ListPruningReputation_041715For developers sending email from their web and mobile applications, inbox placement is directly related to the quality of sending reputation.

Curating your email lists on a regular basis is an essential key to maintaining a quality sender reputation. What happens if you neglect your subscriber and customer lists?

  • Poor customer experiences caused by low inbox placement
  • Wasting money by sending email to people who are not engaged with your messages
  • Most importantly, lowered email inbox placement and sending impacts your reputation with SparkPost, ESPs, and your customers and subscribers.

The SparkPost Suppression List service automatically prevents delivery of transmissions to members of your various recipient lists when they unsubscribe, hard bounce, or claim that an email you sent is SPAM. It provides a programmatic method of introspecting your recipient’s delivery permissions prior to attempting to deliver email to them. The rationale behind this service is to increase your email inbox placement percentages while also maximizing your customer’s engagement levels with your messaging.

Suppression lists are able to be used as an invalidation tool while sending non-transactional messages. Why would a service such as the Suppression Lists be useful to organizations (ranging from small businesses to enterprise organizations)? Because you want to respect the permission customers give you for delivering bulk / marketing messaging, but they definitely want a receipt for their purchase or a password reset and other transactional messages they have initiated in your systems. This example highlights the value of SparkPost’s Suppression Lists to organizations of all sizes; it’s a simple interface to differentiate between email that “should” be sent (marketing, newsletters and one-to-many messages) compared to email that “is expected” to be sent (transactional email).

Now that we’ve identified how tightly bound the relationship of your sending domain’s delivery reputation is to your SparkPost Suppression Lists, you may be wondering how you can leverage the data-driven power of SparkPost to increase your transmission’s email inbox placement.

SparkPost strengthens your distribution lists by automatically adding recipients to your Suppression List who have flagged your transmissions as SPAM or unsubscribed (using either the unsubscribe link or list-unsubscribe features). This automated management will improve your inbox placements since you will not be attempting to transmit email to recipients who have explicitly revoked your sending permission…but what are some other ways to leverage your Suppression Lists that can prove beneficial to your organization’s email engagement?

  • In-app permission revocations: When a recipient who has previously granted you permission to send them non-transactional email clearly defines during a transactional process that they no longer wish to receive non-transactional email
  • By providing your customers a clear and easy-to-use profile center where they’re able to manage their non-transactional subscriptions
  • Implementing in-app (web/mobile) re-engagement or evaluation user experiences focused on driving heightened engagement volumes for your transmissions with SparkPost.

SparkPost is here to help, but your subscription and non-transactional list management curation are critical in establishing and maintaining your delivery reputation and inbox placements. The better your lists are pruned, honed, and focused on engagement, the better your reputation for all of your email and transmission deliveries (both transactional and non-transactional).

To learn more:

Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

Take a leaf out of the book of healthy living and apply it to your email lists. Just like you need to detox your body every now and then, email lists need to have the dust shaken off them and audited for quality control. Thats right – quality. While quantity does matter, the quality of your email lists is more vital as it has a direct impact on your sender score and thus deliverability. This week’s digest highlights ways to keep those lists clean, and grow them too.

Email Campaigns Flopping? It’s Probably Your List

If your email campaigns are flopping there is a good chance that your list isn’t as hygienic as you might think it is. Here’s a checklist:

How was your list acquired?

  • Did you buy it?
  • How long ago did subscribers join your list?
  • What did you promise them?

Have you kept your list clean?

  • Are you removing bad email addresses?
  • Have you reengaged inactive subscribers?

All the above factors play a part in determining the success of your campaign, so pay heed and keep your list healthy!

5 Tactics to Ignite Your Email List Growth

Here are 5 ways to spark list growth:

  1. Make it easy to opt in on your website.
  2. Don’t stop at just one.
  3. Collect email opt-in in your stores.
  4. Make it mobile.
  5. Remember your social networks.

For more details on ensuring the quality of your list as you grow it, hop on over to read the full article by Mike Hotz from Responsys.

Boost Conversion and Deliverability with 3 Email Marketing Rules

Here are three evergreen email marketing tips from the book, Email Marketing Rules: How to wear a white hat, shoot straight, and win hearts by Chad White from ExactTarget.

  1. Focus on maximizing the value of a subscriber, not on maximizing the results of a campaign. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your list for the sake of a one-off campaign by misleading subscribers.
  2. Don’t attach too much meaning to your open rates. The end goal of conversion is more important, hence gauge the success of your subject lines by that standard.
  3. Accept that ESPs have relatively little control over the deliverability of your emails. Sender reputation is the most important factor in deliverability and that’s related to the quality of your list.

3 Obsolete Email Practices

Email guru Loren McDonald recommends replacing three obsolete email practices.

  1. Annual reactivation campaigns – You can tell within a few months of a subscriber is unengaged so put them on a multi-step activation track. This helps ensure high quality lists too.
  2. Frequency testing – Use behavioral triggers instead.
  3. Single emails – Send a series of emails instead.

[Infographic] Email Marketing List Maintenance

Here’s a really cool flowchart on maintaining your email list.


Adaptive Delivery, our next-generation email delivery management solution, launched in May. An industry first, Adaptive Delivery does what no other technology solution has before — it automatically monitors and tunes delivery parameters in real time, as they occur, to proactively address and solve real email deliverability challenges. With its automated, real-time capabilities, Adaptive Delivery optimizes email delivery rates, safeguards and repairs sender reputations, and dramatically improves overall deliverability management effectiveness.

Performance Lift Where You Need It Most

Most enterprises and ESPs send a mix of email. Based on the type of mail sent and practices employed, each mail stream has a different reputation and delivery risk profile. For the majority of enterprises and ESPs, mail volumes are highest in the middle of this reputation/risk continuum — precisely where Adaptive Delivery demonstrates its most impressive results. That’s why Adaptive Delivery is such a valuable addition to your deliverability arsenal: it enables you to segregate your mail streams and optimize for every eventuality, regardless of reputation/risk profile.

Real-Time Message Decision-Making, Alerts and Reporting

Capture, interpret and act on data to proactively manage delivery in real time. Auto-generated alerts ping the user when issues arise that require immediate attention; all system actions are summarized for subsequent review.

Real-Time Traffic Shaping

Adjust for domain-specific rules or limits, changing requirements and deferral responses as they happen, with automated traffic shaping that sends every message with an individual set of rules tuned specifically for its unique sending environment.

Live Rule Updates

Stay up to date with the latest ISP rules, policies, bounce and error codes. System rules are continually refreshed, automatically downloaded and installed through the Message System Live Update Service.

Read more about Adaptive Delivery on our website, or download the product brief.

In this whitepaper, email expert Len Shneyder introduces Message Systems Adaptive Delivery – The first solution of its kind specifically designed to automate the monitoring of bounces and complaints, and adjust connection rates and throughput accordingly. 

Adaptive Delivery Whitepaper