email deliverability is when an email successfully arrives in the person’s inbox. This cannot be measured from SFMC so we need an outside tool like Return Path for this purpose. 

It’s possible to have good email delivery but poor deliverability because the email landed in a person’s spam folder rather than their inbox.

  • Keep your list clean ✔
  • Don’t use purchased lists ✔
  • Send out to interested segments ✔
  • Make it easy to unsubscribe ✔
  • Write personal & Relevant Emails ✔
  • Use a double opt-in or confirmed opt-in ✔
  • Do not use URL shorteners ✔
  • A/B test subject line  ✔
  1. Identification: Gatekeepers of a subscriber’s inbox or ISP determine whether you are using a set of standard protocols
  2. Reputation: Reputation is your domain’s score which specifies your level of trustworthiness as a sender. It is indicated on the basis of your blacklist listings, bounce rates, complaint rates, and email volume.
  3. Content: The quality of your content has a significant effect on whether or not your email will be delivered to the recipient’s inbox. Emails with spammy subject lines, unusual formatting or suspicious URLs trigger ISPs to confirm the content. Your content must be high-quality and relevant to your subscriber’s wants/needs.

Email Studio Admin

Includes the From information for a send out in a central
location and you can reuse this information for multiple sendouts.
It includes the name and address that will appear to be from in the subscriber’s email client.

It specifies the delivery information for a message in a
central location and reuses that information across multiple

Specifies whether the content of the send is commercial (i.e. promotions, Newsletters etc.) or transactional (invoices, order confirmations etc.).

In SFMC you can test your emails before sending to the actual contacts this feature Set up a warning and maximum threshold for your test send

– Note- you can bypass the warning threshold but not the maximum

This feature displays a notification to call out words in the subject and preheader of your email during sending. The notification is to prevent accidental live sends with a test subject and preheader.

Determine when URLs in emails sent from your account will expire and to which link it will be redirected to after expiration.

As per the GDPR rule your URLs must remain available for at least 60 days and no longer than 2 years (730 days).

Serve as a do-not-contact list for your email sends. Auto-suppression lists typically include addresses with a history of spam complaints, unsubscribe lists from previous providers or advertisers, addresses of your competitors, and canceled customers.

Email Testing

  • Enhance the performance of your digital channels by testing and collecting learnings and insights of audience behaviors and responses, then optimise you media spents based on those learnigs
  • Get the results in realtime
  • By testing it helps us spend our media budget where actually needed.

Using control groups sheds light on marketing results in two unique and helpful ways:

  • providing insights and context about how your campaigns and campaign variants are affecting your user’s behaviors, if at all;
  • giving you insights that can help limit over-messaging. This is particularly important because your customers are likely being bombarded with marketing messages across channels.
  • There are two different methods of testing, A/B testing, and multivariate testing: 

    • A/B tests compare nearly identical versions with a change to just one element.
      For example, the same email template with different colored CTA buttons. ​
    • Multivariate tests compare multiple variables at a time to determine which combination of variations performs the best.
      ​​​​​​​For example, building three pages that test combinations of different landing page layouts, CTA button placement, and CTA color.

There is more than one way to analyze the result of your test, either it’s done in the tool used, in Journey builder, Analytics Builder and in Google Analytics.
​​​​​​​You can also use a combination of them. 

Iterative testing approach​​​​


  • You need a clear hypothesis and/or goal in order to set up a test.

  • Define KPI´s and how to measure them? ​

  • What’s the business value of this update, campaign, or change?

  • Decide upon tools​


  • Decide test period and/or volume in order to reach reliable results.​

  • Decide if to use a control group or not

Analyze ​

The best way is to decide this before the test so you are sure that you can measure the results. 

Google Analytics SalesForce Marketing Cloud

Navigate to Audience Builder > Contact Builder > Data Sources > Synchronized > Google Analytics 360​​

If there are any GA audiences sent to your business unit, they can be found here. The audiences are synced to Google Analytics. And the count provided is the number of users that SFMC are able to match to the Google Analytics audience​

One of the pre-requisites for connecting users between SFMC and Google Analytics is that the SFMC web analytics connector

Google analytics audiences can be used as a journey entry source, additional filtering can be added from our regular data extensions. GA audiences can only be used as an entry source and not a decision split.


What Is a Data Extension?

A data extension is a table within the application database that contains your data. You could use a data extension to store sendable subscriber data like lists or just to house relational data.

You can choose data model based on your company’s requirement so say if your company has more that 500000 thousand customers and needs fast speed for import or want ti use both REST and SOAP API’s  you shuld select DE over lists

On the other hand if your company wants simple data model with less complexity then you can choose lists

Data Sources in Contact Builder indicate where your account stores and locates contact information. This sync is done by Marketing Cloud Connector, which we will learn more in detail in coming lectures

Data Sources includes three types of locations:

  • System
  • Synchronized
  • Custom

System data sources – As the name defines are system generated and you can find them by default within Marketing Cloud. These sources vary depending on the functionality that is enabled for your account. You can find entries from Marketing Cloud, Email Studio, any mobile applications, and Personalization Builder, if your account uses those features.

Synchronized Data Sources use Marketing Cloud Connect to move data from another Salesforce Customer Success Platform into your Marketing Cloud account, You can sync both internal and external data here for e.g. Sales cloud and also DMP audiences or GA 360 audiences

Custom Data source – Custom data sources collect attributes used with Contact Builder and visually link those attributes to a specific data source.  Currently I don’t have any specific use case however in near future there might be connections to AWS/Google

Multi-Step Journey – Automated campaigns that include a series of interactions. These campaigns can be one-off campaigns or always-on programs. They can target “batch” audiences or let contacts entry individually.

Single Send Journey – This was launched in 2020.  Simple, one-touch campaigns  to a “batch” audience

Transactional Send Journey – Single messages sent to contacts, triggered via the Transactional Send API.