Using a separate email sending domain for email marketing campaigns

Email Marketing Campaigns usually mean sending thousands and thousands of emails to people subscribed from different sources (like subscription forms, orders, etc.).

Some people subscribe and then forget, some agree to receive email marketing and don’t realize what that means, some lose interest in your product, or some just have a bad day, so pressing the spam button feels like a stress relief for them.

Spam complaints are the worst thing that can happen in the Email Marketing Business. It’s not a big issue if you have a spam complaint rate under 0.01% because of the reasons above which we can understand, but a higher rate of spam complaints may harm your domain’s reputation and lead more emails to the recipients’ spam folder instead of the inbox.

To avoid this, you should use a different sending domain for your email marketing emails. Instead of [email protected], you could use [email protected] (mind the “-” symbol) or [email protected], or whatever other domain is available and very similar to your business.

Let’s look at the PROs and CONs of this strategy:

PROs for using a separate email sending domain

1. Protection against IP & Domain reputation damage
–  Sender reputation: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Email Service Providers (ESPs) watch the reputation of sending domains and IP addresses to protect their users from spam. A separate sending domain keeps your marketing activities away from your primary business communications. This separation means that any negative impact on your sender reputation caused by high-volume email blasts or lower engagement rates won’t hurt the deliverability of your business’s main communication emails.
2. Improved engagement metrics
– Engagement rates: Marketing emails often have different engagement metrics (like open rates, click-through rates, etc.) compared to transactional emails. By using a separate domain for marketing emails, you can use specific strategies to improve these metrics without risking the performance of your transactional emails. Higher engagement rates are seen positively by ISPs and ESPs, leading to better overall deliverability.
3. Avoidance of Spam filters
– Spam filters: ISPs use advanced algorithms to filter out spam emails, considering things like how often emails are sent from a domain and how many emails are marked as spam by recipients. A separate sending domain lets you optimize your email campaigns to meet these algorithms’ criteria without risking your main domain being marked as a source of spam. This can include changing how often you send emails and adjusting content to be less likely marked as spam.
4. Flexibility in testing and optimization
– Testing and optimization: With a dedicated marketing email domain, organizations can try different email marketing strategies, like changing the sending frequency, trying different email content, and segmentation tactics, without risking the reputation of their main domain. This flexibility is key to finding the most effective email marketing approaches, leading to improved deliverability rates as strategies are refined over time.

Cons for using a separate email sending domain

1. Additional Costs and Resources

– Domain and Infrastructure costs: Setting up a separate email sending domain comes with extra costs. These can include buying the domain itself, along with any related hosting or service fees. Plus, if you want to keep a strong sender reputation for this domain, you need to invest in email authentication measures (like SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records).
– Resource Intensive: Managing multiple domains takes more time and effort from your team. This isn’t just about the initial setup but also ongoing monitoring and optimization to ensure good deliverability and compliance with email best practices. Needing dedicated resources can be tough for smaller teams or distract from other important tasks.

2. Brand Consistency Challenges

– Recognition and trust: Using a different domain for marketing emails can sometimes confuse recipients who know your main domain. This confusion might affect open rates if recipients don’t immediately recognize the sender. Building trust with a new domain takes time and effort, needing clear communication and branding within the emails to reassure recipients.

3. Consistency in messaging:

– Keeping your brand consistent across multiple domains can be hard. It’s important that all communication, no matter the sending domain, matches your brand’s voice, style, and messaging. Managing both can complicate content creation and marketing strategies, requiring careful planning and coordination.

4. Complexity in Management

– Technical complexity: Managing multiple email sending domains adds technical complexity. This includes setting up and maintaining separate email authentication protocols, managing different IP addresses (if you’re sending from dedicated IPs), and dealing with the deliverability challenges unique to each domain.

Best practices to implement when using a separate Email Marketing sending domain

1. Maintaining Brand Consistency

– Unified brand elements: Make sure your marketing emails have the same visual identity (logo, color scheme, typography) and tone of voice as communications sent from your main domain. This consistency helps recipients recognize and trust your brand, even on a different domain.
– Clear sender identification: Use a sender name that clearly shows your brand. If possible, include your brand name within the sending domain itself (e.g., to strengthen brand recognition.
– Consistent content quality: Provide content that meets the quality and value your audience expects from your main domain. Keeping content quality consistent ensures your brand is seen the same way across different touchpoints.


2. Managing Sender Reputation Across Domains

– Email authentication: Set up SPF, DKIM, and DMARC records for your separate sending domain to authenticate your emails. This helps improve your sender reputation by proving that your emails are really from your brand and not fake.
– Warm-up your domain: Slowly increase the number of emails sent from the new domain to build a good sending reputation with ISPs. Starting with a smaller, engaged audience can lead to higher engagement rates, positively affecting your reputation.
– Segment and personalize: Send relevant and personalized content to specific parts of your audience to keep high engagement levels. High engagement rates are crucial for a good sender reputation.


3. Monitoring and Optimizing Email Deliverability

– Regular monitoring: Use tools to watch your email deliverability and sender reputation. Look for changes in open rates, bounce rates, and spam complaints as signs of possible issues.
– Feedback loops: Set up feedback loops with major ISPs to get notified when recipients mark your emails as spam. This info can help you change your strategies to lower spam complaints.
– A/B Testing: Often test different parts of your email campaigns, like subject lines, content, and sending times, to improve engagement and deliverability. Use what you learn to keep making your email strategy better.

Having a separate Email Marketing Sending domain is an important optimization for Email Marketing, but it’s not a guarantee that your emails will avoid the Spam Folder.