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How to improve your sample engagement

Combat low engagement by regularly removing unengaged users, bounced emails, and role email addresses. Your email list is going to experience some amount of churn. Don’t take it personally; be proactive, clean up your list, and experience improved email deliverability rates.

Here are few actions you can take to clean up your sample list

Remove Invalid emails An invalid email occurs when you attempt to send email to an address that is formatted in a manner that does not meet internet email format standards or the email does not exist at the recipient’s mail server. Examples include addresses without the “@” sign or addresses that include certain special characters and/or spaces. This response can come from our own server or the recipient mail server. Before you send, YourOpinionLab does a check against the format of the email address to attempt to verify its validity. If the recipient server checks the address and doesn’t find it, they will send back a 550 bounce to say that this is an invalid email address.

There is no point in keeping them in your database, having large number of invalid email will affect your overall domain reputation. All invalid emails can be found at Sample Settings> Bad Mail section. Download CSV file at a click of a button and remove them from your list.

Remove bounced emails A bounce occurs when a sent message is rejected by the receiving mail server. The most common causes for bounced email messages include a misspelled or nonexistent email address. A repeat bounce is when an address has bounced, then bounced a second time and logged to the bounce suppression list, but you ask us to send to this recipient again. Our system will suppress the message, because it ‘knows’ that recipient address is bad. Each bounce email have a reason associated, read them and discard from your list. Bounces affects your deliverability and reputation.

All bounced emails can be found at Sample Settings> Bad Mail section. Download CSV file at a click of a button and remove them from your list.

Remove unsubscribe emails Unsubscribes happen when a recipient indicates that they would like to opt out from any email that you send by clicking on the Unsubscribe from all Emails link within your emails.

All unsubscribe emails can be found at Sample Settings> Bad Mail section. Download CSV file at a click of a button and remove them from your list.

Remove spam emails Spam reports happen when a recipient indicates that they think your email is spam and then their email provider tells YourOpinionLab.

All spam emails can be found at Sample Settings> Bad Mail section. Download CSV file at a click of a button and remove them from your list.

Remove Toxic and Role Email Addresses Find email addresses that are commonly used as spam traps or used to determine if you are sending spam. This means all role addresses (info@, sales@, help@, etc.) as well as common spam trap names (junk@, test@, asdf@, spam@, etc.). Role Addresses email addresses are those that represent either a group of people within a company or the entire organization itself. These addresses are generally designed with a specific function in mind and are only intended to receive messages pertaining to that particular function. The majority of role addresses notify multiple people at once, and the person(s) in charge of monitoring these email accounts can change unexpectedly.

When someone signs up to receive emails at a role address they are also signing up everyone else with access to that address, so the chances of your messages being marked as spam rise significantly.

Note: Sending emails to invalid, bounces, unsubscribe and spam will affect your deliverability and domain reputation.

Establishing a Sunset Policy

Sunset refers to users who no longer reads your email for several weeks or months. The sunset period can vary depending on your specific content and sending cadence.

When many of your messages are received by a recipient and ignored, the automated filters provided by their ISP or mailbox provider may begin to learn that your mail is unimportant to that recipient and can be sent to lower priority folders or the spam folder. This may not sound like too big of an issue as long as it’s only one recipient, but when this is observed on a wide scale, the mailbox providers themselves may begin to filter all of your messages automatically to the spam folder. Worse yet, some may even drop the message entirely after providing an affirmative response that they have been received.

Additionally, if you have an old list, especially one that hasn’t been particularly well maintained, you may be sending mail to spam traps: abandoned addresses that have been reactivated for the sole purpose of receiving unwanted mail. Owners of these traps are very secretive about them, and will never tell us, or anyone, what these addresses are, making scrubbing your list of outdated and unengaged addresses an important task.

A smaller, more engaged email list always trumps a large list full of unengaged users

An effective sunset policy is a customizable solution to these tough problems, and we have seen them work wonders for customers who are trying to improve their deliverability to inboxes and to the integrity of their lists through constant, preventative maintenance. The basics of a sunset policy are as follows:

  • Define what an unengaged recipient is to your company.

  • Determine how long it is appropriate for your business to send messages to a recipient who is unengaged.

  • Decide if you will silently let these unengaged customers leave your lists, or if you will send them a final permission pass or winback reminder, asking them if they would like to continue to receive mail from you.

  • Collect and consume engagement data

  • Follow your plan for as long as you continue emailing, as this is a form of preventative maintenance.

  • Watch your engagement, deliverability, and list integrity improve.

Sample Schedules Every business is different, so it’s important to customize the sunset policy you adopt, including decisions on when and how to go about removing unengaged recipients. Some sample removal schedules that we have seen perform well can be seen here:

  • Removing recipients of daily emails who have not engaged in three weeks

  • Removing recipients of weekly emails who have not engaged in two months

  • Removing recipients of monthly emails who have not engaged in six months

When it comes time to remove recipients who have not engaged with your mailings, we have seen customers be highly successful in retaining recipients when sending a reconfirmation email prior to their full removal from mailing lists. However, it is just as sound of a practice to simply quietly remove these unengaged recipients from your lists.

In summary, an important facet of excellent emailing is ensuring that you are sending wanted mail, and you can ensure this through the proper removal of unengaged recipients from your lists through the implementation of a sunset policy. YourOpinionLab provides click tracking and open tracking for more than just generating great looking graphs, and when properly applied, these tools can help keep your recipients highly engaged, your mail being delivered exactly where you want it, and your list integrity at an all-time high.


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