What is Inbox Placement and How to Calculate

What is Inbox Placement and How to Calculate

Email landing is an issue, and maybe one of the biggest ones (in email marketing). Landing in a subscriber’s inbox is what we call the first bit of success of an email. Why?

Because every email takes a long flight after it starts the journey from sender to receiver. Sadly, almost 49% of them end up as spam and are lost in the ocean of junk emails. Eventually, most brands suffer from low deliverability and the sending reputation also suffers.

This is where inbox placement comes in. The more your emails succeed in getting to the inbox, the more they are going to bring conversions.

So here’s all you need to know about inbox placement, ways to measure it, and tool suggestions. Check them out –

What is inbox placement?

What is inbox placement

Inbox placement means how much your emails make it to the primary inbox of subscribers.

It’s the situation of an email after it’s been delivered from the sender and received by the recipient’s mail server.

Mailbox providers like Gmail, Outlook, or Zoho use algorithms and try to sort incoming emails with spam/ other filters. How is it filtered by the mailbox provider, and placed in the primary inbox or the spam folder – inbox placement answers all these questions.

When you receive an email, you can check which emails landed in your primary inbox, and which landed in the promotional box, social box, or spam folder. We all usually open emails mostly from the primary inboxes. So, all those emails that do not land in the primary inbox, have the lowest chances of even getting a check.

That’s where you lose your inbox placement ratio and all of your email-sending efforts could go downward. A shoddy inbox placement going to impact your open rate, CTR, and much more.

Well, can you avoid a bad inbox placement? Of course, you can.

How to calculate the inbox placement rate?

Measuring the inbox placement rate is simple. All you need to do is divide the number of emails reached to the primary inbox by the number of emails delivered.

The most crucial thing is – you take the number of total emails delivered, not the total email sent. You will get a hard bounce and some of your emails won’t be delivered due to many creative and technical reasons.

Difference between email delivery rate vs inbox placement

Is there any particular difference between email delivery rate and inbox placement? We all may get a bit confused if not look closely. Let’s clear them –

Email delivery = number of emails delivered / number of emails sent


Email placement = number of emails in primary inbox/number of emails delivered

Your email delivery rate is crucial because it reflects how many of your emails are delivered exactly to your customer. Always, you should expect a high email deliverability. According to a report by Email Tool Tester, the average email deliverability rate is above 84%.

On the other hand, inbox placement is a particular rate that can vary based on the types of emails you send. In the case of transactional emails like password resets and shipping confirmation emails, your email will get a higher delivery rate. This case could be different when you send marketing emails because there’s a chance they end up in the promotional folder.

However, as an email marketer, your goal is to make it through the primary inbox of the subscribers all the way.

Tips to improve your inbox placement rate

Tips to improve your inbox placement rate

A better inbox placement rate means your email is likely to work magic, and successfully avoid spam traps and blacklists. We’ve sorted some expert tips to help you out –

1. Maintain a clean email list

Firstly, your email list should be filled with real people. Secondly, those real people must be interested in receiving your emails. That’s the core of a robust email list.

Sadly, most email lists maintained by brands are bloated with irrelevant email addresses. And, if you also have big lists with people you don’t even have a clear idea of what they are up to do if they get your email – then you are playing it vague and mostly fruitless.

So, try to create an email list full of people who are willing and love to hear from you.

Read this guide to build a healthy email list from scratch.

Then, keep following up on their status each time you send an email campaign. If someone not responding, send an email to re-engage or even run a re-engagement campaign. If they are still not interested, the best thing would be to remove them from the list.

Also, try to find out which email addresses become invalid or abandoned. And clean your email list following their situation.

2. Authenticate your email-sending process

Sender reputation plays the key role for your inbox placement. The very step of ensuring a healthy email delivery and passing through the spam filter is to authenticate your email sending. You should be maintaining the following email authentication protocols like –

  • SPF (Sender policy framework)
  • DKIM (DomainKeys identified mail)
  • DMARC (Domain-based message authentication reporting and conformance), etc

Though, DMARC isn’t for authenticate your emails directly. It’s a email security protocol, and is connected to the overall authentication process. The job of DMARC is to verify email senders. To do this, it relies on DNS (Domain name system), DKIM, and SPF.

