Privy strives to provide quality services that empower our merchants to operate in compliance with legal standards and create messaging that is highly engaging. Below, the Compliance Team has outlined a few tips and tricks that can be used to further that mission. These guidelines will help you avoid high spam complaints, high unsubscribe rates, and to remain compliant with the email marketing industry's best practices.
Certain materials and content are prohibited from being sent via email. If you are using Privy Email, please ensure you are following our Acceptable Use Policy as this is agreed upon in our Terms and Conditions when you first sign up for an account with Privy.
In terms of email marketing, having proper consent means that your mailing lists only contain individuals who provided their personal information (e.g., email address or phone number), with the expectation that they'll receive marketing communications as a result.
Obtaining consent is not only a recommendation, but it is also required when you sign up for a Privy account and is listed in our Terms and Conditions.
Why is proper consent important?
Not having proper permissions can result in higher spam complaints and less engaged subscribers. Higher spam reports can result in blacklisting and filtering, which leads to poor delivery rates. This situation will negatively impact both your business' reputation as well as Privy's email deliverability, which affects all of our customers.
To send emails to your contacts successfully while using Privy Email, you must ensure that your contacts have given consent to receive email marketing communication from your business.
What type of consent is expected?
The permissions given can be implicit or explicit. It's important to understand the differences between these two types of consent, as laws such as CAN-SPAM, CCPA, and GDPR have changed the way customer data and communication is handled. The basics differences between the two are outlined in the graphic below, while a deeper dive into marketing consent is available in this guide.
A subscriber's email and text permissions determine whether or not they are reachable. Each is ultimately determined by the individual's previous interactions with your brand. An overview of the current subscriber permissions is available below, while a deeper dive into eligibility and reachability is available in this guide.
- Mailable: The contact is eligible to receive emails. A contact typically becomes mailable by submitting a form with the proper consent or by being included in an import designated for subscribed contacts.
- Unsubscribed: The contact is not eligible to receive emails. A contact becomes unsubscribed by opting out via the email preference link in your emails or by being included in an import designated for unsubscribed contacts.
- Suppressed: The contact is not eligible to receive emails because their email address is not valid, or Privy had trouble getting the server to accept the email (e.g., Hard Bounce).
- Unset: The contact has neither opted in nor opted out of receiving emails but will not be mailable until they have opted in. A contact typically becomes unset if they completed a purchase without also opting into marketing communications or were included in an import that is pending review by Privy's compliance team. Any newly imported contacts will remain in an unset status until approved.
If your business collects telephone numbers to be used in SMS marketing, you must include specific opt-in language to set proper expectations as to what they are opting-in to receive. An overview of the current SMS permissions is available below, while a deeper dive into eligibility and reachability is available in this guide.
- Textable: The contact is eligible to receive texts. A contact becomes textable by submitting a form with the text opt-in checkbox checked and then answering "YES" to the double opt-in message sent to their number. This action provides explicit consent.
- Not Textable: The contact is not eligible to receive texts.
For imports to be approved, subscribers must be identified with the proper mailing permissions. See the List Hygiene section below for advice on list-cleanup.
List hygiene entails removing inactive (cold) email subscribers from your email campaigns and keeping your remaining list engaged (warm) with healthy email sending habits.
Why should you care? This practice saves you money as you'll only be paying for and engaging with your active recipients. To keep your sending lists as clean and healthy as possible:
- Remove duplicate entries
- Delete fake email addresses or bots
- Delete email addresses that have bounced or marked your emails as spam
- Correct typos or other errors in email addresses as soon as possible
- Avoid sending emails to role-based addresses (e.g., admin@, support@, sales@, office@, marketing@). These addresses typically forward to groups of individuals, which invalidates the unsubscribe function and is a direct violation of the CAN-SPAM legislation.
- Ensure an address is still active and relevant by confirming its status regularly. You can reconfirm a contact's permission by having the contact sign-up again. A confirmation at least once every two years is recommended.
Which lists will be rejected?
- Lists that do not contain proper mailing permissions or that contain mixed permissions.
- Lists that have been purchased, shared, rented, or appended to from a third-party.
- Lists containing mostly role, group, or transactional addresses (e.g., email@example.com).
- Lists containing mostly spam or bot addresses.
- Lists containing addresses from websites that have been scraped without consent.
- Any distribution or member accessible lists, such as attendee lists, public directories, member associations, or voter directories where direct permission to email has not been provided
- Any list of social media contacts or connections where the contact has not explicitly requested your communications.
Can I upload unsubscribed contacts?
Yes, and it's highly encouraged. Uploading unsubscribed contacts allows you to keep track of which contacts have unsubscribed and helps you make sure you don't accidentally send emails to those contacts. To import a list of unsubscribed individuals, please separate them from your subscribed contacts and import them in a separate CSV file. You can then select Unsubscribed as their subscription status during the Status step of the import process.
Knowing how to export a list of contacts also helps you maintain a clean database. Exports can be especially useful when maintaining contact permissions across multiple platforms or services.
Compliance Best Practices
- 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.
- Use contact segments. You can target your audience with various segments and provide tailored emails based on the recipient's interests.
- Avoid spammy habits. While being marked as spam by a few recipients is almost a guarantee, there are steps you can take to ensure that your email avoids as many spam reports as possible.