About MailChimp Omnivore
MailChimp, arguably the most famous email service provider (ESP) in the world, is responsible for sending over fifteen billion emails every month. Their abuse prevention system, Omnivore, is in-turn the most famous email abuse prevention system.
It’s safe to say that if anyone knows emailing best practices, it’s them.
Known for being extremely strict, Omnivore has identified hundreds of thousands of malicious accounts. And most likely prevented many millions (or billions) of emails from ever being sent.
But as with all AI-powered systems, there is a margin of error, and sometimes legitimate accounts are flagged as false positives. So, how can you prevent having your email campaigns from being flagged, and your account possibly facing suspension?
...Algorithimic email abuse prevention systems are not perfect, sometimes legitimate accounts are flagged... Three flags in six months will result in permanent account removal.
Omnivore Warning ≠ Suspended Account
A MailChimp Omnivore warning is not a MailChimp account suspension. A MailChimp Omnivore warning means you can’t send email campaigns out to lists that it’s flagged. In other words, you can continue to build and send campaigns to a non-flagged list even if one of your newly created/imported lists are flagged.
What does this warning mean? When you imported you newly created list, Omnivore scanned and analyzed it for spam traps, hard bounce, and abuse complaint address. If your list passes a certain threshold (one that Mailchimp does not reveal), sending to that list is suspended. Mailchimp then asks you to remove the offending list, perform some cleanup and try again. But keep in mind, if your account is flagged three times in six months, it will be closed permanently.
The reason that Mailchimp is so aggressive, is because they are actively protecting their IP reputation, and spammy accounts will indeed damage that reputation.
Bad email syntax can and will wreak havoc with your email marketing list, and in turn potentially doom your IP sender reputation. This is particularly true if you use only single opt-in forms or processes. The most common email address errors are:
- Emails without an “@”
- Emails with extra spaces
- Addresses that don’t have a dot
Purchased lists are often littered with bad email addresses. Sending a bad list through mailchimp can get that list suspended and will get your account flagged.
You can manually scan your list in Excel for these errors. For this to work, you’ll need your emails downloaded in an Excel spreadsheet and the following formula inserted in the cells: =AND(FIND(“@”,A2),FIND(“.”,A2),ISERROR(FIND(” “,A2)))
But what this excel formula doesn’t do is validate the email address. Your list may be free of syntax errors, but it could still be littered with junk and abandoned addresses.
Fortunately, there’s a reliable, quick and relatively inexpensive way to get avoid Omnivore. You can use accurate email verification services, like ZeroBounce to delete the bad emails for you. Here are just some of the address types that ZeroBounce segregates from your list:
- Emails that hard bounce
- Emails with typos
- Emails with invalid mx records
- Emails with bad syntax
- Emails that are temporary/disposable
- Emails that are role-based (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
- email@example.com, and so on)
NOTE: We highly discourage the use of purchased lists. Not only are they littered with errors and invalid emails, you’re not the first person to purchase this list. As referenced before, Mailchimp sends over 15 billion emails a month, and Omnivore is more than familiar with the list you want to purchase.
ZeroBounce’s email validation is trustworthy, precise, and better than manual checks. For example, some of the email types above can’t be checked for without complex software. And ZeroBounce guarantees at least a 98% accuracy rate.
Using an email validation service is the fastest and most reliable way to eliminate most of Omnivore warning triggers. And here’s another thing to remember; Omnivore and in turn Mailchimp don’t divulge which emails are flagged and how many need to be removed. Once a list is flagged it your responsibility to clean and sanitize your list. And blindly deleting potentially valid emails is deleting leads. And deleting leads is the same as deleting potential sales.
Final Thoughts About Omnivore
Mailchimp Omnivore is an extremely useful tool that helps all of us avoid spam. But as a Mailchimp user, getting caught in its net is all too simple. That’s why we strongly recommend using a service like ZeroBounce. Digging through thousands or even millions of emails is no fun chore, let alone trying to determine the validity of those email address. Truthfully email verification is way more accurate than manual cleanup can ever be.
Will MailChimp help you with the Omnivore warning? It’s worth a try, but help is not guaranteed. That’s why being proactive about your list health from the beginning is paramount.
Using an email validation service is the fastest and most reliable way to eliminate most of Omnivore warning triggers.
To put a final point on it, while ZeroBounce will absolutely clean your list, we cannot guarantee getting past Omnivore. Mailchimp does not disclose any aspect of Omnivore’s findings, and as such, there is no definitive way to avoid being flagged. There are only ways to reduce it.