The long tail of domains
I frequently get clients telling me that they have about 15 (20, 30) major domains on their list, and then a long tail of domains with only a couple of recipients. If you sort simply by the left hand side of the @, that’s true.
When you’re sending email, it’s not just the domain in the email address that is important. Of equal importance is the MX. The MX is what actually handles the mail and where many filters are applied. Sorting by MX, instead of simply recipient domain, can identify that most of your small business clients are hosted at a particular provider. The number of subscribers behind that filter may be enough to push that filter into your top 10 or even top 5 recipient domains.
There’s a much smaller tail when grouping recipients by MX domain. It makes it much easier to understand where blocks are happening. I have even seen cases where clients didn’t realize they were blocked at a commercial provider because they only saw the “onesie twosie” domains as undeliverable. They missed a real problem with blocking because they were looking at the wrong data.
I sometimes get the side eye from some ISP folks if I use the term receiver (because, well, they’re senders as much as they are receivers). But I use receiver to help distinguish between the recipient domain and the actual domain handling the email.
When was the last time you looked at your delivery by filter or MX rather than by recipient domain? What did you find?