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Improve your email sending reputation with a repair plan

Last updated: December 2, 2020

Applies to:

All products and plans

When you send marketing emails, your sending reputation will change based on how your recipients engaged with your email. If your cumulative open rate consistently falls below 10%, you should limit who you're sending email to, and instead focus on repairing your reputation. If you continue to send to unengaged contacts, inbox providers are much less likely to place your email in the primary inbox of your recipients.

By following the steps below, you can gradually improve your sending reputation. Each step should take about two weeks, but you should not move onto the next step until you've met or exceeded the recommended open rate.

Please note: if it takes you longer to achieve the recommended open rate for one of the steps, you should adjust the time period for the next step accordingly. For example, if it takes you two extra weeks to achieve the recommended open rate for step one below, you should add two weeks to each subsequent step.

1. Send only to contacts who clicked on one of your emails in the past 2 weeks

For the first two weeks of your repair plan, you should only send emails to contacts who've clicked on any email you've sent in the last two weeks. These contacts have demonstrated clear engagement and interest in your brand and content, and their continued engagement will increase your overall click rate.

To create the list of contacts to send to:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Lists.
  • In the top right, click Create list.
  • In the right pane, enter a list name, then click Next.
  • Add your list criteria:
    • Select Contact properties.
    • Search and select Last marketing email click date.
    • Select Less than, then change the time period to 2 weeks ago.

reputation-repair-first-step-list-filters-1

  • Click Save.

2. Send only to contacts who opened one of your emails in the past 4 weeks

After you've noticed your cumulative click rate improve to 20-25%, you can broaden your sending criteria to include contacts who've opened one of your emails in the past four weeks since you started your repair plan.

To create the list of contacts to send to:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Lists.
  • In the top right, click Create list.
  • In the right pane, enter a list name, then click Next.
  • Add your list criteria:
    • Select Contact properties.
    • Search and select Last marketing email open date.
    • Select Less than, then change the time period to 4 weeks ago.

reputation-repair-second-step-list-filters-2

  • Click Save.

3. Send only to contacts who opened one of your emails in the past 6 weeks

After your cumulative open rate increases to 20-25%, you can further broaden your sending criteria to include the past six weeks since you started your repair plan. Follow the steps above but select a time period of  weeks ago when you create the list of contacts. 

reputation-repair-third-step-list-filters-2

4. Expand criteria to include contacts based on older email engagement data

If you maintain a cumulative 20-25% open rate for another four weeks, you can repeat step 3 above but expand the time period further. You can repeat this process as long as your open rate is stable or increases above 25%.

As your sending reputation improves, you should still incorporate other deliverability best practices:

  • Select the Suppress contacts with low engagement checkbox when sending marketing emails. Learn more about how to use graymail suppression.
  • Limit engagement with contacts who neither clicked nor opened a promotional email in over 6 months. Consider running a re-engagement campaign to connect with these contacts and incentivize them to engage with your content again.
  • Never send to contacts who haven't opened one of your emails in over a year, as they pose a high risk for deliverability problems and don't meet HubSpot's minimum requirements for marketing email.

 

If you notice your cumulative open rate or click rate decline at any point while following the steps above, go back and repeat the previous step, until you've met or exceeded the threshold of 20-25%.