A few weeks ago, SendGrid’s email experts Amy Mustoe and Ryan Harris held a webcast called Google, Yahoo!, and Hotmail, Oh My! Navigating the ISP Landscape. There was so much interest in the topic that Amy and Ryan couldn’t answer all the questions during the webcast. In an effort to continue the conversation, here are responses to all the questions they were unable to get to during the webcast.
For those of you who missed the webcast, access the on-demand version and learn how to stay within the good graces of the ISPs.
Categories are a common way to segment statistics in the SendGrid interface. Categories help organize your email analytics by enabling you to tag emails by type. Just as you can view the statistics on all your activity under the Statistics tab, you can go a step further and view the statistics on a particular category. Within our new stats page, we now offer a COMPARE CATEGORIES section, which allows users to manually select categories to run a side-by-side analysis of data. Main Profile Dashboard, as well as Global Stats, also offer segmentation of data by category.
For true list segmentation you would need to subscribe to our Event API which posts real time stats that can be used to created a segmented list.
SendGrid, as well as all other ESPs, are limited by the information provided by the ISPs to senders. We are notified that a message was successfully delivered to the ISP. However, once the delivery is made they do not provide further information as to whether the email went to the spam folder or the inbox. Closely watching your open and click rates by ISP can provide great insight into this issue if you see inconsistency across ISPs. There are 3rd Party tools that can give additional insights into inboxing. They are Mail Monitor and Return Path.
SendGrid automatically registers all users for any major ISPs that offer Feedback Loops. SendGrid then consumes any information returned by these ISP’s. They are added to a suppression list. The forward SPAM App allows all SPAM complaints to be forwarded to a specified email address, as well as the tracking that SendGrid offers for all Feedback. Included here is a list of Feedback loops that SendGrid supports on behalf of our customers.
SPAM reports only include those instances when a user actively marks a message as SPAM.
Typically this is not norm. There are many factors that could be causing this issue. Please contact SendGrid support and we can dig deeper into the issue.
Yes, unfortunately, when a user manually clicks the SPAM button for a message, it is considered SPAM. If the user proactively reaches out mentioning the error, feel free to remove them from your SPAM report.
ISPs tend to look at overall engagement as well as specific user actions. If they see a lot of non-engagement related to your mail they may start sending a portion to the junk folder for other users. They typically will observe users removing an email from the spam folder “not spam” in the same manner and will starting sending other’s email to the inbox based on overall engagement.
Following email Best Practices is key. Please visit our blog for the latest tips. This one in particular should be viewed.
ISPs vary in terms of what they consider a high SPAM threshold. They typically look at the whole picture. This would include bounce rates, engagement, and spam reporting. We suggest not going above .1% for your spam report ratio.
There are two schools of thought on this topic. The most popular one is segregating your marketing and transactional email into different streams and IPs. This protects your most important mail from a misstep in a marketing campaign. The second is that by combining the email streams you would get better deliverability overall.
That is somewhat of a difficult answer. SendGrid passes off email to the ISP within seconds of receiving from our customers. If you are experiencing any delays these are typically based on reputation issues. ISPs decide how much and what frequency to accept your emails based on your domain and IP rating.
ISPs aren’t aware what other addresses are on a subscriber list so we don’t feel there would be negative consequences.
SendGrid fully supports the model of sending on behalf of your customers, we call this an OEM Partner and requires an agreement be signed. By using the Sub-user feature you are also able to segregate and whitelabel by a specific customer.
Without knowing exactly the history on this issue I would say first off to call our support department for assistance. In general, once you are in the spam folder it’s quite difficult but not impossible to reverse. Your best bet is to send to your most engaged users for a while. This can include new sign ups and those opening and clicking on your emails. Once you are seeing better deliverability you can slowly add back the less engaged users.
Currently, statistics by ISPs are in the private beta stage. Check back to our blog soon. We will be announcing the public beta and how you can participate.
SendGrid does not limit your ability to send to Role Accounts. The issue usually comes in when the role account did not opt into the email. As long as addresses used are active and users opt-in you should not have deliverability issues.
These are generic addresses used to allow users to reach out directly to a client in order to report incidents of SPAM above a standard SPAM complaint. SendGrid has an abuse@ address for each of our customers with their own IPs at the subdomain level – [email protected]. Some ISPs require these addresses for a valid feedback loop (Yahoo, for example).
It is not required or even common practice to post this address. The simple fact of having this address to receive complaint email is typically enough.
