About Klaviyo's Anti-Abuse and Campaign Performance Monitoring

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Klaviyo was built to make data-driven, targeted marketing easy so that you can focus less energy on operational hassles and more on creating content to drive sales. Unfortunately, there are malicious actors out there who abuse email marketing platforms — blasting spam at best and attempting to launch phishing attacks at worst. To protect all our customers (and their customers), we have anti-abuse measures in place and monitor campaign sends. Our goal is to support the best type of marketing: communication that's targeted, personalized, and wanted. Our system will notify senders if their campaign performance suggests suspicious activity, and if we see continuous patterns that suggest potential abuse of the Klaviyo platform, we'll disable an account until we can speak with the account owner directly.

You may receive performance alerts and warnings from us but aren't knowingly trying to send spam or unwanted emails. If you're trying to build a great marketing strategy, but observe (or receive notices from us) that your campaigns aren't performing well, you can take steps to improve your sending habits. With focus and deliberate action, you can be on your way to sending more relevant emails and making more revenue.

Reduce Hard Bounce Rates

A high hard bounce rate means many of the emails you sent bounced, meaning they were not successfully delivered. This is because they were sent to invalid email addresses. Invalid email addresses can end up on your list for two reasons:

  1. People subscribed with a misspelled email address
  2. You added email addresses to your list that were invalid

How to Reduce Hard Bounces

High hard bounce rates signal to inbox providers (like Gmail) that you're either not cleaning your list or there's an issue with how you grow your list. While a few hard bounces are permissible, since subscribers are human and sometimes make mistakes, inbox providers interpret a large number of high bounces as you sending to email addresses that you bought or scraped off the internet.

What you can do about it:

  • Enable double opt-in immediately. A misspelled email address will not be able to confirm opt-in and won't make it on to your list, so you're safe.
  • Do not buy lists. This is against Klaviyo's Terms of Service, as we support marketers who send relevant emails to subscribers who want to receive them. Only send to actual subscribers.
  • Do not scrape the web for email addresses. Instead, add sign up forms, run advertising campaigns, and ask your customers to share your business with their friends. Organic growth is the safest and most sustainable path to success.

If You Don't Reduce Hard Bounces

If you continue to send campaigns with high hard bounce rates, your sending reputation will be negatively impacted and you will be removed from Klaviyo.

Reduce Unsubscribe Rates

People unsubscribe from your email most often because they don't find your emails relevant to them. This could be because they're no longer interested in what you're sending, because you've sent something that doesn't speak to them, or because they didn't sign up to receive content in the first place.

How To Reduce Your Unsubscribe Rate

Inbox providers interpret a high unsubscribe rate as you sending unwanted emails, which they define as spam. This is precisely what inbox providers are trying to prevent. To reduce your unsubscribe rate:

  • Make sure you only send to subscribed recipients. If you're not, build an engaged segment to ensure that you are sending to people who want to hear from you.
  • Send targeted and personalized content. Start using segmentation to get more targeted with your communication.
  • Make sure your emails don't contain graphic or explicit content.
  • Make sure your subject line aligns with the content of the email itself. When people feel deceived, they are more likely to unsubscribe.

If You Don't Reduce Unsubscribe Rates

If you continue to send campaigns with high unsubscribe rates, your sending reputation will be negatively impacted and you will be removed from Klaviyo.

Reduce Spam Complaint Rates

When people receive a marketing email they didn't expect or don't want, they may instinctively look for an unsubscribe link. If you don't have at least one unsubscribe link in your email and don't make it easy to find, inbox providers often give an alternative — a mark this email as spam option.

If one or two people mark your email as spam, this isn't always cause for alarm. Maybe they forgot they subscribed or didn't like your content and couldn't find the unsubscribe link. However, when a high percentage of your recipients mark your email as spam, this indicates a larger problem. Typically, it's one of two things:

  • You're sending to people who didn't subscribe.
  • You're sending unwanted or offensive content.

In either case, you can change your behavior to get your spam rate down.

How to Reduce Spam Complaint Rates

Inbox providers take high spam report rates very seriously — it's the primary way they get feedback from their customers (your recipients) on whether or not someone sends unwanted mail. If you consistently get high spam report rates, the inbox provider will either blocklist the IP you're sending on or filter your emails to the spam folder. In both cases, fewer people will see your emails and your open rates (and revenue) will suffer.

To reduce spam complaint rates:

  1. Send to subscribed recipients. If you're not, build an engaged segment to ensure that you're sending mail to people who want it.
  2. Include at least one unsubscribe link in your email and make them easy to find. Add an unsubscribe tag into the header and footer of each email.
  3. Turn on double opt-in.
  4. Make sure your email doesn't contain graphic or explicit content.
  5. Make sure your subject line aligns with the email content. When people feel deceived, they are more likely to mark as spam.

If You Don't Reduce Spam Complaint Rates

If you continue to send campaigns with high spam report rates, your sending reputation will be negatively impacted and you will be removed from Klaviyo.

Improve Low Open Rates

Low open rates signal that your email list contains people who are no longer interested in receiving content and are not engaging with your messaging. Cleaning your list is crucial to maintain good deliverability, as inbox providers (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) reward senders that have high engagement rates with better inbox placement. The only way to earn better inbox placement is to have low spam rates, low unsubscribe rates, and open rates consistently above 25%.

When you continually send to unengaged subscribers, inbox providers penalize you by sending more of your emails to spam folders. They do so because they assume that you are blasting emails to people who do not want to receive them. When people stop opening your emails, it's an implicit sign that they are no longer interested in receiving content from your business.

Inbox providers closely monitor sending habits and will penalize you by sending more of your emails to spam if you continue to blast unengaged profiles. As a result, fewer people will see your emails and your open rates (and revenue) will continue to suffer.

How to Increase Open Rates

To increase open rates, create and target an engaged segment with applicable emails. Do not overload subscribers with unnecessary content; instead, include a clear call-to-action in your messaging and send information they want to receive. Klaviyo offers robust segmentation tools to help you find your engaged subscribers and group them by their interests. This way, you can send content relevant to someone's specific purchase history, likes, email habits, etc. The more personalized your emails are, the more engaged recipients will be.

For more information on creating successful email content, head to our Guide to Email Design. Also, check out our benchmark report on how segmentation and targeted sending improves open rates and increases your revenue per email.

What If You Don't Improve Your Open Rates?

Klaviyo allows you to better understand your customers, send relevant messaging, and gain insights from your owned channels over time. The best businesses send emails that people want, and data shows that strong engagement earns a higher amount of revenue per recipient. If you continue to send campaigns with low open rates, this shows that you're not trying to send relevant content to your customers and you risk being seen as spam.

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