How to fix the MailChimp Omnivore warning?

May 28, 2020

Mailchimp is probably one of the most popular and efficient email service providers in the world. It has over 14 million users and sends out billions of emails every year.

You don’t get to operate at such an impressively high-level of business without a lot of hard work and meticulous operation.

What its users don’t understand (and why would they? They really don’t need to, after all), is how many regulations contain the practices of the email services, and how much responsibility they hold for the health of email operation from ISP to ISP.

That brings us to today’s topic. We’re looking into one of the Mailchimp means of protection; protection for both parties involved in the process. So, with no further ado—what is the MailChimp Omnivore warning? And how does it affect its users?

Protecting their Mailchimp servers as well as your domain reputation

Omnivore wasn’t created just to be awkward. What its users often don’t realize is that Mailchimp is governed too. If their servers become blacklisted for inadequate activity, the whole system suffers, and that includes the operations of its customers.

By introducing and delivering their Omnivore warning, Mailchimp was taking the best steps it could to protect everybody in each email delivery chain.

As well as protecting their customers’ domain reputations—which means the maximum amount of messages will reach their intended recipients—it’s also protecting itself.

It needs to, so it can continue sending out its millions of messages without running the danger of the ISPs banning or blocking their servers.

The other advantage that Mailchimp saw in improving the quality of their customers’ email lists was the bonus their improved scores would achieve for their servers.

ISPs would prefer their servers to poorer performing options, and that would mean more messages reaching their recipient’s inboxes. It would be a double-win with a better system.

Enter the Omnivore warning. A first call alarm-bell, letting users know there’s an issue that needs their attention. One that, when the user takes appropriate action, makes life better for everyone.

Better for the user. Better for Mailchimp. And better for the ISPs on the receiving end of all of your campaigns.

What is Mailchimp Omnivore warning?

The Mailchimp Omnivore error lets the account operator know that due to problems with their email list, the email campaign won’t get sent.

The warning lets you know that there’s a problem with your list, but it won’t identify which addresses are the offenders. It does that on purpose to protect the integrity of their AI. You’ll receive the warning through the system’s SaaS or by email.

Only when the problem entries in the email list are rectified can the campaign be sent out to that list. It won’t affect any other lists on your account—you can still send emails to all of the others in your system without issue.

That said, Mailchimp doesn’t want to make the system so intense and strict nobody gets to send an email. Instead, it understands that no list will be perfect, so calculates the quality score of your new or updated list. If you score high enough, the email sends. If you don’t reach the target, then you need to clean up your list until it does.

What triggers an Omnivore warning?

Around 61 trillion things. That’s right. Omnivore is an incredibly clever piece of artificial intelligence that runs over 61 trillion email data comparisons. The algorithm Mailchimp uses to deter spammers needs to be all-encompassing, and that’s why it’s so complex, sophisticated and private.

It runs on some of the biggest and most powerful servers available because it works so hard and so fast. It’s constantly running in the background of all Mailchimp activity, checking lists and their behaviour, making sure the quality of their operation remains so strong.

But that isn’t the information you’re here for. You’re looking for specifics.

What does ‘cleaned’ mean in Mailchimp? Here are your premium mailing list offenders:

Stale email addresses

An out-of-date or expired email address will result in a hard bounce, no question. Those stale addresses, ones that may not have received a message from you in a while, are going to play a part in your poor list score.

Omnivore expects its users to actively monitor and remove stale addresses. Did you know that around 23% of your contacts become inactive each year? And they look bad on your domain and Mailchimp’s servers. That’s why they’ve got to go.

Unfamiliar email addresses

Omnivore scans your lists for new addresses that you haven’t previously delivered to. If your list exceeds a threshold for unfamiliar addresses, then you’ll receive the Omnivore warning.

The addresses could be genuine acquisitions from organic means. However, if they’re not all valid, it could mean a mass of hard bounces. By limiting the number of unfamiliar addresses, Mailchimp protects your domain reputation and a lot of avoidable damage.

Spam Traps

Spam traps are email addresses specially designed to identify out-of-date lists and catch spammers in action. ISPs and other anti-spam organizations use spam trap addresses to catch out operators using them, as they’ll have likely been acquired by improper means.

Disposable email addresses

Disposable email addresses are low scoring and poor quality acquisitions.

Many users will choose to use a temporary address to enter a competition or receive a free gift, with no intention of staying in touch with the business. They offer minimal tracking and often a hard bounce that’s no use to anyone.

How to fix an Omnivore warning?

If you’re looking into ways of getting around Mailchimp Omnivore warnings by sorting your list manually, then you need to be diligent.

It could mean multiple passes, cleaning your list and re-importing it to find out if you’ve tracked down all, or enough of, your problem addresses.

If your latest list version does make the grade, you should be aware that the next time you add to it, there may be items still in there that will add to your new score. Keeping a clean list by manual means is a tall order, especially with longer lists.

Here are a few suggestions of how to clean an email list for Mailchimp, and readdress your Omnivore warning.

Remove syntax errors

If you’re going to do the work manually, then obvious errors in email addresses are extra spaces that appear between letters or symbols, additional or missing periods, typos, or unpermitted characters before the @ symbol.

These types of error are often basic human error and can be challenging to spot. Automation is a much better option.

Delete role-based addresses

Mailchimp doesn’t like role-based emails as they’re often used to deliver to a department or a group of recipients as opposed to one specific targeted person. That means they’re less likely to have been acquired by organic means.

Email addresses with [email protected], [email protected], and especially [email protected] are all associated with spam complaints and high bounce rates.

Get rid of bought-in addresses

We can’t stress this enough—bought in databases are bad news. It might look like you’re acquiring thousands of new leads, but more realistically, you’re acquiring empty leads and an abundance of soft and hard bounces.

The best way to obtain relevant leads is to generate them by the correct means. Only that way can you guarantee the recipient is already interested in what you have to offer.

More often than not, these lists are full of spam traps and out-of-date email addresses.

Reconfirm possible stale addresses

A healthy method of making sure your emails are current and relevant is to reconfirm as many as possible. Wherever you can, give your customers, and genuine leads an opportunity to renew their interest so you can avoid any unnecessary bounces.

How Bouncer can help?

Bouncer’s tool provides an incredibly simple and efficient, fully automated, Mailchimp Omnivore fix.

Bouncer improves email deliverability and protects your sender reputation. It decreases bounce rates and helps prevent you from being blocked by your ESPs.

Even better, you can connect your Mailchimp account directly to Bouncer to validate your email lists. All you need to connect Bouncer to your Mailchimp account is your Mailchimp credentials.

For those who prefer, can generate a Mailchimp API Key, created within Mailchimp and imported into Bouncer. It gives you all the control you could ask for and seamless integration.

How to fix the Omnivore warning? Mailchimp doesn’t want to stop you delivering your campaigns; quite the contrary, it needs you to. And that’s why Bouncer is here to help everyone get what they need.

Leave the hard work to us, and watch the stress disappear. Those campaigns will be flying out in no time.

Whichever route you feel most comfortable with, your mailing lists will be verified by Bouncer and returned to Mailchimp ready for the safe send out.

It’s the perfect Omnivore Mailchimp fix.

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