Blue Utopia Blog

Is your Email Being Seen?

Wed, May 22, 2019 - 04:13 PM

Political emails are already starting to arrive like mosquitoes at a picnic. And one of the things we noticed here was that more than we expected were winding up in Spam and in Gmail's Promotions tab. We wrote about Gmail's Promotions tab here. We decided to perform a simple test to see which campaigns were successfully getting their emails delivered. It was a very simple and straightforward test. Here’s what we did:

  • First, we created a brand new Gmail account. We wanted an email that had no unique history of interacting with received emails and with no contacts.
  • We performed this test only on Gmail, no other ESPs. That's mostly because we wanted to keep it simple (to a single account) and because more people are using Gmail than pretty much anything else.
  • Then we joined the email list for 14 campaigns -- mostly Presidential and a few from the hotly contested US Senate race in CO, and then a couple of our own client lists.
  • Then we waited for the emails to come in and after 5 days of receiving emails to the new account, here are the results. Test Results by Sender
    Sample Sender Inbox Promotions Tab Spam Folder Platform Used
    Dan Baer 0 2 0 BSD
    Joe Biden 0 1 0 BSD
    BlueUtopia 1 0 0 BlueUtopia
    Cory Booker 0 3 1 BSD
    Pete Buttigieg 1 0 2 NGP
    DLCC 0 11 2 BSD
    Kamala Harris 0 2 0 ActionKit
    Jay Inslee 0 1 2 ActionKit
    Alice Madden 0 2 0 BSD
    Andrew Romanoff 0 1 0 BSD
    Bernie Sanders 0 5 0 ActionKit
    Andru Volinsky 1 0 0 BlueUtopia
    Elizabeth Warren 0 8 0 BSD
    Trish Zornio 0 2 0 NGP

    Breakdown by Email Routing

    Click this image for a full screenshot of this folder or tab for this gmail account

    The Spam Folder

    Of the 49 emails received in the 5-day test, 7 (15%) were routed to the spam folder by Gmail.

    Click this image for a full screenshot of this folder or tab for this gmail account

    The Promotions Tab

    Of those 49 emails, 38 (79%) were routed to the Promotions tab.

    Click this image for a full screenshot of this folder or tab for this gmail account

    The Inbox

    And, finally, of those 49 emails, 3 (6%) were routed to the inbox.

    Breakdown by Email Vendor
    • Email Deliverability - ActionKit
      Inbox: 0
      Promotion: 8
      Spam: 2
    • Email Deliverability - bluestatedigital
      Inbox: 0
      Promotion: 29
      Spam: 2
    • Email Deliverability - BlueUtopia
      Inbox: 2
      Promotion: 0
      Spam: 0
    • Email Deliverability - NGP
      Inbox 1:
      Promotion: 2
      Spam: 2

    More caveats

    This is a very limited test - by design. It was meant to be a simple test, using only Gmail, over 5 days only, and using fairly large senders of email. Any test of this limited scope and sample can have skewed outcomes.

    BlueUtopia's clients tend to be smaller and send smaller volumes of email than a presidential campaign. It's easier to arrive in the inbox when delivering a few tens of thousands as opposed to a few million.

    We required a minimum of two emails in the 5-day period to summarize a vendor. The test account only received a single email sent by ESP, ActionNetwork (Ed Perlmutter). It was assigned to Promotion tab but because it was the only one, they were not included in the vendor summary.

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