Best Practices

General Best Practice For Email Distribution

  1. Avoid the appearance of spamming:
    No using UPPERCASE letters
    No colored fonts
    No using multiple exclamation marks!!!
  2. Batch-sending distributions that are not time-sensitive, in 20-30mins blocks.
    Most email providers’ spam filters check to see how many messages you’re sending at a time. Your distribution can be flagged up, if the recipient’s spam filter sees that you are sending too many emails at once.
  3. Periodically appraise your targeted lists.
    It is advisable to update your targeted lists every 4-6 months, so you have the most up-to-date data.  Sending distributions to emails that no longer exist or have been disabled, sends off a signal to email providers that you distribute to ‘bad email accounts’. As a result, the spam filters will penalise your domain or IP address with a higher spam-rating/score – and thus increasing the possibility of your distributions landing in the recipient’s junk folder.
  4. Do not send an image-only distribution.
    Spam filters scan emails for words such as ‘free’, ‘viagra’ etc. – and these words are oftentimes embedded into images. So, when an image-only email arrives, spam filters will assume the worst about your distribution.
  5. Balance your image-to-text ratio.
    Optimize your distributions for recipients across all email providers; format them correctly by placing them into tables.
  6. Avoid attaching certain file types.
    Acceptable: JPEG/JPG, GIF, PNG, and PDF
    Avoid: ZIP, EXE etc.
  7. Avoid appending attachments that are too large in size.
    It is advisable that you put all attachments into a folder on Dropbox, and insert the hyperlink into the body of the distribution.

Regarding Private Data and Best Practices

Existing files of contact data that users have that they wish to import may need to be updated and modified to work in Agility.  Aside from updating to the .CSV & .SCSV file types referenced in the import process step, below are additional considerations users should take into account with respects to the actual data for their contacts.

  • A contact’s first and last name, as well as an email are the only required data fields; Agility uses these fields to match to our database records if possible. If you have no data for these fields, even a place holder, the entry in question will fail to import.
  • Phone and FAX number fields should be formatted as text fields prior to upload in order to avoid any formatting errors that may occur due to variations in number spacing and format.
  • To streamline the import process, it’s recommended to make sure all lists are in the same format and have the same number of columns. This will allow you to assign columns once and then apply the selections to the other sheets.
  • Imports can take some time depending on how many lists are being processed at once. Agility will allow the user to continue working while items are being imported behind the scenes.
  • Agility will send a detailed email notifying you of the status of your import by file and any issues with the contacts (succeeded, failed, partial failure due to lack of data, etc.)

Regarding the usage of role addresses for contacts

A “role email address” is one which represent either a group of people within a company or the entire organization itself and are generally designed with a specific function in mind.  For instance, an address for jobs@domain.com would serve the purpose of catching all emails regarding interest in active employment opportunities and direct them to an appropriate team or department within that company.  In some instances role addresses can notify multiple people at once, and the person(s) in charge of monitoring these email accounts can change unexpectedly.

Examples of role addresses include:

  • abuse@
  • admin@
  • billing@
  • info@
  • jobs@
  • marketing@
  • postmaster@
  • sales@
  • support@

Can I send to role addresses in Agility?

In order to protect the reputations of our clients as senders of emails, we can no longer allow the practice of sending to role addresses.  When someone signs up to receive emails at a role address they are also signing up everyone else with access to that address, which can lead to problems such as higher chances of your messages being marked as spam and unsubscribes from future correspondences.  Just because one person under the role address has given permission to receive messages does not mean everyone else under the email account did as well.

Overall, role addresses are not good email contacts. The people in charge of those accounts can change at any time, they generate more spam complaints, and they can even cause an IP address or sending domain to be blacklisted.

Role addresses are generally listed on public-facing web pages, which can make them very susceptible to harvesting bots (special software used by spammers that search the Internet for email addresses).  This also means that contact lists from certain services can also run the risk of including a high percentage of role addresses in them.

Gmail Promotions

Some email senders feel concerned that they may see their emails go into recipients’ Gmail Promotions inbox, rather than the Primary inbox.

Which Gmail tab will your email appear under?

Check before you send it by using this tool http://litmus.com/gmail-tabs

The first point to make is that this concern should not be exaggerated. Mailchimp’s take on it is:

“First, this new feature only affects Gmail users and that’s still a minority of web email users. Second, keep in mind that people are still reading your emails. MailChimp analysis only noted a 1% drop in open rates. Third, it’s become easier than ever to unsubscribe, so if your readers continue receiving your emails it means they are probably still interested in your content.”

How can I get Gmail to stop filtering my emails as promotions?


Here’s a short answer: if it looks like promotion, it gets labeled as promotion.

Google’s algorithm is smart and complex; it looks at many factors including email content, HTML code, sender IP address, etc. Some of those factors are easy to manipulate; others are not.

Easy-to-Change Factors:

Below are the factors that make your email go to the Promotions tab and are easy to change. They mostly refer to the pieces of content in your email that classify message as either “promotional” or “conversational”.


An email looks more personal (like a message from a friend) if it greets you with your name, so using recipient’s name in the first line of the email helps avoid Promotions tab. To add readers’ names to your emails, you need to collect them at the time of signup, and use merge tags when creating your campaigns.


If you include too many external links in your email, that looks like promotion to Gmail. Think about how many links a friend would send you in a single email (yes, Unsubscribe link counts as a link, too). Reducing the number of links will improve your email’s chance of landing in the Primary tab.


Heavy use of images also makes Gmail think you’re promoting something, trying to make it look oh so sexy with pictures. Destination > Promotions tab.


Using HTML formatting with multiple div blocks doesn’t look like a conversational email from a friend. Neither does using multiple font sizes, font colors, and other fancy styling options. For a higher chance of landing in the Primary tab, use plain text and don’t tinker with fonts too much.


If it’s not a promotion, why would it have an unsubscribe link? Emails that have an option to unsubscribe often get tagged as promotion by Gmail. However, if you’re building a high-quality, sustainable blog or business, you know that removing this link is not an option (here’s why). Instead, place your unsubscribe link at the bottom of email, as you would a signature. (I’m sure you’re already doing this, duh!)


Obviously promotional language is hard to miss. If you use phrases like “Want to make money now?” or “Buy this product today and get a discount” your email’s final destination is easy to predict.


If you want to get to the Primary tab, make your email look like it’s coming from a friend. Would your friend use more than 2-3 links? Would they send you more than 1-2 images in the body of the email? Would they use sentences like “Buy this shirt today before this promo code expires”? You get the point.

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