Q&A: Your Toughest Email Infrastructure Questions Answered


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When SendGrid’s email experts Carly Brantz and Ken Apple answered your toughest email infrastructure questions, their conversation sparked more questions that they were unable to answer during the webinar. Later, they took the time to respond to some of them.

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Q&A: Your Toughest Email Infrastructure Questions Answered

  1. 1. Your Toughest EmailInfrastructure QuestionsAnsweredWebcast Q&A with Carly and Ken
  2. 2. When SendGrid’s email experts Carly Brantzand Ken Apple answered your toughest emailinfrastructure questions, their conversationsparked more questions that they were unable toanswer during the webinar. Later, they took thetime to respond to some of them. If you missed the webinar, you can access arecording here.
  3. 3. Q: How do you keep Yahoo (and some others) from deferring youremails from a dedicated IP? A: There definitely isn’t one easy solution. Email deliverability is ascience with proven techniques to prevent failures and improve yourdelivered rates. If you have the information and tools to manage it, thenyou can achieve higher return on your email marketing investment inthe long run. I would recommend you read our Email DeliverabilityGuide for more direction on what you can do to improve yourdeliverability.
  4. 4. Q: If an IP address gets labeled as “spam” by one of the ISPs, is itpossible to “recuperate” the reputation on that? Or is it better toswitch to a new IP address? Do ISPs also have some sort of scorefor domain reputation (irrespective of IP addresses)? A: Email reputation is based on your IP address. Contrary topopular belief no reputation is just as bad as having a poor reputation.Using a new IP address should be a strategic move to separate mailstreams or move from a shared IP to a dedicated one. You can improveyour reputation by simply exhibiting good behavior and beefing up onyour best practices and then maintaining that over time.
  5. 5. Q: How would you recommend dealing with 3rd party commercialemails? Would you recommend using a separate IP pool forthese? This is a requirement for example to be able to get into theReturnPath certified program, but won’t your IP reputation droplike crazy when you only send 3rd party commercial emails over anIP? A: The reason that SendGrid and others advise against mailing tothird party lists is that it’s all centered on permission. A third party listmeans just that, your company did not get permission, a “third party”obtained the email addresses. Yes, your email reputation will drop, bykeeping a separate pool, which ensures that your legitimate emailstreams will not be affected by the drop which will be difficult to recoverfrom.
  6. 6. Q: What free tools would you recommend using for not-yetSendGrid users to monitor deliverability? A: I would recommend using Return Path’s Sender Score service atSenderScore to get instant, free information on your email reputationand deliverability.
  7. 7. Q: During the IP “warm up” phase, I guess it’s assumed that a lotof emails would land in SPAM instead of inbox since the IP hasno/poor reputation. So does getting a lot of your emails land inSPAM work against your IP reputation? How to work around thatproblem? A: During the warm up phase, if done correctly, you should not setoff warning signs to ISPs to block your email. If you make the warm upprocess a priority and take a conservative approach over the firstmonth, you should not have many of your emails land in spam. Thewarm up process itself is the workaround of being blocked.
  8. 8. Q: What is the rule for using the same IP address/white label forsending both transactional emails and bulk emails? A: Ideally, you would keep the different streams of email separate.Remember Ghostbusters- don’t cross the streams! Then, you canensure that the higher deliverability that comes with transactionalmessages that are both anticipated and wanted, won’t be put in danger.If that isn’t a possibility, I would encourage you to try and combinemarketing messages within your transactional emails. Ask for referrals,include follow and like buttons or offer a promotion at the end of yourmessages to include a call to action within the transactional messageitself.
  9. 9. Q: We are sending double-opt in confirmation messages on aseparate IP address. Once a month we resend a confirmationmessage to users who are not very active. Occasionally this willtrip a “spam trap”; is this going to put us in jeopardy of deliveringconfirmation messages in the future? A: I would advise against mailing to “non-active” users all together.In fact, a good way to get them off your list entirely is to do areactivation campaign to ensure that everyone on your list wants toreceive your emails. Sending to even one spam trap will instantly setback your reputation and cause deliverability issues. When you send toa spam trap (an email address activated by an ISP to catch spammers),it means you’re engaging in email address harvesting (an illegalpractice) or your list hygiene practices are poor. Either way, ISPs aren’tgoing to deliver your email.
  10. 10. Q: What is the best way to send email for maximum deliverability,Text, HTML, or both? A: I would always recommend having both. Including a text versionif you are sending HTML emails is a good practice for avoiding a spamfilter and it also covers you in the case where the recipient cannot viewHTML emails.
  11. 11. Carly Brantzcarly.brantz@sendgrid.com@carlybrantzKen Appleken@sendrid.com