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If you are not familiar with the tests, we used to have a section on our status page that showed delivery rates to AOL, Outlook, Yahoo, Apple, and Gmail. Using a service called 250ok, it would report whether our emails were getting to the inbox, going to spam, or went missing entirely. It works by having a list of “seed” addresses at each ISP, which we then send email to and they monitor if it was delivered (or not). It was a nice visualization:
After nearly two years
Time to Inbox is a better gauge of performance #
- They are more frequent, so we can see changes over time based on our application and queue performance.
- We assume 100% delivery, because we use a domain with good reputation and simple content.
- The tests go across all of our shared IPs for an accurate model of our queues and performance.
- If issues arise, it will show the spike and length of time, which is easy for customers to react on.
- The tests show data that better represents the responsibility of the ESP, to maintain great performance and reputation to deliver emails quickly to the inbox.
So when are seed tests relevant? #