To reduce your chance of being blocked by Google or getting spam complaints, while increasing your delivery rate (% of emails that reach your recipients' inbox) and getting the best out of your emailing campaigns with YAMM, please follow these best practices and don’ts.
As already explained on the article about spams, you are allowed to send bulk emails only to recipients who agreed to receive emails from you. If they didn't and if you send them newsletters in any case, they can report your email for abuse, even if you think that your email is legitimate and targets the right audience.
1. 'Warm up' your Google account
If your Google account has just been created and if you have never sent any big emailing campaigns before, Google will carefully monitor your usage.
So we advise to warm up your account by sending first your emails to a small list of recipients, and check how your mini campaign performs. If you notice a lot of bounces / undeliverable messages, this is an important sign that you should double check your contact list again. For example, this may indicate that your database is outdated, or not legitimate (you got this list while people didn't give you the permission to send them emails).
Please use wisely your account when sending bulk emails, otherwise your will be blocked by Google: https://support.yet-another-mail-merge.com/hc/en-us/articles/211407249
2. Use double opt-in method
The purpose of the double opt-in method is to get explicit authorization from your recipients. Remember that they should always give you their permission before emailing them.
For example, once someone has signed-up to your website, he should get a confirmation email that contains a link where he can click to activate the account. This is the most accurate way to make sure that your recipients agreed to receive your emails. The other big advantage is that you are sure to collect only valid email addresses, reducing thus the number of undeliverable addresses (cause of bounces).
Depending on your audience, you can also use the single opt-in method but note that their permission is less explicit because they won't receive the confirmation email, so use this method wisely.
3. Don't use or purchase a list of email addresses from an online database
Most of the time these lists have been bought by unscrupulous companies without the consent of the accounts' owners (and even without them knowing it!). So when people receive your emails, what will happen? They will mark your email as spam, and spam filters will collect all the abuse reports.
In the end, it will only harm the reputation of your domain / company and in the future, your email will be much more likely to be flagged as spam again even if you corrected your emailing behavior with better practices.
4. Don't assume that people gave you their permission
Most of the time, email marketers use subjective criteria to assume that people gave them the permission to send emails.
For example, it is not because they explicitly exposed their contact details online (e.g.: On LinkedIn or other social networks) that you can infer that they allowed you to send them emails, especially when it is about promotional emails.
Another example, if you met your customers at a trade fair, ask them directly if they want to receive messages from you (e.g.: By filling a paper form). If you're managing an online shop, add a checkbox to subscribe to your news when they sign-in to your website. Use your imagination to make them want to receive your emails!
5. Clearly indicate to your subscribers the nature and frequency of your email
Your customers should know on which basis (weekly? monthly?) they are going to receive your email, and what is the main topic (if you are planning to send different types of emails depending on your business activity).
Of course, you have to respect what you are saying to your subscribers, so don't send them too many emails (if they prefer monthly newsletters) or promotions that are not of their interests.
We also advise you to segment your subscribers list into smaller categories to better tailor your email and increase your efficiency.
6. Clean regularly your database
Sending your emails to a stale and deprecated contact list will lead you to get high hard bounce rates, and poor results for your campaign (low open/click rates).
As Google is very sensitive to your delivery rate and closely checks this parameter in your Gmail inbox, if you are sending a large number of undeliverable messages, Google will simply block your account without any notice as this is not compliant with their rules (learn more).
For more information about emailing campaigns with your Google account, please consult Gmail Bulk Senders Guidelines.
7. Don't wait too long before contacting your subscribers
While transactional emails (welcome email, purchase confirmation, invoice etc.) are expected right after a specific action (signing-up, purchasing a product etc.), newsletters and bulk emails have to be planned and integrated them into your marketing strategy.
If you are sending the first newsletter 6 months after their last purchase, your subscribers might have probably forgotten you, so flag your email as spam or unsubscribe. All your previous efforts to build and maintain an up-to-date database are thus almost gone ...
8. Be consistent in your emails with your brand image
By 'brand image', we are mainly talking about the design guidelines, the logo, the messages conveyed to your customers (and how they understand them), the tons etc. of your organization.
So it is always better to keep the same brand image in your emails so that your subscribers can more easily recognize them. If you are getting too far away from your brand image, people will get confused and wouldn't want to be more engaged with you through your emails.
9. Insert clearly an unsubscribe link to your email
And don't try to hide it behind tiny font-size and almost invisible color, this will just frustrate people who want to unsubscribe!
If you don't clearly offer them the possibility to unsubscribe, they will click on the 'Mark as spam' button, which has consequences on your domain and reputation (and technical issues are more difficult to be solved, see second paragraph), while unsubscribes will just affect your campaign performance / results without too serious impacts (although the purpose is to get the lowest unsubscribe rate possible!).