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Square Marketing Reputation FAQ

What is your marketing reputation?

Your Square Marketing reputation includes three main areas:

  • Spam Traps
  • Bounce rates
  • Spam rates

Each of these areas have a direct impact on the reputation of your emails and your content with email providers and spam monitors. Square wants to help you maintain a good reputation and make sure that your emails are delivered to your contacts. A poor reputation can result in your campaigns being filtered, marked as spam or completely blocked from recipients.

What is a spam trap?

Spam traps are typically created by spam monitors and email providers to track spammers who are harvesting contacts online and using them to send emails.

Learn more about the spam trap types and sources.

What is a pristine spam trap?

A pristine trap is any email address that is published on public websites and has never belonged to a real person. These traps are created for the sole purpose of detecting senders with poor list acquisition processes. These traps are considered the most serious since emails sent to these addresses did not follow the recommended user opt-in processes.

What is a spam rate?

Spam rate is the percentage of your emails that land in a spam box. For example, if you send 100 emails and 20 end up in a spam folder, you have a 20% spam rate. Square uses a third-party service to monitor and receive statistics around spam rates.

What is a bounce rate?

Bounce rate is the percentage of emails you send that can’t be delivered to email addresses. For example, if you send 100 emails and 20 can’t be delivered, you have a 20% bounce rate. Square can only find out during delivery if an email bounces or not, so we can’t predict your bounce rate.

Emails can bounce for various reasons:

  • The recipient’s email address is invalid.
  • The recipient’s server is having an issue.
  • The recipient’s email provider is blocking emails sent from a particular sender.

Where can I see my bounce rate?

For your email campaigns, you can see how many emails bounced and the bounce rate in your online Square Dashboard by going to Customers > Marketing.

Why can’t I see my spam rate?

Square uses a third-party service to monitor spam rates. We do not show your spam rate because it takes time to compile the data and can reveal to non-legitimate merchants how to circumvent spam protections for our providers.

Why is my bounce or spam rate high? And why am I blocked from using Marketing?

Your bounce and spam rates depend on your specific situation. We typically see high bounce and spam rates from merchants that have:

  • Purchased a contact list
  • Migrated from another service
  • Have an open web sign-up form without reCAPTCHA enabled
  • A very old contact list
  • Manual sign-up forms (like forms handwritten in-store)

Square monitors for wider email deliverability issues, so if there is a growing trend, some of the email providers may be having an issue. However, that is rarely the case.

Your account may be blocked from Square Marketing because once you hit a certain bounce or spam rate threshold. Square will need to take immediate action to prevent further spam and bounces.

How can I prevent spam traps and high bounce or spam rates from happening again?

To help prevent future spam traps or high bounce or spam rates:

  • Do not purchase contact lists.
  • Clean up your contacts from time to time by removing old contacts or contacts that have not made a purchase or visit in the last 12 months. Note: this window may vary depending on the specifics of your business.
  • Use the Square sign-up form to collect emails. Then, replace open sign-up forms on your website with Square’s sign-up forms.
  • Use Square POS to collect emails.
  • Do not use manual signup forms in-store.

Do my emails remain bounced forever?

No, we only halt your emails for a stand-down period of two weeks. If you send emails to customers during that time, the emails will still appear as bounced in your campaign reports. After a stand-down period from the initial bounce, you’ll be able to send emails again to that email address.

However, if we receive a hard bounce from an email provider (meaning the email address no longer exists), you will no longer be able to send to that email address, and it will be removed from your reachable list. We do not publish the stand-down period of bounces to prevent automated circumvention of our protections.

I uploaded a list from a previous service but didn’t have this problem before. What changed?

Other services may not report these issues, but Square Marketing does. We want your email list to have the highest engagement and the best reach possible, which is why we put extra effort into this work. We also want to make sure that your emails are reaching your customers and not ending up in a spam folder or being bounced.

I don’t record purchases in Square Point of Sale. How can I clean up my list?

Cleaning up your email list will take some time and effort, but you understand your business and customers better than anyone. We can help narrow down the list of contacts you need to remove to limit the spam trap emails, but you make the final decision on which emails to remove and which to keep.

Why is my Square Marketing account disabled?

Your Square Marketing account has been disabled because we detected a pristine spam trap in your email list. Square immediately disables accounts with pristine spam traps to prevent further sends to the spam trap accounts. Continuing to send emails to that address can be risky without some form of contact list maintenance.

My customers visit infrequently – less than once per year. Do I need to delete their email addresses from the directory?

Removing email addresses for customers you know will never return or who open your emails infrequently could help clean up your contact list.

I use my directory to track customers for events, so they don’t make purchases. How can I exclude them from deletion?

We suggest you create a specific group in your Customer Directory to track these contacts so they can be easily excluded from any lists that may be deleted using filters.

How will adjusting my contact list impact my financial reporting and my customers’ information?

Your financial information and your customers’ financial information will not be deleted; you only lose the contact information from your Customer Directory and the ability to contact those customers.

What’s the difference between inactive and invalid contacts?

Inactive contacts are contacts that have not made a purchase recently but may have in the past. They can become dormant over time and may not engage with your business again.

Note: The window for purchase time before the customer becomes inactive depends on your business.

Invalid contacts are contacts that never made a purchase and remained inactive an extended period of time (over a year). There is a high chance that these contacts will create email reputation issues as there is no way to check if they are real or not.

What other options are available other than deleting these contacts?

If you don’t want to delete invalid contacts, you can:

  • Create a safe group and filter by marketing subscribe or purchase count.
  • Create other groups with your known contacts that haven’t made purchases.

Once you make these groups, you can send campaigns only to them.

Another option is to divide your unsafe contacts into separate groups and send them individual campaigns to see which contacts have a spam trap. However, this option is riskier and more time-consuming.

Is there another option besides sorting my customers by ‘Last Visited’?

Yes, there is, but sorting by ‘Last Visited’ is the quickest option. However, you can export your contact list into an Excel file or Google Sheet and manually create a list of contacts you want to keep, then import the new list into your directory.
Also, remember to:

  • Merge any duplicates after you upload your new list.
  • Give the system some time after you upload to make sure it is indexed (searchable) correctly.

Why do I need to delete contacts because of one spam trap email?

Square does not know exactly which email address is the spam trap and can only make broad assumptions. We know that the spam traps are not real customers or have not been signed up for a very long time; they also will have either never made a purchase or not made one in many years. The emails campaigns you send to these accounts will show as opened to not rouse suspicion that the accounts are fake, though. Since Square has limited information available to guide these email deletions, we suggest combing through your contacts to remove any that you don’t recognise or that are inactive or invalid.

I have many duplicate contacts. Does that impact these rates?

Resolving your duplicate contacts can greatly increase your ability to filter valid and invalid contacts. It may also aid Square in filtering out suggested deletions.

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