Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

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Anonymous
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Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

FOCUS:  Email Suspended Field

BACKGROUND:  We use ReturnPath for our deliverability seed list, although this should apply to anyone using seed lists.  We also validate emails and use the validation results to mark leads as invalid.

Why am I asking and why is this important? Our instance has 50+ programs running with each having 6+ emails that are 'evergreen' e.g. new leads start in the programs every day, seven days a week.  To get accurate inbox deliverability and placement measurements it is critical that all 455 seed emails get sent for each campaign we are monitoring.  If we do not send all 455 seed emails we will be penalized in the inbox placement scores strictly due to missing seed emails.

Current Situation, we have 61 ReturnPath seed emails marked as email suspended, currently none are in the 24 hour window.

GOAL:  Keeping the ReturnPath Seed email records in a permanent emailable state.  In an effort to achieve this goal, I have developed various batch and trigger smart campaigns to counteract and reset the records for hard bounces, multiple soft bounces, invalid emails, marketing suspended emails and potential unsubscribe emails.

CHALLENGE: The Marketo email suspended field. 

  • Problem 1: The automatic email suspended field 24-hour hold.  I am seeking ideas to counteract, override, workaround, avoid, or trick for one small static list.
  • Problem 2: Marketo is not resetting the email suspended field, email suspended at field and the email suspended cause field after 24 hours to false or null.

Questions for Marketo: 

  1. How do other customers handle keeping seed lists in a constant emailable state?
  2. Marketo, If the email suspended state is temporary why don't you automatically show when a lead enters the 24 hour period AND indicate when the lead leaves the 24 hour period. If this is not on the roadmap, why not let the customers do it after a lead leaves the 24 hour period?
  3. Alternatively, why not make a provision for a new type of 'system list' for admins only, that is specifically used for seed lists?
    1. This list could activated at the email level, with the other options, with a radio box saying send seed list Y/N
    2. Or, this could be at the program level as well.

Either way I am looking to enhance the utility and usage of the Email Suspended Field.

Looking forward to hearing from the community

Eric

6 REPLIES 6
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Level 10 - Champion Alumni

Re: Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

Hi Eric,

Email Suspended is a temp field based on certain hard bounce criteria. It is a 24 hour hold and is NOT flipped back to F afterward. After 24 hours, Marketo will then send to that email again until it is set to Email Invalid=T or Blacklisted=T.


If you are having trouble with a seed email, I suggest you call ReturnPath because it is their box. But also the point is to show you that you are likely being flagged on some of those target servers, so keep that in mind.

There was another thread related to Email Suspended and Marketo may be working on flipping it back properly or vote for an Idea on it. I wouldn't worry about it beyond this right now.

It sounds like you are managing your Seed Lists with a Static List and that is best practice. If you want a special seed list function, then please create an Idea for it. I personally think this is just unnecessary overhead for the system, but maybe it would help others. Everyone else uses special smart lists and static lists to manage their seed lists.

As for further managing your seed lists vs. regular list, it sounds like you have the right method with proper workflows differentiating between the two groups.

My big question for you is are you looking at the hard bounces from the seed list and asking ReturnPath about them? Are you looking at the response codes? These are big clues your regular list is likely being flagged as spam on those domains.

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Anonymous
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Re: Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

Eric, I am trying to understand in what scenario emails get suspended. I know if it is anti-spam block bounce it would get suspended. What about issues with an email address? I am running a campaign now and having 9 bounces. 5 were suspended, so was interested to know the difference between bounced and suspended..

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Re: Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

Hello Anastasia,

Marketo sorts bounces into two categories.  Category 1 is for emails bounced as spam, Category 2 is for emails bounced as invalid address.  If a lead bounces as Category 1, the lead is suspended.  If it bounces as Category 2, it is set to Email Invalid instead.  You can see the bounce category by opening the activity details for the bounce in the lead record.  You can also include 'Category' as a constraint on the 'Email Bounced' filter in a Smart List.

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Anonymous
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Re: Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

Thanks for clarifying! So, if email is suspended it means it hit the spam trap, right? Could there be any other causes for email suspension?

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Re: Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

Hi Anastasia,

If the email is suspended, it usually means someone on the IP hit a spam trap and got the IP blacklisted, and your email got bounced as spam as the result.  If you are on the shared IPs, the Marketo instance responsible for the spam trap hit and blacklisting may or may not be yours.  I did a couple blog posts that go into this in a bit more depth, if you want to check them out.

What the heck happened!? When your deliverability takes a hit

Sharing, Trust, and Dedication - You and Your Sending IP

However, any spam bounce, including those based on domains, rDNS lookups, etc, will cause the email to be suspended.  It's not restricted to blacklists, blacklists are just the most common cause.

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Re: Email Suspended Field - Seed List Challenges - Seeking Ideas on how to keep the list 'pristine'

Hello Eric,

'Email Suspended' is a historical field.  A more accurate name for this field would probably be 'This email was suspended at some point in its history.'  You can check the timestamp on the 'Email Suspended' field and if it is more than 24 hours ago, the lead is not currently suspended.  I agree a "Suspended Until" field would nice, but we don't nullify the Email Suspended field after the 24 hours are up because we need to retain the suspension info for troubleshooting purposes later on down the road.