In the spirit of Halloween, we thought we’d circle back on one of our most popular blog topics—how to avoid email pitfalls…or email spooks and scares! A couple of months ago, two of our expert technical account managers, Katie and Ali hosted a popular webcast (dangerously titled Highway to Hell: Top 7 Fastest Ways to Land in the Email Underworld) that discussed how to get on the fast track to the inbox while avoiding common missteps. So while we’re all in a ghoulish mindset this week and next, we’ll remind you of their top tips to avoid the “7 Deadly Email Sins.”

Let’s start off with our take on the sins of Sloth and Wrath.

SLOTH: Trusting Third Party List Management

Don’t sell your email soul by being lazy and trusting third party list management services to build or clean your list.

  • Purchasing lists may be the easy way out, but it’s the wrong way. The quality of your list subscribers is far more important than the quantity.
  • Purchased subscribers haven’t opted into your email and likely have no fidelity to your brand. This leads to a higher probability of unsubscribes, spam complaints, and mass deletes.
  • Gain subscribers the right way: through valid promotion, partnership opportunities, social media outreach, and more.

WRATH: IPs and Sender Reputation

Inviting the wrath of the ISPs by engaging in behavior that damages your sender reputation is a surefire way to kill a great email program. Remember that your sending reputation is directly tied to your IP. Whether you’re on a shared or dedicated IP it’s important that you maintain a strong reputation and avoid getting on the wrong side of the ISPs. (Not sure if you should be on a shared or dedicated IP? Check out this blog post that breaks down the differences.)

  • Cold IPs are strangers to the ISPs. If you are a high volume sender (100k emails or more per month) you must warm up your dedicated IP. If not, the ISPs can throttle your mail and negatively affect your delivery rates.
  • If you’re on a shared IP, your reputation will affect that of the other people on your list and vice versa, so it’s important that everyone on your IP be compliant with best sending practices.
  • Don’t cross your transactional and marketing email streams. Transactional email tends to have higher email deliverability rates than marketing email, so separate your mail streams to keep their reputations distinct.

Avoiding these two deadly email sins will keep you off the highway to email hell and on your way to the inbox. We’ll cover the next 5 sins here on the blog shortly, but if you can’t wait to learn them all, download our free Highway to Hell guide now to stay ahead of the game.

Jillian Wohlfarth
As SendGrid's Director of Content, Jillian is responsible for ensuring that SendGrid provides valuable thought leadership content through the blog, whitepapers, webcasts, and more. When not writing and editing, you can find Jillian frequenting Denver restaurants in search of the best queso.