Reaching inbox delivery up to and over 98% is what each email marketer is fighting for. Everyone who already tried to keep his campaigns on this level knows how hard that is and how time consumptive is the email marketing success. In the lines below we will try to give some insights for the people who faced up problems keeping their email campaigns tops delivery.
We absolutely know that everyone has some great and some worse email lists. Even the live website signups contain bad addresses sometimes. In most of the cases, these bad emails cause the negative percent in the mailing statistics. It's an unwritten law that having over 5% of bounces is bad and most big providers will directly close or suspend your account. What can you do? Well, all depends on the source of your lists. To answer you that question first we need to list the possible reasons to not inbox single email:
- Hard bounce - worst case, this simply means the email is not existing but you are trying to contact it.
- Soft bounce - the reasons can be many here, like full recipient mailbox, graylisting, network environment issues, problems on the remote server etc.
- Spam trap - these are old email boxes wich are not used for a long time and their owner lost access. The big providers often convert these to spam listener boxes and check who is trying to send emails to the traps. It's really bad because then the provider's filters decide you might be a spammer.
- Disposable email - the disposable emails are mailboxes created and available for limited time. A lot of people use this to signup on websites and avoid receiving newsletters or sharing their real email address. The problem here reveals when the mailbox is deleted from the disposable email service and you can't reach it anymore. Then it converts to hard bounce.
For email lists that contain too many non-existing or old emails (Hard Bounces/Soft Bounces), it's advised to use verification service. These might cost much depending on your list size but at least you will reach normal delivery rates and you might engage some old customers again. Of course, these people must remember you or you must remind them you've sent emails to them in the past. People who don't remember you may decide you are sending spammy emails and press the 'Mark as SPAM' button in their mailbox. Receiving SPAM complaint from the recipient is worst thing which can happen during a live running campaign. That's because all the filters automatically decide you are sending unwanted emails and try to suppress the traffic from you or at least keep their clients in safe. There is a big possibility that your old list may contain mailboxes which are converted to SPAM traps. There is no way to avoid these when you are sending the list for the first time but with the second or the third blast you can easily get rid of them. How? Very easy, just check your delivery statistics. The SPAM traps are not real people, they never click on links or have an interest in what you are sending. Once you get all the open/click statistics you can build whole new list only with the engaged people. You will loose a big part of the list but it's more important to have few interested people than thousands fake and noninterested.
Never use purchased list! The only thing with which we can compare this is to buy someone's boxers or socks and start wearing them without wash off. In most cases the lists you can purchase online contain tons of bounces, non-engaged contacts or emails collected illegally. Be sure you can't engage these people if they even exist, they just don't expect emails from you and will get angry when you start emailing their mailboxes. The goal is to attract people and not to make them angry!
SMTP server setup
You can find a lot of information about that with a single search but in most threads, people just write about what you must have as a base. Yes, you must DKIM sign your emails, yes you must configure SPF record, but why is that, why you need the whole setup. Well in first place for security reasons. Imagine you are not using SPF, then how you will prove the emails came from you and your IP address, you might be trying to fake the source address like in most phishing emails. You know these, almost everyone received emails which are trying to convince you had a relative who passed and bequest you millions of dollars or someone broke into your PayPal account and you must log in to fix that. SPF and DKIM both make sure the email content and the sending domains are owned by you, on this way the providers try to keep away from scammers. If you don't sign your emails then it's supposed you are trying to send some kind of illegal stuff or you don't own the domain you are trying to use. Then your traffic may be filtered. Providers like AOL never accept such emails. Yahoo and Gmail may accept but the emails will always go the SPAM folder. Most company mailboxes will refuse to receive non-signed emails, too. Because configuring whole SMTP service or these securities is hard for most people companies like ours develop optimized, secure and high-performance services. Believe it's not easy to maintain such service, requires a lot of hard work, skills, patience and experience to build the whole thing and make it easy to use for everyone.
How is ThunderSMTP configured? All our outcoming emails are DKIM, SPF and DMARC signed. The service is building bounce address for each email which later we use to identify the bounces and spam complaints we receive from the third party providers. Our system builds global suppression list for all our members which will keep you away from contacting bounced addresses ever again or try to send an email to someone who pressed the 'Mark as SPAM' button. Even biggest suppression list won't be possible to 100% filters the bounces because thousands of people register new email accounts each second and a lot of these are closed or forgotten after a short period of time.
We receive questions every day about is ThunderSMTP capable of sending over 1 million emails daily and what is our delivery rate. Yes, the SMTP is capable of sending much more but that's not important, more important is how this will reflect the IP addresses and the sending domain. Let's say you have databases with millions of accounts from your websites and you want to engage these in a marketing campaign. Well, good idea but none thinks about what would happen if million of emails are sent within an hour. Let's think more global, first of all, you will find a provider which is capable of sending so many emails, then you will sign up, upgrade to the plan which satisfies your needs and start sending. Well done, then the problem will reveal, in the beginning, the campaign will perform good and all will look fine but after some time you'll see the reputation goes down, some emails are not inboxing or even the campaign is generating bounces. Why would that happen? The answer is simple, you are throttling the IP address, this means the providers receive too big volume from you and start deferring the emails. Yahoo and Outlook defer often the traffic from IPs which send too many emails. Other reason may be your IP reputation, like when you just created your account, got a dedicated IP but never sent anything from it.
Let's say you have databases with millions of accounts from your websites and you want to engage these in a marketing campaign. Well, good idea but no one thinks about what would happen if million of emails are sent within an hour. Let's think more global, first of all, you will find a provider which is capable of sending so many emails, then you will sign up, upgrade to the plan which satisfies your needs and start sending. Well done, then the problem will reveal soon, in the beginning, the campaign will perform good and all will look fine but after some time you'll see the reputation goes down, some emails are not inboxing or even the campaign is generating bounces. Why would that happen? The answer is simple, you are throttling the IP address, this means the providers receive too big volume from you and start deferring the emails. Yahoo and Outlook defer often the traffic from IPs which send too many emails. Other reason may be your IP reputation, like when you just created your account, got a dedicated IP but never sent anything from it. Simply no one still knows you and you will become suspicious sending so many messages.
Warming up your dedicated IP address with your own domain is very important. The simplest strategy to warm up IP is to send emails to the best contacts you have. These might be trusted clients, an audience which really wants to receive your emails and always show an interest in your content (reading your emails, following links etc.). First, you have to build that list, in many cases that must be done manually if you never used SMTP provider in the past, second, you must tempting subject and create good looking newsletter template which will attract attention. Next, you can send the template to these contacts. After they show interest about the campaign you can start smoothly importing contacts to it and increase the outcoming traffic. On this way, the provider's filters will learn your content is important to your recipients and you are not spamming them. First few days after running long term marking campaign are most important because that's the time when you must build a good reputation. Once everything is working good, you already increased the amount of contact several times you can sit and relax. The process of slow increase must continue until you engage all your contacts, of course, you can increase the amounts. For example, you started with 2,000 really good leads, next day you added new 2,000. Then 3,000 on the second day and so on. After a week if the campaign performs well you can start increasing 10,000 and even more per day. Once your IP is warmed up you will be able to send really high volumes, of course, the risk will be higher because with such high send rates things can go wrong easier, for example, bad setup of the template (non-working links, wrong image or website downtime) may cause negative actions from your recipients.
Thanks for reading this blog post. Hope we threw more light about the main delivery questions. We plan to build more posts like this one and if it was useful to you then post a comment.