Getting Started with Email Marketing and Sendlane
Welcome to Sendlane; we’re thrilled to meet you! This guide will show you how to set your Sendlane account up for success with email marketing while safely warming your sending infrastructure.
Our world-class, in-house deliverability experts recommend following the steps in this guide in the order they appear to maximize your deliverability from the start!
🚦 Before Getting Started
Once you’ve signed up for Sendlane, make sure you also have access to the following:
- Your previous ESP, and
- Your business website’s DNS settings
- An email address that uses your company's business domain and is not role-based (like email@example.com). Role-based email addresses do not necessarily belong to one person and cannot meaningfully consent to marketing messages.
In This Guide
- Gather Metrics and Contacts From Your Previous Provider
- Set Up Sendlane Account
- Stop Sending Email From Previous Email Provider
- Send High Engagement Campaigns
Gather Metrics and Contacts From Your Previous Provider
When you migrate to Sendlane you'll be starting fresh with important metrics like open rates and click rates. You'll need to note your baseline performance from your previous email provider, and segment contacts by engagement data that lives in your previous email provider before importing Contacts into Sendlane.
Note Your Baseline Performance Metrics
Log in to your previous email provider and record the metrics you achieved for subscriber volume, open, click, and conversion rates. Keep this information somewhere safe! Your baseline metrics can be used to help diagnose deliverability issues in the future.
Open and click rates will vary during warm up. After enough clean sending, generally one month, metrics should stabilize.
When your account is fully warmed, you should see metrics that meet or exceed the baseline from your previous ESP!
🚨 Update the conversion or attribution window to equal last click in a five day window before noting conversion rates
Email service providers use varying calculations for assigning revenue attribution or conversion. To best understand how your performance compares in Sendlane to your previous provider, update your attribution settings to last click in a five day window to match Sendlane's attribution reporting before you record attribution or conversion metrics. Using multiple different calculations for attribution means you cannot make meaningful inferences about performance.
Segment and Export Contacts From Previous Provider
Create Segments for and Remove Inactive Contacts
Inactive Contacts and invalid emails will hurt your new sending reputation and could lead to long-term damage to your sending infrastructure. When email addresses go unused, they can be turned into spam traps. Sending an email to a spam trap can cause severe problems for your business’ sending reputation and deliverability. Sendlane recommends removing Contacts who have not engaged with your content in 120 days.
Create a segment for Contacts who meet the following criteria: Has been on your list for at least 120 days, AND has been sent at least one email in the past 120 days, AND has NOT opened an email from you in the past 120 days.
Remove these Contacts from your main list and do not upload these Contacts into Sendlane.
Create Segments for and Export Active Contacts
In your previous email provider create segments using the following logic for 30, 60, and 90 day periods: Has been on your list for the past X days AND has been sent at least one email in the past X days AND has clicked on at least one email in the past 30 days
Export each of these segments separately in addition to your main list. You should now have four .CSV files to import into Sendlane!
Create Engagement Segments in Sendlane and Import Contacts
Once your Contacts are imported, you'll send Campaigns to your most engaged Contacts to slowly warm up your sending infrastructure. Create these segments now so they are ready when you need them, then import your Contacts!
Create High-Engagement Segments
Create segments identifying your Contacts' engagement over the last 30, 60, and 90 days. For each period of time, create a segment using the following logic: has been on your list for at least the past X days, AND has been sent at least one email in the past X days, AND has clicked on at least one email in the past X days.
🚨 Imports are reviewed during business hours
New Contact imports will be reviewed by Sendlane’s compliance team during business hours of 8 AM to 4 PM PST, Monday through Friday. You will receive an email when your import is accepted!
Import Contacts into Sendlane
- Gather the four files you exported from your previous email provider and save them somewhere easily accessible
- Review Sendlane's import formatting rules and adjust your files as needed to avoid import failures (Email and SMS consent are stored in separate columns and accept the specified values only, timestamps are not accepted for either consent)
- Create Lists in Sendlane for each of your files
- Use the Import button on your Lists to import your files
- Read our guide to Sending Campaigns While on List Review
Set Up Your Sendlane Account
🚨 Some action items build on previous items
To avoid errors, please complete the items in the order they appear. Check off each item as you complete it to keep track of your progress!
If your business has an eCommerce Store, install your store's integration. Check out our step-by-step guides for popular eCommerce platforms or search for your platform here:
Beacon collects data about every pageview on your website. You can target Contacts with Beacon events to send emails based on their activity on your website! By installing Beacon right away, you can start collecting valuable pageview data right away.
If you've integrated a BigCommerce store, you're done with this step! BigCommerce integrations automatically include Beacon general tracking, but you may want to check out event tracking and conversion rules which are not automatically installed with your BigCommerce integration.
Sendlane strongly recommends authenticating a Sending Domain. Authenticated Sending Domains verify that an email came from the sender listed in the "from" field in the Sender Profile and contribute to a strong sender reputation.
If you do not authenticate a Sending Domain, we recommend that you add an SPF record to your business’ domain.
If you use templates for Campaigns emails, re-build these templates from your previous ESP into Sendlane’s Campaign email builder.
💡 Pro Tip: Put SMS opt-in language on all Pop-ups
Even if you aren't using SMS yet, you’ll have valuable customer data and consent ready to go!
Once your lead capture methods all point to Sendlane, create and turn on the following high-engagement Automations:
- Abandoned browse
Integrate Your eCommerce Store
Authenticate a Sending Domain
Recreate Email Templates in Sendlane
Recreate Automations and Pop-Ups in Sendlane
Stop Sending Email From Previous Email Provider
To maintain good deliverability and a positive sender reputation, determine a point in time when your business will stop collecting leads and sending emails with your previous ESP. Sending emails from two ESPs simultaneously can cause ongoing deliverability issues and permanently damage your business’ sending reputation.
Let the high-engagement Automations you’ve created run for 1-3 days, and you’ll be ready to start sending Campaigns to newly engaged Contacts. Check out our Email Marketing Best Practices guide while your Automations are running!
Send High Engagement Campaigns
Once your high-engagement Automations run for 1-3 days and the rest of your ESP migration and Sendlane setup is complete, you’re ready to send Campaigns! Sendlane strongly recommends that you begin sending only to your most engaged Contacts.
You should see higher opens and clicks than your baseline at your previous ESP during this stage because these Contacts are the most engaged with your content!
Start by sending only one Campaign per day to your 30-Day Actives, then gradually include your 60-Day Actives and 90-Day Actives in Campaign sends.
⏭ Next Steps
Want to really hit the ground running? Check out eCommerce Academy, the step-by-step email marketing course built with Sendlane in mind!
The Sendlane Blog also has great articles to help you start your eCommerce marketing journey:
- Email Marketing Best Practices
- How to Make Your Next Launch a Massive Success (Phase 1 - The Warm-Up)
- Customer Success Stories
- Sendlane 101 at The Marketing Automation Journal
- The Big Book of eCommerce Email Funnels
- The Top 3 Ways to Generate Revenue Using Sendlane
- 4 Ways To Boost Customer Retention with Email Marketing
- 9 Ways to Grow Your Email List in Sendlane as a Digital Retailer
- Sendlane Beacon: 5 Best Practices for Website Tracking
- 8 Best Ways to Segment Your Contacts in Sendlane