Permissions & Deliverability

MailerLite Deliverability in 2024: How it Performs Against Other ESPs

Inka WibowoCharlotte Evans

By Inka & Charlotte

mailerlite deliverability

Email deliverability is essential for the success of any email marketing campaign, determining whether emails reach the intended recipients' inboxes or are flagged as spam.

While there are a number of factors that influence email deliverability, the choice of Email Service Provider (ESP) is one that shouldn’t be overlooked. Factors such as sender reputation, infrastructure, and compliance practices all play crucial roles in getting emails delivered to inboxes.

Initially marketed as a budget-friendly alternative to Mailchimp, MailerLite has become one of the most popular ESPs on the market in recent years. But, how do MailerLite’s deliverability rates compare to other email marketing services?

To help answer this question, we’ll be diving into the results of our bi-annual deliverability tests, which we’ve been running since 2017. Read on to learn about how MailerLite has performed, and how it stacks up against its competitors when it comes to email deliverability.

deliverability checklist magnet

Understanding MailerLite Email Deliverability and How It’s Measured

What exactly is email deliverability – and is it the same as email delivery? Although the two concepts are related, they don’t measure the same thing.

Email delivery measures emails that have not bounced – that is, those that have successfully reached the receiving server. But here’s the thing: even if an email lands in a spam or junk folder, it’s counted within the email delivery rate, because it still made it through to the receiving server. So, it doesn’t give you an accurate picture of whether recipients are really getting your emails.

Email deliverability looks at the proportion of emails that successfully make it to recipients’ inboxes. If they make it through to the Primary inbox, Promotions folder, Social tab, or Promotions folder, they’re counted within the email deliverability rate.

On the other hand, if they get caught within the spam or junk folder, or go missing along the way (that is, are undelivered), they’re excluded from your email deliverability rate.

Email deliverability is influenced by many factors, such as whether your emails are authenticated, and if your content follows best practices. However, it’s also partly influenced by the email service provider (ESP) you choose, and how well they maintain their shared IPs.

Because of this, we regularly test top email marketing services to measure their deliverability rates – including MailerLite. So, how well do they perform?

MailerLite Email Deliverability Rate

We started testing MailerLite’s deliverability in 2017. During that time, MailerLite has demonstrated a consistent and impressive track record in email deliverability:

PROVIDER AUG 2017 % MAR 2018 % JAN 2019 % JULY 2019 % FEB 2020 % SEPT 2020 % MAR 2021 % OCT 2021 % APR 2022 % JAN 2023 % JUNE 2023 % JAN 2024 %
MailerLite 77.6 89 92.6 94.8 78.4 90 96.9 95.7 98 91.7 96.5 89.8

From August 2017 to July 2019, MailerLite showed a steady improvement in deliverability rates, suggesting ongoing enhancements in its email infrastructure and sender reputation management practices.

The highpoint of MailerLite's performance was in April 2022 when it achieved a remarkable deliverability rate of 98%. And, although there was a small decline in our latest test in January 2024, MailerLite maintained a strong deliverability rate of 89.8%. This helped to earn it our “Best of 5” award with an average deliverability rate of 94.41% over the last five rounds.

MailerLite's consistent excellence in email deliverability rates help to position it as a leading provider in the email marketing industry – one that has a high chance of ensuring that emails reach their intended recipients' inboxes.

MailerLite Email Deliverability to Gmail, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL

Wondering how well MailerLite delivers to the most widely-used internet service providers (ISPs)? Here’s a summary of how it’s performed in our email deliverability tests over the years.

Deliverability to Gmail:

  • In our tests, MailerLite consistently achieves high deliverability rates to Gmail-hosted mailboxes. It frequently hits 100% deliverability to Gmail, and has only dropped to below 90% twice – first in February 2020 (where it hit an all-time low of 70%), and again in January 2023 (where it reached 80% of Gmail inboxes). In our most recent tests, it achieved an impressive average of 97% deliverability to Gmail.
  • Its track record in reaching Gmail’s Primary tab (versus the Promotions tab) is a little rockier. While its emails successfully reached the Primary tab 100% of the time in our first two testing rounds, subsequent rounds saw this drop to as low as 10-15%, with the vast majority landing in the Promotions tab.
  • However, in our most recent testing round (January 2024), we saw MailerLite’s emails reach Gmail’s Primary tab 97% of the time. If an email lands in the Primary tab, it has a higher chance of being read, which is why marketers generally want their emails to arrive in this tab as opposed to secondary tabs like Promotions or Updates.

Deliverability to Microsoft (Outlook and Hotmail):

  • MailerLite’s deliverability rates to Microsoft mailboxes also tend to be high, often reaching between 95-100%. There were, however, a few exceptions: in the very first round in 2017, 0% of emails managed to get through to Microsoft-hosted mailboxes. In February 2020, deliverability to Microsoft again dropped, this time to 32.3%.

Deliverability to Yahoo:

  • Likewise, MailerLite’s deliverability rates to Yahoo tend to be very high, scoring 100% deliverability in most rounds. The only exception was our latest testing round (January 2024), where deliverability to Yahoo dropped to 80%.

Deliverability to AOL:

  • Similarly, MailerLite emails usually get delivered to AOL 100% of the time, with the exception of the last testing round where deliverability fell to 80%.

A Note on Our Email Deliverability Test Insights

Our tests on email deliverability show how well different email marketing services get emails into inboxes. Among popular providers like ActiveCampaign, Constant Contact, HubSpot, and Mailchimp, MailerLite consistently stands out. This year, they earned our Best of 5 Email Deliverability award for their excellent performance.

