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Where is my email going? Introducing Inbox Placement

Jorge Miramontes
5 min read

Do you really know where your email is going?

Have you ever wondered where your email goes once it gets delivered to a mailbox? Do you know if it lands in the inbox or the spam folder, or perhaps misses the mailbox altogether? Are you curious to find out which Gmail tab your email was placed in? These questions hit at the heart of an important concept – delivery vs deliverability.

It’s relatively easy to figure out if your email is being accepted by mailbox providers (i.e. delivery), but it’s much harder to understand where your email lands within any particular mailbox once accepted (i.e. deliverability). While your email may have been successfully delivered, there’s no great way of knowing if it made it to the user’s inbox, spam folder or somewhere else altogether. 

What gives?

This annoying reality is largely due to the fact that mailbox providers have routing and filtering algorithms that determine where they place accepted emails. To complicate matters even more, each mailbox provider has a different proprietary algorithm, which means that, while your email may make it to the inbox at Yahoo, it could also end up in the spam folder at Gmail! So, if you’re like the majority of email senders and send your email campaigns to multiple providers, really knowing where your email lands seems like a Herculean task.

Gaining a better understanding of where your emails are landing is the first step toward ensuring your emails get to where you want them to go and, ultimately, deliver the results you need. Without this visibility, you don’t know whether it’s your sending reputation, your content, or your template that’s causing the problem (or if there’s even a problem to begin with). And at the end of the day, without this valuable insight, you won’t be able to optimize and make the most of your marketing budget. 

Introducing Inbox Placement in Beta

That’s where Mailgun’s Inbox Placement comes in. At a high level, Inbox Placement provides insight into where your emails land within the mailbox for a variety of mailbox providers – whether it’s the inbox, spam folder, or a specific tab. It takes the guesswork out of where your emails are actually going, which saves you from getting stuck in analysis paralysis over what could or could not be affecting your sending.

Of course, there are going to be a few things Inbox Placement can’t account for, like user engagement. When the human element enters the mix, that’s when it’s important to take a look at your content, email list, segmentation, and overall best practices to ensure that you’re doing your due diligence as a sender. Pair that with our Inbox Placement product, and you’re giving your emails the best shot at landing in the inbox. 

You might be wondering though...

How does Inbox Placement work?

Inbox Placement utilizes a mechanism known as seed testing to provide visibility into where emails are landing. Seed testing roughly works as follows:

  1. Mailgun manages a list of mailbox accounts with the plethora of mailbox providers in the market. This is called a “seed list”.

  2. You send a test email to the seed list either on your own or within the UI.

  3. Mailgun tracks where your test email landed for each mailbox in the seed list and provides you with the detailed results.

Seed testing is fascinating technology, and it’s something that the email industry isn’t naive about either. So that begs to question:

Why Mailgun?

Since our start in 2010, we’ve been laser focused on finding new ways to help you improve your deliverability. That also involves making this journey as easy as possible for you, so we built Inbox Placement with convenience and workflow optimizations in mind. In the end, we want to make sure you have the actionable insight you need to crush your email goals. 

No other ESP on the market offers this level of testing and visibility into your inbox placement. Until now, other products on the market were primarily provided by non-ESP third-party players, which means you have to manage multiple accounts, integrations, bills, etc. With Mailgun, you can streamline your workflows in one place, which ultimately saves you time and effort. 

This is exemplified in our beta launch through the use of our dynamic weighting capability. With this capability, you no longer have to manually weight your seed test results. Instead, Mailgun will automatically leverage your email send history to weigh the results for you. 

Another capability Mailgun distinctively provides is deep actionable insights. Running a test is one thing, but if you don’t know what to improve based on the results, what was the point? At the end of the day, you want to know what action to take to get better deliverability. We have experts that eat, sleep, and breathe everything that is email, and we’ll work with you to get the deliverability results you want.

As we continue to develop this product, you will see a focus on deep integration with Mailgun’s core email sending platform to simplify your world while providing the results you want.

Where do I sign up for Inbox Placement?

Interested? Great! First, you'll need to sign up for Mailgun if you haven't already, which you can do below:

sign up

It's easy to get started. And it's free.

What will you accomplish with 10,000 free emails and a 100 free validations every month?

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Once you do that, you can easily request beta access by logging in to our control panel and navigating to the “Inbox Placement” section. We'll get in touch if you fit the right criteria. The best part of beta access, other than getting to use the product first, is getting to provide early feedback and helping to shape our Inbox Placement roadmap to build a better Mailgun.

Last updated on October 04, 2019

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