Omnivore: Take Two – How to Get Your List Accepted by MailChimp’s Abuse Prevention System

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Our last post about MailChimp’s automated abuse prevention systems, lovingly referred to as Omnivore, might have left you saying “UH, thanks for the 411…but how exactly does this affect me?” Never fear, PaperStreet is here to let you know how Omnivore might wiggle its way into your life on the interwebs.

Let’s say you want to upload a new list, but what’s this? You’ve received an Omnivore warning and you are blocked from sending- gasp, the horrors!

Like I mentioned in my previous post, you want to make sure now more than ever that you are following ALL guidelines for gathering your list. Omnivore is very good at its job and there is no squeaking by with a half compliant list.

A warning is usually issued because the scan predicted the contacts added would have an extremely high bounce, complaint or spam rate. These issues are bound to happen with any campaign, but too many can damage your domain’s delivery reputation, which would directly affect the deliverability of emails. In conclusion, it would be no bueno for both you and MailChimp.

There are a few options you can try to get your list back in the Chimp’s good graces:

Clean Up Your List

Take an in depth look through your list to make sure there aren’t any “bad email addresses” (such as syntax errors, misspellings, recognizable old emails, emails like contact@). Also look for addresses that may be outdated or are no longer used by the subscriber. Omnivore can sniff out an ancient email and they aren’t friendly to their elders.

And I’m sure it goes without saying, but make sure you haven’t collected your list by the “fish bowl” method, a major export of your address book or – eek – purchased it.

Reconfirm Your List

If the cleaned up list still has a warning, then you would need to move forward with reconfirming the list. This is a sure-fire way to make sure you won’t battle with Omnivore again.

MailChimp is nice enough to go majorly in depth on this process here, but the cliff notes are:

  • Send a reconfirmation message to the subscribers including a link to your signup form so they can opt back into your list
  • This message needs to be sent OUTSIDE of MailChimp by copying the emails from your list into the BCC field. It is recommended to use your regular email program and email address so subscribers will recognize the sender.

Reach Out to MailChimp Support

Since we’re all compliant list users, I’m sure the question most of you will be asking yourself is “But… I DID follow all the Chimp’s compliancy rules??”

This is when having proof of your subscribers opting in is a BIG plus and MailChimp support becomes your new BFF.

We had an instance with a client where Omnivore found the list had a high volume of publicly available addresses, which is gold to those who wish to send unsolicited emails. By answering a few questions on how the list was gathered and what the goals were for the newsletter they were able to lift the warning and we were able to go on our merry sending way.

In short, the folks over at MC are more than happy to help – especially when you have evidence that you’ve followed their rules.

Further Learning

Are you interested in learning more about legal marketing? Head on over to our SEO Guidelines & Best Practices page. Our guide will teach you the do’s and don’ts for law firm SEO along with what we include in our SEO plans.

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