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 Add Webforms to Your Site or WordPress

You can use BigMailer webforms to collect emails and any other subscriber data completely for free. You only have to subscribe and pay when you start sending emails above the limit on a free plan.

How to Create a Webform in BigMailer

First, you need to create a List that you want to collect your data into, then click on the arrow down icon next to your List name and select “Forms” in the options menu. On the next page click “Create Form” button and fill out all the fields:

If you want to collect additional fields in your webform you need to define them on the Fields page – click on your brand name in site header and select “Fields” in the options menu. See section about field management below.

Once you hit Save button you will see the HTML code that you can cut and paste into your website. Make sure to copy the entire code block provided.

Adding Your Webform in WordPress

If you use WordPress to manage your website you will need to use a HTML module type to add webform code to a page. Most WordPress installations and themes have this module type.

Customizing Your Webform

By default, BigMailer HTML webform code is un-styled, so you need to customize it to add relevant styles to the code, typically just a class attribute on the form and each field.

You can also customize the confirmation message provided to any text you would like or redirect to another page on your website after successful form submission.

If you are worried about spam traps or bots signing up for your emails you have the option to add reCAPTCHA to your forms.

Coming Soon (Q2 2020): Drag-n-drop landing page builder.

Managing Fields

There is 2 ways to create new fields in BigMailer:

  1. Add them on the Fields page (see above) before importing or collecting data
  2. Create new fields during the import step and map your columns in the file with data to new fields.

Once you define fields they can be used to:

  1. Generate a webform to collect data outside BigMailer platform
  2. Customize your email template with use of merge tags.

You need to select a correct data type for each field you create, so you can use appropriate operators (equals to, greater/less than, etc) when segmenting on those fields during campaign creation.

Example of fields in BigMailer

You should add some sample values for all fields, they will be used as merge tag values in any Test emails you send. Without these sample values your test emails that use merge tags can go into Spam folder or not get delivered at all.

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.