Email Marketing: Understanding Why Campaigns Get Declined

7 min read
When an email campaign is declined, it means that it did not reach its intended recipients and was declined either by Wix Email Marketing or by an Internet Service Provider (ISP) such as Gmail or Yahoo Mail. There are many reasons why campaigns can get declined, from flagged content to a breach in Wix Email Marketing Terms of Use.

Spam traps

A spam trap refers to email addresses that cannot receive emails. There are several types of spam traps, including, misspelled email addresses, inactive email addresses, and non-existent email addresses.

Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, as well as anti-spam organizations, use the non-existent addresses to identify marketers who aren't following the email distribution regulations. 

If your recipient list includes non-existent or inactive addresses, it may be flagged as proof that your campaign is being sent to people who didn't give permission for you to contact them. It can also signify a purchased email list. Continuously sending campaigns to purchased email lists can lead to your Wix Email Marketing account being restricted. Learn more

The best way to avoid a spam trap is to make sure all your recipients have given you explicit permissions (i.e. through a subscriber signup form) to contact them. It's also important to go through your email list and 'clean it' by removing old email addresses. Learn more

Low engagement

Engagement refers to the number of people who have interacted with your campaign in some way: either opening the email or clicking a link inside the email. If your engagement is very low, it can cause ISPs to flag the content as suspicious. Sending campaigns that recipients do not engage with may lower your sender reputation score over time and lead to your campaigns getting declined.

The best way to avoid a low engagement rate is by making sure you're only emailing those who have subscribed to your mailing list and consented to receive content from you. If you want to resend a campaign that was declined due to low engagement, make sure the campaign is relevant for your subscribers and full of content that they want to read.

Here are some tips for creating engaging email content.

Suspicious sender email address

Sometimes the sender email address or the sender domain (the site that's included in the address) are flagged by Wix's system as suspicious. This happens when the address or the domain has been flagged as a source of spam on several occasions in the past.

If your campaign was declined due to a suspicious sender email address, and you want to resend your campaign, you should change your reply-to email and make sure you follow best practices.

Suspicious and prohibited content

If your email includes content considered suspicious or prohibited and does not comply with the requirements stated in Section 3 of Wix Email Marketing Terms of Use, your campaign can be declined. Details of suspicious and prohibited content are detailed below.

Illegal substances or weapons

If a campaign promotes or features content, products and/or services such as Illegal substances, or illegal goods of any form, it will be declined by Wix. Weapons, weight-loss products, and/or services that provide unrealistic health advice fall under this category.
This is to prevent the sale or promotion of any products or services that are unlawful in the location at which the content is posted or received. As a service provider, Wix does not control who receives your campaign, and therefore this type of content is not permitted when using Wix. This is done to protect your sender reputation and avoid potential legal issues.

It’s best to avoid sending this kind of content, as this can result in your Wix Email Marketing account becoming restricted.

Adult sexual content

Sending or promoting pornography or illicit pornographic sexual products, content and/or services, including but not limited to child pornography, adult magazines, video, software, or escort services are not allowed when using Wix Email Marketing Terms of Use. As a service provider, Wix does not control who receives a campaign, therefore, this type of content is not permitted. This is done to protect your sender reputation and avoid potential legal issues as such content, products, or services are prohibited by law in certain countries.

As this kind of content cannot be approved, it’s best to reconsider your campaign and avoid sending this type of content in the future.

“Make money fast” claims

Certain content, products, and services are frequently associated with spam, and for this reason are not allowed by Wix Email Marketing Terms of Use. Such content includes but is not limited to:
  • Work-at-home offers promoting "get rich quick", "build your wealth", and "financial independence"
  • Debt collections, credit repair and debt relief offerings
  • Trading or cryptocurrencies
  • Betting or gambling services
  • Online and direct pharmaceutical sales

Often this type of content is considered fraudulent and is marked by recipients as spam. To protect your sender reputation, Wix declines email campaigns that promote such content.

If your campaign was declined and you want to resend it, make sure your message complies with the terms mentioned above. Then make sure you’re sending emails to people who have subscribed, and know what content to expect from you.

Misleading subject line

It’s important that the subject line relates to the content of the email. It should clearly say to your subscribers what to expect, otherwise, both subscribers and spam filters can consider your email to be spam. 

Keep the subject line short and engaging, ideally up to 30 characters so it is displayed in full on mobile devices. Avoid spammy words like “free,” “earn $,” “incredible deal”, “no gimmick”, or using all capital letters. 

Your email subject line needs to tell recipients what they can expect to see if they click into the email. If your campaign was declined and you want to resend it, keep the subject line informative: think of the action you want subscribers to take in the email and see if you can make it apparent in the subject line. It is okay to get creative and try to stand out in their inbox, as long as the content isn't confusing or misleading.

Affiliate marketing

As a sender/email marketer you should represent yourself and/or your organization accurately, and not impersonate any other person, whether actual or fictitious. You should be the sole or designated sender/email marketer of any email communication sent. For these reasons, affiliate marketing is not allowed under Email Marketing’s Terms of Use.

If your campaign was declined and you want to resend it, make sure your recipients can clearly understand who you are and/or what organization you are a part of. Also, do not promote products or services that are not directly related to your site or business.
When sending an email campaign, you should be creating unique and engaging content for promoting your own content, products, or services. If your email happens to include a link to a site that is known to collect contact information without obtaining the necessary permissions, Wix will decline the campaign. Wix maintains a list of sites that are known to contain spam, and including such links in your campaign will lead to it being declined. 

If you want to resend a campaign that was declined, make sure all links lead to your site or external sites that feature content that your recipients have subscribed to receive from you.

Unsolicited content

Some email content sent to recipients can be recognized as the type of content that people rarely subscribe to. Unethical, false, misleading or unsolicited advertising, promotions or sales efforts, and practices such as "junk mail", "spam", "chain letters", "pyramid schemes" or any other form of solicitation or any non-resume information such as opinions or notices, commercial or otherwise, are not permitted when using Wix Email Marketing to protect your sender reputation. 

Before resending your campaign, review it and make sure you send emails to people who have actively subscribed to receive the information you intend to distribute. 

Too many recipients

Sending a campaign to a large email list may flag it as spam. This can happen if you send to a large list of recipients before you've built a good sender reputation online. Also, if you send an email campaign to a significantly larger number of recipients than you've sent to previously, this can cause your campaign to be declined.

If your campaign was declined and you want to resend it, send to fewer recipients and continue to build your sender reputation so you can send to larger mailing lists in the future.

Your recipients should always be able to unsubscribe from your emails. That’s why an unsubscribe link is automatically added by Wix to every email you send. If you change the unsubscribe link, tamper with it in any way, add a second unsubscribe link, or include other unsubscribe options like contacting you directly to unsubscribe, it could lead to your campaign being declined. Learn more 

If you want to resend a campaign that was declined for this reason, make sure you don’t add any other way to unsubscribe from your mailing list. To preview the link, click Preview & Test and you’ll see the unsubscribe line with a link at the bottom of your email.

Breach of Email Marketing's Terms of Use

Your campaigns can be declined if you've breached Wix Email Marketing's Terms of Use in any way. Make sure you understand the terms of use before sending your campaign. It's also important to follow email marketing best practices.

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