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Inbox Placement FAQ

 What is Inbox Placement and why should I use it?

Inbox Placement provides an easy way to test an email’s deliverability before sending your campaign, or for understanding where your transactional emails are landing over time.  

While your email may have been successfully delivered, there’s no great way of knowing if it actually landed in the inbox. Inbox Placement takes the guesswork out of deliverability, giving you a better indicator of whether your message will make it into the inbox, the spam folder, or in the case of Gmail, which folder/tab the email was placed. 

While metrics like delivery rates, open rates, and click rates can only be obtained after sending out an email campaign, inbox placement gives you a chance to test performance before you send, without wasting time and money if your campaign isn’t likely to make it to the inbox.  


How is Mailgun’s Inbox Placement product different?

As an email service provider (ESP), Mailgun simplifies your email marketing workflow and provides a comprehensive assessment of how to improve your inbox placement / deliverability rate by aggregating inbox placement insights with historical sending metrics and email engagement data. 

Furthermore, our inbox placement product leverages the billions of emails we send every month, to provide predictive placement based on global and sending domain send patterns.


Is seed data the same as panel data?

No. Panel data is comprised of thousands or even millions of crowdsourced mailboxes that belong to individual users. Its advocates argue that this large data set allows for an accurate representation of where email will land. 

Seed data, on the other hand, is comprised of scores or hundreds of mailboxes that don’t belong to individual users but rather, are managed by the seed test provider and reflect neutral usage in most cases.

Mailgun’s platform does not use panel data. Not only does panel data leverage personal mailbox information, but policy changes in recent years essentially make the use of panel data obsolete.


Which Mailgun plans offer the Inbox Placement feature?

Inbox Placement is available in the Foundation, Growth, Scale and Enterprise plans.


How often should I run a seed test? Should I run the same test multiple times?

There are a few different variables you can use to determine the best frequency of running inbox placement tests, and it mostly depends on your goals and objectives. 

If you make changes to your template or copy, we advise waiting at least 15 minutes between tests due to the possibility of mailbox provider-induced delays. To see the effects of those changes on your deliverability, run a new test each time you tweak a campaign.

If you want to see how your current reputation affects your deliverability, we suggest running one test and then waiting until you’ve addressed any factors impacting your reputation before running another test. Since improving your reputation takes time, you may want to wait at least 30 days from when you made those adjustments before re-running a test. 

If you are trying to determine if mailbox provider algorithms are changing and impacting your inbox placement rate, we recommend running inbox placement tests weekly as a general best practice to keep tabs on any fluctuations in your deliverability. 


Which mailbox providers are included in the seed list?

The seed mailboxes currently offered are based on the most common providers we see across the billions of emails Mailgun sends each month. You can find the full list of seed addresses within the “Seed List” section of your control panel.


Why am I seeing countries in the seed list I don't send to?

Since we consider Inbox Placement a proactive tool, Mailgun will, by default, run your inbox placement test against our entire list of seed mailboxes, which may include mailbox providers in countries that you don’t currently send to but might start sending to in the future. We see this as a benefit as you will start to compile a running history of inbox placement rates that you can leverage at a later point in time. Plus, by sending to a broader list of providers, you will get a better assessment of your inbox placement rates at a global level.


Can I filter my results only to certain providers?

Currently, you cannot filter results to certain providers. That said, we have plans to provide an easier way to filter down your seed list in future iterations of the product.


What’s the difference between “Inbox”, “Missed”, and “Spam”?

In the control panel, you will notice that your inbox placement rates will be divided into three categories – “Inbox”, “Missed” and “Spam”. Emails categorized as “Inbox” were placed in the inbox by the mailbox provider. Items marked as “Missed” did not make it into the mailbox. The most likely reason for being marked as “Missed” is that the mailbox provider rejected the email outright (i.e. it bounced). However, it is also possible to be marked as “Missed” due to quarantined messages, “blackholing” (i.e. email is delivered but the mailbox provider simply doesn’t place it in the mailbox), or network induced delays. Emails marked as “Spam” were delivered to the spam or junk folder.


Does Inbox Placement support EU domains?

No. Currently, you may only create seed tests with non-EU domains. 


Is the seed list static or is it generated each time I create a test?

The seed list is a static list. That said, we are adding new mailboxes over time so you may see the seed list grow as we extend support to more mailbox providers.

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