Best Practice: Building Healthy Contact Lists


Having a business relationship with an individual or a business doesn’t mean it's okay to add them to your mailing list. Creating and maintaining healthy contact lists is a vital part of email marketing.


Click on the + to expand specific best practice guidelines.


If you automatically add contacts or if your sign up process is unclear, recipients may flag your email as spam. In these cases, either email recipients did not recognize you or did not want your emails to begin with.

Spam complaints are the number one influence on your reputation. It is in your best interest to do everything you can to avoid recipients clicking the spam button.

  • Do get permission from the recipient to receive your message.
  • Send Opt-in confirmation emails.
  • Do stay in contact with recipients. If you haven’t contacted recipients in six months, reconfirm their acceptance.
  • Do use data from your CRM, tracking tools, or qualified leads.
  • Do monitor your bounce rates. A high bounce rate can damage deliverability and result in account suspension.
  • Do ask subscribers to whitelist you. Encourage them to add you to their safe senders/contact list.
  • Do make your sign-up process clear. Explain what email recipients are signing up for, when they will start receiving emails, and how often they can expect to hear from you.
  • Do use a consistent sender name and email address.
  • Do use a subject line that truthfully describes the content of your email.
  • Do segment your list. Have a master list and create groups that you want to target with specific messages.
  • Do grow your list organically. If you have purchased a list, consent is not transferable and using these types of lists is not a best practice.
  • Do make it clear how to unsubscribe from a mailing. Always include an unsubscribe link. Add unsubscribes to the Global Suppression list.
  • Do send emails on a regular basis.
  • Do send emails that provide value either by educating or describing the resolution of a problem.
  • Do use Contact Forms.

Manage Spam Complaints

Spam complaints are registered when someone marks the email they receive as spam or Junk. The notifications are sent to the email sender, ISP provider, and Zift. ZiftONE will add the recipient's email address to the Suppression List. If multiple people are complaining about your emails, it indicates that something is wrong!

Accounts that consistently generate complaints can be blacklisted by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Email Service Providers (ESP). Blacklisting is an ISP-initiated complete suspension of email traffic from a sending IP owned by our ESP. These IPs are volume-limited and a loss of IP is detrimental to all parties involved and represents a loss percentage of overall possible email volume bandwidth provided to Zift by our ESP. It is rare for an ESP to negotiate a reversal of an ISP IP blacklist. Therefore, gating partners with tiers is the safest way to check partner sender reputation health as they build email capacity.

Zift can’t fix why a subscriber complains. It is up to the partner to send out quality emails.

  • Set the proper expectations with your subscribers. Sign up forms, landing pages, and emails are opportunities to set expectations for the content and frequency of content.
  • Send only relevant content.
  • Have subscribers opt-in to receiving emails. This will also help to eliminate invalid emails and people signing up solely for an incentive or bonus gift.
  • Make it easy to unsubscribe.

Number of Recipients

You know that spammers send out emails in large numbers. ISP’s flag large volume sends. Using an email marketing service like Zift ensures that you can send all the emails you need. Each partner is granted a base number of emails. However, it is not always enough. Zift will grant additional email credits based on sender reputation and email tiers.

Email Tiers

Each partner is granted a specific number of email credits per mailing per month. Zift Support can grant you additional credits based on need and your understanding of email guidelines dictated by Internet Service Providers and Email Service Providers.

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