What is graymail and how can I avoid sending email to contacts with low engagement rates?

Last updated: December 7, 2016

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What is graymail?

Graymail is email that your contacts have opted to receive, but don't actually engage with. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) learn how contacts are engaging with your emails and become better at categorizing them over time.

For example, if a contact opts in to receiving your emails, opens one, then doesn't open the next 20, ISPs will begin to automatically categorize your emails as graymail (the Promotions folder, Low Priority, etc.). 

If you continually send to contacts who don’t open your emails, you’re marketing to people who aren’t interested and reducing your engagement rates. This also damages your sender score reputation, which hurts your ability to deliver to people who do want to hear from you.

How can I avoid sending emails to contacts with low engagement rates?

When adding recipients to your emails in HubSpot, you can choose to suppress contacts with low engagement rates by enabling the Don't send to Contacts - low engagement feature. When enabled, this automatically suppresses a list of contacts who have not been engaging with your emails and helps prevent them from becoming graymail.

To take advantage of the graymail suppression feature in HubSpot:

  • In your Marketing account, navigate to Content Email.
  • Find the email you're working on or create a new one by clicking Create new email.
  • Add your content and set up the details of your email, then click the Recipients tab at the top of the email editor.
  • Check the Don't send to Contacts - low engagement box.

You can also use this feature with automated emails. When setting up your email to be used in workflows, select the Save for automation radio button on the Recipients tab, then check the Don't send to Contacts - low engagement box to prevent sending the email to these contacts even if they are enrolled in your workflow.

Want to learn more about graymail? Check out this blog post.