Find Out If Your Emails Are Going to Spam – Optimize Email Deliverability

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Ever wondered how many of your Pardot email sends are going straight to the spam folder? And which inbox providers are marking your emails as spam? This measure of email deliverability is called ‘Inbox Placement’, and is the difference between your email landing in the inbox vs. ending up in the spam folder.

While Pardot can certainly be a robust tool for digital marketing and sales enablement, there are specific features in the advanced email analytics arena that are not available. For businesses who rely heavily on email for lead nurturing and client retention, getting the right inbox placement is crucial, and having deeper insight into your metrics is a real bonus.


Enter one third-party email analytics package that I’ve been using for some time and want to share with all Pardot users! I will go over some key features that can enhance your visibility into email deliverability and show you how you can optimize your Pardot email campaigns accordingly.

Note: While I’ll be talking about 250ok in this article, since it’s what I currently use. The purpose of the article is to explain how you can benefit from inbox placement insight and reporting. 

How Does it Work? Seedlist Testing – Explained

Email analytics providers use what is called seedlist testing to determine inbox placement, which is a plethora of different private email accounts spanning most of the popular providers. You’ll send your email to this seedlist to get a representation of how your actual send will be hitting spam folders.

While no analytics add-on has insight into which specific private accounts are flagging your email as spam, this gives a statistical representation per email provider. For example, if your seed test ends up with 10% of your emails getting flagged for spam with Hotmail, you’ll want to research Hotmail’s spam filter algorithm and adjust your email accordingly. Your analytics support team will have deeper insight into each inbox provider’s spam algorithm and how to avoid it.

Source: 250ok

Bonus: I’ve noticed that some smaller inbox providers such as and seemingly do not have advanced spam filter algorithms like Gmail and Yahoo! do, so they tend to give a hard bounce message back to any bulk email senders. So, check your bounce messages for spam clues!

Bonus Two: Utilize the Gmail Tabs Report in 250ok to see which tabs your emails are landing in within Gmail.

Reputation Monitoring

Another great feature of third-party email analytics providers is reputation and blacklist monitoring. You should leverage this especially if you are on a shared IP.

The majority of Pardot users will be on a shared IP with other Pardot customers, unless you specified you wanted to switch to a dedicated sending IP (find this information in your Pardot Settings).

One of the reasons I recommend 250ok is because they have the ability to monitor your reputation at the domain level and the IP level, so if you share a sending IP with a company that does a lot of cold emailing (perhaps even purchasing lists) and are frequently hit spam traps, you’ll want the visibility to be able to differentiate between your domain reputation and your IP reputation. You can even see which domain and email hit the spam trap!

Source: G2 Crowd

Security & Authentication

The absolute best way to get buy-in from IT and senior leadership is to boast about the security features of your analytics provider. 250ok, for example, has a DMARC analyzer that gives you real time phishing alerts and a threat map. Add SPF monitoring and you’re all set!

Source: G2 Crowd


This is a pretty simple one. Validity purchased 250ok (and recently Return Path, also Bright Verify previously) and integrated the two platforms. So if you do a lot of list cleaning (and you should do regularly) this is a nice tool to have, included into the cost of the platform. Cleanse your list of invalid emails or bad quality emails to prevent future hard bounces and improve your deliverability and reputation overall.

Inbox Rendering

Yes, Pardot provides inbox rendering tests, but they provide only a handful of inboxes – and it can take several minutes to generate the inbox previews. Not only is 250ok faster, its rendering testing utilizes real inboxes (not virtual inboxes like some other testing tools).

Source: GetApp


Ahh, the joyous moment you’ve all been waiting for!

While the analytics section of 250ok is somewhat redundant if you are using Pardot too, it does include some key metrics that are nice to have.

In addition to what comes with Pardot sent email reports (Devices, Read Rate, Opens, Clicks, Bounces, etc.) 250ok also provides metrics such as:

  • Geolocation,
  • Read Time Falloff,
  • Top Recipients,
  • and even provides a holistic birds-eye-view of your complete program over time.

If you really want to get fancy, you can segment your audience by any custom data point you decide (maybe Client Since Date or Lifetime Value to see how your most loyal and most valuable customers are engaging with your emails).

Further, get granular with your list to see when they are most likely to open your emails. Send Time Optimization, anyone?


At the end of the day, a third-party analytics add-on may or may not be right for you depending on how you utilize email and your specific needs. While it’s certainly not cheap, it can bridge the gap between what Pardot provides out of the box and what you need to optimize your email channel for maximum ROI.

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