AltosMail Sending Policy

Nobody likes spam, especially not us at AltosMail.

This is not just because of privacy and moral issues, but also because being labeled as spam could fatally affect your business and that of others. As email marketing grew with no regulations, many firms started abusing what was perceived as a zero marginal cost channel for marketing, but as with all exaggerated exploitations, things eventually backfired. Behaviors such as purchasing third party lead lists, phishing for personal data and impersonating legitimate brands became everyday phenomena, therefore several methods for safeguarding the end user were put in place. AltosMail is proud to include these methods in its core, upholding the vow of protecting and nurturing you as our client and your database.

The purpose of this sending policy is to let you know exactly how to avoid being recognized as a source of spam. Not following these guidelines could result in your inability to send emails and/or to make use of AltosMail in general.

Here is the detailed list of all the tools that AltosMail has included with the sole purpose of not letting you unwittingly become a source of spam.

1: Statistical limits

This is a list of parameters automatically checked by AltosMail and their limits. These apply to the total number of emails that you send, counting only the final emails sent to users (leaving out test and seed lists).

The threshold limits below will apply only if you are sending more than 500 emails in the current day.

Parameter Description Maximum value accepted Warnings received at:
Hard Bounce Only Hard Bounces are recorded. ≤ 7%
  • ≥ 4%
  • ≥ 5%
  • ≥ 7%
Unsubscriptions These are the automatic unsubscriptions that take place when a lead clicks on the “unsubscribe” link, provided either in a newsletter or by the email client. ≤ 1.3%
  • ≥ 0.9%
  • ≥ 1.1%
  • ≥ 1.3%
Blocked Failed deliveries due to permanent errors (such as an inexistent domain). ≤ 29%
  • ≥ 20 %
  • ≥ 25 %
  • ≥ 30 %
Spam Traps

Number of Spam Traps detected. Here are some tools to check for Spam Traps:

https://postmaster.live.com/snds/index.aspx https://www.senderscore.org/ http://www.projecthoneypot.org/
≤1 No possible warning
Spam Complaints Spam Complaints received by the email provider (check the Feedback Loops section) ≤ 0.07% OR ≤ 40/day ≥ 0.05% ≥ 30/day ≥ 0.06% OR ≥ 35/day ≥ 0.07% ≥ 40/day

Should any of the maximum values be reached, the blast will be immediately slow down at 10 email/minute and a System Administrator might suspend your account. A warning message will let you know when this happens, and it will also include links that will allow you to get a better understand of why it happened, along with the possibility of immediately fixing certain problems.

In order to avoid sticky situations, we have warning levels prior to the maximum values. Each time a warning level is reached you will receive a warning message by the platform. Within these messages you will find links that will allow you to better understand the reason behind the warning and visualize the status of all your parameters.

These warning messages will not disappear until all your statistics have returned below the maxim values accepted.

2: Test and Seed lists limits

Test and seed lists have sometimes been used by pesky spammers to avoid these precautionary methods. For this reason AltosMail has limits when it comes to the number of leads that can be used with these lists, so here they are:

Test List limit: 50 leads Seed List limit: 50 leads

Should either of these limits be breached, an error message will show up and the sending procedure will be blocked.

To get these lists working again, the number of leads they hold will have to be decreased below the limits.

If your business needs a higher limit than these, don’t hesitate to contact us and we will evaluate together if and where these limits should be moved to.

3: Spam Assassin check before blasting

Before letting you send a newsletter, AltosMail automatically scans it through the Spam Assassin and gives it a score. As long as this score stays below 5, you can proceed in sending the email to your leads.

Should the Spam Assassin come up with a score higher than 5, you will be provided with a warning message and the chance to check why the score was so high. Since this all happens before actually having sent the email there are no repercussions, just make changes accordingly and try sending it again.

4: Unsubscription link

A key aspect for not being labeled as spam is providing an unsubscription link in your messages.

No matter how you create an email (html, text or through *INSTANT) AltosMail will scan it and look for an unsubscription link. If no link is found, a warning message will let you know that it’s missing, giving you a chance to go back and place one before trying to send the message again.

Should you ignore this warning, AltosMail will automatically place a link in the footer of your message before sending any emails to your leads.

