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Posted by The Spamhaus Team on 15 Feb 2022
Email frequency and engagement are elements that can't be overlooked if you want to ensure good email deliverability. Setting recipient expectations during your confirmation message is a helpful strategy; sticking to that expectation is invaluable. Sending email too frequently can cause "email exhaustion"; people who have a clear expectation that is met will feel respected and are much less likely to report as spam, delete the emails unread, or unsubscribe.
Marketers should tailor the “correct” frequency to the individual marketing campaign, and having a sunset strategy is vital to maintaining a healthy and engaged mailing list. Here is an example:
Intended changes in frequency to email campaigns should be very carefully considered, especially around the holidays.
Many marketers believe that ISPs, reputation, and filter vendors such as Spamhaus “tighten the rules” around the holidays, which is not the case. Nothing changes on the recipient or vendor side – what causes the perceived “tightening” is created by changes in sender behavior.
The holidays are when senders tend to reach deeply into their subscriber lists (or even buy lists!), taking chances on sending to unengaged or even unsubscribed customers in the hopes of making some extra money during the lucrative holiday sales season. What usually happens is that using those older, unused segments triggers the domino effect of a decline in reputation. Then inbox placement is affected, leading to adverse outcomes, including tempfails, deferrals, blocks, and sometimes even inclusion on reputation lists, such as Spamhaus produces.
Engagement is valuable for measuring how your marketing program is performing and is typically measured by recording clicks, opens, purchases, and interactions with social media. If engagement is too low, it is time to look at the age, content, mailing frequency, and segmentation of the program lists.
Please note – Spamhaus reserves the right to engage with the spam we receive and even to follow non-subscription links. There are many anti-spam appliances that now do this also. The fact that an email is opened or a link is clicked does not mean consent has been given.
We strongly recommend that you carry out continuous iterative work to segment out anyone that has not actively engaged with a given mail stream in X amount of time. The usual starting place is one year, then moving to six months, three months, etc., depending on results.
Remember – keep it clean! The regular practice of data hygiene is crucial: flawed address collection processes and bad sending practices can result in you adding spamtraps to your mailing lists. The presence of spamtraps confirms the underlying data problems; focusing on finding and removing traps treats the symptom, not the problem. Spamtrap hunting is a short-term solution with limited benefits, as traps are only one part of the reputational mix that is in use today.
Here are other mistakes that can be exceptionally costly in both time and money.
Keeping recipients engaged and active is the single most important thing a marketer can do to ensure the success of an email marketing program. Reputation is much harder to rebuild than ruin.
Part of keeping that good reputation intact is effectively managing bounced emails and we’ll be explaining how to do this next.
16 August 2022
The recent spate of informational listings from The Spamhaus Project researchers created waves in the sending community. But more pertinently, it’s highlighted poor sending practices. Here’s further explanation, and helpful hints and tools to help calm the waters.
15 February 2022
Discover how to manage hard bounces, soft bounces and ISP hard blocks. All components of bounced email management help email deliverability.
Monitoring email complaints is a vital piece of the reputational “pie," so keeping them as low as possible should be every marketer's goal.