beehiiv improves email deliverability with SendGrid’s Engagement Quality Score
Time to read: 5 minutes
As a newsletter platform, beehiiv is home to thousands of the most popular publishers and content creators around the world. Due to its rapid growth, beehiiv wanted the resources to build supporting architecture to effectively manage email as a platform and prioritize their senders deliverability and reputation.
With these challenges and its business growth goals in mind, beehiiv partnered with Twilio SendGrid to help senders process emails directly through its platform, increasing the chances of emails getting to the inbox and leading them to a 52% increase in their deliverability rate YoY.
Clear, timely customer communication is key to business success, but many obstacles can prevent critical emails from being delivered or reaching recipients’ inboxes. Challenges caused by email service providers, like delivery delays, recurring outages, and limitations in handling high email volume, can prevent businesses from building the best experience for their customers.
Luckily, customers can partner with Twilio SendGrid to build an email solution that empowers them to build personable experiences. Our proprietary mail transfer agent and infrastructure is built for users to achieve optimal inbox placement and seamlessly scale their emails, all while managing deliverability and reputation. For beehiiv, building and managing an email solution for senders was key to driving growth at scale.
Founded in 2021, beehiiv enables its senders to use their platform to build and publish email newsletters, growing their subscribers, and ultimately monetizing their email program. Tyler Denk, the co-founder and CEO believes that email remains the most lucrative channel for communicating and building an audience and allows for more curation where newsletters can thrive. In fact, about 7 out of every ten US email users prefer that businesses and individuals reach out to them by email and email is the top preference for users in the United States. According to beehiiv’s blog, “Email newsletters are an effective way to engage your audience, build relationships, and drive conversions. They provide direct communication with your subscribers and allow you to deliver valuable content to their inboxes. When done well, email newsletters can help you establish credibility, increase brand loyalty, and generate business opportunities.” beehiiv ultimately helps content creators grow faster and more efficiently by sending newsletters that complement magazines, newspapers, blogs, podcasts and other forms of marketing.
Delivering at Scale
beehiiv was thinking about a long term solution and strategy to optimize for email delivery with dedicated support. Due to its rapid growth, beehiiv didn’t want to be faced with the challenge of building supporting architecture to effectively manage customer deliverability. They needed to track performance on a single account, observe deliverability trends across complex email programs, prevent spam and unwanted email and create a shared infrastructure. With these challenges and business goals in mind, beehiiv looked for a reliable solution and robust API that could handle their email volume as they continued to grow, which brought them to a partnership with Twilio SendGrid. By partnering with Twilio SendGrid, beehiiv was able to empower senders to use email directly through its platform. Today, the newsletter company has sent over 4.35 billion emails total with a volume increase of 1,147% YoY.
“The right email service provider sets you up for success. It's like having a trusty sidekick who has your back at all times. Your time should be spent on creating content for your newsletter, not trying to figure out how to dodge being flagged as spam. With a great provider, you can expect reliable email delivery, ensuring that your newsletters reach your subscribers' inboxes rather than landing in the spam folder.”
Introducing SendGrid Engagement Score (SEQ)
Deliverability was a priority for beehiiv’s sophisticated senders to build engaging communications. Third-party spam filters and inbox providers could prevent emails from reaching inboxes if the sender's IP score had a bad reputation — enter SendGrid Engagement Score. Twilio SendGrid launched SendGrid Engagement Score (SEQ) in August 2023 to help customers measure the performance and status of their sending reputation based on cues from mailbox providers. It carefully weighs the following five metrics to create a composite score: opens, bounces, blocks, spam complaints and engagement recency. SEQ is effective at identifying what senders need to improve on within their email program practices to have better email deliverability. By using SEQ scoring, beehiiv can help their senders distinguish between the quality of recipients, allowing them to remove bad actors and safekeep their sender reputation. Using these metrics can also be powerful to help understand low scores, for example, as indicators of compliance risks. In beehiiv’s case, they used the breakdown of scores to reliably route various mail streams through separate IPs or IP pools based on deliverability performance. To scale with their growth, beehiiv also used SEQ scores to segment their senders, increasing their lowest-performing pool open rate by 3%, and decreasing the spam complaint rate in that pool by 50%. The ability to quickly surface underperforming or problematic customers or accounts across the entire email ecosystem served a powerful and meaningful purpose, as they were able to identify specific mail streams that were negatively impacting the brand’s email deliverability. For example, they were able to uncover up to six bad actors from their platform that would have otherwise severely impacted their shared pool performance each week.
“Using data to identify our deliverability problems on a specific mail stream and quickly presenting the plan of action to correct the issue helped us to decrease blocks, remove bad actors and organize our IP pools.”
Partnering with support
For both direct customers and ISVs, it’s important to work on a long term strategy for SEQ with dedicated experts that can provide solutions to deliverability challenges. The partnership between beehiiv and Twilio SendGrid helped to create a long term strategy with dedicated experts who know exactly what a complex ISV needs. Growing beehiiv quickly and successfully was the highest priority and trusting a Professional Services team that has extensive experience was imperative for them to scale. Email is a complex industry, but beehiiv knew that rapid growth requires industry and platform expertise with little to no downtime. Twilio SendGrid’s Professional Services team, made of experienced program managers, engineers and deliverability consultants, focused on architecture for scale, compliance as a standard, email industry education and in depth custom reporting for beehiiv to understand their entire email program.
Email is an art and a science with an ever changing landscape and it was important for Professional Services to establish the right channels of communication at the onset of engagement. Although issues can arise at any time, some larger than others, our Professional Services team quickly became an extension of the beehiiv team to troubleshoot, test, and remediate issues that were impactful for their business. beehiiv has seen exceptional growth in 2023 and this is just the beginning of their ongoing success.
With exponential volume and scale across the business, beehiiv can now focus on and prioritize growth. Twilio SendGrid’s SEQ continues to help them monitor their email deliverability and reputation management. SEQ provides the specificity they need to continuously optimize email deliverability performance across their growing sender base and is powerful in helping to understand how wanted emails are and where there are opportunities for improvement. As beehiiv saw, SEQ keeps positive interactions high and negative ones low, increasing the chances of emails getting to the inbox and leading them to a 52% increase in their deliverability rate YoY.
Reaching the inbox with Twilio SendGrid
The quality of beehiiv’s email reputation increased significantly, decreasing the spam complaint rate in the low performing pool by 50%. Given these results, beehiiv can focus on its senders first, and get one step closer to its mission of using email as a way to connect and encourage talented and creative people in the world to influence others through its software. Maintaining a competitive edge in an evolving market landscape requires data, dashboards and insights, and features such as SEQ to shift operations and improve user experience for direct customers and ISVs.
We’re excited for our continued partnership with beehiiv and look forward to seeing how they continue to grow. To learn more, please visit the SendGrid website, our latest SEQ blog and documentation page.