Congratulations on choosing Optimail, Optimove’s native email delivery platform. This document describes the steps involved in creating your Optimail account and configuring it for use, as well as answers to commonly asked questions about this process.
The Optimail Setup Process
Before you can begin sending customer email campaigns using Optimove, you will need to perform the following steps.
- If customer email addresses are not already included in the tables provided to Optimove as part of your daily data transfer, add the “email address” field to your customer tables.
- Complete and submit the Optimail Request Form.
- After steps 1 and 2 have been completed, your CSM will send you instructions for adding DNS records to your domain name servers and validating them.
- After the DNS records have been validated, Optimove will configure your Optimail account. Your CSM will notify you when you may start using Optimail.
- To get started working with Optimail, you will need to prepare your first email templates and send some test campaigns. For detailed instructions on these steps, see this Academy article.
- Warm up your account to establish a positive sending reputation. See the “Improving Email Deliverability” section, below, for Optimail best practices.
Synchronizing Unsubscribed Customers from an Existing ESP
To ensure that customers who have already unsubscribed from receiving emails from your company do not receive emails from Optimail, it is important to synchronize the list of unsubscribed customers from your existing email service provider (ESP) with Optimail.
If your existing ESP is fully integrated with Optimove, Optimove will automatically synchronize the unsubscribed lists between Optimail and your existing ESP. If you are not sure if this is the case, ask your CSM.
If your existing ESP is not fully integrated with Optimove, this synchronization must be performed manually. To do so, send your CSM an up-to-date CSV file containing only the email addresses of all customers who have already unsubscribed from your marketing email list. Your CSM will update Optimail accordingly. You need to send this list to your CSM prior to the date of the first campaign to be sent with Optimail. If you have multiple IP addresses, make sure to inform your CSM which unsubscribe list relates to which Optimail IP address.
If you plan to continue sending emails from your existing ESP as well as Optimail, you will need to continuously synchronize your unsubscribed between the two systems. Consult with your CSM to make sure this is handled appropriately.
Improving Email Deliverability
Deliverability refers to the percentage of emails that are actually delivered to recipients’ inboxes. For obvious reasons, it is important to do everything possible to maximize your deliverability when using Optimail. We recommend implementing the following best practices:
- Regularly send emails to your most engaged customers (those who tend to respond to them) and to those who have specifically opted in to receive your emails.
- Regularly cleanse your mailing list by removing bounced email addresses, role email addresses and addresses of users who never open your emails.
- Learn how your template content can affect deliverability. For example, avoid using exclamation marks and currency symbols in your subject line, as well as phrases in the email body that can trigger spam filters.
- To ensure high open and click rates during the IP warm-up period, it is highly recommended to provide Optimove with a list of your customers’ last clicked and opened events. You can also send Optimove a list of all customers who have opened or clicked emails in the past 60-90 days.
- Learn more about email deliverability here.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is IP warming?
IP warming is the process of gradually increasing the volume of mail sent with a new IP address, in order to establish a positive sending reputation with Internet Services Providers (ISPs).
When ISPs observe large volumes of email suddenly coming from a new or “cold” IP address, they may take notice and begin monitoring the traffic coming from that IP. Since ISPs treat email volume as a key determining factor when detecting spam, it is best to begin sending low to moderate volumes of email, eventually working your way up to larger volumes.
A gradual warm-up does not always guarantee a perfect sending reputation. It is still important to follow the recommendations mentioned above, in Improving Email Deliverability.
Do I need more than one IP address?
There are two main situations in which when an additional IP address is advisable:
- High sending volume: If you send batches of over one million email messages and it’s important that they are delivered within a certain timeframe, it may be necessary to use multiple IP addresses.
- Separating types of emails: Since each IP address maintains its own deliverability reputation, sending different types of emails via different IP addresses will keep the reputation of each type of email separate. Some examples of email types that you might want to keep separate are transactional messages (e.g., order confirmations, shipping updates), marketing/promotional messages, newsletters and different brands managed by a single company.
How many dedicated IP addresses do I need?
For email volumes up to 1.5M per day, we advise using at least two IP addresses. Learn more here.
What is a domain name?
The domain name is the root domain for your subdomain. This is the domain that will receive the email reputation from the white label. Your root domain name should match your FROM email address. For example, if you will be sending email from firstname.lastname@example.org, the domain name is bestdomain.com.
How should I manage unsubscribed users?
It is recommended to allow Optimail to track and manage unsubscribes (using Sendgrid, Optimail’s underlying deliverability platform). This has the advantage of having an ‘Optimail Unsubscribed’ attribute in Optimove’s customer database, which can be seen in the Customer Explorer page and which can be used to define target groups and ensure more accurate results in Campaign Analysis.
An alternative method is for you to manage unsubscribes manually. If you choose this approach, it is important to include a daily list of unsubscribers, as part of the daily data feed provided to Optimove. This will add a customer attribute that you can use to filter out members of the target groups you use to send email campaigns.
Does Optimail provide an email preference center?
Optimail does not currently include this functionality. Once a user clicked has clicked an unsubscribe link, that address is instantly removed from your mailing list. If you wish to present your customers with a custom landing page following an unsubscribe click, you can specify a redirect URL of your own to which Optimail will redirect the user, or allow Optimail to create a landing page with your chosen text.
Does Optimail have a re-subscribe option?
Optimail does not offer this as a built-in feature, but you can offer this to your customers as follows: Create a landing page at which a customer can re-subscribe to your email list. Once you receive an email address in this way, you will need to manually remove the address from the unsubscribers list in Sendgrid.