Getting Started with SparkPost

Nichelle Frazier
Oct. 23, 2015 by Nichelle Frazier

GettingStartedWithSP_350x250Six months in and WOW I am learning a lot. Who knew email had so much going on behind the scenes? Coming from a world outside of email, there is a large transition, but surprisingly not too difficult to understand. There are terms and flows that I had no idea existed before joining the email world.

If you are new to email as I am, there are some things you should know.

First things first, here are some things to think about.

  1. Are you sending transactional email or marketing email? If you are sending transactional emails this can be considered as a part of doing business so you may not need opt-in consent. If you are sending marketing emails you will need the recipients to opt-in or your emails could be considered SPAM.
  2. Are you sending out immediately or scheduling a “bulk send”? Think about sending limits. Your “bulk send” amount could go over your sending limit.
  3. Make sure you are sending expected content. This could include the copy for your ‘password resets’ to the content of your newsletter. Newsletters should contain something that’s relevant to your audience and in line with expectations for when they signed up for your newsletter. If you said you’d send company news once a month, you shouldn’t start sending promotions once a week. That will generate spam complaints and poor deliverability. Deliverability consists of all the issues involved in getting your emails delivered to the expected recipient. Unexpected content could cause poor deliverability and block your email from being delivered.
  4. Next step is to set-up your sending domains. Sending domain is used to identify you as a sender, helps you build a sending reputation with ISPs for better inbox placement, and allows you to send more messages on our system. Find out more about how to set-up your sending domain here.
  5. You will also need a Template. A template defines the body of your email. It is also the place to define where substitution data will go in your emails. Find out more about creating a template here.
  6. Finally, you will need is a recipient list. Recipient list is a list of email address you want your emails delivered to. Again, make sure you get Opt-in permission from your recipients. You should not add people to your list that have not opted-in. This can affect your deliverability. More information on setting up recipient lists is found here.

You can also set-up email using SMTP. Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) is an Internet standard for electronic mail (email) transmission. Here is a video to explain sending via STMP:

If you are sending via SMTP or Rest APIs you will need an API Key. The API key is used to authenticate you acting on behalf of your account from tools outside of SparkPost. Steps to create and API key are here:https://support.sparkpost.com/customer/portal/articles/1933377?b_id=7411

This is a good head start, but there is much more to talk about. I will follow-up with more information in a later blog. Look out for it soon. I have a lot more to talk about. It will include some things to be aware of. Happy emailing!

~Nichelle

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