Displaying items by tag: deliverability

Finally, see below the third and final installment of our quality tips on how to increase the deliverability of your email messages.

  • Always contact an ISP whenever you receive a bounced back email with a black list message attached. Get the name of the contact to speak to them about the listing. Keep a copy of the message to send to them. Be fully prepared to explain your specific policy and ask their advice on how to avoid further black listing.
  • Think about subscribing to a Delivery Monitoring Solution which is going to provide you with constant monitoring of your reputation and black list status. It will also give you snap shots of authentication levels.
  • ESP’s provide their services by default. Using an Email Service Provider to send you emails enables you to benefit from their reputation, accreditation and ISP relationships.
  • Select an ESP such as Yahoo, Hotmail or AOL which is signed up to feedback loops. These loops will send an unsubscribed email to your database whenever the recipient of your email clicks the ‘report spam’ button.
  • Check and check again that the content of your email is not going to be caught by spam filters.
  • Utilize a spam filter to check your content and analyse the findings.
  • Employ an ‘inbox preview’ application to check how the content of your email appears within different ISP inboxes. However, do not use large images which can be scanned by a spam filter.
  • Steer clear from using many different colours, fonts and sizes regaring your text and links.
  • Avoid using a large amount of links within each email. Keep the number of links relative the amount of words you use within is message.
  • Try not to use suspicious subject lines. Keep the title clear and straight forward but avoid including words such as ‘free’ and ‘special offer’ as well as capital letters and exclamation marks.

So there you go, thirty high quality top tips for you to apply to your email marketing campaign to ensure that your deliverability is a high as it can be.

Published in Delivery

For your second helping of useful tips to increase your deliverability rates see below:

  1. Make sure the email addresses which have been collected offline have been validated before you add them to your main database; this means your bounce back rate is not affected.
  2. Include a clear and highly visible unsubscribe link in all the email messages you send. Your unsubscribe link should not require any more then two clicks for the person unsubscribing.
  3. The unsubscribe page should include your company branding such as the name and logo.
  4. The link used for unsubscribing ought to process the requests in real time.
  5. All your offline contact information needs to be available for unsubscribers such as phone number and postal address. These requests also need to be processed within a speedy time frame.
  6. Lists need to be keep up to date and current by deleting hard bounces from undeliverable emails.
  7. Soft bounces should be deleted once 3 consecutive emails have been returned and classes as a hard bounce.
  8. Highlight ‘dead’ contacts and recipients which have been unresponsive for a long period of time. After one test email has been sent and failed stop emailing them.
  9. Spot the main ISPs for your marketing campaign in your email contact database and build a quality relationship with them.
  10. Introduce your new recipients and explain your key messages. Clearly explain your opt-in policy and request any suggestions on how to avoid being blacklisted.

For our final batch of top tips for your email deliverability be sure to catch and third and final blog post.

Published in Delivery

Knowing how your emails will be judged by their recipients is essential and there are numerous elements which can influence this. So here are some top tips which can help you maximize your deliverability rates:

  • Make sure you use an authentic domain name.
  • Send your email messages at a regular rate. Emailing from a consistent IP address enables you to build your reputation with the ISP’s. By doing this you will additionally avoid the threat of an ISP blacklist affecting your daily emails which are sent from your business domain.
  • Ensure the emails are sent from a ‘friendly’ email address which can be seen in the message header and not a string of numbers.
  • A privacy policy opt-in statement should be seen and be sure to declare your sender identity and how the information you are collecting is going to be used.
  • Only communicate with email addresses who have given you their prior permission.
  • Use a positive ‘opt-in’ box in order to gain permission to email contacts.
  • Send a ‘non-commercial welcome email’ as a way to confirm the validity of email addresses and your permission to email that address.
  • A welcome message can be used as a method to invite new contacts to add you to their ‘Trusted senders’ list within their inbox. They could even add you to their address book once a relationship has been built.
  • Think about employing a ‘double opt-in’ for brand new contacts. The welcome email will need the contact to click through to a designated link and confirm their details as well as their consent.
  • Make sure your opt-ins are gathered off-line, this can be via customer care, sales teams, networking and registration cards.

For further advice see our next installment of top tips entitled ‘How to increase your deliverability rate (Part 2).’

