Klaviyo's Anti-Abuse and Campaign Performance Monitoring

Overview

Klaviyo was built to make data-driven, targeted marketing easy so that marketers could focus less energy on the operational hassles of email marketing and more energy on creating content to drive sales. Unfortunately, there are malicious actors out there that abuse email marketing platforms; these bad actors blast spam at best, and attempt to launch phishing attacks at worst.

At Klaviyo, we want to protect all our customers (and their customers) from spammers and phishers. Our goal is to build a platform that supports the very best type of marketing: communication that's targeted, personalized, and wanted. That's why we have in place anti-abuse measures that include the monitoring of all campaign sends. Our system will notify senders if their campaign performance suggests suspicious activity, and if we see continuous sending patterns that suggest potential abuse of the Klaviyo platform we'll disable an account until we can speak with the account owner directly.

So, that's how we catch bad actors, but what if you start getting performance alerts and warnings from us but aren't knowingly trying to send spam or unwanted email?

If you're trying hard to build a great marketing strategy, but have been observing (or are receiving notices from us) that your campaigns aren't performing well, not all is lost. The good news is that with some focus and deliberate action, you can improve your performance and be on your way sending more relevant emails and making more revenue.

Reduce Hard Bounce Rates

How does this happen?

A high hard bounce rate means many of the emails you sent "bounced" (i.e. were not successfully delivered) because they were sent to invalid email addresses. Invalid email addresses could 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

Why does it matter?

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

What can you do about it?

  1. Do your sign up forms have double opt-in turned on? If not, turn it on 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.
  2. Are you buying lists? Stop. Klaviyo supports marketers who sent relevant email to subscribers who want to receive it. Only send to actual subscribers.
  3. Are you scraping the web? Invest your time differently! 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.

What if you don't fix it?

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

How does this happen?

People unsubscribe from your email most often because they don't find your emails relevant to them. This could be because they are 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 your mail in the first place.

Why does it matter?

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

What can you do about it?

  1. Are you sending to subscribed recipients? If not, build an engaged segment to ensure that you are sending email to people who want it.
  2. Are you sending targeted and personalized content? If not, start using segmentation to get more targeted with your communication.
  3. Does your email contain graphic or explicit content? If it does, keep it PG.
  4. Does your subject line indicate what's in the body of your email? When people feel deceived, they are more likely to unsubscribe.
  5. Do your sign up forms have double opt-in turned on? If not, turn it on immediately.

What if you don't fix it?

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

How does this happen?

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 managers often provide an alternative - a "mark this email as spam" option.

If one or two people mark an email of yours 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. When a high percentage of your recipients mark your email as spam, however, this is indicative of 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.

Why does it matter?

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

What can you do about it?

  1. Are you sending to subscribed recipients? If not, build an engaged segment to ensure that you are sending mail to people who want it.
  2. Are you including at least one unsubscribe link in your email, and making each one easy to find? If not, we recommend adding an unsubscribe tag into the header and footer of each email.
  3. Do your sign up forms have double opt-in turned on? If not, turn it on immediately.
  4. Does your email contain graphic or explicit content? If it does, keep it PG.
  5. Does your subject line indicate what's in the body of your email? When people feel deceived, they are more likely to mark as spam.

What if you don't fix it?

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

How does this happen?

Low open rates are typically signs of having an old list that is full of people who no longer open your email. Cleaning your list is important, as inbox providers like Gmail reward senders that have high engagement rates with better inbox placement. The only way to earn better inbox placement is low spam report rates, low unsubscribe rates, and open rates consistently above 25%.

Why does it matter?

When you continue to send to people who haven't engaged in months, inbox providers penalize you by placing more of your email into the spam folder. They assume you are "blasting" email to people who longer want to receive it. When people stop opening your email, it's an implicit sign that they are no longer interested. Inbox providers closely monitor sending to unengaged recipients and continue to increase the penalty (i.e. putting all your emails in the spam folder) for repeatedly sending email to recipients that never open -- overtime, fewer people will see your emails and your open rates (and revenue!) will suffer even more.

What can you do about it?

Build an engaged list! Klaviyo offers robust segmentation tools to help you ensure you're sending emails to people who want to receive them. Also, check out our Benchmark report on how segmentation and more targeted sending improves open rates and increases revenue per email. The more targeted and personalized your email campaigns are, the more engaged your recipients will be.

What if you don't fix it?

Klaviyo was founded to help businesses send relevant email. We believe the best businesses only send email that people want, and data shows these businesses are rewarded with strong engagement and earn a higher amount of revenue per subscriber. If you continue to send campaigns with low open rates, it's apparent you are not trying to send relevant email and you may be removed from Klaviyo.

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