Building a new Twilio SendGrid email application can feel complicated. If you’re not an email expert, all the new concepts and jargon may be overwhelming. However, if you have a little email knowledge and know-how, you might be tempted to dive right in. 

Our Twilio SendGrid onboarding experts work with teams of all email skill levels—from complete beginners to decade-experienced professionals. We lead teams through a strategic onboarding process that helps customers build the right application for their needs.

Below, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process for how we prepare teams to build the right solution from the get-go—regardless of expertise.

In this blog post, you’ll learn:

  • What to consider when building your email program
  • How to create a Twilio SendGrid email account that solves your needs

These are steps you can complete before even logging into your Twilio SendGrid account, laying the foundation for your streamlined and scalable success. 

Defining your email account’s needs

First, let’s define what success looks like for your email account. Many customers fail to set goals and expectations from the beginning, often creating extra work later when you have to rebuild your account or start over.

We want to help you avoid this setback.

Here are some logistical questions to answer to set the stage for a quick and easy account setup:

Migration or net new email program 

Considerations: Are you migrating email from a different provider or homegrown system, or is this a net new email program/mailstream? 

Why it matters: Answers to these questions may influence your ability to predict volumes if this mailstream is brand-new.

Mailstreams

Considerations: Will you send marketing mail, such as newsletters and promotions, or transactional mail, such as account updates and billing notifications? Or both? Are you sending mail directly to your customers (e.g., B2C/direct model)? Or, will your customers use your platform to reach their customers (e.g., B2B/ISV model)?

Why it matters: Answers to these questions will help you determine your subuser strategy.

Email volume

Considerations: How many emails do you plan to send in a day? A month? If you’re unsure, provide an estimate based on the size of your customer base and any growth you anticipate in the next 3 months.

Why it matters: Answers to these questions will help you determine an appropriate domain warmup and IP warmup plan.

Domain and subdomains

Considerations: What domains and subdomains will you use for sending?

Why it matters: Answers to these questions in advance will help you start to build your application and mean that you don’t have to stop and research these decisions with your team (and potentially your IT organization). 

Ingesting data

Considerations: How do you want to ingest data from Twilio SendGrid?

Why it matters: Answers to this question will help you ingest data from Twilio SendGrid via the Event Webhook, as you’ll need to have developer resources on your side to set up that endpoint appropriately to receive the email events.

Email template design

Considerations: Are you designing your email templates or using Twilio SendGrid to do so?

Why it matters: Answers to these questions will help you determine if you want to build and design your templates in Twilio SendGrid using our Dynamic Template editor or Design Library.

Team access

Considerations: Which people on your team will need access to your Twilio SendGrid application? Note: You’ll need to work with a domain name system (DNS) administrator (possibly in IT) to input key elements into your DNS host before you begin sending.

Why it matters: Answers to this question will help you in compiling the names and email addresses of the people you intend to invite to collaborate on your account, making the active onboarding stage faster. 

Success indicators

Considerations: What are your key performance indicators (KPIs) or metrics that’ll help you measure success?

Why it matters: Answers to this question will ensure that everyone on your team aligns with your goals for the email application and the implementation process. 

Creating a plan for your account

After you’ve answered the above questions, you’re ready to create a plan for your Twilio SendGrid account. First, you’ll want to identify yourself as either a direct sender, meaning you send B2C emails, or an ISV, meaning you’re a B2B company whose clients use your platform to email their clients. 

Direct brand architecture

If you’re sending emails directly to your customers, we recommend setting up subusers for your different mailstreams. Subusers allow you to segment suppressions and statistics. If you’re able to incorporate separate IP addresses and distinct subdomains per subuser as well, you can manage your sending reputation independently for each mailstream. 

Below is an example of an email architecture suitable for a direct brand using subusers for its different mailstreams:

ISV architecture

We often recommend creating a subuser for each of your clients if you provide a platform for your customers to email their customers. 

Below is an example of an email architecture suitable for an ISV model using subusers for each customer:

Another consideration as an ISV sender is IP allocation. If you give each of your customers a dedicated IP address, you’ll separate their sending reputations from your other clients and give them more control over their deliverability. 

However, multiple dedicated IPs can become more costly ($30 per month per IP), and if some clients are sending at low volumes, they’ll likely not have sufficient traffic to keep their IP address warm. 

Below is a general guideline for how many IPs you may need in relation to your volume:

If you have several lower-volume senders, you’ll likely want to consider IP pools. We typically recommend engagement-based IP pooling with 3 separate pools: 

  • Great, highly engaged senders
  • New senders and average senders
  • Lower-reputation senders that likely require more filtering 

Here’s an example of how to create engagement-based IP pooling:

Below is an example of how to monitor and adjust which customers fit within different IP pools:

Conclusion

Once your team has completed the implementation and discovery process and decided on an ideal architecture model, you can start building it out in the Twilio SendGrid Console. Congrats on making it through the onboarding preparation process!



Emily (she/her) is a Senior Technical Onboarding Manager on Twilio SendGrid’s Customer Onboarding team. She helps customers implement best practices and best-fit solutions for their businesses across email, SMS, and video. When she’s not helping customers go live, you can find her hiking, rock climbing, and paddleboarding her way through Colorado.