Last Tuesday we hosted our original webcast Happy New (Email) Year! and received a plethora of great questions. To share the wealth, and further assist you in keeping those email resolutions you made, our presenters Brian Albers and Bryan Hammerquist took some time to answer your questions below:

1. Are the CAN-SPAM requirements mainly for marketing emails, or do they apply to simple transactional emails? For example, a notification which we send as no-reply?

CAN-SPAM covers all commercial electronic messages, which are defined as “any electronic message with the primary purpose of commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.” This includes email that promotes website content. Transactional email is typically not affected, though we suggest abiding by rules like including an unsubscribe link, in both your transactional and marketing email messages. Also, we would suggest avoiding using a no-reply as your reply-to address. ISP’s want users to be engaged with you and a no-reply discourages engagement.

2. What about 2-step authentication?

That was definitely a big trend in the last year. SendGrid released 2-factor authentication and we’d recommend that customers set it up.

3. If the DMARC record is not configured does it affect deliverability?

DMARC is not yet widely implemented, but the industry is becoming more aware of it. So if you do not have it set up, it probably won’t have huge impacts from a deliverability standpoint.

4. Do you (SendGrid) keep opt-out email addresses on file in case I don’t remove them and send another email by mistake?

If you’re using SendGrid’s unsubscribe tool we will put your unsubscribes on a suppression list and if you accidentally send to one of them, we’ll drop that email. You have access to this list in the SendGrid UI.

5. Sometimes our emails get marked as spam, when they clearly are not. Even if we use all of SendGrid’s best practices, they’re still incorrectly marked. Is there anything that we can do at that point?

There are two scenarios we can think of that might answer your question:

1. If a recipient accidentally marks your mail as spam but still wants to receive your mail you can fix that in SendGrid. When an email is marked as spam it goes on a suppression list that you can access through the UI at Simply remove the spam complaint under email activity, spam reports.

2. The ISP’s allow their customers to determine if an email is spam or not. Even if someone signs up to receive your mail, they can decide that the mail is spam. We’ve seen this many times due to sending them (recipients) too much mail or because recipients never engage because they’re tired of receiving it. If a recipient is not engaged, they should be removed from your list after a re-engagment campaign.

The good news about both types of spam complaints is that the ISPs will give you some leeway with spam complaints. They know there will be some mistakes and your reputation will only be hurt after a certain percentage of your mail is marked as spam. For example, that threshold for Hotmail and Yahoo! is around .03% and Gmail is .01%.

6. Does domain reputation matter more than IP reputation?

Currently the IP reputation matters more than the domain reputation does, but the trend is moving towards the domain reputation having a much bigger impact. Will it be more than the IP eventually? It may, but we think for this year, the IP will still carry more weight. For more info, you can check out our blog post on the differences between IP and domain reputation.

If you’d like to hear more on email happenings in 2014 and predictions for 2015 view the full webcast 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.