Get Out of Spam: Our Go-To Steps For Domain Reputation Repairing

Get Out of Spam: Our Go-To Steps For Domain Reputation Repairing
Userlevel 5
Badge +17

Hi Community! 

 

As a Champion, I would love to share some of my experience with you all so we can continue to learn and grow together! One particular story I’d like to share is about a client of mine’s deliverability issues and how we rectified their particular issue, in hopes it will teach and encourage others as well.  

 

The challenge facing our Klaviyo Client, WearMePro (WMP), was the concern that their domain reputation was in bad standing and that their emails were landing in Spam after seeing several sends with low engagement.

Even with their normally avid and engaged following, they saw Open-Rates slipping into 13% or less.

When you fear your brand may be suffering from a similar fate - here is our tried and true strategy to help get your domain back into good standing.

(Keep in mind things like purchased lists will make domain repairing an almost impossible task - so ensure your list only consists of contacts who've organically opted-in to hear from your brand.)


Step One: Get a Pulse

 

My go-to first task is to get Google Postmasters set up. This completely free tool from Google allows you to get a sneak peek into how Gmail ranks your domain. You can follow these steps here on set-up.

As you can see with WMP, the sending domain was in a dire status - Bad.

PEvHdfFycQ8hAFm4GhI-C3_vcLrWra1PGH3XpXDfadIu7LJV3r9Rn55YrDlclCDTpucOJweJW0H6jbx_ujyR6s6IJf1qPtS7h04m8aM1t71COLRo-BAl0hJt52sVLtkgYNs-CZ0j
 

For Postmaster Tools you can fall into Bad, Low, Medium, or High status and if you are in Bad, well - it’s bad! It is almost certain that a large volume of emails are going into the Spam inbox at this time and you should make an immediate change to your email strategy.

 

Step Two: Build Your Layers 


Domain repairing can seem complicated but it can be boiled down to a core philosophy. Only email those who are most likely to Open, Click, and not report your emails as spam.

It can seem shocking at first to alienate what may be the majority of your subscriber list who aren’t considered engaged - that is why I recommend you layer your engaged segments.

For immediate repairs, I went with an aggressive segment (and even this can be tightened even more for the days):
zjG4Mo_tlAB2j0Vt9t6n3jbSk3JXXVYQbsI8XTiHlopirK5TfY4biGxYOiuc31hv67T7eO9BsP-LbwnWdfI3EcCQIowkuX78im6wyaff_iF-ZpTvzMbWz1Z2jXM1jw2Hp23zloXz
 

This segment has OR statements for what we may consider engaged actions, but grouped with an AND statement that they either must have opened at least 1 email ‘recently,’ or they are brand new subscribers, or Viewed Product (meaning they are recently engaged on-site and are interested).

After sending to this list for a few sends, we can then build a less aggressive segment to send to by opening up those Days and adding in a few additional OR conditions on top of the AND ‘Opened Email’ statement.

To boil it down simply, you’ll have maybe three to four engaged lists - with each get larger and less restricting with the segment rules.

 

Step Three: Analyze your Content

 

There are some additional changes you can make to your content to ensure you are getting the most for your repair strategy. I’d recommend trying to leverage valuable content for your subscribers with clear Call-to-Actions.

 

What is valuable content? Well, it can depend on your brand ,but review your send history to see what emails got your best engagement and start with those. You want content that isn’t just - “Here is a product! Buy It!” Create a connection. Share your story.

Of course, ensure your emails are well-formatted, include alt text on all images, have working links, have a compliant footer that includes your unsubscribe link, etc! Those clean-up items shouldn’t be missed either.

 

Step Four: Be Consistent

 

Just sending a single email a month won’t cut it with domain repairs. You need to be reaching out to your engaged lists at least weekly, but this relies heavily on Step Three being carried out successfully.
 

And With Those Steps…


Your domain can jump up to High status with Gmail as well! For WMP, we were able to get their domain repaired in just a month of targeted sending. 

 

c8UKpf_8Xxtfa5w_jfOiD-vn_GmQobsAgrrzdIAw0FzXrIzqrAubN8cTCsBT5wfXTHb-Wf7TbAv7xUJ82u_pjtAGnlBEAskxiiazo7VKCPg1ebDzhgS4c9kaSXxVaLqn1OAmNn-5

Of course, it can be different for each domain - so if you start this process, don’t give up! Your domain reputation is everything in your email strategy and deserves your full attention. After you are in good standing, be sure to check in after a while to make sure it doesn’t drop again.​​​​​​​

 

-@Spark Bridge Digital LLC ( Peyton Fox) ​​​​​​​

Learn more about me on my Champion profile page! 

 

 


 

Resources Available to Keep Learning: 


12 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +4

With Apple being one of the largest email providers currently, is there a similar free tool we can use to gauge how Apple devices are handling email?

Badge +1

Thank you for your sharing.

Userlevel 5
Badge +17

With Apple being one of the largest email providers currently, is there a similar free tool we can use to gauge how Apple devices are handling email?


I’m not aware of any free one’s myself but I will say when I use a paid tool like SparkPost has for my clients - the spam placement data I get from Apple Mail vs Gmail are verrrrry similar. So not 100% guaranteed but if you use Postmasters and your reputation isn’t looking too hot or is showing improvement, you can closely assume Apple Mail is on the same track.

