New report shares the tips, tricks, and best practices that help best in class senders avoid the spam folder and consistently reach the inbox.

A new report from Return Path, We Know Email: Secrets of Best in Class Email Senders, shines a light on the “secrets” that separate the best senders from the rest. The report also offers guidance and actionable advice for email marketers looking to increase inbox placement and ascend to the level of best in class.

Following are a few of the report’s key takeaways:

Reaching the inbox is more important than ever. If email doesn’t make it to the inbox, brands lose the opportunity to connect with customers and ultimately make a sale. Best in class senders understand the importance of inbox placement and take the necessary steps to make sure their email reaches its target.

An established sending identity, positive reputation, and engaged subscriber base are critical to avoiding the spam folder. A consistent sending identity helps mailbox providers to pinpoint the source of an email, while reputation offers insight into a sender’s legitimacy. Engagement has become increasingly important in recent years, as it allows mailbox providers to determine whether email welcome at the individual subscriber level. Combined, these three factors help to ensure inbox placement.

Whitelists are the “secret weapon” of top senders. The very best senders earn the opportunity to become whitelisted, which confers special benefits like less stringent filtering, zero throttling, and other preferential treatment. With Return Path Certification, the industry’s most widely accepted and valued whitelist, senders experience experience an average of five percent higher inbox placement than non-certified senders.