Why you should separate your business and your marketing email sending

February 21st, 2013

A typical organization sends at least two very distinct classes of email messages: business email and marketing email.

Business email consists of all of the individual, personal messages sent by sales, support, billing and other departments to specific people.  These messages are generally more time sensitive; it is very important that the recipients actually receive them; these messages should not be filtered by any kind of spam filtering software, if possible.

Marketing email messages are similar messages sent in bulk to many people at once.  Examples of these include newsletters, notifications of blog updates, promotions and ads, status notices, etc.

In order for your business email to be as reliable as possible, the marketing email should be sent separately, through separate servers and maybe even on a separate domain name.  Here we will look at why.

Reputation Management and Marketing Email

This may seem counterintuitive, as successful marketing is very much about building your reputation in the eyes of your current and would-be customers.  However, by its very nature, sending marketing email can damage the reputation of your email address, domain, and email servers.  It doesn’t have to, but it can … and it can happen in unexpected ways.

Spam Complaints:

  1. The larger your marketing mailing list is … the more people are on it who do not really want your email.  This is a fact of life, no matter how “opt in” the list is.
  2. The more offen you send email to your mailing lists, the more often these people will be annoyed by your email messages
  3. Some of these annoyed people will complain that your email is “spam” whenever they get it … instead of using the nice opt out features you have provided.  This is because they are either lazy to opt out, annoyed by the message, don’t believe the opt opt will work, or never even bothered to look to see if they could opt out.

This all goes into the generation of Spam complaints.  Lots of spam complaints can cause recipient email servers to start blocking your email .. based on either your email content, your sending email address, or your sending email server IP address.

It is best to keep your complaint rate to a minimum by monitoring your complaint feed back loops, opting out anyone who is complaining  and ensuring that your mailing lists are clean and contain only opted in parties in the first place.

Spam Content

By its very nature, the types of email that fall into the bulk email marketing category share many common characteristics.  Email filtering software these days is pretty smart and can often tell the difference between a marketing message and a business message.  Sending many messages with spam-like content to a recipient server can result in your email being delayed, filtered, or blocked.

Spam-like content detection can be something as simple as the text of the required section of your email that indicates how to “opt out”… as spammers have the same kind of content.  So, many legitimate messages will be classified as spam-like simply due to the nature of pattern recognition.

Email Delivery Throughput:

Where are business email messages are “transactional” … they are generally sent individually at various times throughout the day, marketing email messages are “bulk” … they are sent in large batches in short time frames.

The sending of marketing messages can place a significant burden on your outbound email sending servers … depending on how many messages you are sending and how fast.  This can degrade performance and cause your business email to be delivered much more slowly if they are sharing the same outbound service.

Additionally, it is typical with marketing messages that many of them cannot be immediately delivered to the recipients for one reason or another, and so these are queued and re-tried over time.  For large marketing mailing lists (and especially in cases where your sending server is getting blacklisted) this can result in large email queues which slow down the delivery of both business and marketing email if sent from the same server.


An all-too-common side effect of marketing email is having the server that you are sending from blacklisted.  When your server is blacklisted, by say yahoo.com, then all email to recipients at that domain will fail to be delivered.  If you are sending business email through the same server as your marketing email … then your business email to these same folks will also fail.  This is the most critical reason why you should use separate servers for business and marketing email.

But how could you get black listed?

  • If your mailing lists have bad email addresses on them (e.g. non-opt in, purchased, spam trap, spidered, or other addresses that you should never email)
  • If your mailing addresses have lots of invalid email addresses on them (e.g. the list is very old and have not been cleaned of now defunct addresses)
  • Your email content is perceived to be spam like or generally unwanted

It is true that the larger your list and the more you send, the more likely you are to get blacklisted, unless you are careful about managing your subscriber base.

Shared email services:

If you share outbound email servers with other customers of your provider, then your sending is subject to the behavior of all of these other customers as well.  If their sending causes the server to get black listed, then that affects your email as well.  The only thing that protects you in these cases is the policies of your email provider.  Make sure that they are good.

Recommendations for Successful Emailing

In order to ensure that your business email is delivered as reliably as possible, your marketing email is delivered as reliably as possible, and so that these do not affect each other, we recommend:

  1.  Use a different domain name in the “From” and “Reply” email address for your business and marketing email.  E.g. info@widget-wiz.net for your marketing email and info@widget-wiz.com for your business (e.g. sales) email.  These can go back to the same person and same INBOX, but having different domains allows blocks on your marketing domain to not affect your business domain.
  2. Use good deliverability tactics and best practices for your marketing email messages.
  3. Send your marketing email messages through separate email servers from your business email so that black lists and throughput issues do not affect your business email.
  4. Ensure that your business email provider has good policies and controls in place to ensure that other customers do not affect your email’s deliverability.
LuxSci customers:
  • Can benefit from our strict business emailing policies.
  • Can use separate High Volume accounts for bulk email.  These are sent from separate servers from our business email accounts and are designed for processing mass emails.