If not for all, you must set up SPF and DKIM for keeping your email safe from scammers and spammers.

Only an authentic sender reputation can increase your email deliverability and overall inbox placement rate.

Read More:  A Beginners Guide to Email Protocols

3. Maximize your email engagement

There are too many brand trying so hard to increase their inbox placement. They are trying to reach subscribers inbox and bring conversion. How big the number is? 2023 alone has recorded a massive 347 billion emails send and recieved every day.

So how do you plan to stand out without nurturing your lead? The only plausible way to generate a sustainable email marketing success is to nurture your lead and maximize your email engagement. Thus you can have both, a robust deliverability and a stable inbox placement.

The more you interact on a personal level (I mean, check out regularly about their activity and willingness to get your offer), sending followups, and proper incentives can save your day.

Also, with this process, you will be also able to make your email list clean and keep only the interested people on the loop.

Check out these best practices for better email engagement –

  • Segment your email list aka audience
  • Personalize your emails
  • Write effective and meaningful email subject lines
  • Maintain a strategic email cadence
  • Automate your email marketing process

This are the primary steps you can follow to engage your email subscribers. The more you maximize email engagement, you will be get a more dedicated email recipient.

4. Run a seed test before sending

Another best way to increase your inbox placement is run a seed test before you start sending email. It will help you to determine how your emails performing throughout all the major mailbox providers.

Seed test is a way to check your email deliverability before you hit the send button.

There are many tools or apps to run a seed test like – GlockApp, ZeroBounce, or Email Tool Tester.

5. Implement email verification to mitigate hard bounce

While you are opt-in subscribers, veryfying their authenticity ensures you get the right email addresses with real people.

Fake address or inactive ones only bringin-in low credibility and risks flagged your brand reputation to zeopardy.

Therefore, when you have a verified email list, achieving a good inbox placement rate will be a matter of time.

5 Best inbox placement tools to better imporovement

5 Best inbox placement tools to better imporovement


InboxWP is a plug-and-play email plugin designed to send WordPress transactional emails and ensured a nearly 100% deliverability.

So, if you are having deliverability issues, just get InboxWP and install it in your WordPress site. It will increase your transactional email deliverability, and overall delivery rate.

Check InboxWP Pricing.


Kickbox is a dedicated email platform for increasing email deliverability. From email address verification to improve inbox placement rate, you can get help from this platform.

If you want a B2C-focused email testing tool, Kickbox could be a viable solution. They also provide email spam checking and deliverability consulting service.


A reliable platform for designing, analyzing, testing, and reviewing your email marketing process. Besides providing email inbox placement aid, Litmus is a dedicated platform to help educational organization to engage students.

The core Litmus functionality lies in it’s top integrations including Campaign Monitor, Adobe Marketo, Hubspot, etc.

Glock App

With Glock App, you can check your email sustainability throughout all the popular mailbox providers like Gmail and Outlook. The platform will also provide the needful insights and actions to improve your overall email deliverability.

Glock App offers a dedicated Inbox Insight tool to improve your inbox placement rate. Besides that, you can analyze DMARC and monitor your email uptime at ease.


Allegrow is a outbound email deliverability platform that can help you engance inbox placement. With this tool, you can monitor the real percentage of your email reach into primary inbox of the subscribers. Eventually the whole process will help you increase your sender reputation.

However, Allegrow is a dedicated B2B tool, and best suited for big companies or enterprises.

So, what should be your next move

Sending email is all about gaining more open to click rate and making conversion. So, the more your email land it to primary inbox, the more you game. Make sure you step up with the right action to maintain a robust inbox placement for your emails, and check for further improvement.

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Kaji Enamul Islam

Enamul is an author and marketing enthusiast. He loves to write about eCommerce, WordPress, and life. Besides, his addiction to fiction, fact, movies, and books are possessive.