Starting out as an email sender can be daunting. SharpSpring has several recommendations as to how to do so. This article will provide information on best practices for new email senders.
The following user roles can create and send emails:
- Marketing Managers
As a new sender, you need to introduce yourself to Internet service providers (ISPs) on your new sending platform. You should gradually grow your email volume over time—a process known as warming—to introduce your mail to ISPs and to avoid overwhelming them with spam-like behavior. Warming emails also allows you to stop sending and regroup if the initial results are unfavorable.
Consider the following example for sending warmed emails with the end goal of sending 100,000 emails at a time:
- First send: 5,000 to 10,000 emails
- Second send: 20,000 to 25,000 emails
- Third send: 50,000 to 100,000 emails
In this, the first batch of sent emails are relatively small. These smaller, more targeted email sends do not normally cause concerns for ISPs. From there, subsequent sends incrementally grow larger. This process is gradual in nature and signifies to the ISP that you are safe and responsible as a sender.
Be aware that warmed email sends—as well as all email sends—can be modified based on volume and timeframe needs.
When starting out as a sender with SharpSpring, consider managing your contact lists. List management and maintenance is as important as any other action you take as a sender. When managing lists, keep in mind the following:
- SharpSpring analyzes your mailing lists on import for any quality concerns. Checking lists may better reveal where imported contacts would land in regards to initial engagement scores. For more information on why lists are rejected import for quality concerns refer to Understanding List Import Failures. For import assistance, contact [email protected].
- Purchased lists are a violation of SharpSpring's Terms of Service. Choosing to move forward with using purchased lists will likely cause a sender to violate SharpSpring's policy requirements—and could even lead to a review for account termination.
- Using an email verification service before importing your lists will help remove some of the old or toxic addresses that could affect deliverability. Services such as BriteVerify, Kickbox, or Webbula will give you a report of addresses that could cause issues.
- Make sure to use your unsubscribe and hard bounce data from previous sending platforms to unsubscribe contacts. This way, you can be sure that you are not emailing those contacts in SharpSpring.
- Remove disposable domains, invalid emails, and role-based addresses before emailing to those contacts. Sending to these may result in higher spam rates and sink your reputation before it has a chance to grow.
- To avoid spam traps, consider not emailing contacts that are more than eighteen months old and have not engaged with your emails. In the same fashion, do not email contacts who have not opened emails in their previous email sending platform (ESP). Focus on contacts who have directly opted in and are otherwise up-to-date.
There are other things you should do as a new sender to better protect your deliverability and reputation. Consider the following:
- Check your domain reputation to see if you have any existing blacklisting issues. SharpSpring recommends using MxToolbox to check your domain reputation.
- Set up DKIM as soon as possible. If you send emails without setting up DKIM, your emails will register as unauthenticated. ISPs do not trust unauthenticated emails and domains, and this will directly impact—and potentially harm—your sender reputation.
- Make sure you are sending content relevant to what your recipients signed up for—and at a frequency they expect. Keeping recipients engaged is paramount, but there is a bit of nuance involved.
- Adding a permission reminder to your emails is a great way to help avoid spam complaints and unsubscribes.
- Email statistics can often help identify a small problem before it becomes a major one. Make a point to keep an eye on your statistics to ensure that your sender status does not slip. Senders with problematic email statistics can be suspended from sending emails, or be terminated from using the SharpSpring service altogether.