Email Deliverability: Six Key Questions to Ask Your Debt Collection Provider (and How TrueAccord Measures Up)

By on October 23rd, 2023 in Customer Experience, Industry Insights, Product and Technology, User Experience

Did you know one of the most common reasons for missing a payment is because delinquent customers simply forget to pay their bill?

But staying top of mind for consumers is harder than ever using traditional call-and-collect methods considering stricter compliance regulations and the fact that 94% of unidentified calls go unanswered. Plus, surveys have found that when it comes to debt collection, 40% of consumers state email as their first preference of communication, and contacting through a customer’s preferred channel first can lead to a more than 10% increase in payments.

But, even if your collections partner claims to use digital engagement, are you actually getting better recovery rates?

Simply adding email into the communication mix isn’t enough—there’s a lot that goes on between hitting “send” and reaching the inbox. Understanding the core components of a successful email program is helpful, but are your collection emails actually making it to your delinquent accounts? Unopened emails or messages trapped in spam won’t help those liquidation rates.

In today’s digital world, businesses can’t afford to work with collection partners who claim to engage consumers via email but can’t back it up with the metrics to prove that their messages actually reach their intended recipients.

Let’s look at six key questions to ask your collections partners, why each question is important, and how TrueAccord measures up. Want to learn more about email deliverability? Click here»»

1) What is their primary method of consumer engagement in debt collection?

Why It Matters
The success of traditional call-and-collect methods are waning compared to modern digital engagement due to more consumers preferring digital communications, declining right-party contact rates, and increasing compliance restrictions.

How TrueAccord Measures Up
TrueAccord is a digital first, omnichannel debt collection agency—and has been a leader in digital consumer engagement.

2) How long have they used email as a form of consumer engagement in debt collection?

Why It Matters
Many debt collection providers have been slow to adopt digital communication as part of their consumer outreach, and even those who have integrated digital are still refining strategies for optimal outcomes.

How TrueAccord Measures Up
From the very start back in 2013, TrueAccord’s approach to consumer engagement has been digital-first and continues to grow into a robust omnichannel operation through machine learning driven by data from 20 million customer engagements and counting.

3) What is their email delivery rate?

Why It Matters
Email Delivery Rate refers to the successful transmission of an email from the sender to the recipient’s mail server, measured by emails delivered divided by the number of emails sent.

How TrueAccord Measures Up
TrueAccord has a 99% email delivery rate, compared to the average email delivery rate of approximately 90%.

4) What is their deliverability rate?

Why It Matters
Successful email delivery doesn’t mean that it actually makes it into the recipient’s inbox. Deliverability divides how many emails reach the recipient’s inbox, as opposed to their spam folder, by the total number of emails sent.

How TrueAccord Measures Up
TrueAccord has a 95% deliverability rate, compared to the worldwide average of 84.8%

5) Do they measure open rates and/or click rates?

Why It Matters
Measuring open rates (percentage of recipients who opened your email) and click-through rates (percentage of those who clicked on a link in the email) play a dominant role to understand which communications are resonating with recipients and which are not.

How TrueAccord Measures Up
TrueAccord has a total open rate 52% and total click rate 1.77%, compared to the 2023 average industry total open rate of 27.76% and click rate of 1.3%.

6) How do they make adjustments when delivery and/or deliverability rates fluctuate?

Why It Matters
Email delivery and deliverability rates will fluctuate, but how a provider responds and adjusts to these changes is crucial to keeping the rates as high as possible. 

How TrueAccord Measures Up
TrueAccord’s dedicated Email Operations and Deliverability Team proactively monitor and make adjustments, along with using our patented machine learning engine, HeartBeat.

Ready to Reach Optimal Consumer Engagement in Your Debt Collection Operations?

Start by scheduling a consultation to learn more about what influences email delivery and deliverability rates and how TrueAccord consistently performs above the rest. 