5: Manually added leads/Subscription confirmed

Whether you will be adding individual email addresses or entire lead lists, there will always be a check box asking you if the subscription to your newsletters happened willingly or not. This box must be checked, otherwise AltosMail will refuse any leads that didn’t provide their willingness in being part of your lists. By agreeing to our terms of use and our sending policy you are required to use this tool truthfully. Keep in mind that AltosMail includes further checks described further down, and leads who didn’t agree to being part of your lists, will tend to carry out behaviors that will breach some of the limits that we saw in part 1 of this agreement.

6: Automatic unsubscriptions

6.1) Blacklist field

Leads that were blacklisted will no longer receive emails. Any lead can be blacklisted, either manually by the user or automatically by AltosMail.

A lead will be automatically blacklisted either after 1 hard bounce or 3 total bounces. Should a lead’s Blacklist status be switched manually, keep in mind that you will not be able to change this setting again until 30 days have passed.

These are necessary precautions because hard bounces are usually permanent problems and could even be spam traps. Regular bounces could be due to regular issues with an individual mailbox, however 3 attempts usually provide more than enough time for anyone to resolve them, therefore going beyond this would be dangerous and not worth the risk.

Keep in mind that what AltosMail blacklists is an email address, not a lead, therefore simply deleting a lead and replacing it with the same email address will not remove it from the blacklist.

6.2) Spam complaint field

Should a spam complaint or a spam trap be detected, the spam complaint field will automatically be activated, blocking any future messages from being sent to the lead involved. This is something that can’t be switched off or modified by the user, and just like the blacklist field, it remains tied to the email address.

7: Forms

Forms are the most frequent way in which leads are added to our database, therefore it is very important to have a few methods that allow us to make sure that leads are willingly subscribing to our lists and that no spam traps are being wrongfully added.

7.1) Confirmed subscriptions

Asking the user to confirm his willingness to subscribe to our newsletters can be done through a link in an email.

After having filled out a form and provided their email address, leads will receive a confirmation email in their inbox asking them to confirm their subscription by clicking on the provided link. Only once the lead has clicked on this link will we be able to tell that they have consciously subscribed to our newsletter and agreed to being part of our database.

In case you will be adding leads through the “add/update lead” function, AltosMail will show you a warning message, letting you know that a confirmation email (like the one just described) will be automatically sent to the email address that is being added/updated.

AltosMail lets you edit and modify the content in the confirmation email that will be sent to your leads.

7.2) Adding your address to their lists

By default, AltosMail allows for the possibility of letting your leads download your VCF file. A VCF file is similar to a digital business card, which leads can add to their address books. This means that their email client will now be able to recognize you, which will increase your emails’ deliverability especially towards new subscribers.

As a user you can decide to switch off this function, or edit the message that asks your leads to download your VCF file.

8: Lead source

AltosMail has a section where the source of each lead is stored and can be viewed. This section can’t be edited by users. The types of sources are:

  • Manual add/edit: The user added this lead manually or through the upload of a lead file. In this case you will also be able to see which user added/edited the lead and the date on which it was done.
  • API: The lead was added through the use of an API. In this case you will also be able to see which user added/edited the lead and the date on which it was done.
  • Form: The lead was added through the use of a form. In this case you will also be able to see which form it was, the user that created it, time and IP address of the subscription, the time at which it was sent and the time and IP address of when it was confirmed.

9: Feedback loops

Feedback loops allow you to be notified each time a spam complaint is sent to most email providers. Feedback loops are monitored through a program that is similar to the one used for the bounced emails, picking up the complaints and storing them relatively to each user.

Usually each provider requires an individual registration to their feedback loop and there might be slight differences to the quantity of data that each provider shares with regards to each single complaint.

Final disclosure

When using our platform and our services you must comply with all the applicable laws and regulations in effect, as well as the terms in our contract, Specific Conditions and our Privacy Policy. It is your responsibility to read and understand these terms and policies applicable to your use of our services and the emails you send.

You are responsible for ensuring that you or any of your users are a compliance risk, and as previously mentioned we reserve the right to take any precautions necessary until we determine that you pose no threats to your intended recipients and/or to AltosMail.