- We have internal teams dedicated to our customer's compliance/deliverability.
- This team audits every new customer coming on board with us to ensure their practices align with our terms. (see below for a guide to that approval process)
- This same team has automated processes in the back end to check accounts list management activity. (i.e. if a subscriber list doubles in size from 10k to 20k contacts overnight they will get notified)
Your complete guide to the approval process
As an email service provider (ESP) our most important job is ensuring you a reliable service with great deliverability. To do this we need to make sure that everyone sending emails through the system is doing so with permission from people on the receiving end.
The approval process is how we check in to make sure everyone is sticking to best practice, and also catch the people trying to abuse our service who can create problems for us all.
IMPORTANT: A first-time approval for new accounts can take anywhere from a few hours (if all is well) to a few days (if we need need to work with you to make some changes) to be processed. Please be aware that notification to start an approval is not given until the email campaign is created and recipients selected.
How the approval process works
Our team will review your email collection methods to make sure they comply with our anti-spam policy and permission guidelines. We also look at campaign content to ensure subscribers are getting what they opted in for, and can easily opt out if they no longer want the emails.
Our system for doing approvals is a tiered structure based on the number of subscribers your email campaigns are sent to. Every client starts on the same tier, which is an approved "send limit" of somewhere between 5,000 and 9,000 recipients per campaign. We do not reveal the exact send limit for approval tiers because it helps reduce the risk of abuse from people attempting to send without permission.
Typically the only time you'd go through this process is when you'd like to send a campaign to more people than you've already been approved for. When that happens a notification is displayed at the top of the campaign snapshot page, as shown here:
Email campaigns that trigger an approval cannot be sent until our compliance team have completed the review process. If successful, your send limit is increased to the next approval tier and you should not expect another approval notice for some time.
NOTE: There are other situations in which you might need to go through an extra approval process, such as an abnormally high bounce or complaint rate, but the procedure is much the same and our team will help you through it.
Turnaround time for approvals
We have compliance team members around the world dedicated to handling approvals so we can get them done fast. The longest it will ever take us to get to a campaign after it's been submitted for approval is 12 hours — usually much less! From there, the review process is often completed within a few hours if you've provided all the information we need.
Below are some tips for getting your campaign approval seen to quickly:
Tip 1. Prepare for approvals early
Approvals don't come around that often but they can pop up unexpectedly if you don't notice that your campaign sizes are nearing the approved send limit.
To avoid any surprises it's worthwhile preparing for approvals early, especially if you send time-sensitive campaigns like event promotions or sales announcements.
Tip 2. Start the approval process without delay
We say this because, as soon as you submit a response for approval, that's when your campaign is added to our 'approvals pending' queue where it can be actioned by the next available team member.
However, you should only hurry to submit a response if you are adequately prepared. We have to be thorough with every approval. If you haven't given us enough information to work with, the first thing we'll do is reply to your first response with more questions, pushing you further down the queue.
Tip 3. Make final campaign changes later
It's safe to start the approval process even if your campaign is not quite ready to send. A successful approval will not automatically send the campaign, so you can make final changes after we've notified you of approval.
NOTE: We do need to see final draft content for the review process so your campaign should be as close to what you intend to send as possible.
Why we do approvals
We can't ensure that all contacts added to subscriber lists have stated their consent to be emailed. The repercussions of sending to lists where permission is unclear, or non-existent can include: blacklistings, spam complaints and lowered email deliverability.
This doesn't just affect your ability to deliver to the inbox. If you have multiple clients they will be affected too, and it also impacts others using the system because it damages our sender reputation and relationships with ISPs.
We understand the approval process can be frustrating if you're not prepared for it, but it's essential to insuring your account does not get suspended.
Why do I need approval for subscriber lists I've been sending to for ages?
Approvals are triggered when the number of recipients selected for a campaign exceeds the current send limit you are approved for. So there are two reasons why you may need to do an approval for a list you've already been sending to:
- The subscriber list has grown over time, or you've just imported a number of new subscribers, which has tipped the list over your send limit. The list growth itself won't trigger an approval, but next time you set up a campaign and select the list to send to, it will.
- You have multiple lists which, in total, exceed your send limit but you don't usually send to all of them at once. The first time you do select multiple lists, and the number of recipients exceeds your send limit, it will trigger an approval.
NOTE: When we do an approval that includes recipients you're already sending to, we review subscriber activity so we can advise you on the current health of your list.
How often will I need to be approved?
This is entirely dependant on the growth of your or your client's campaign sizes; meaning the number of recipients each email is being sent to. The send limit difference (meaning the number of recipients you're allowed to send to) from one approval tier to the next is in the thousands. Typically you will only need approval when the number of recipients for a campaign send nearly doubles in size.