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How Can I Make Sure My List Is Legit?

Every once in a while we need to get more information from you about your list and/or require action before you can send to it. Why?

Delivery is the cornerstone of our email business. A few bad lists can destroy delivery for everybody else who uses the Robly system.

The ecosystem of our email marketing service depends on a healthy environment overall, and one extremely important factor in this health is the list or lists that you’re sending to.

Here’s a breakdown of certain types of lists that are either not allowed or may require you to take action before you can send to it.

Purchased or Rented Lists

Buying data is a very common practice in direct marketing, but in email marketing it simply won’t fly. Your list MUST be opt-in. Under no circumstances can you upload a list from a third party into Robly. Using a purchased list is grounds for account termination.

Old Lists

People have short memories and receive LOTS of email. If you haven’t emailed a list in more than three months, it’s considered a stale list. Email addresses change or become invalid constantly, so a list that hasn’t been sent to will contain a higher percentage of these emails. Our system scans your list upon import to determine the bounce rate; if the bounce rate is over our thresholds you may be required to clean that list using a third party service prior to sending. We recommend Neverbounce, because they offer our customers a 10% discount!

Hitting Spam Traps As A Result of Purchased or Old Lists

SPAM traps are set by ISPs that take old, unused email addresses and sprinkle them across public pages that get scraped by SPAM bots or collected by hand and then emailed. When emails are received at these addresses, ISPs block the IP address that the email came from. Sending to a list that contains spam traps is grounds for account termination or permanent removal of contacts. Click here to read more about spam traps.

Trade Show Lists

It’s common to receive a list of email addresses of attendees of a trade show by the host or organizer. You may write them one-to-one emails. Technically, you may not send these people bulk email. These lists are high risk for getting spam complaints and a higher-than-normal bounce rate. You may be required to provide proof of permission to send bulk email to the list or send to a test portion to see how the list performs prior to sending.

Outlook/Gmail Address Book Dumps

Many small businesses manage their entire contact list in Outlook. The problem here is that while there are probably a few people in your Outlook address book who have opted-in to hearing from you, there are likely far more people that haven’t.

It’s also quite likely there are quite a few to whom you haven’t spoken to in years, and others who may not even be business relationships. Additionally, there’s almost definitely a lot of email addresses that don’t exist anymore, putting these types of lists at a high risk for spam complaints and bounce rate. You may be required to send these contacts your Robly opt-in URL via Outlook in order to get them to opt in prior to sending.

Salesforce Dumps

While you can classify your contacts into lists, a Salesforce dump virtually never results in a list of only people who have opted in to hearing from you. People have a tendency to combine all Salesforce contacts into one list and dump them. These lists are also high risk for bounce rate and spam complaints.

Organization or Chamber of Commerce Lists

Unless each person on an organization list has given you explicit permission to send them email marketing, don’t use Robly to send bulk email to a list of members of an organization you join. You may be required to invite them to opt in to your Robly list.

Non-Current Lists from Old ESP’s

When switching ESPs, it’s not uncommon to simply select all your contacts, export them, and close the existing account. However, some ESP exports include ALL contacts in that export – including those who have unsubscribed, marked you as spam, or previously hard bounced.

If you then import that list into a new ESP like Robly without separating out those contacts, your first send will be a disaster. You may be required to provide a Do Not Mail/Suppression list from your previous ESP prior to sending in Robly.