There are companies outside of SendGrid that provide these types of services. SendGrid does not endorse or recommend list cleaning.
The easiest way is to assign categories to your email. They will show in email activity.
By utilizing the Open and Click Tracking Apps. We will track and report all open and click activities in our standard statistics.
Yes, SendGrid uses a pixel in order to track the open rate of HTML emails. Without images enabled we are unable to track the open rate. Due to this limitation you should look at both Open and Click rates.
SendGrid automatically processes replies using our Parse API. We would post back to your URL the parsed email response. It could then be consumed by you and processed as an unsubscribe against your source list or make an API call to add to SendGrid’s unsubscribe list.
This is beneficial when it comes to displaying images or adding the from address as a trusted sender. Using two addresses requires this be done twice by the recipient. The only downside is if there is marketing email that is not well received sharing a from address, it could affect your deliverability on the transactional mail.
If you would like them to reply (thereby adding you as a trusted sender) the best way to do this is to have a compelling reason for them to reply. An example would be “reply to this email in order to receive your 20% off coupon.”
Our suggestion would be for you to filter those upon receipt.
It is a best practice to have a valid from address. We do not suggest using abuse in your from address. Those typically get filtered because of the work abuse in them.
SendGrid allows users to send messages up to 20MB in size (including attachments). This is a good upper limit to insure it will comply with all ISPs.
It is not bad practice to send your email using your main domain. There are some drawbacks to this approach. SendGrid’s best practice is to sign all mail using the subdomain for the rDNS, DKIM and from address. Please contact SendGrid support to discuss the options.
Microsoft offers an SNDS program, which allows users to monitor the status of their IP reputation. Internal SendGrid alerts also exist to keep customers updated to changes in status with Hotmail/Microsoft reputations.
In order to troubleshoot the issue you would need to look at spam trap hits, your spam and bounce percentages. If those are all low, then looking how your customers are engaging with your messages would be our next suggestion. Are you sending the right message, to the right recipient, and in the right frequency?
SendGrid supports OEM relationships. Please contact our sales department to discuss your options.
Please contact SendGrid sales for more information.
The ISPs vary on how they view statistics like spam reports and bounces. It is safe to assume that most IPs do a 30 day look back on metrics. There is one exception. If you are in mid-campaign and the bounce rate or spam rate is high you could see immediate issues even though averaged in the last 30 days the overall rate was low. The same rings true for positive engagement. If you are sending a large campaign and the results are positive the ISPs will respond accordingly.
Sending email through SendGrid utilizes a SG-specific IP, not the IP used to send the email to SendGrid. If a customer plan is Silver or above, the IP address is unique to that customer.
For Silver accounts and above with a dedicated IP SendGrid submits on your behalf.
Data provided from feedback loops can be accessed in SendGrid through Email Reports >Spam Reports information available in customer accounts.
Yes, that is a common practice by most ISPs. They are looking to validate you are sending wanted mail. ISPs handle warm-ups in different ways. It depends on the type of mail you are sending (marketing vs. transactional) and how gradual the increase is. We suggest you send mail to highly engaged users first, thereby speeding up the likelihood of ISPs accepting larger volumes of emails and sending them to the Inbox v/s SPAM.
AOL whitelist is not automated, you must fill out a whitelist form for AOL and it requires 30 days of good sending.
Large, infrequent sends, tend to mimic SPAM activity, and ISPs don’t like to “be surprised.” It is suggested that users slowly warm up regular sending patterns, and maintain regular sending to remain in good standing with the ISPs.
Throttling usually occurs when an ISP pushes back on our attempt to deliver mail. Look at our docs for more information.
ISPs throttle mail based on several factors. The main reason is based on your reputation–you are sending too much mail or too quickly. Until the ISPs know your sending habits and trust your mail they will throttle it to be sure users in general want your mail. As long as you warm up slowly to your final daily volume and have good engagement you should be able to send without much throttling.
It can be found on the Developers tab of the dashboard. There is more information about the Parse API in our documentation.
When users start sending from different ESPs, the user relationships with ISPs change due to the from address as well as the IP and DKIM signature. It is necessary for users to re-establish their preferences within their account to reflect opening practices that they prefer.
Danny Randa has been working in digital marketing since the launch of Nickelodeon's virtual world Nicktropolis in 2006. After three years of managing interactive marketing campaigns for Nickelodeon's game, he completed an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Marketing at the Leeds School of Business in Boulder, CO. He now works at SendGrid helping developers solve their email infrastructure challenges.Daniel Randa on Twitter