Getting Ready to Send

When you switch ESPs, it’s important to understand best-practices surrounding email deliverability. To ensure that you maintain that same level of trust with the major email services as you transition to Klaviyo, you should take each of the actions that we cover below.

Update your DNS Records

Behind every email message, there are settings (DNS Records) that tell the mailbox provider  - like Gmail or Hotmail - who you are and if your messages can be trusted. If these settings don't align, mailbox providers are likely to block your messages from getting delivered. When you update your DNS records after switching to a new ESP, you can consider this the equivalent of updating your address in the web's phonebook so that it's possible to still verify who you are when you send email. Check out this guide to setting up your DNS records.

Import a Clean Engaged List

When first starting out with Klaviyo, you won't want to send to your entire subscriber-base with your first campaign. Why? Because building a strong sender reputation is important when starting out with a new ESP:

  • Most major email clients track how recipients interact with emails from your domain (whether they open your emails, ignore them, mark them as spam etc.)
  • For email clients, your email recipients are their customers - they are focused on making sure their customers only see emails they will want to engage with
  • If a significant percentage of people receiving your email don't engage, this is a red flag and can damage your reputation as a sender overtime
  • If your first few sends on a new sending IP/domain have low engagement, you're setting yourself up for potential deliverability issues down the road

So what does importing a clean Engaged List mean?

  • Upload a list of users who have recently engaged with emails sent with your old email provider
  • This engaged list should include individuals that have opted-in and who have clicked or opened an email at least once in the last 30 days
  • If you’re a daily sender, your time window for opens and clicks should be shorter (we suggest 1-2 weeks)
  • By default, this list should be clean of invalid or hard bounced emails
  • Send to this engaged subset of your main list only for you first campaign

Moving to a new ESP is a great opportunity to evaluate the health of your send lists. If you're a high volume sender, we also can't stress enough the importance of being strategic about how you ramp up your sending with Klaviyo. If you choose to send to your full master list first, you assume the risk of having lower deliverability during your transition.

Import a clean Master List

Make sure that your Master List - i.e. your core subscriber list - does not include unsubscribes, bounces, or contacts that have marked previous emails as spam. These contacts must be uploaded separately to your Suppression List in Klaviyo. Once you’ve sent your first campaign to your Engaged List, and have monitored open and click rates to ensure that they’re higher than the average open rates you were seeing with your previous provider, you can begin sending to at least a portion of your Master List. We recommend the following approach:

  • Using segmentation, you can sample a random portion of your Master List and then create a segment that combines your previously created Engaged List with this random sample snapshot of your Master List; send your second campaign to this hybrid list and monitor the results - you'll want to see that the open and click rates are still high, and that the new additions from your Master List haven’t caused any issues
  • If you see strong results from these first two campaigns, you shouldn’t encounter issues sending your third campaign to full your Master List

We also recommend taking a slow approach with your first campaigns to your full Master List. This means sending at most every other day for your first week, and then ramping up sending from there if you’re a daily sender.

Check out our full guide to Improve Email Deliverability with Klaviyo

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