21NTC Session

A Holistic Approach to Email Deliverability, From Acquisition to Analysis

This is a resubmission of an accepted 20NTC session proposal.


Email marketing is still the #1 way to reach your core activists and donors — so long as your emails land in inboxes, rather than spam folders or promotions tabs!

Email deliverability (that is, inbox placement) relies on a spectrum of activity — from establishing trust at the point of subscription, to choosing the best sender, audience, content, and timing, to analyzing and optimizing performance.

This session will explain why a holistic approach to email deliverability — allying web, data, messaging, and advertising strategy — is crucial to achieving email performance goals.  It will present best practices for email content, subject lines, senders, and audience segmentation; signup forms, advertisements, and other acquisition channels; data structures, tracking, and analysis that improve deliverability.  These tips and tricks will be contextualized with real-world analogies that demystify deliverability algorithms and provide talking points for colleagues. 

Session Type

30 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • Describe in layperson's terms how email clients filter messages into inboxes, tabs, or spam.
  • Troubleshoot reasons why their email content is seeing low engagement or being sent to spam.
  • Implement best practices for email deliverability and engagement.

Target Audience

Marketing and fundraising staff who develop email content; IT and database professionals who advise on email lists and deliverability


AnalyticsContent MarketingContent StrategyEmail


Allison O'Dell

CRM Manager

The Funders Network

Allison has worked for 15 years as a data engineer and backend developer in the nonprofit, academic, and cultural heritage sectors, often focused on marketing and fundraising initiatives. She holds an M.S. in Library and Information Science and an M.A. in Art and the Book.



March 25, 2021


8:30am – 9:30am