Published in Delivery
Tuesday, 08 October 2013 12:37

Your email deliverability

Fundamental guidance to enable you to maximize your email deliverability rate
All successful marketers understand the importance of their messages reaching the intended targeted recipient containing the most interesting and relevant information and an efficient inventive execution.
Once you have these elements mastered your print adverts, inserts and mailing pieces will all be read and quickly responded to. However, although email marketers do not have to be concerned about their ads being in print or being delivered by the postman, they do need to be concerned about other unique elements.
An email marketer has to be able to understand their email deliverability as this cannot be taken for granted. If an email is not successful in reaching the intended inbox, it will not be read.
Emails which are sent to an inbox without obtaining prior consent are known as spam. Vast amounts of spam are sent out every day and often to addresses which have been ‘harvested’ and it is an accepted fact that between 85% and 95% of all the email traffic worldwide are unsolicited. This large number of unrequested email has a significant impact upon the email marketing industry.
Regarding capacity requirements, it costs the Internet Service Providers or ISPs, such as AOL and Hotmail, very large sums to process. Corporations are also confronted with the concealed costs of lost productivity when handling unwanted emails. Then it is the consumer who has to deal with the cost of being a victim to these fraudulent and illegal scams.
It is no surprise to see why the email industry has made it their number one priority to reduce and then finally eliminate the mammoth volume of unwanted email traffic.
How does this affect marketers?
Although it is all well and good for ISPs to try and eliminate spam emails it does cause a few issues for email marketers, such as their legitimate emails being blocked even though they have been requested and prior consent has been obtained, which means that email marketers may be paying for their messages to be created and sent without them actually being delivered.
Your email delivery rate can be hugely impacted by the extent to which your emails are blocked.
There are a few different methods a marketer needs to know in order to maximise their emails delivery rate. The first of these is obtaining the correct ROI or Return on Investment.
How do emails get blocked/filtered?
In order to be sure that you increase your delivery rate, it is important to have a basic understanding of how ISPs analyse and label emails as spam.
Major factors which affect your deliverability
There are two vital factors by which an ISP judges an email and the sender and decides whether or not it will permit your marketing information to be successfully received into the intended inbox.
The first is authentication, which refers to whether the email has actually been sent from who it appears to be from and the second is reputation, which looks at the standards of behavior of the email’s sender.
1. Authentication
ISPs employ 3 main protocols in order to validate the identity of the email sender regarding the email being sent. These are domain keys, sender ID and Sender Policy Framework (SPF). These tools enable an ISP to confirm an email has been sent from a server which is who they claim to be and that they are authorized to send it.
2. Reputation
A spammer does not take time to build relationships and reputations with ISPs, in fact they make all the effort they can to do the complete opposite and stay invisible from them and undercover. Therefore, email marketers who make an effort to be known to ISPs and build relationships with them and adhere to their rules are able to please filters, gain a white listed status and become fast tracked into the intended inboxes.
Although these two protocols are essential for high volumes of successfully sent emails, there are a few others we can mention such as feedback loops, Goodmail, white lists and black lists.
Feedback Loops
Use an ESP (Email Service Provider) which is signed up to receive ‘Feedback Loops’ on the major ISPs, which include Hotmail, AOL as well as Yahoo.
A ‘Feedback Loop’ is something which enables the ISP to send an unsubscribe email to your contact database when a receiver of your email clicks on the ‘Report spam’ button. It also enables your ESP to save the recipient who made the complaint from receiving any future messages, and therefore avoid any repeated complaints and as a result protecting your reputation.
RPC or return path certified enforce very strict standards and guidelines which they must abide by for their senders in order for them to receive accreditation. Email senders which are accredited are able to benefit from definite delivery into targeted inboxes, as well as functionality regarding enabled links and images.
Black Lists
Black lists, sometimes referred to as block lists, are basically databases of IP addresses, servers and domains which have all been reported at one time or another and therefore have been identifies as spam. Every ISP is able to check an email in real-time against these database and choose whether to reject or accept it.
Is the sender of the email judged on the content?
Some of the over-riding factors regarding the filtering and blocking of emails by ISPs is sender authentication and reputation. However, an ISP is also able to employ content filters for the emails which have been accepted. A content filter reviews the content of the email according to a set series of rules which then creates a ‘spam score’. Any email which gets a spam score over a certain number will then be delivered into the Junk Mail inbox.
Good ESPs are able to make sure that your email template and content will receive a low spam score.
Some of the vital factors to consider avoiding when designing your email and content are:

  • Large images or a high volume of graphics compared to the volume of English text.
  • A high number of different colours for text, fonts and links.
  • A high ratio of links to number of words.
  • Ambiguous subject lines.
Published in Delivery