Email Deliverability Experts Look to the Future

During our five-part interview series we’ve tackled several pain points for the email deliverability industry, and now we’d like to focus on the bright and positive future we’re looking at after comparing all the data. 

The future might be tough, but with a little work and investment the community will continue to thrive. We heard from several professionals about goals for the upcoming short-term and long-term future in addition to predictions about what that future could look like. 

What the Community Should Be Working Towards

One of the biggest things we heard during our interviews, when asked about community goals, was more collaboration, in a few different ways:

  • More mentorship programs
  • Education on warning signs & strategy
  • Shared list of known bad actors
  • Better standardization 

The hope for the future, over all, is the community coming together so that work can be efficient and collaborative. Along with education for senders, many people feel that companies across the board need to work on internal education so that more businesses are up to date on current best practices. 

“I would love [to see more] sharing data and information,” Chris Kolbenschlag, Director of Deliverability at Bronto. “It’s not ‘Oh, let’s see what Mailchimp’s doing and copy what they’re doing,’ it’s just to learn from each other. […] The stuff that you can learn from the deliverability folks—again, it’s not a secret sauce—is like ‘oh, hey, I never thought of that.’”

Even small details like interesting data points, bad sender details and other tidbits can help strengthen other players in the community. 

One of the things that Kolbenschlag also mentioned along the same vein was that sharing has changed in his perspective, aligning with certain attitudes in the community. He says that instead of sharing openly with any ESP that needs help to get information out for good senders, he’s noticed a trend of not wanting to share information with ESPs who might have a questionable or unknown reputation. He urges folks in the community to work toward openly sharing things in hope that teamwork will mean better sending for everyone’s clients in general.

Community education was one thing, but we also heard a lot about software and tools adoption.  Several professionals said that they want to see more use of BIMI and DMARC authentication, in addition to real-time monitoring. DMARC and BIMI go hand in hand, so the call for a wider use of both authentications came as no surprise to us

Future Predictions

We got the strong feeling that the future of deliverability is stable, as long as we’re clever with our current tools and resources. 

This includes DMARC and BIMI authentication. In 2019 there was the Google announcement that it supports BIMI’s standards and joined the working group. This is a huge step to show the deliverability community the urgency for the authentications. 

Other interviewees we spoke to said that technologies they expected would develop in the near future include algorithms and automation to help sort simple deliverability tasks. There was a fairly unanimous opinion in our interviews that current automations are almost there, but human interaction is still needed heavily to check for spam and other malicious database issues. 

A call for specific new tools was also present in several of our interviews, too.

“I think DMARC helps with the phishing issue but I think there’s a better solution out there,” Julie Turner,  Senior Email Deliverability Engineer at ClickDimensions. “I think that will be next. I think they’re going to figure out how to make anti-fraud, anti-phishing better because it’s such a problem right now. […] I feel like there’s going to be a better solution to validate legitimate senders.”

Turner wasn’t the only voice to call for verification tools and deliverability tools for several steps of the verification process. From tools for ESPs and senders to tools for postmasters and new deliverability professionals, there’s a need for new solutions and answers across the industry.

Parting Thoughts

We think the future for email deliverability is on track for continuous growth. A great short-term goal we heard in interviews was sharing data and better inter-community education. If we can meet those, we’ll all be able to work better and, hopefully, more efficiently.

There’s still a lot of room for betterment and expansion, but there’s almost an infinite future and space for new technologies. Next year will be an interesting and fulfilling year for deliverability with a future that, we think, will stretch far into the future.