My Contact Didn't Get My Email?

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After sending an email from Privy, you can view its performance page to see how many contacts received your email. In some cases, a contact that was counted as Delivered will reach out to let you know that they didn't receive the email. There are three common explanations for this: 

  • The email is sitting in a spam or junk folder in the recipient's inbox.
  • The email has been placed in quarantine by a security filter or firewall. 
  • The email was routed to the recipient's promotions folder. 

In all these cases, Privy receives a confirmation from the recipient's server that the email was delivered. This is why the contact would be counted toward the Delivered metric. 

The Email Went to Spam

If your emails get stuck in the spam folder, the recipient should move them out of the folder and into their primary inbox. This action will teach their inbox that they want to receive your messages in the future. To reduce the chances that an email is placed in a spam folder, you should try to implement the suggestions listed in the Deliverability Best Practices and Maintaining a Low Spam Rate sections. 

The Email was Quarantined

If your email isn't found in the spam folder, the contact may have email security software or a firewall that quarantined it before it reached their personal inbox.

To confirm this, ask the contact to work with their IT team to check their email server. Providing the email's subject line, From address, and send date will help the IT administrator locate the email and complete their investigation more quickly.

If it's determined that your emails were quarantined, ask the contact to add your sending domain and typical sending addresses to their whitelist.

The Email Went to the Promotions Folder

Gmail moves most marketing and bulk emails, such as deals, offers, and other promotional messages, into a contact's Promotions tab. This isn't inherently bad; this tab is nothing like the spam folder. Instead, you can consider these tabs as additional inboxes that help people stay organized. 

If a contact uses the Promotions tab, they can manually teach Gmail that they want specific promotional emails to reach their primary inbox tab by moving them there. Furthermore, it's worth noting that not all Gmail users take advantage of the tab—many disable it in favor of having a more traditional inbox where all emails are reviewable in one place.

That said, if you'd like to reduce the chances that an email is placed in the Promotions tab, you should try to implement the suggestions listed below. 

Maintaining a Low Spam Rate

  • Sign up for Google Postmaster Tools. Gmail, one of the most widely used email services, does not report individual spam complaints to email service providers. To bridge this gap, merchants must sign up for Google Postmaster Tools. Google Postmaster Tools offers valuable insights into your email performance, including data on delivery errors, spam rates, and domain reputation.
  • Maintain a high-quality list. Practice list hygiene and remove any unengaged contacts. Remember always to build your list organically. Purchased lists often contain unengaged recipients and spam traps. Remove inactive subscribers regularly.
  • Monitor bounce rates: High bounce rates can indicate outdated or invalid emails. Privy automatically removes hard bounces and provides data on your overall bounce rate.
  • Segment your audience: Divide your email list into segments based on purchase history, engagement levels, and other relevant behaviors and preferences. This allows you to send more targeted and relevant emails, increasing engagement and reducing spam complaints.
  • Set content expectations. Have you conveyed what your subscribers should expect when signing up for your communications? A recipient is far more likely to mark an email as spam if it is not quickly recognizable and does not align with what they expected. 
  • Set a mailing cadence. Contacts who have not heard from you in a while may not remember signing up for your content or mailing lists. It's important to stay relevant while not over-communicating. Sending one or two bulk emails (e.g., Newsletters) a week is ideal for most Privy merchants. 
  • Authenticate your emails: Use SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. Implementing these authentication protocols helps ISPs verify that your emails are legitimate, reducing the likelihood of them being marked as spam.

Deliverability Best Practices

  • Use a custom sending domain to identify the source of the email more clearly. 
  • Keep your subject line concise and avoid all caps. Shoot for between 28 to 50 characters. 
  • Keep your preheader concise. Shoot for between 40 to 100 characters.
  • Keep your email concise. Shoot for between 50 and 125 words.
  • Personalize your emails with merge tags. For example, include the subscriber's name. 
  • Avoid spammy keywords like guarantee, opportunity, click, and winner. 
  • Avoid using special characters like %, $, &, !, ?, @, and # excessively. 
  • Avoid excessive use of images. Emails that use too many images or are all one image can trigger a spam filter. Using several lines of text to separate images helps avoid this. 
  • Avoid using too many links or calls to action. 
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