Note: This post is part of a special holiday blog series created by our Expert Services Team at SendGrid to provide information on how to prepare and get the most out of your email campaigns this year.

As you’re getting your email design and copy ready for the upcoming holidays, there are a few variables that need to be working behind the scenes that deserve just as much attention as your design, copy, and send times. The following tips cover  sender authentication, email stream strategy, and tracking to ensure that your crucial holiday emails get to the top of your recipients’ inboxes.

1. Sender authentication

It’s important that you have your authentication lined up, especially during the holiday season, so that recipients or Internet Service Providers such as Google and Yahoo don’t think your email is being spoofed by a bad actor. Domain, Link, and IP authentication should be configured for all domains you send from to ensure perfect alignment of your email.

2. Consider separating your streams

Transactional email is more important than ever during the holiday season. You may want to separate your transactional and marketing email onto different subusers with separate IP addresses and domains. This will completely separate the reputation of these two streams.

Do you think of your holiday sending as an extension of your email marketing program or a completely separate program? If it’s separate, you may consider splitting these into two segments as well. For more on when the best time to add an IP address, check out our blog, Adding An IP Address: Is It A Good Idea?

3. Track opens and clicks

If you have a SendGrid account, turn on click and open tracking. You want to understand your ROI of your holiday email, right? You’ll need to make sure you’re tracking those clicks and opens to see how your program is performing.

Click tracking overwrites the links in your emails and points them to SendGrid servers or your own authenticated link domain.

4. Activate your spam forwarding

It’s extra important to review and respond to your emails during the holiday season. By having the spam app turned on, SendGrid forwards you any spam reports that we receive.

You’ll be able to see the message header of the emails being marked as spam and adjust your program accordingly before your deliverability suffers.

5. Keep your suppression management in check

If you’re sending to new email lists, make sure you’ve either removed previous suppressed (bounces, spam reports, unsubscribes) email addresses or added them to your suppression list.

Put your unsubscribe link in a place where recipients can easily find it.

The last thing you want is someone marking your email as spam because they don’t know where to unsubscribe.

Adding a list-unsubscribe header is a good addition to help with this situation. The unsubscribe header provides a clear button for recipients to easily click and remove themselves from emails. Keep a close eye on your unsubscribes—naturally you will lose some subscribers, but if you notice a spike in unsubscribes, this might be a signal of email fatigue and you may need to adjust content or sending frequency.


Although email delivery can be complicated, following the tips above should position your email program to achieve high delivery rates for the holiday season. If you want to dive into these topics deeper, SendGrid has a team of email delivery experts who can help you with specific components of your program to ensure your email program is optimized. And if you want to brush up on some more last minute email program improvements, check out our 4th Quarter Email Playbook. 

Becca Weiss
As a Customer Onboarding Manager at SendGrid, Becca is a trusted advisor to new and existing customers. She provides guidance on how to implement and scale successful email programs. When she’s not thinking about email, you can find Becca with her dog, Hank, on long Colorado mountain trails or enjoying a concert at Red Rocks.