Profit Producing Blog

Dakota Routh

Founder | CEO

Welcome to the Profit Producing Blog – your go-to hub for all things business, sales, and marketing. I'm Dakota Routh, and I bring 25 years of hands-on experience in the sales and marketing industry. Back in 2010, Google gave me a nod as a top 1% small business advertiser for lead and sales generation using Google Ad's. In 2023, I was awarded the SaaSpreneur Award. It was a great addition to my 2 Comma Club award for raking in a cool million through one single sales funnel.

But it's not just about awards – it's about sharing real-world insights. Hosting the "Profit Producing Activity (PPA) Podcast" is my way of giving you a front-row seat to the ever-evolving world of business and entrepreneurship.

I've turned all my knowledge and experiences into several blog articles, which you'll see below. As you dive into these blog articles, I hope that you find value in each article. If you have any questions, please reach out to my team by using the chat widget in the bottom right hand corner.

So, buckle up and get ready to glean some knowledge. These blog articles aren't just about my journey; they're about helping you carve your own path in the world of sales, marketing, and business innovation. Let's make some moves together!

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How To Optimize Email Deliverability For Clients

November 15, 20234 min read

What is Email Deliverability?

“I think my deliverability is ok…”

What does that mean? Where do we see Deliverability?

First, let’s make sure we’re on the same page regarding the difference between “Delivered” and “Deliverability” because they are very different!


Delivery just means the email got to the recipient mail server – somewhere – could be the inbox, spam, promotions, updates – who freaking knows where it landed??? 

A good Delivery rate is 98%+

The opposite of Delivered is Undelivered… meaning it didn’t get delivered AT ALL. It failed or bounced or got rejected by the receiving mail server – none of those are what we want.


Unlike Delivery, Deliverability is a stat you don’t see anywhere.

Deliverability = Inbox Placement… in other words your Inboxing Rate – how much of your email hits the Inbox vs. other folders (like Spam or Junk or Promotions…) or not delivering at all.

A Good Deliverability rate would obviously be 💯%

Although, there’s no such thing as 100% to the inbox, every time, it’s important to understand some of the factors that play into it, so we can come as close to 100% as possible.

Email Marketing, Email Software

Things like:

IP and domain reputation

Reputation is KEY! Many, many things affect reputation, but there are 2 main categories that weigh heavily… Volume and Consistency, and the almighty Engagement (opens, clicks, replies, bounces, complaints, unsubscribes).


Those pesky DNS records – the SPFs, DKIMs, and DMARCs of the world. And don’t forget your MX records… if those aren’t configured correctly that could also land you in spam or even prevent delivery.

Domain age

Whether it’s a root domain or a subdomain, age factors into warm-up considerations. Treat your new domain like a first date… the goal being to get a second date. When you show up at the door with a new domain, you have no history and no reputation, so make sure to start sending slowly and don’t rush things. A good reputation can overcome a young domain age.

Subject line and body copy

What you say matters. One time I took the word FREE out of a subject line, and that alone improved Deliverability by 7%! Stay away from known spammy words/phrases like “click here”, “opportunity”, “free”, “100%”, etc.

Volume and consistency

How much you send, how fast you send it, and how often you send… All of these factors can affect your domain or IP reputation, which can then affect your deliverability. Don’t be like a spammer. (see Domain Age)

“How do I know if my stats are good?”

Great question!

Let’s drill down on the different types of email stats

  • Processed

  • Accepted

  • Delivered

  • Opened

  • Clicked

  • Replied

  • Complained

  • Unsubscribed

  • Bounced, Complained, or Unsubscribed


⁠⁠✅⁠ At or above 98%

⚠️⁠ Around 97-98%

⁠❌⁠  Under 97% – this means 3% of your email did not get delivered, which should definitely be a red flag

Where to look: 

Delivered rate should be monitored at the domain level, as well as the individual email level


⁠✅⁠ When working with clients, we like to shoot for 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s – higher open rates are achievable, depending on various factors

⚠️⁠ Average Open rates across all industries run 16-26%

⁠❌⁠  Under 15%

Where to look: 

Opened rate should be monitored at the individual email level


⁠✅⁠ Shoot for Click rates above 10%+

⚠️⁠ Average Click rates across all industries run 7-9% (who wants to be average?)

⁠❌⁠  Under 5%

Where to look: 

Clicked rate should be monitored at the individual email level, specifically where a “click” call-to-action (CTA) is the focus


⁠✅⁠ Shoot for reply rates of 30%+

⚠️⁠ Average Reply rates across all industries run 15-25% (again, who wants to be average?)

⁠❌⁠  Under 10%

Where to look: 

Replied rate should be monitored at the individual email level, specifically where a “reply” call-to-action (CTA) is the focus


✅⁠ Keep your Complaint rate as close to 0.00% as possible

⚠️⁠ Mailgun’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) allows a threshold of 0.05%, which equates to 1 recipient out of 2000 emails marking your email as spam/junk

⁠❌⁠  At or above 0.04%

Where to look: 

Complained rate should be monitored at the domain level, as well as the individual email level


✅⁠ Bounce rate well under 1%

⚠️⁠ Mailgun’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) allows a threshold of 5%

⁠❌⁠  Over 2-2.5%

Where to look: 

Bounced rate should be monitored at the domain level, as well as the individual email level

"If you're facing challenges in ensuring your Emails land in the inbox. Additionally, explore how our expertise extends to optimizing your presence in Social Media Marketing. Contact Us today!"

Dakota Routh

I'm Dakota Routh, an American entrepreneur, author, speaker, and internet personality. I'm the founder of Level Up Pipeline, a company that helps entrepreneurs and small businesses grow their sales. I'm also the author of three books, "Secrets of Social Media Marketing," "The Social Game," and "Grow Your Influence(rs)."

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