Amazon SES Blog

4 Ways to Improve Email Quality from Social Sharing Sites

If you run a social sharing site (or any site that allows your users to share their content or invite friends), you know that you might run into all sorts of email quality problems. Users put in old or fake email addresses causing your bounce rate to spike, or the friends that your users are inviting don’t understand the invitation and hit the "spam" button. Here are four different ways you can improve your email quality if you run a social sharing site:

  1. If users import their address books, make them choose who to invite. If you allow your users to invite their entire email address books, you are setting yourself up for an unpleasant bounce rate experience. People often keep their personal email accounts for a long time, so the email addresses in their contacts can be a decade old or more.
  2. If you offer a reward for inviting others, make it only for valid email addresses. Nothing gets people to enter in fake friends’ email addresses faster than rewarding them for every address submitted. If you offer a reward for invites, make sure that you’re clear that the reward is only for valid email addresses. Even better is to only give rewards if the invitee signs up for your service so that your users only invite people likely to sign up.
  3. Make the invitation clear. Make sure that your invitations include all the information necessary to make them look personal and relevant. One great way to do this is to include both the first name and surname of the inviter. For example, if your inviter’s first name is "Jennifer," she’ll share that name with approximately 1,461,622 other people in the United States alone. Including her last name in the invitation will vastly increase the probability that the recipient will recognize her and respond positively to the invitation rather than clicking the "spam" button.
  4. Have strict spamming policies. Unfortunately, if you allow your users to share their content, you’ll run into a few who will attempt to use your site as a platform for their spam. You need to regularly monitor your site and revoke access to the spammers. You can also set up a spam reporting address and publicly encourage people to report any spamming they see.

It’s always challenging to keep your email "clean" when you run an open platform. If you follow these tips, you can maintain higher email quality. These aren’t all the tips in the world, though. Do you run a social site? What do you do to maintain your email quality?