The tips below explain the issues that can cause different types of warnings in your account. To use this guide, locate the type of complaint that you are concerned about below.These include abuse complaints, high unsubscribe rates, or high bounce rates.
Not following this guide may result in a high complaint or unsubscribe rate, thus your account may be suspended or even terminated.
At the end of this article you will also find seven control questions about the health of your email list.
1. Get Permission to Email
Before you can approach someone through email marketing, they need to opt-in to your list.
Any other type of confirmation might result in issues. Offline list collection, verbal, or other processes offer no proof that the individual wants to receive emails.
Make sure your list is okay to use before you import subscribers into your Soundest list. We understand that some circumstances do not allow for online sign up, but there are ways to properly collect offline lists (for example Signup Page at your Conference booth).
In addition, explain everything clearly to your subscribers. Explain what content they will receive and how often. When you do not explain this properly on the signup form, it can lead to high unsubscribes or abuse complaints.
2. Avoid Stale Lists
It is good practice to send emails to your subscribers regularly to prevent your list from becoming stale. Lists become stale when your subscribers lose interest, forget they have signed up, or abandon their email addresses (30% of email users change their email addresses annually). Stale lists tend to generate bounces, unsubscribes, and spam complaints.
When a recipient reports your email as spam, it notifies their internet service provider (ISP). This is called a feedback loop. ISPs will block sending domains if they receive enough spam reports. Unfortunately, not all ISPs offer feedback loops. Sometimes spam complaints reach us in other (non-traditional) ways, for example, via email. Such complaints are not displayed in your campaign reports.
3. Avoid Improperly Collected Lists
Soundest is strictly a permission-based email delivery service. Sometimes, lists are collected from different sources or even third parties.
When we see lists collected in this manner, we may ask you to do the following:
- Delete the list if all subscribers did not give permission.
- Clean the list by deleting any inactive subscribers and removing those who you do not have permission to send to.
4. Avoid Purchased/Rented Lists
Even under the best circumstances, purchased/rented lists do not get the same positive results as an organically grown list. When you build your own list, you collect subscribers who are interested in your product or business and definitely want to hear from you. The opposite is true when you purchase an alien list.
If you have imported a purchased/rented list, we will ask you to delete the entire list or remove the purchased portion of the list.
5. Properly Gather Offline Contacts
We do not allow lists that do not have proper opt-in confirmation. If you have gathered your list at a show or in an offline capacity, you must have documented proof of the signup. Moreover, bear in mind, it is common for people to provide invalid email addresses with offline processes, and this can cause high bounce rates. If you have proof of signup, it will help to protect you if someone makes a spam complaint.
Here are a good and bad example of an offline list:
- Good example - When people buy from my online store, I ask them if they would also like to subscribe for email newsletters and promotions.
- Bad example - You set up a fish bowl by your cash register, so customers can drop in their business cards for a chance to win a free lunch. But later you decide to start sending them promotional content.
6. Prepare Relevant Email Content
Relevancy is an important aspect of email marketing. Emails work best when subscribers find value in them. If your content does not hold your subscribers' interest, they may mark the email as spam. Promising interesting content but sending only promotional, low quality mails instead is a good example of irrelevant content.
Read more about the most common newsletter mistakes.
7. Avoid Third-party Marketing
Third-party marketing is when you decide to market another product or service to your subscribers, or when you switch company name. Any time you send a mail as Company A either on behalf of or as Company B, it causes confusion because subscribers did not sign up to receive information from Company B. To introduce a new product, service, or company name, keep the following tips in mind.
- Create a new list and send an introductory email, allowing subscribers to sign up to receive information on the other product or service.
- If you are switching your company name, rebranding, or have just acquired a new business, you have to reintroduce yourself. In your email, explain the change and allow users to unsubscribe if they no longer wish to receive the content.
- Make it clear in your subscription process that subscribers may receive news about other services or products. While this may not stop a subscriber from marking your email as spam, being clear gives you protection.
As for third party lists, they are not permitted in Soundest. These are lists that you may have received from a particular association, organization or company that you have a good relationship with. But these are just a few examples. The reason they cannot be used in Soundest is that they did not give their explicit permission to receive emails from YOU. They may have given permission to the company (that gave you this list), but this does not allow you to send them promotional emails. Soundest is a permission-based email marketing company and does not tolerate senders who do not ask for permission before sending emails.
A Check-list of Your Healthy Contacts on Soundest
The questions below will let you define your list quality and fix any issues you may have. Read them carefully.
- Did you collect your mailing list longer than 1 year ago?
- Have you purchased or rented any mailing lists?
- Have you migrated from another email marketing provider?
- Do you have a lot of role-based email addresses?
- Did your contact subscribe to your email campaigns?
- Have you imported contacts from personal/business inboxes?
Have any additional questions? Feel free to contact us at email@example.com.