Providers like Microsoft (MSN, Hotmail, Outlook) are usually the main anomaly that won’t be on the same domain placement track as Apple/Gmail - safe to assume your readings are worst with them in most cases. They are tough cookies!

Of course, each domain is different with their reputation status but that is the common denominator I see. Hope that helps!

Badge

Thank you for sharing. So helpful. 

Badge

Could you please explain this definition “Or created is in the last 70 and 15 days”?

Userlevel 5
Badge +17

Could you please explain this definition “Or created is in the last 70 and 15 days”?


So in the first section, I was grabbing contacts made in the last 70 Days but then filters in Viewed Product/Opened Email in the next filter statement.

If I didn’t have another OR statement of ‘created in the last 15 days’ - then brand new contacts wouldn’t meet the conditions if they didn’t Open or View. 

So if you have a contact Day 16 - 70 who didn’t open an email or view a product, they didn’t meet this engaged list. But I don’t want to exclude out our Day 1 - 15 contacts who are going through the Welcome Flow and haven’t engaged yet. It gives those super brand new contacts an extra chance to be engaged with the campaigns going out. To me, they shouldn’t be excluded yet from these sends.

It can seem a bit confusing (& typing it out is hard to explain, haha!) But I hope that clears it up!

Badge

Could you please explain this definition “Or created is in the last 70 and 15 days”?


So in the first section, I was grabbing contacts made in the last 70 Days but then filters in Viewed Product/Opened Email in the next filter statement.

If I didn’t have another OR statement of ‘created in the last 15 days’ - then brand new contacts wouldn’t meet the conditions if they didn’t Open or View. 

So if you have a contact Day 16 - 70 who didn’t open an email or view a product, they didn’t meet this engaged list. But I don’t want to exclude out our Day 1 - 15 contacts who are going through the Welcome Flow and haven’t engaged yet. It gives those super brand new contacts an extra chance to be engaged with the campaigns going out. To me, they shouldn’t be excluded yet from these sends.

It can seem a bit confusing (& typing it out is hard to explain, haha!) But I hope that clears it up!

No, no, haha! you explained it very well. Thank you!

Userlevel 2
Badge +5

Great job Peyton! I definitely want to start using Google Postmasters with our clients. After almost 15 years in marketing, I have yet to use it, but now I will!

Badge

Please could you also write an article or post regarding step by step guide for google postmasters. I will be very thankful. 

Badge +2

Hi Peyton,
Thanks for your post, very useful! Just a question however; if Gmail is the provider you're having issues with, why would you create a segment for all domains (incl hotmail and others)? Would it be an idea to only use this aggressive strategy for customers that actually have a gmail account? (email contains gmail.com)  And email the other customers like you would do normally? 

Also, I see for the segment criteria ‘opened e-mail at least once in the last 200 days’, you haven't used the Apple Privacy Opens equals ‘False’. What would be the reason not to use this? As now the ‘opens’ could be caused by Apples iOS system? 

Thank you! 



 

Userlevel 5
Badge +17

Hi Peyton,
Thanks for your post, very useful! Just a question however; if Gmail is the provider you're having issues with, why would you create a segment for all domains (incl hotmail and others)? Would it be an idea to only use this aggressive strategy for customers that actually have a gmail account? (email contains gmail.com)  And email the other customers like you would do normally? 

Also, I see for the segment criteria ‘opened e-mail at least once in the last 200 days’, you haven't used the Apple Privacy Opens equals ‘False’. What would be the reason not to use this? As now the ‘opens’ could be caused by Apples iOS system? 

Thank you! 



 

Hey Femy!

it is pretty rare that I work with a client to develop an deliverability strategy for just for a single inbox provider, like Gmail or Apple only. The engaged segment above being built in the example would span across the entire spectrum of inbox types and the use of Postmaster’s for Gmail would just be a litmus test to understand if you have a potential issue with your domain but adding in that extra Apple filter would be icing on the cake to ensure it is segmented even more aggressively.

Although Postmaster’s is just for Gmail addresses in ranking, if your domain is showing low readings there - in most cases I find that the domain has similar standing across the other inbox providers or close to it. Tools like SparkPost can help you to really dial into rankings for specific providers though. 

So for your question on Apple Privacy - I treat that filter in a case-by-case basis. If I go into a client’s account and I’m seeing dismal readings for engagement and bad rankings for domain readings - I’ll start with the general engagement segment in the example above. If it is a particularly difficult case with long-term damage, then taking the additional precaution for apple privacy being false can be useful to really ensure you are only emailing true opens. If you want to be extra secure in your engaged segment for deliverability repair efforts - having it in the segmentation logic is definitely welcomed. So to me, the more severe the case is, the more likely I’ll use the Apple privacy filters for further targeting. 

Hope that helps!

Badge +2

Hi Peyton,
Thanks for your quick and extensive reply there! I will definitely install Postmasters to get a bit more insights. However, within Klaviyo's campaigns - advanced reports, you can also see the deliverability per campaign and per domain. And there is where I found out that both my Gmail and Hotmail opens decreased a lot since April. I heard that there has been a change in algorithm for those domains since April, and therefore my opens were very low. On other domains we didn't see this sudden decrease, so therefore it made sense to me to exclude gmail and hotmail domains and give them a different sending strategy. 

Also we received the advice to use a dedicated sending domain instead of the shared domain we have now. Do you have experience in that and the impact of it on domain reputation repairing? 

Thanks!  

 

Reply