How to Get Around the Mailchimp Omnivore Warning

If you’re reading this article, you too have probably been stumped at some point by Mailchimp’s Omnivore warning.

We’re big fans of Mailchimp and its Omnivore system. Omnivore checks your email lists upon import, predicts if the list will have a high bounce rate and identifies if there are email addresses likely to be spam traps or generate abuse complaints.


While the goal of email marketing campaigns is to have a high open and click through rate, issues with the list decrease deliverability and negatively impact the sender’s reputation. Why is your sending reputation important? If your sending server’s IP address is flagged by spam filters, other servers may end up blocking emails sent from that same domain name, assuming it’s spam.

Mailchimp owns the responsibility of sending out each email, so it’s protecting its own reputation as well as yours. For all of these reasons, Omnivore serves as a beneficial tool when sending an email campaign.


THE PROBLEM


If you’ve received an Omnivore warning from Mailchimp, you’re going to want to first take a look at the email list that triggered the warning.

Do you have incorrect or outdated email addresses? Are there a lot of misspellings or role-based emails (i.e. john@ggmaiil.com or admin@gmail.com)? If so, it’s critical to filter out these addresses. You can also use an online email list cleaning tool, such as ZeroBounce or Bounceless to support your efforts.

Another area to troubleshoot is whitelisting. Often, large corporations or school systems have intensive spam filters and firewalls that will block unrecognized email addresses. If you’ve tested sending your email to a handful of contacts on your list (we recommend that you do) and they are not receiving the email in their inbox or spam folder, you will want them to whitelist Mailchimp to see if that resolves any issues. You can also have them include your server’s IP address in the process. Learn more about how to whitelist here.

Are you still getting the Omnivore warning? After double-checking and triple-checking one of our challenging email lists and reaching out to Mailchimp support, we were still unable to get the list successfully imported. Here’s how we managed to solve the problem.


THE SOLUTION


First and foremost, uploading a bad list to Mailchimp is never the best solution. Omnivore exists for a good reason. But if you’ve gone through all of the possible options to clean and secure your list and are still receiving an Omnivore warning, you can also use our method below to continue to troubleshoot and identify which parts of your list are causing the alert.

The more time-consuming and straightforward option that Mailchimp recommends is to re-confirm your email list. In our case, we had the overall corporate approval to send to the list of employees but did not have the capability to ask each contact if they’d like to be on this specific email list.

After some research, testing and trial and error, we found that separating and uploading the email list into groups of 150 email addresses worked. We tagged each section to be able to remove any group that triggered Omnivore, but separately, none of them did. This can take some time depending on how big your list is, but it’s the only workaround we’ve found that actually gets the job done. For some reason, 150 was the magic number for our list after trying 400 and 250 contacts. We also tried sending to more than one of these new tags in a campaign, but that combination would also trigger Omnivore. This means we had to send a campaign out to each tag separately. It also meant that we found a way to get the email campaign out on time and with the new ability to analyze deliverability!  

You can also use this option to troubleshoot your email list and see which specific sections are causing the warning to pop up. By breaking up the addresses into smaller groups, you can isolate the Omnivore warning and work on any flagged sections of the list.


THE RESULT


We found that our (MANY) individual email campaigns that were broken down from the original list did well and had successful deliverability. Hardly any email addresses were cleaned or removed upon their import as a smaller section. We believe our list was flagged for having too many email addresses with similar name variations that looked similar to spam (i.e. johnsmith-1@gmail.com, johnsmith-2@gmail.com, etc). Mailchimp wasn’t able to confirm or deny that was the reason, but we’re stumped as to why else the list would’ve been blocked based on our results.

If you’re in need of digital marketing services or Mailchimp aficionados, contact us here and let us show you what we can do for your brand at The Wright Touch.

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