We had an incredible amount of questions come in at the very last minute during the live Q&A portion of our webcast Delivery Download 2015. We couldn’t get to them all in time, so our host Kurt Diver took a few minutes to answer some of the lingering questions we couldn’t get to!

If you’d like to watch the presentation first, you can view it on-demand here, otherwise you can read through Kurt’s responses below:

Your IP Address

1. If we segment our mail to a new IP address, how does the “warming up” process work?

There are two ways we can warm up a new IP address. With the first method, SendGrid can add the new IP to the existing account and use our IP warming feature to slowly warm up the IP. Once this IP is warmed up we will move it to a subuser account with the new email segment.

The second method requires you (the customer) to slowly increase the volume on the new subuser account/IP daily. I recommend that you start with 5-10 messages per day per ISP and gradually increase volume over the first 7-days for sending. Once we have a week of volume without issues you can begin doubling the volume each day. Slower is always better.

2. How do I know what my IP address is?

Clients on our Free and Essential plans are using pools of shared IPs. Clients on Pro and Premier will have dedicated IPs that can be viewed by logging into your SendGrid account and navigating to Settings > IPs.

3. Is there a way to get yourself assigned a high reputation? For example, when emailing members of an organization who view receiving the message as vital and don’t want intermediate parties (e.g ISPs) blocking it.

The only sure way to guarantee inbox placement is to have your recipients either add your from-address to their address book or set a filter for your “from domain. If you are sending messages to a business address you can ask that their email administrator add your from address and IP to their whitelist.

4. How can a small brand set up their own DMARC solution?

To implement DMARC you need to add a text record to your DNS. This text record tells the recipient ISP what DMARC policy you are using and where to send forensic reports if messages fail to meet the policy you have specified. I personally think the best resources for DMARC is dmarcian.com and dmarc.org.

Delivery Issues

1. What is the best way to diagnose deliverability issues with transactional emails?

Low open rates are usually the first indicator of an issue with transactional messages not reaching the inbox. I see open rates on transactional messages typically fall within the range of 70% – 120%.

2. Sometimes recipients (who SendGrid tells me have reported our mail as spam) respond that they have not marked our mail as spam and that they definitely want to receive the emails. How do I deal with this?

SendGrid receives spam report data directly from the recipient’s ISP. I think the issue really comes back to user education and the difference between “trash” and “junk.” If the the recipient is cleaning up their inbox and mark the message as “junk” it triggers a spam report to be sent back to the sender.

3. How do you monitor your clients who are sending emails on your behalf? E.g. You want to make sure they are following the best practices you mentioned, but how do you hold them accountable/monitor them?

I would sign up for the email campaigns that these clients are sending on your behalf to ensure the message is consistent with your expectations. This will also provide you with sample headers which contain the sending IPs so you can monitor the reputation of these IPs at Senderscore.com and Postmaster.live.com. Also take note that if you stop opening the messages, your clients should change their sending frequency.

4. We occasionally have trouble getting an order confirmation to a customer, invariably there is a bounce associated. Can we contact SendGrid support to get more details on the handshake with the customer to help them identify the system rejecting the message?

SendGrid includes complete SMTP bounce responses in our Event Webhook. If you’re not using our Event Webhook you can access this data by logging into your SendGrid account and navigating to “Activity” where you can see all events by email address.

5. We’re constantly having problems with @aol emails. Is there something globally wrong with that particular service? Our score is 99, and messages still don’t get delivered.

Like all ISPs, AOL will block messages if there are high user complaints or lack of user engagement. AOL has a tool where you can check your IP reputation. They also offer a whitelisting service (though keep in mind, that doesn’t guarantee delivery).

If you’re interested in working directly with Kurt and our Delivery Team on your email program, they’re available for personal consultation! You can find out more about their services here.



Kate Schmeisser
When Kate isn't trying to teach herself the ukelele, make it through the mountain of books on her nightstand, or figure out if they are actually being serious about suggested serving sizes on ice cream, she is the Creative Content Manager.