Articles by Carly Brantz

Carly Brantz is a veteran in the email deliverability space working to make email simple and easy for developers by regularly writing whitepapers, research briefs and blog posts about email, technology and industry trends.

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SPOILER ALERT: Cloudmark’s 2013 Global Messaging Threat Report Findings About SMS Spam

Best Practices
Email to SMS

While your email program is humming along, spammers are still hard at work trying to devise ways to send malicious messages to your customers. Mobile is now the new frontier for these elusive thieves, allowing them to be even more creative in their approach, and according to Cloudmark’s 2013 Global Messaging Threat Report, they are making good progress. It’s important to stay on top of trends with spammers in all channels, so we’ve provided some highlights of the report here: Phishing tops the list. In 2013, phishing accounted for 20% of SMS spam in the U.S. with 67% of those SMS spam messages pushing financial offers. Spammers are using their tried and true methods and applying them to mobile. Therefore, it

Why You Need an Email Preference Center

Best Practices

An email preference center is a tool that helps you establish a healthy communication cadence with your subscribers. It provides an easy way for your subscribers to manage their email by giving them a centralized portal to control what they receive and how often they receive your messages. What might motivate you to set up a preference center? Let’s start by taking a look at this survey from HubSpot that explains the main reasons why users unsubscribe from your list. It may come as no surprise that 54% of respondents said that they were receiving emails from a sender too frequently. And that 49% of respondents said that “the content became too repetitive or boring over time.” Both of these

Email Bounce Management: Soft Bounces vs. Hard Bounces

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bounce rate

We’re taking it back to the basics to define a term that is super important to email deliverability, but still seems to cause some mailers a bit of confusion: bounces. What’s the difference between a hard bounce and a soft bounce? At SendGrid, we probably position soft bounces a little differently. We look at soft bounces more as blocks–or short term issues. These blocks shouldn’t be added to a suppression list. But, hard bounces (invalid email addresses and nondeliverables) should be. Read on for why. The Definition of an Email Bounce An email bounce signifies non-delivery of your email message. When this happens, the mailer will receive an automatic notification of the delivery failure. This failure originates from the recipient’s

5 Tips To Creating A Memorable Welcome Email

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Ah the trusted “Welcome” email! This simple message is one of the most important, yet overlooked, emails that you can ever send. Remember the old adage, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression?” It’s never been more true than with welcome emails. Your welcome email sets the tone for every subsequent email that you deliver to your subscriber…so make it a good one! Here are 5 tips to help make sure your welcome email is memorable and effective. Tip #1 – Make it personal. Establish a connection with your subscriber early by addressing them by name. During your sign up process, you’ve probably asked for first name, last name, and email address – since you have the information on

Infrastructure: The Foundation of Email Deliverability Success

Best Practices

Do you know the current state of your email infrastructure? Here are 5 questions to ask to help make sure you’ve established a strong foundation for sending: 1. Are you using a dedicated IP Address? If you’re a high-volume sender who is working with an email provider, make sure you have an IP address dedicated to your mail stream. Ideally, have at least two IPs, one for your transactional email and a second for your marketing/promotional email. (Transactional email tends to have higher delivery rates than marketing email, so separate your mail streams to keep their reputations distinct.) Sharing an IP address with other senders means their practices and reputation will have a direct impact on your deliverability—and that’s not

SendGrid Cabo Kickoff 2014

Kickoff Montage 2014

I have been extremely fortunate to be with SendGrid for 2 1/2 years and to attend not one but all three SendGrid company kickoff events in Mexico. I am one lucky lady! I can confidently say that each one has been a special trip where I learned about the company, my coworkers, and our plans for the year. Our first trip we traveled as a group of 50 to Cancun, last year was nearly 100 when we kicked off the year in Puerto Vallarta, and this year, we almost took over the entire resort as our group of 180 arrived to the Fiesta Americana resort in Cabo San Lucas. The size of the trip alone should give you an indication

What is “List-Unsubscribe?”

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We’ve provided a lot of strategies and best practices to ensure delivery, improve delivery rates, and show how they will benefit you in the long run in posts like: ·   How Poor Email Deliverability Impacts Your Business ·   Email Deliverability Metrics: 7 Metrics to Watch to Prevent Delivery Failures ·   How Email Deliverability Directly Affects Your ROI There is, however, one practice that we could provide a bit more detail on; one that is quite simple to implement and that has a host of benefits to your email program. That best practice is to add a List-Unsubscribe header. Here’s a high-level look at List-Unsubscribe as shared on the List-Unsubscribe blog. List-Unsubscribe The List-Unsubscribe header is an optional

5 IP Warm Up Tips That Will Get You To The Inbox

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We’ve talked a lot about why it’s important to warm up your IP, tips on warm up timelines and sending volume, and top questions you should ask your ESP before getting started. At this point, you may be asking yourself…why not just jump in head first and see what happens? While it may be tempting to fast track your IP warm up process, remember, patience is a virtue. Recovering from a bad move can be more costly than taking the time to build a good reputation. If you keep these 5 tips in mind, you’ll be off to a great start: 1) Starting cautious is good. It’s very hard to repair a bad reputation. Oftentimes, senders need to be more

Why Postini is Moving to the Google Graveyard

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Postini is (or was) a product that provided email security, instant messaging security, and email archiving services founded in 1999. By 2005 Postini processed over 2.5 billion email messages on a weekly basis and provided anti-spam services for over 4,200 companies. Acquired by Google in 2007 for $625 million dollars to support the Google Apps platform, Postini is now dying a slow, but inevitable death. With more and more businesses moving to the cloud and Google Apps expanding into the enterprise, Postini has waned in value and was scheduled to be phased out in 2013. So is Postini officially dead? Postini is on life support, and the plug will soon get pulled. Google stated that transitions would take place throughout

Celebrating Our Partnership With KKE in Japan

KKE Launch 1

Last month, I had the unique opportunity to travel to Tokyo with a group from SendGrid to celebrate the launch of SendGrid in Japan by our partner KKE. Our CEO, Jim Franklin has had a long-standing relationship with Shota Hattori, the CEO at KKE, and has worked with him in various capacities over the last 20 years. For the launch we had an afternoon meeting with local Japanese start-up companies and press.  We heard from our CEO Jim Franklin, our contact Kansuke Nakai from KKE, the U.S. Ambassador in Japan, and our friends from Microsoft Azure and Aside from Jim’s presentation, the content was in Japanese so I can’t elaborate on what was shared, but it was exciting to

SendGrid Customer Spotlight


Web apps have moved light years beyond their humble beginnings. In the 1990s, business sites resembled little more than electronic bulletin boards and CGI was the standard delivery mechanism. As the early 2000s approached, the industry demanded flexibility in addition to functionality and web platforms came to the forefront relying on REST based systems to provide more choices and customization. Today, there are thousands of web apps that are being used to solve complex business problems. Our customers represent over 100,000 global organizations that have made it their business to solve key challenges and turn obstacles into opportunities. We admire all of our clients and as we kick off another exciting year, we want to celebrate their accomplishments by sharing

4 Questions To Ask Your ESP When Warming Up Your IP

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Good deliverability experts will tell you that before deploying large amounts of email, you should warm up your new IP to allow the ISPs to get to know you as sender. However, getting started with a new IP address can be tricky business. That’s why we created a new guide, How To Warm Up An IP to help make the process more seamless. One of the keys to make sure that your IP warm up is successful is to ask your ESP the right questions. Asking the Right Questions Reputation is the key to maximum email deliverability. Therefore, when switching providers or moving from a shared IP to a dedicated IP, you must ensure that you have the tools to