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Every time I think about the dramatic growth of SparkPost (in fact, we are the world’s fastest-growing email delivery service), I am grateful for the trust you’ve shown in our company and the role you’ve allowed us to play in supporting your business.

There are many reasons why SparkPost’s technology is trusted to deliver more than 25% of the world’s non-spam email. Yes, we have a robust and elastic cloud infrastructure that easily scales to meet the needs of the largest senders. And, of course, our remarkable team of email deliverability experts understands the complex needs and challenges faced by developers and email senders. But there’s another reason, as well: we take our responsibility for fighting spam and other abusive email very seriously.

Let’s make no bones about it—spam is a terrible thing. Unchecked, it can overwhelm our inboxes. Some, like phishing or other fraudulent emails, even can be dangerous. That’s why mailbox providers like Gmail and Microsoft have rigorous spam filters and other shields to protect their customers. And it’s why SparkPost goes to great lengths to make sure our email delivery service isn’t used to distribute these harmful emails. (This is something our industry is united on. Although SparkPost is particularly diligent about steps such as domain validation, our peers and competitors take protective measures as well, and we work together in groups like M3AAWG to establish best practices.)

In addition to its impact on recipients, spam also hurts you as an email sender. Proactively managing feedback loop (FBL) and other signals from mailbox providers is critical to maintaining our customers’ deliverability. That’s because sender reputation has a very large effect on how ISPs treat your email.

So I hope it’s clear why we are diligent about preventing email abuse. It begins when you register for a SparkPost account. Every customer agrees to comply with our terms of use and a clear messaging policy that prohibit not only spam and outright fraud, but other inappropriate or illegal uses as well. And although I won’t go into technical details here, SparkPost’s deliverability and operations teams use a variety of tools and systems that monitor our infrastructure and mail streams to detect and block abusive email.

If an account is flagged as violating our messaging policy or shows other signs of unusual activity, we will suspend it. If that happens, you will receive an email outlining the reason at your registered email address. We also will post a notice on your SparkPost account dashboard. While your account is suspended, you will not be able to send email through SparkPost. You can learn more about account suspension on our support site.

In our zealous guarding against spam and other harmful email, we know we sometimes make mistakes—a “false positive,” to use the industry’s standard terminology. I don’t want to brush that under the rug, and I am genuinely sorry if a false positive has affected you. But more than that, you have my personal commitment that we’ll fix false positives swiftly and work our hardest to make things right.

The easiest way to reactivate your account is to respond to the email ticket, and our customer support team will work with you to resolve the problem. They’ll help you sort out what might have triggered the suspension, and they’ll identify any remediation necessary to get back on track.

Account suspension is not an action we take cavalierly. We know that our customers’ businesses depend upon email to drive revenue and nurture customer engagement. That’s why we always are striving to improve these systems and to reduce false positives. We also are working to make it easier to reactivate accounts that are incorrectly suspended.

We’re in this together. We’ll continue to do everything we can to keep email a positive tool for communication and growth—and to protect our customers’ sending reputations to ensure reliable delivery to the inbox.

If you have any questions or concerns about how SparkPost works to achieve that goal, or how it affects your business, please tell us. I’d like to hear how we’re doing—and what else we can do to support your business and your reputation as a sender.

—Phillip Merrick

FAQ sparkpost pricing

We recently announced some changes to SparkPost pricing plans for our email delivery service. We’ve been absolutely thrilled with the response—it shows we’ve gotten the pricing model right.

Still, I know any change is sometimes confusing. So, I thought it might help to round up some some answers to questions I’ve been seeing on Twitter and in the SparkPost developer community Slack channel.

What are my pricing plan options for using SparkPost?

SparkPost offers several tiers of service, including a starter plan that offers 100,000 free emails per month. We also offer paid service plans for volumes above 100,000 messages per month or for senders who require customized services. Our pricing page has the details.

Are there any limitations to the SparkPost Free plan?

Customers who are subscribed to the SparkPost Free plan are capped at 100,000 emails per month and do not have access to a dedicated IP address. To send more than 100,000 emails per month, or to add the option of a dedicated IP address, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid sending package.

What if I exceed the monthly sending limit in my plan?

For paid subscribers, an overage fee will be incurred for each email that exceeds the sending volume monthly limit as stated on our pricing page and in your service agreement. If you know you are going to exceed your limit prior to sending, simply go to the settings tab in the control panel and choose “Upgrade” to select the new plan that best meets your increased sending volume needs.

Note that SparkPost Free customers are capped at 100,000 messages per month. To send more than 100,000 emails per month, you’ll need to upgrade to a paid sending package. Also, if you exceed the 100k free tier, SparkPost will stop accepting and return an error. Those messages are not queued. We provide a usage report in the UI so you can keep an eye on it.

Is the SparkPost Free plan a temporary promotion?

No. We’re in this for the long haul! We think the SparkPost Free plan is a win-win for our customers and for us. In fact, our CEO Philip Merrick has committed to honoring the free plan for any customer enrolled at that tier, for the life of that account.

Why is SparkPost offering such a generous free tier of service?

The short answer is that we love developers. We want to make is as easy as possible for up-and-coming businesses to get started with our service. Moreover, high-performance email delivery is core to SparkPost’s DNA. We know how to do it efficiently and at a scale no one else can match. Our CTO Alec Peterson recently explained how we can do it, and why SparkPost is uniquely suited to offer this level of free service.

What is SparkPost Elite?

SparkPost Elite gives the most demanding senders all the power of the SparkPost cloud email service in a dedicated environment with white-glove service and guaranteed peak sending rates. It also adds mobile text messaging or push notifications to the mix to extend your reach beyond email. If you send more than 2 million messages per month or have other specialized needs, please contact us to learn more.

I’m an existing SparkPost customer. Will my current plan change?

If you had been enrolled in an earlier version of SparkPost’s free service plan, your account automatically has been upgraded to the increased sending limits of SparkPost Free. If you are a customer on any of our paid tiers of service and wish to change to any of our current plans, please use the control panel in the SparkPost web app or contact SparkPost’s customer service team for assistance.

What are my options if I use the SparkPost Heroku email add-on?

Heroku developers can get the same, great 100,000 free emails per month as direct customers of our SparkPost Free plan. We’ve also added additional pricing tiers just for Heroku developers. You can learn more about the SparkPost Heroku email add-on in the Heroku Elements marketplace.

Who can I contact for more information?

We’d be happy to chat! The easiest way to get in touch is via our contact us page. Or, feel free to call (877) 887-3039 or email hello@sparkpost.com to speak with a member of our team.

For technical support questions, please visit support.sparkpost.com or chat with our team in our community slack channel.

P.S. Our pricing page gives answers to even more questions about account options and billing procedures.

 

Did I miss something or a question you’ve been wanting answered? Please let me know. I’d love to hear from you!

Whether you take us up on our 100K free emails per month plan, or a paid level of service, we’d really like to have you as a customer. Our entire SparkPost team is excited to help you to build something awesome with email!

—Brent
@brentsleeper

we love developers