While MailerLite shines, some providers struggle to keep up, seeing declines in delivery rates over time. However, choosing the right email marketing service is only part of the equation. Keeping your email list clean, maintaining a positive sender reputation, creating engaging content, and following deliverability best practices all play vital roles.

Our tests provide valuable insights for small to medium senders using shared IP addresses. However, for high-volume senders with dedicated IPs, other factors may have a greater impact on email deliverability.

MailerLite Deliverability Rates Compared to Other Email Service Providers

While MailerLite has experienced minor fluctuations in deliverability rates over time, the overall trend remains positive, with consistently strong performance across our different testing periods.

MailerLite has consistently competed with top performers like ActiveCampaign, demonstrating its ability to maintain competitive deliverability rates over time. At times, MailerLite has even surpassed ActiveCampaign in deliverability rates – for instance, in March 2021 and April 2022, when MailerLite achieved deliverability rates of 96.9% and 98%, respectively.

MailerLite's deliverability also often outperforms that of other popular providers, such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact. These instances highlight MailerLite's potential to outshine even established high performers in terms of email deliverability, making MailerLite a solid choice if deliverability is important to you.

MailerLite Dedicated IPs: Can They Impact Deliverability?

As a standard practice, MailerLite users typically send emails using shared IPs, where multiple senders use the same IP address. In our deliverability tests, we also used MailerLite's shared IPs to send our emails.

Many businesses opt for shared IPs due to their lower costs, and the minimal management required on the user's end. However, one drawback is that your sender reputation may be influenced by other users sharing the same IP. Therefore, it's essential for all senders to adhere to best email marketing practices, including maintaining a clean email list and considering other factors that can impact deliverability.

For those requiring greater control over their sender reputation, MailerLite offers the option of a dedicated IP, which is particularly suited for high-volume senders – those sending a minimum of 50,000 emails weekly. With a dedicated IP, users have exclusive control over their sender reputation, reducing the risk of being affected by the actions of other users sharing the IP.

However, this option comes at an additional cost of $50 per month, making it a pricier alternative compared to other ESPs.

MailerLite Deliverability Features

MailerLite provides a variety of features aimed at enhancing the deliverability of its users' campaigns. These include conducting a thorough approval process upfront, and ensuring new accounts meet the necessary criteria before being approved for sending.

Other features include:

Email authentication

MailerLite provides detailed instructions on how to set up DKIM and SPF authentication for emails, which is required before you can start sending emails. Domain-specific instructions are helpfully provided for those who have domains registered with:

  • Squarespace
  • Cloudflare
  • GoDaddy
  • SiteGround
  • Google Domains
  • Wix
  • IONOS by 1&1
  • Bluehost
  • Hostinger
  • Namecheap

It also offers a domain alignment feature that allows you to use your domain throughout your entire email message, including email header, tracking links, and image hyperlinks. This is something that ISPs like Gmail and Yahoo look favorably on, and can help to boost the chances of your emails getting delivered.


If email deliverability is a top priority for you, MailerLite goes the extra mile with its MailerCheck service. Features include:

  • Email List Verification: MailerCheck’s bulk verifier checks email addresses to remove invalid emails, duplicates, and mailboxes that are full or likely to be ignored. The pay-as-you-go pricing starts at $10 for 1,000 credits.
  • Email Insights: This checks email content to flag any issues that might get it blocked by spam filters, including code issues, spam-like words, broken links and images, unauthenticated senders, and blocklisted IP addresses. The pay-as-you-go pricing starts at $10 for 1,000 credits.
  • Inbox Placement: This feature helps you predict if your emails will reach subscribers' inboxes by checking deliverability to major ISPs, and identifying which folders they’ll appear in. Pricing starts at $125/month, although there is a limited free plan also available.

List Management

MailerLite lets you segment your subscribers based on a wide variety of factors. With its automations, you can even make specific actions like “when a subscriber joins one group, remove them from another group.” This helps you send more relevant emails that target specific groups better, reducing the chance of spam complaints.

If a subscriber's email bounces back because it's invalid, they're automatically taken off your active list. If an email soft bounces three times in a row, it's treated as a hard bounce, and the subscriber is removed from your active list. Spam complaints are also automatically removed from active lists.

MailerLite Deliverability: Conclusion

Reputable ESPs maintain strong sender reputations and relationships with ISPs and email clients, increasing the likelihood of emails being trusted and delivered to the inbox. They also invest in robust email delivery infrastructure, including advanced spam filtering mechanisms and authentication protocols.

From what we’ve seen, MailerLite does a superb job on all these fronts. Its consistently high deliverability rates highlight its commitment to ensuring high deliverability rates for its users.

What’s more, MailerLite’s deliverability monitoring tools and support services go a step further to help users identify and address deliverability issues promptly.

With the choice of ESP helping to play a role in the deliverability of campaigns, it’s reassuring to know that MailerLite has proven to be one of the more reliable options in this regard. If you’re considering MailerLite, we’d encourage you to test it out for yourself.

Have any questions about MailerLite deliverability? Let us know in the comments below!

The authors

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Inka Wibowo

Senior Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I spent the earlier part of my career in agency land, helping businesses of all sizes get their email marketing campaigns up and running. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm using my experience to help businesses like yours find the best email marketing services for your needs.

Charlotte Evans

Content Manager

Hey, I'm Charlotte! I've always been enthusiastic about helping others. After working for various tech startups and eCommerce businesses, I developed a strong passion for email marketing. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm putting this knowledge to good use by recommending the very best digital tools for your business.

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Our Methodology

This article has been written and researched following our EmailTooltester methodology.

Our Methodology