A recent announcement by Responsys confirms that Yahoo! is now using engagement metrics to help determine email delivery just a few months after Gmail started using engagement to make filtering decisions. We wrote about the importance of this back in February. This basically means that having a highly engaged subscriber list will be another key factor in whether or not your email makes it to the inbox. As a result, you’ll need to pay close attention to your delivery and response metrics to troubleshoot potential problems and take preventative action before the ISPs block your mail. Here are few tips:


  • Remove the Inactives (a/k/a) non-responders. While inactives are doing nothing but inflating your numbers and deflating your response metrics, they now could be harming your delivery. Actively segment and remove them from your list. To make it easy, you can use the Event API to automate the removal of email addresses that have not clicked on a link in the past six months, or you can automatically send a win-back campaign to confirm their interest (or disinterest) before you remove them.
  • Make it easy to unsubscribe.  CAN-SPAM requires that you provide a one-click unsubscribe so users can easily remove themselves from your list. When you make it difficult to unsubscribe, they will instead hit the “Report as Spam” button which registers as a complaint to the ISP. High complaint rates = poor delivery. Therefore, make the unsubscribe button prominent and make sure it works. If you do get complaints, remove them immediately from your list. You can use the Event API to automate this process, just like Team Snap did.
  • Send relevant email. Subscribers may unsubscribe or complain if the content isn’t meaningful. Analyze your open and click rates to determine what is yielding the highest response and tailor your messages to user interests. You can use the Event API to segment your lists and the Parse API to extract key activity data for each email address based on category. Together, you can create a campaign that is highly targeted and relevant to each subscriber on your list.

Removing non-responders and complainers is low risk especially when you think about the negative impact it could have on emails reaching your active subscribers. Therefore, focus on building a list with loyal subscribers rather than a huge email file that does nothing but weigh you down. To learn how SendGrid APIs can help, download your copy of the SendGrid API Guide.

As SendGrid's Senior Marketing Analyst, Danny is responsible for keeping the marketing team focused on making data-driven decisions to help make sure we are providing value for our customers and prospects. While he may spend his days knee deep in spreadsheets now, Danny spent most of the last 10 years managing email campaigns, website optimization, and PPC campaigns for B2B companies.