List Quality and Unsubscribes

Keeping the quality of your subscriber list high is an important part of running a successful publication, but it’s not something you should need to worry about. Curated will automatically manage unsubscribes, bounces and spam complaints for you.

Of course, you can keep track of how Curated is managing your list by checking the details of all subscribes and unsubscribes which have occurred since you published your last issue. To access this data, select the appropriate menu option in the “Subscribers” menu.

There are a few different ways that subscribers will be removed from your list:

Unsubscribes

Example of an unsubscribe with reason

In the footer of every email that Curated publishes there is an unsubscribe link. If the subscriber clicks that link, they will be immediately removed from your list and will not receive any more published issues.

Once unsubscribed, they will also be able to optionally leave feedback on why they chose to unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe options

These choices cannot be configured, but there is always an “Other” option displayed where they can give more detailed feedback. All of the unsubscribe reasons are listed in the unsubscribe report.

Bounces

Example of bounced email address

Bounces occur when an email can’t be delivered to an email address and fall into one of two categories, soft or hard bounce.

Soft Bounce

A soft bounce indicates a temporary problem with an email address. Maybe the recipient’s mail server is offline or experiencing some kind of problem, or the recipient’s inbox is full.

Curated keeps a record of how many soft bounces each recipient gets. If an email address receives 5 soft bounces in row we will unsubscribe that email address from your list. With a weekly sending schedule this would mean that the recipients mail server had been down for 5 weeks, and that point, it is more than likely not a temporary problem! If the mail server stops soft bouncing at any point during that period, we reset the count.

For full details of the soft bounce information, click “More Information” next to each sent issue.

Example of a soft bounce reason

Hard Bounce

A hard bounce is when we receive a valid response from the recipient’s mail server, but the server tells us that they are permanently rejecting the email. Usually this happens when a mailbox is removed on the server (e.g. someone leaves a company) or an email address does not exist (e.g. a mistyped address when subscribing.)

If Curated receives a hard bounce the email address is immediately unsubscribed. If we did attempt to send to an address which has previously hard bounced, the sending reputation of your list would be affected and your future emails are much more likely to end up in the spam folder for all your other recipients.

For full details of the hard bounce information, click “More Information” next to each sent issue.

Example of a hard bounce reason

Spam Complaint

Example of an email marked as spam

Spam complaints happen when a recipient flags your email as being unsolicited. If a recipient marks your email as spam in their email client, Curated immediately unsubscribes that email address from your list, meaning you will no longer be able to send to that address.

Even legitimate emails may be marked as spam as recipients forgot they signed up to a list or simply use it as an easier way to unsubscribe than having to go through the unsubscribe link! Although you don’t want to receive any spam complaints, the odd one will happen and as long as they only comprise a small percentage of your subscriber list, your sender reputation will not be affected.

Email Sending Reputation

In essence, your sender reputation is determined by the quality of your email list. A continually high bounce rate, a sudden spike in hard bounces, or spam complaints will affect your reputation. Every Curated customer has an email sending reputation which we actively monitor to prevent against abuse or low quality lists.

With this in mind, it is generally a bad idea to send emails to old lists as many of the addresses may no longer exist and others may have forgotten that they subscribed. This often leads them to unsubscribe or worse, mark the email as spam, thus negatively impacting your reputation. For advice on the best approach to begin sending to an existing list with Curated, we recommend you read Importing Lists or Opting Existing Subscribers In.

Purchasing an email list, meaning the list has been provided by a third party in some capacity, is always a bad idea and is against our terms of service.

For lists which start from zero and grow organically, your reputation will increase alongside your list growth and it is unlikely that you will experience an issue with your reputation.

What happens if my reputation is poor?

If your reputation is very low, we may pause sending on your account until we can discuss the issue and resolve any problems that may be the underlying cause.

An error will be displayed as you are about to publish an issue informing you of the problem and asking you to contact support. Please get in touch with us and we’ll help you figure out the best way to start increasing your reputation.