Sending email campaigns to business addresses can be a very difference experience from sending to consumer addresses. One major reason is that B2B companies often use multiple layers of filtering—first through a filtering company, then through a hosted email provider (hosted mailbox), before your email ever reaches the end user’s inbox.
When you send email campaigns directly to a consumer (B2C), that consumer is likely to have an address at a large webmail provider such as Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, or a similar brand. These providers have their own, built-in filtering based largely on consumer engagement, supplemented by reputation markers such as blocklists. They may also contract with a service like Cloudmark for additional protection against spam. The key factor is that the mailbox provider decides on the filtering strategy, and that strategy is the same for all users of that email service.
When you send email campaigns to a contact at a business (B2B), the situation can be quite different. A company with its own domain may need additional security options that a free service doesn’t provide. So the company will often opt to host its email with a business version of that service, such as Office 365 or G Suite, or with a dedicated business hosted email service like GoDaddy or Rackspace. These paid services give administrators more options and more flexibility. (Some businesses go further and run their own email servers on their premises, keeping security under their control and maximizing their options, but this requires a strong IT team and preferably a dedicated email administrator.)
In either case—using a hosted email provider or hosting one’s own email—a company can choose to add one more layer of filtering, from a company like Barracuda or Proofpoint, before the mailbox itself. These filters may block attachments, restrict file formats, scan for keywords, and even quarantine individual emails until the end user releases them.
Administrators can choose how they want to configure their combination of filtering company and email hosting. But the key here is that it’s impossible to know what combination and configuration an individual business has gone with.
- Nothing about a company’s domain name tells you how its email is hosted, unlike consumer domain names (gmail.com, outlook.com, etc.).
- Two different companies can use the same hosting service but different filtering providers, or the same filtering provider but different hosting companies.
- Even if two companies use the same hosting service and same filtering provider, their email administrators may configure different filtering options.
Fortunately, a few configurations tend to be common. Filtering at Office 365 and G Suite is well understood, just like the free versions of these services (Outlook, Gmail). Additionally, GoDaddy partners with Office 365, so its filters are also Microsoft-based. These hosted email providers currently constitute around 80 percent of the market.
Return Path monitors these hosted email providers:
- Google Apps (G Suite)
- Office 365
Return Path monitors these hosted filtering companies:
To add B2B seeds to your seed list, please contact Return Path Support.