Email Best Practices & FAQs

Collecting Email Addresses

Once the $email property is set on a Mixpanel profile, it becomes eligible to receive emails from Mixpanel. We recommend either single or confirmed opt-in mechanisms and abiding by the requirements of the nation(s) your users reside in. Mixpanel explicitly disallows sending email to addresses acquired from third party lists in our Terms of Service (Section 2.5). 

There are three main consent mechanisms:

  • Opt-out means that the user does not explicitly consent to being sent email but is given the option to unsubscribe from the email list. Having an opt-out mechanism is a legal requirement in most countries. Mixpanel provides a built-in unsubscribe mechanism described here
  • Single opt-in indicates that the user has at some point explicitly given consent. This is most often a check box when signing up that says something like “Yes you can send me occasional promotional offers”.  This is generally considered a minimum of consent needed to send emails by most marketing professionals. 
  • Confirmed opt-in has the single opt-in mechanism but also sends a follow up email that has a link which you have to click on to confirm receiving the mail. This prevents people from signing other people up for email services and ensures that they correctly typed in their email address. Mixpanel does not have a specific mechanism to send out confirmation emails. You can use a third party service provider or require that a user opens an initial onboarding email before becoming eligible to receive future email. 

Many EU nations such as Germany and the UK require emails sent for marketing purposes use confirmed opt-in. Not abiding by the consent mechanism of the relevant countries that you are sending to can damage reputation and result in poor deliverability. 

Targeting engaged users

Beyond getting initial consent to send email to customers, only sending to users that are recently active in your platform and/or have recently engaged with your emails ensures you’re only sending emails to people who want to receive them. Sending emails to users who are inactive makes it more likely you will send to inactive email addresses or people who the messages are no longer relevant to. Sending to inactive addresses will result in hard bounces or hitting recycled spam traps. Sending to people that the messages aren’t relevant to any longer is more likely to result in messages being marked as spam or generating abuse complaints. Both scenarios damage your reputation and deliverability.

Managing unsubscribes

We automatically manage email opt-out with the $unsubscribed people property. By default, emails are sent with an unsubscribe link that will set this property if the user clicks the link so they won't be sent emails from Mixpanel in the future. If you're sending non-transactional email from multiple services, you'll want to make sure you are syncing unsubscribes across services and appropriately excluding users who have opted-out. More on unsubscribe in Mixpanel here

Including plain-text versions 

We recommend including plain-text versions of your HTML emails for accessibility and deliverability. Including a plain-text option ensures recipients that can't view HTML email can still engage with your content and spam filters often prefer to see a plain-text alternative. This article gives helpful tips on effective plain-text emails.

Mixpanel's email editor doesn't include plain-text versions by default but will autogenerate plain-text if you click into the PLAINTEXT VERSION (OPTIONAL) tab (don't select the send plain-text version only box unless you don't want to include an HTML version). Modify the autogenerated plain-text to make easy to read before saving.

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Including a physical address

Many countries have legislation that requires marketing emails to include a valid physical address. For example, it is included in the US CAN-SPAM act. Spam filters often look for a physical address and block email without one so it's best to include one in all of your emails.  

Monitoring deliverability in your Mixpanel project

By default we track several events and properties in Mixpanel about emails sent, bounced, opened and unsubscribed you can use to evaluate email performance metrics like open rate, bounce rate, etc. We recommend setting up a Dashboard with relevant reports so you have a quick way to keep an eye on how things are going. More detailed information on bounced emails in Mixpanel here. 

Sending IPs

We send emails from tiered pooled IPs. There’s one pool for DKIM authenticated domains and one for all others. We don’t support dedicated IPs for specific customers or projects. 

Return Path & DMARC authentication

We do not support custom Return Paths. The Return Path address in Mixpanel emails will always appear as datadrivenemail.com. This means that we don't support fully aligned DMARC authentication. We support DKIM alignment but not SPF. More on email authentication in Mixpanel here

Enforcement 

Mixpanel monitors spam traps, feedback loops (FBLs), major blocklists and abuse complaints generated by emails sent using our services. If email you send is flagged as causing issues we may reach out to you to improve your sending practices. If there isn’t improvement and we continue to get complaints we reserve the right to suspend services as described in our Terms of Use to protect our IP reputation and the deliverability of the email we send on behalf of all our customers. 

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