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Looking At Email Deliverability Through A Macro & Micro View

(The following was originally posted on, our friends that power great thought in the world of email delivery.)

When it comes to helping others with email deliverability challenges, I like to take an approach similar to that taken in economics where the study is often broken down into micro and macro viewpoints. Email should be no different. In macroeconomics, economists study the behaviors of the entire economy, growth rates, etc., while in microeconomics, you look at how individual decisions have impacted particular businesses.

Let’s take a look at how you can apply this approach to email.


Micro vs. Macro
Credit: Belsky

The first place we often begin when helping customers with deliverability challenges is at the macro level. We like to understand how email plays a part in their business and often look at the following areas first:

  • Is this company selling a product they directly manufacture or are they an agent facilitating the promotion of a product?
  • How did the end recipient get on the list to receive this email? Did they opt-in directly or did they opt-in through a third party? Did a friend request that this message was sent to them?
  • What are the general growth rates of new recipients? What is the rate of unsubscribes? Opens? Clicks? Complaints?

From these answers, we can begin to understand if there’s an issue at the macro level. For example, if the growth rate is out-weighted by the unsubscribe rate, you can perhaps assume that the value these emails once brought to the recipient has recently changed. Additionally, these types of questions allow us to gain an understanding of the challenges this particular company may face which possibly could be addressed at the micro level.


At the micro level, we begin to delve into the particular choices of how this email program is being operated. We will also ensure that the challenges understood at the macro level are correctly accounted for in the implementation of this unique email program.

For instance:

  • Is the unsubscribe link visible and easy to use?
  • Is the brand well represented in the from address, graphics, subject line, etc.?
  • Is the reason for receiving this message adequate for the macro level understanding of these recipients (ex. if sent from a friend, is the friend’s name / email address apparent and well understood)?

As you can see, the macro and micro effects of your email program can have a big impact on the success of your program. Let me know if you’ve thought of your email program like this. For other thoughts or tips, email me or tweet me!

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Whois: Mike Veilleux

Mike Veilleux is a Director of Product Management at Oracle Dyn Global Business Unit, a pioneer in managed DNS and a leader in cloud-based infrastructure that connects users with digital content and experiences across a global internet.

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