Needs Nurturing Stage

Off Into the Sunset – Improve Your Deliverability & Inboxing

Deliverability and Inboxing is the ability for emails to reach subscribers inboxes. Inboxing is the rate at which emails within email campaign blasts reaches the subscribers primary inbox. 

When a brand has deliverability and inboxing issues, less of their subscribed users will see emails because they are not falling into their primary inbox. This leads to low open rates, click-to-open rates, click rates, and conversion rates. One of the first major signs of deliverability and inboxing issues is low engagement. Other additional signs can be high spam reports and bounces. 

One of the best ways to start increasing deliverability and inboxing rates is to implement a Sunset Policy to email blasts. A Sunset Policy is the process of removing inactive users in your mailing list that are not responding to your email campaign after a certain period of time. 

Imagine all the hard work in launching an email campaign just for it to end-up in the spam box. Ultimately, your marketing efforts–developing the copy, graphics, and additional content–will go to waste. Let’s stop that from happening, and keep your sender reputation in good standing.


Case study: The effects of a Sunset Policy

Here’s a case study we did with one of our clients. We utilized a Sunset Policy to increase unique email opens, which will result in better deliverability and inboxing rates.

Rationale: A ReSci Client has been emailing their entire consumer base 2-3x per week. Each campaign reaches approximately 600k consumers. The Client wanted to improve inboxing, engagement rates as well as driving additional revenue.

Process: Working with ReSci, specific domains were identified that were not performing as well as others with regards to Open Rates. A Sunset Policy was put into place that would look at domain-specific open rates and set specific send thresholds, dependent on time, for each. Sunset Policies will be built out using Cortex Smart Segments.



Results: The average send volume was reduced to approximately 380k per blast. While send volume was reduced, the total number of unique opens has increased from an average of 54k to an average of 60k.


How to implement a Sunset Policy in Cortex 

  1. Identify performance metrics by domain for your email list. Note: Cortex makes creating a Sunset Policy easier by giving clients insight on email performance on the email domain level. Cortex also enables you to easily target each email domain through Smart Segments. 
  2. Domains that have the highest engagement rates may be emailed to more frequently & the window of ‘last open date’ may have larger look back windows of time.
  3. Domains that have the lowest engagement rates should not be mailed to as frequently and the window of ‘last open date’ should be reduced significantly. 
  4. Create domain-specific segmentation model based on ISP & engagement dates. 
  5. Once the model has been defined, build out the specific Cortex Smart Segment that reflects the criteria.
  6. Add in the Cortex Smart Segment Sunset Policy to all email campaigns. As open rates begin to increase, you can adjust timing thresholds to include more users. 


Let them ride off into the sunset

Sunset policies are important because they guarantee that your brand is reaching your most engaged, active users. By refining your list, you are helping your emails land in your most active users primary inbox which can lead to higher open rates, CTOR, and conversion rates.

In contrast, a list that is full of inactive users will cause your brand to see low engagement from your list of users, which can begin to cause ESPs to not show your emails in the primary inbox of your most engaged and active users.

It sounds counterintuitive that we want to email less, but using a Sunset Policy will help your sender reputation and increase overall engagement. Remember: A healthy list is also a profitable list!


Brought to you by Madeline Alger, Enterprise Client Success Manager

Madeline leverages her experience in digital marketing to ensure the success of our SMB to Enterprise level clients.

Feel confused or lost? Want more strategies? Contact the helpdesk, or reach out to your Client Success Manager and they’ll be happy to help!

Download Data-driven marketing guide

ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands.

Request a demo


Did you find this useful? Share it on social media.