In this article:
- What is a seed address?
- What are the limitations of seed addresses?
- What does SharpSpring recommend instead?
What is a seed address
A seed address is a purpose-built email account used for testing email delivery and inbox placement. Email marketers often create test accounts at the major email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, etc), along with other test addresses at domains belonging to themselves or clients. Blocking or poor inbox placement can tell email marketers about sender reputation, such as how spam filters judge the content, the author, or the infrastructure from which it was sent.
What are the limitations of seed addresses?
While test lists are certainly helpful to check how your email renders in different environments, we don't recommend that you solely rely on seed lists to test deliverability. This is because the largest receivers (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, etc) have such personalized spam filters, that the deliverability to one seed address is not representative of other addresses with different engagement profiles. Given that seed addresses don’t behave like actual users, this is even more of an “apples-to-oranges” comparison.
What does SharpSpring recommend instead?
The source of your data (opt-in), and how user engagement is respected over time, is much more important to deliverability than the specific content you’re testing now.
- The way to get into an inbox is to start with permission, such as having a clear sign-up process that confirms consent before sending email.
- Once they’ve been added to your mailing list, use all the data at your disposal to adjust the frequency that individuals receive email. This could be, for example, historical email opens and clicks, website visits, purchases, etc. If you see that a recipient doesn’t engage with you any more, remove them from your mailing list. It’s hard for spam filters to calculate good reputations for senders with large segments of unengaged recipients, and your email deliverability can be harmed if you don’t respect user engagement.