This article contains seeding guidance for ESPs that wish to monitor their clients' performance in the Return Path Platform.
When sending to the seed list, obtaining a representative sample of emails from your clients across a variety of domains and IPs is important for monitoring the health of your clients’ email programs and helps you assess potential sending risks to your business.
However, if you utilize shared IPs for your clients, it can sometimes be difficult to know how to get started and how to prioritize which of your clients’ emails should be sent to the seed list.
Prior to setting up your clients to send to the seed list:
- Be sure to keep in mind the number of events you have available according to your contract limit. This is a major factor to consider how many messages and which of your clients should be sending to the seed list.
- Talk to your Partner Account Manager if you have concerns about exceeding your contract limit and to discuss your options.
Follow the steps below to start sending to the seed list. These recommendations have been used by numerous ESPs successfully, however, your specific business model and sending infrastructure may require a more customized approach. Talk to your Partner Account Manager should you need additional assistance.
Step 1: Determine the number of messages that should be sent to the seed list for each sender
Start with highest volume senders because these senders have the highest impact on deliverability from shared IPs.
- Look at the percentage of volume for each sender against your total sending volume.
- Multiply those percentages for each sender by your contracted event limit.
- The result is a list of senders you can use to prioritize sending.
Step 2: Choose which senders to set up first
Ideally you want to send to the seed list from each IP address in your sending infrastructure in order to get a complete picture of the health of your overall infrastructure. However, it is recommended to start with a few senders so you can learn to manage the process and data. You can add other senders based on your business model and sending infrastructure once you are comfortable with the results. There are many options for choosing senders based on how you want to monitor performance.
A few popular methods for choosing senders:
- Choose the top 3-5 high volume senders for each shared IP pool.
- Pick your top 5-10 highest volume senders across all shared IPs to set up first since they have the most impact on the sending reputation and deliverability results for your shared IPs.
- Choose the top volume senders by industry.
Step 3: Determine a sending frequency for each sender
- Look at the sending patterns for each sender.
- How often do they send?
- Do they send on certain days of the week?
- Do they send at certain times in the day?
- Do they send a mix of marketing and transactional email?
- High volume daily senders should send to the seed list daily. If your contracted event limit is a constraint for daily sending, send 3-5 times per week and adjust as required.
- Look at the volume of emails sent per day of the week. If most of your senders (as a whole) send email on a Tuesday and Friday, you’ll want to make sure messages sent to the seed list on those days is higher in number and across numerous clients.
Step 4: Determine a sending method
There are two sending methods available: manually and programmatically.
- Write a script that sends to the seed list every nth message for each sender - your system will send to the seed list automatically and will generally mimic your clients’ sending behaviors. Keep in mind the number of contracted events that are available when selecting this option.
- Send to the seed list only if a campaign for a sender exceeds a subscriber threshold.
- For example, only send to the seed list if the campaign being sent has a subscriber list over ten thousand subscribers.
- If you use this method, be sure to spread the seeds evenly across the entire subscriber list.
- in the event you cannot develop a script to send programmatically, you can set up to send manually
- Pick a sample of templates sent by the top senders - marketing and transactional
- For marketing email you send on your client’s behalf, evenly distribute the seeds within the subscriber list used for the client’s campaign, and send that campaign.
- For marketing email, create a template that is a copy of a campaign sent by the client on a specific day. After the campaign has been deployed by or for the client, send a separate campaign to the seed list.
- For transactional email, use a template and enter some dummy data to make it look like a real email. Send the template to the seed list at random times during the day.
*Note: Be sure to account for CoreSeeds in your open and click data. CoreSeed email addresses do not engage with your clients’ email.
Step 5: Set up the seed list for each one of your clients
- Use the list of clients that you chose in step 2.
- The entire seed list, including reference seeds, must be sent with every email.
- If you do not include the entire seed list, you will see a large number of “missing” messages, and the results will be incomplete.
Step 6: Set up a matching ID
- A matching id is required for all senders so that the Return Path Platform can identify the campaigns.
- How to set up a Matching ID
Step 7: Send a test campaign or run a script test to the seed list
- Reach out to your Partner Account Manager or the support team if you have questions around seeding results or help troubleshooting should any issues occur.
- Continue testing as needed until you feel comfortable seeding is set up correctly.
Step 8: Monitor performance and adjust as needed
- Once the highest volume senders are set up, monitor their performance.
- Then identify the next group of volume senders and repeat the steps above.
- As you add new clients or subtract former clients to your sending infrastructure, be sure to adjust your seeding as needed based on their expected volume and sending frequency.