You're ready to send emails but maybe you've heard horror stories about ending up on spam lists (or perhaps you have landed yourself on one!). In this article we're going to dive into information on what a spam threshold is and how you can help keep yourself out of email jail.
So what is a Spam threshold? Well, it's the percentage of emails sent to number of those emails marked as spam. For example if you send 1000 emails and 1 is marked spam, you have a 0.1% spam threshold. 0.1% is considered the industry standard. If you go above that rate, you spam rate is considered high.
How are my emails marked as spam?
This happens one of 2 ways-
- From the recipients email inbox, they mark it as spam or,
- They select the unsubscribe button and for the reason, they select spam.
What does this mean to me?
Well, in the long run it's going to affect your ability to send emails. If a provider (such as Gmail) marks your account as having a high spam rate, they will monitor your sends to see if you continue to send a high number of unwanted emails. If it is determined that you are continuing to send these emails, you may not be able to get emails through to your donors.
How do I fix it??
Here are some best practices to avoid ending up on the wrong side of the spam threshold:
- Only send emails to those who have opted-in to that email list within the last 12 months. Ideally, you will be checking for accounts that have not opened your emails and removing them from your list if they haven't opened anything in at least 3 months.
- Do not use 3rd party lists of any kind.
- Add a note on top of the message indicating how they were added to your list. There is always a chance that your contacts may forget that they subscribed to your list. If this happens, they may just simply mark you as spam. A note on top of your email will help remind your contacts how they got into your list and why they are getting your emails.
- Send a welcome message or a sequence of onboarding messages after contacts sign up so they are familiar with your brand's look and feel, and are aware of what you will be sending them. This way they won't be surprised when they get future messages from you and will be less likely to mark your emails as spam. If you wait days, weeks, or months before sending a message to a contact after they sign up, the chance that they will mark as spam goes up. This is a great use case for Automation!!!
- Make sure your emails come from the same domain where contacts signed up and make sure the email has the same exact branding. Also be sure the "From" name for your communication aligns closely with the branding of the page where contacts signed up.
- Send relevant, personalized automation messages, not batch and blast communications to large lists
- Within Virtuous
- Navigate to your email page, select Actions
- Manage Settings
- set your Spam Threshold so that you receive an alert when you reach it
- Update settings
Now you're ready to go forth and practice safe emails!
If you need more help, check out this article on Domain Authentication.