Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder – Q&A Kate Schmeisser July 30, 2014 Best Practices // SUMMARIES ?> We had a crazy number of great questions during our webcast Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the Spam Folder last week. So many that we couldn’t get to them all! Our kickass presenters Melanie Rowe and Rob Piers put their heads together to answer some remaining questions we didn’t have time to get to during the presentation. For today, we have Rob’s round of questions he decided to tackle: Q: Do you recommend Litmus for email testing? A: We do recommend ensuring your emails are optimized from a display perspective before sending them out in order to maximize readability and engagement from recipients. Tools like Litmus and Email on Acid show you what your email will look like in all the major mail clients and on all the major devices. They’ll also provide assistance on optimizing them if they’re not already. Check them out! Q: How do we know our IP’s reputation? A: You can check on your IP’s reputation a few different places. Signing up for an SNDS account (Smart Network Data Services) will give you a view into your reputation with the Microsoft email properties like Live, MSN, Outlook, etc. The email company, ReturnPath, monitors IPs with their ReputationMonitor tool, the free version of which can be found at senderscore.org. Lastly, inputting your IP into the free tool at multirbl.valli.org will allow you to see if your IP’s on any blacklists. Q: Does SendGrid adjust our header when it processes our emails? We’re concerned that SPF information is being stripped out. A: SendGrid does not alter or strip out any of the header information passed to us in the message. Q: Typically, transactional email is a necessary communication. For example we email folks whenever they change or reset their password–for their protection. Why would you suggest we allow folks to opt-out of this email– this sounds bad. A: While including an unsubscribe link in transactional emails, like password resets, is not necessary, using our 1-click unsubscribe link in those emails does ensure you’ve got the list-unsubscribe header in everything you send out. This header can improve deliverability with the major ISPs like Gmail, and reduce the likelihood of mail being marked as spam. Q: How many emails/sends until we should remove that address, or how much time? A: The best way to remove any bad addresses from your list(s) that get generated, whether that’s bounces, spam reports, unsubscribes, or invalid emails, is to use our Event Webhook. This webhook pushes those bad addresses to a URL on your end, and you can then use that data to clean your list(s). The “sunset policy” you implement in your email program will depend on the frequency with which you send mail to customers/users, etc. Q: What is the sending frequency that you suggest? Or how do you suggest testing this without risking a lot of unsubscribes? A: The frequency with which you send mail will depend on a number of factors, including the content you’re sending, and the engagement of your recipients. The best way to ensure your recipients are comfortable with your practices is by building an email preferences page where they can actually choose what to receive, and in what frequency. Q: Does it hurt your web domain mail if you send from a different domain? E.g. mydomainmail.com A: It’s best to send mail from your own domain, for optimized deliverability to the inbox, and for increased brand recognition when your recipients receive your mail. We offer this ability to customers with a dedicated IP, on Silver or higher accounts, through a process called “whitelabeling.” This entails adding 5 DNS records to your DNS host and essentially brands your IP with your domain. Q: I have a list that has been developed over the past two years and there’s a mix of opt-ins and non-opt-ins. Unfortunately, I inherited the list and I am getting 10-15% spam/bounces… is this list not usable going forward? A: In order to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act as well as Canada’s new law CASL, only opt-in addresses should be sent to. Beyond that, we’d recommend running a reconfirmation campaign to see who’d like to continue receiving mail from you, and who’d like to drop off your list. More info on how to run a reconfirmation campaign can be found in this blog post. We hope this helped clear things up a little. In the event we didn’t get to your specific question, or reading the answer to a different question sparked a new one, peruse our blog or reach out to support! And if you want more tips to stay out of the spam folder, check out the entire webcast!