What Is Graymail?
by Sara Nguyen
A lot of people sign-up to receive email newsletters from their favorite businesses, but they weren’t quite expecting to receive daily marketing emails. In annoyance, they might mark the emails as spam or unsubscribe from the email list.
This type of practice leads to an email being considered graymail.
What is graymail?
Graymail is a mass email that a recipient agrees to receive, but they actually don’t want it. This isn’t the same thing as receiving spam, which is usually unsolicited by the recipient. Characteristics of graymail include:
- The email is legitimate and is sent from a real business. In other words, the email is not spam, which is unsolicited junk mail that may include suspicious attachments, malicious macros, or fraudulent requests for information.
- The sender ethically obtained the recipient’s email address. The recipient has opted in to receive emails from the sender.
- The recipient has lost interest in receiving emails. Some common reasons include receiving too many emails or not enough emails to remember who the sender is.
You might even receive graymail from a list you didn’t sign up for, but this doesn’t mean the email is spam. Companies frequently share and purchase email lists, which means you will inevitably receive legitimate (i.e. not spam) marketing emails that you weren’t expecting.
In this case, your easiest course of action is to unsubscribe.
What happens to graymail?
While graymail isn’t technically spam, it can hurt your email metrics if your recipients perceive your email as spam. People might not engage with your content, or worse, mark it as spam.
If your emails get marked as spam too often, this could damage your domain and IP reputation. It could lead to email providers moving your emails to the spam folder where it never gets seen by the recipient.
Email providers have started using priority-based inbox placement to sort graymail from the rest of the emails a person receives. For example, Gmail has three different inbox categories; Primary, Social, and Promotions.
SEE ALSO: How to Make Gmail HIPAA Compliant
The Gmail algorithm sorts emails into different inbox categories. Primary emails are from people you know or engage with regularly, Social emails are from social networks and media-sharing sites, and Promotions are emails from businesses.
If your emails are identified as graymail, Gmail will likely put them into the Promotions tab. It’s a less-important inbox category, and it’s possible that the recipient hardly checks it.
This could have consequences, like patients missing important emails or your emails having a lower email engagement rate.
How can you avoid your emails becoming graymail?
There are a few tactics that you can use to stop your healthcare email marketing from becoming graymail:
- Ask recipients to add your email address to their contacts.
- Segment your audience so you send patients only relevant content.
- Test the frequency of your emails.
- Attempt to re-engage inactive email subscribers.
It all comes down to ensuring your marketing emails are personalized, engaging, and relevant, but of course, healthcare providers must also consider HIPAA implications as well.
SEE ALSO: Healthcare Email Marketing Use Cases
Can Paubox block spam from reaching your inbox?
Yes, Paubox Email Suite Plus comes with robust inbound security tools, including spam filters. A healthcare business can configure spam filters to be more or less strict and flag certain emails to be sent to quarantine.
Our security tools also stop threats like viruses, malware, and phishing emails from entering a user’s inbox. Paubox Email Suite Plus also comes with our patented ExecProtect feature that lets you say goodbye to ever receiving display name spoofing emails.
Paubox is easy to integrate with your current email provider, including Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. This means that your employees can send HIPAA compliant email directly to a patient’s inbox without using client portals or login credentials.