How to Manage High Volume Sending and Protect Sender Reputation

Experienced marketers know that smart volume management is part of the sender reputation management, especially for high volume senders. If your list is smaller than 5000 emails, then this isn’t something you need to worry about and as long as you build your list overtime and increase sending volume gradually.  Also, if you or your organization is a sender with an established reputation and a history of high volume sending, the volume isn’t as big of an issue as campaign engagement and future deliverability.

You need to carefully manage your sending volumes in order to build up your sender reputation if you are:

  1. Just starting out with bulk campaigns for yourself or a client, or
  2. Haven’t engaged your list of 5k+ subscribers in the recent months
  3. Switching your sender domain, email address, and/or provider, possibly due to a “burnt” reputation in the past.

Why not blast a single email campaign to your entire list? Because if this volume of sending isn’t typical for your sender identity it will look suspicious to a mailbox provider (aka ISPs) because big changes in sending volume may indicate that a list hasn’t been grown organically (naturally), bur rather rented, purchased, or harvested via other means, and this can have a negative impact on email deliverability and inbox placement. So what should you do? Start by sending low daily volumes and build up volume over time – the idea is to send less than 1k emails per day per provider when you are just starting out, and ideally start with high quality messaging and high engagement subscriber segments.

High engagement on your early bulk campaigns will aid your sender reputation score and improve inbox placement rates on future campaigns. 

There are a many different ways you can break down your list:

  1. Segment your list based on a field like “Date Signed Up”, “Order Date”, or similar date or number based fields that indicate subscriber recency or loyalty, and start sending initial campaigns to your recently engaged or your most loyal customers.
  2. Based on demographics like age or gender, or a number-based field like “Member ID” with “greater/less than” condition.
  3. Based on past campaign engagement, e.g. anyone who “opened” any campaign in the last 14-21 days.
  4. Segment your list based on location. If you customize campaign send time based on subscriber local time you can get better engagement. The best time to send on week days is usually 6-10am local time.
  5. If bulk of the emails on your B2B list are not major providers, you can actually send a large campaign by simply segmenting out the top providers using an email domain check, e.g. if “domain is” or “domain is not”. See example in the screenshot below.

    segmentation based on email domain

    Segmenting based on email domain in BigMailer

Depending on your list size, you may choose to use and combine several of the methods listed above, and that’s perfectly fine. There is no one size fits all approach to building your domain reputation – you know your list best and can figure out the best strategy for yourself.

It may be frustrating to not be able to send to your entire list and put in all the extra effort, but the effort is worth it and will pay off via better long term deliverability, inbox placement, and most importantly your subscriber engagement with your email campaigns as a result.

How to Manage Lists in BigMailer

BigMailer Lists can be used in a variety of ways, depending on your business needs. You can have unlimited lists at no extra cost in BigMailer – pricing is based on the number of unique contacts stored for a given brand. 

Lists Based on Email Collection Sources

If you are collecting emails from a variety of sources, for example sign up forms on your website’s homepage/articles, member registrations, opt-in on a partner page, or signups during offline events, it might be helpful to define your Lists to reflect your collection sources. You could go very granular (separate blog signups from say homepage or blog) or you could rollup some sources into major groups (on-site, off-site).

BigMailer Lists

Example: Lists for collection sources

This will help you see and understand your engagement stats for each of your lists and get to insights into which collection source may be bringing low-quality or high-quality leads.

Lists as Main Customer Segments

While you can segment your campaigns on any of your data points, it maybe beneficial to define lists based on most commonly used criteria like Members vs. Paid Customers, or segment your customers based on product/service they purchased so you can see engagement stats across those major segments on the main Lists view. Using your main segmenting criteria to define your lists can also help you streamline your campaign setup workflow and lower risk of mistakes (sending an email to a larger than intended audience).

For example, you can have Lists with overlapping records for:

  1. Newsletter signups from the website that is updated via a form on your website
  2. Paying customers that get added via API call when a transaction happens on your website

When you create a bulk campaign, you could choose to include your List for newsletter subscribers, but exclude the List of your paying customers, if you want to send non-paying customers a special offer.

Lists as Both, Sources and Segments

You could actually combine the two methods described above, it just may add some steps to your initial setup for email collection. Just make sure to name your lists in a way that prevents confusion as to what they are and represent, and something that everyone on your team will know how to use.

Lists as Tags for Automation Campaigns

BigMailer Lists are actually implemented in the way many platforms use tags – single record for an email address with a list of Lists they are on stored as a part of the same record.

If you wanted to tag users with their interests, based on the pages they visit or actions performed on your web site you could simply define a List for each interest and then trigger an API call to add your user into the appropriate lists. You could then setup Automation campaigns based on a new email being added to the list, like a product or service recommendation, while still segmenting your target audience on things like non-engagement with your recent campaigns.

How To Manage Message Types in BigMailer

Message types in BigMailer can be thought of interest lists or subscriber preferences. They help you define what message types your customers should be getting and how your customers can manage their interests and opt-out preferences.

There are 2 kind of message types in BigMailer: system-defined and user-defined.

About System-Defined Message Types

There are 2 types of system-defined message types:

  1. All Brand Communications (Implied) – this is a parent for all message types and is linked to customer-facing option to “Unsubscribe All” on the opt-out page.
    unsubscribe page example

    Example of unsubscribe page with default appearance


  2. Account Related Communications (not customer facing):  – this message type should be used on automation or transactional campaigns when the message sent to a customer is directly related to their account activity (confirmation of user action, pending automated change to user account, receipts or payment failure notices, etc.). When this message type is selected on the campaign creation step, the unsubscribe link isn’t enforced in the email template and the user can’t opt-out from receiving this message type.

About User-Defined Message Types

Adding message types is optional, but highly recommended step before any campaigns are added or scheduled. Message types help your customers manage their communication preferences on a more granular level, as an alternative to default global opt-out which blocks all further communications from your brand.

Example: unsubscribe page with preferences format

Example of BigMailer unsubscribe page with custom message types defined

Some examples of message types you could add:

  • Newsletters (Monthly, Weekly)
  • Content or product Updates
  • Major announcements (Quarterly)
  • Special offers
  • Communications from partners

Most email marketing service providers, and especially market leaders, either do not support message types or charge extra for their use because they map lists to interests, so each additional list can cost you a standard rate multiple (e.g. 3 lists x3 times the base rates). In BigMailer, you can have unlimited lists at no extra cost and are billed based on number of unique contacts stored within each brand.

If you have a good example of a “manage preferences” type unsubscribe page from an email provider that’s not geared towards enterprise customers (e.g. Infusionsoft) please share it with us – we would love to write a blog post with extended analysis on opt-out practices.

How to Add a New Message Type

To add new message type, click on you brand name on the right side of the header:

Brand Settings

Next, click on Add Message Type button on the right, add the Name on next page and click Add. All done! Your new message type will now appear in 2 places – on any campaign create/edit screen and on the unsubscribe page.

Consider mentioning email frequency in the message type name, for example “Monthly Product Updates” or “Weekly Newsletter” to help your customers manage their preferences.

Once you have your message types used in your campaigns, your list view will have opt-out stats listed for each type.


Got questions or feedback for us? We would love to hear from you.