Smart Defender FAQ’s

What is Smart Defender?Defender automatically tags all your contacts every 24 hours based on engagement. Choose from Simple Mode or Detailed Mode. Either way, Smart Defender will make sure you always know who your liabilities are and can stop emailing them. No more hurting your own deliverability!

With Smart Defender, you spend less time wondering why you’re not getting the results that you want and how to fix things yourself, and more reaping the benefits of reaching more inboxes and making more sales.

Here’s what Smart Defender can help you do, quickly and easily:

  • Use Provider Performance Insights to proactively manage your reputation, so you can nip minor deliverability issues in the bud before they turn into crises.
  • Use Easy Engagement Management to automatically tag your contacts, so you can easily find your most engaged contacts, and you can identify those that are no longer engaged, allowing you to maximise your open rates, and therefore your future deliverability.
  • Use Automated Opt-Out to keep your list clean so you can’t mistakenly hurt your reputation by continuing to message unengaged contacts.
  • Use the Defender Tags to automatically kick off a re-engagement automation when contacts reach a certain period of non-engagement (typically 30 and/or 90 days

Why do I need to connect to my marketing platform?

Smart Defender can’t run unless it has access to your email marketing platform. We have to be able to see when each contact last opened and clicked on an email, and we have to be able to apply and remove tags from all of your contacts.

How often do the tags get updated?

Smart Defender runs once every 24 hours at the same time each day that you choose during setup – we suggest you choose a time in the middle of the night for your time zone. Please note that the time zone displayed is UTC so you will need to add or subtract the appropriate number of hours based on your own time zone.

Important: If a contact’s status hasn’t changed, the tag will not be reapplied. To give an example, you may come across a contact with the Green tag on 27th February but the green tag was applied on 10th November the previous year. This just means that that contact engaged on that day and has been engaging with the green timeframe (at least every 30 days) ever since, meaning the tag has never needed to be updated.

How do I subscribe to Smart Defender?

Simply log in to your EmailSmart account and select the Smart Defender section in the menu. From here, you will be able to subscribe to the appropriate plan for you.

Do I have to sign a long-term contract?

There’s no contract — just pay as you go, month-to-month and you can cancel up to five working days before your next payment is due. An annual subscription option is available for businesses who take action and want to take advantage of Smart Defender for a longer time from the get-go.

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

How do I set up Smart Defender?

  1. First of all, you’ll need to select either Simple Mode or Detailed Mode for tagging. For most of our clients, Simple Tagging is sufficient (please see below for an explanation of the different tags) but some clients prefer to take a more granular approach and go for the Detailed Tagging. If you’re not sure, we recommend the Simple Tagging.
  2. Next, you will need to select the time of day you want tagging to run. We recommend this to be sometime between midnight and 3am your time. Please note that the times displayed in the setup are UTC, so you will need to add or subtract time depending on your timezone. 

Please also note that, due to daylight savings time starting and ending at different times in different parts of the world, this time is semi-flexible. In the Northern Hemisphere, this will only potentially be a 1-hour difference twice a year for a short time. In the Southern Hemisphere, depending on when you select the time, this can be between two hours earlier and two hours later at different times of the year.

  1. Next, you’ll need to select which day of the week you’d like us to collect the Provider Performance data. By default, this is set to Saturday but we recommend Monday.

That’s the setup done. Please note that tagging won’t run for the first time until the time of day you’ve specified. If you need it to run straight away, please contact, stating your app name and the email address that the Defender subscription is under and asking us to kick off Defender tagging for you.

Which contacts on my list will get tagged?

Every single contact in your database will get tagged. If the contact isn’t “marketable” right now (e.g. because their email address bounced, they unsubscribed, they complained for spam, etc.), they will be tagged according to the reason they’re not marketable. All the remaining “marketable” contacts (i.e. the people that you can send emails to) will be classified into one of four different buckets.

Defender Simple Mode Tags:

Green/Amber/Red/Bad tags. Mail the green folks all the time; mail the amber folks occasionally; re-engage the contacts that turn red and never mail the bad contacts.

Green Tags

This means, they’ve opened an email or clicked on a link- very, very specific here. It’s not just filled out a form or they’re brand new. It’s very targeted, they’ve opened or they’ve clicked in the last 30 days or have only signed up in the last 30 days, regardless of whether or not they’ve opened or clicked yetThose are your green, your highest-level assets.

Amber Tags

Those are the contacts that have engaged between 30 and 90 days ago, because typically anything up to 90 days still is there’s a chance they’re going to still engage with you.

Red Tags

Anyone that’s opened or engaged 90 to 180 days ago, these are your liabilities, and we’ll tag them as red.

Bad Tags

These are the people that have either engaged more than 180 days ago, more than six months, or they have never ever engaged. The only slight distinction that we make here is if it’s a contact that was added recently, say in the last 30 days, then we wouldn’t tag them as bad straightaway, we’d give them 30 days before the tag is applied.

Defender Detailed Mode Tags:

Tagging based on how long it has been since each contact engaged; choose your own engagement management strategies. Detailed mode includes tags for both “last opened” and “last clicked”.

There will be tags for mailable (i.e. that have one of the statuses that your CRM will allow you to send email to) existing and new contacts as follows:


  • Engaged in last 000-007 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Engaged in last 007-030 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Engaged in last 030-060 days (Amber in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Engaged in last 060-090 days (Amber in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Engaged in last 090-120 days (Red in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Engaged in last 120-180 days (Red in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Engaged in last 180-365 days (Red in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Engaged in last 365+ days (Bad in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Never Engaged Older than 30 days (Bad in Simple Tagging Mode)


  • New and Unengaged for 00-01 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • New and Unengaged for 01-02 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • New and Unengaged for 02-03 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • New and Unengaged for 03-05 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • New and Unengaged for 05-07 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • New and Unengaged for 07-14 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • New and Unengaged for 14-30 days (Green in Simple Tagging Mode)
  • Never Engaged Older than 30 days (Bad in Simple Tagging Mode)

What open rates should I be expecting?

For the Green contacts, you should see somewhere between a 40 and a 60% open rate, if you’re doing well. The Amber contacts may be somewhere between 10 and 20%. For the Red contacts, if you get 1 or 2%, you’re doing really well with those; as for the Bad contacts, forget it, you’ll get zero point something percent.