Get Start Now»»

Between Hitting “Send” and Reaching the Inbox: The (Hidden) Anatomy of Email

By on August 15th, 2023 in Product and Technology

When it comes to reaching consumers, it’s no secret that email has surpassed phone calls as the preferred method of communication. In fact, 59.5% of consumers prefer email as their first choice for communication.

But just because your business sends emails to consumers doesn’t mean that your messages make it to their inbox. And if that email never reaches the intended recipient, it doesn’t matter what that customer’s preferred method of communication may be.

There are more factors than you may realize that go into whether or not your email reaches the consumer’s inbox, so let’s look at the hidden anatomy of email and the factors that influence where your emails end up.

What’s the Difference Between Mail Servers, Mailbox Providers, ISPs, and ESPs?

Before we look at what happens when you hit “send” on that email, it’s important to identify some of the key components that operate behind the scenes to get your message from point A to point B.

  • Mail Server: A mail server (also known as a mail transfer agent or MTA) is an application that receives incoming email from the sender and forwards outgoing messages for delivery to the recipient.
  • Mailbox Provider: A mailbox provider provides email hosting and implements email servers to send, receive, accept, and store email for the recipient.
  • ISPs: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide internet. Although ISPs can provide email services, separate ESPs are often used for business email operations—but ISPs play a major role in email delivery and landing in the recipient’s inbox.
  • ESPs: Email service providers (ESPs) are a service that enables businesses to send emails and email campaigns to a list of subscribers.

How Does Email Actually Work?

When you hit the “send” button, your ESP sends the email to the recipient’s mail server through various protocols such as SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol). The delivery process involves establishing a connection with the recipient’s mail server, transferring the email content, and receiving a response indicating whether the email was accepted or rejected by the mailbox provider.

Several key factors play into whether an email gets tagged in spam or junk or filtered into “social” or “promotion” categories.

  • Mailbox providers and anti-spam filters make inbox placement decisions based on a 30-day rolling history of sender reputation metrics
  • Inbox placement is based on the subscriber’s interaction, regardless of your business model
  • All types of emails are subject to the same filtering, regardless of content

At TrueAccord, every time we send an email our email providers notify us of events like delivered, open, click, hard bounce (such as an email being sent to an invalid or nonexistent email address), soft bounce (typically an indicator of a temporary technical issue on the recipients’ end), and spam complaints.

In the case of bounces, TrueAccord stores that data and categorizes it as not delivered. Emails that result in a soft bounce are temporary bounces and could get delivered within 72 hours. For hard bounces, we will not send to those again—or it severely hurts our reputation among ESPs and ISPs. For Regulation F compliance when delivering disclosures electronically, debt collectors are required to monitor for deliverability. TrueAccord presumes that any hard bounce or undelivered soft-bounce (one that is not delivered after 72 hours of the first soft bounce) has not been delivered.

Why are ISPs So Selective?

the ISPs are selective on what emails get accepted and which actually reach the inbox. But there are three key initiatives ISPs consider:

  • To protect email account owners from:
  • Spam
  • Scams
  • Poor experience
  • To protect and prioritize company resources:
  • Limited email engines i.e. mail servers
  • Limited bandwidth
  • Limited personnel or internal expertise
  • To continue driving revenue:
  • Lower email interaction reduces ad impressions and revenue
  • Too many emails can lead to account abandonment from subscribers

Best Practices to Get Your Emails Delivered

Understanding the different components of email, how it actually works, and the selective filters in place to protect consumers are all important to a successful email program. Now let’s look at several best practices to follow:

  • Build and maintain a positive sender reputation with ISPs and ESPs
  • Ensure good email list hygiene
  • Send to actively engaged subscribers
  • Maintain consistent volume and cadence (avoid spikes)
  • Avoid spammy subject lines
  • Develop valuable content that would engage subscribers

While many of these best practices may seem like no-brainers, achieving them can take more skill and effort than most businesses expect. Each of these contribute to email delivery rates and more importantly, deliverability to recipients’ inboxes—key drivers towards consumer engagement and your bottom line.

Ready to step up your engagement with better email strategies? Schedule a consultation to get started »»