Email Marketing Deliverability is King!
When it comes to email marketing strategies, the biggest issue to be aware of is email marketing deliverability. After all, if your email marketing message doesn’t get delivered, what’s the point? Templates, design, link tracking, etc… are all great but if the message isn’t getting through, nothing else matters. Let’s take a look at some tips to help you make sure you do everything possible to help get your message to your subscribers.
More and more Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) are taking steps to protect their users from spam messages. Their control over what causes messages to get blocked continues to increase. Frankly, most of your messages are filtered by these major ISP’s before they even reach the inbox. This is why you want to be sure you and your messages play by the commonly accepted rules. For information on the newly implemented DMARC protocol and how it may affect you, click here.
Recognize that major ISP’s like AOL, Hotmail, Comcast, Yahoo, and others maintain their own feedback loops or the new dmarc technology. TrafficWave.net maintains solid relationships with the major ISP’s via their feedback loops, dmarc requirements, and whitelisting protocols. When TrafficWave.net receives notification from these resources, we instantly remove the email address from our system so that you and TrafficWave.net can keep from being blocked in the future. These major ISP’s set their own criteria for what will trigger a feedback loop, such as their users reporting your message as spam or junk, content that violates their acceptable use policies, etc.
Ways you can improve your email marketing deliverability include:
NEVER add someone to your lists without their permission. This means that if they did not personally fill out the subscription or specifically authorize you to add them to your lists, you are asking for trouble.
NEVER use rented, purchased, or harvested lists. These lists are typically loaded with invalid and/or undeliverable addresses which will result in your account being blocked by major ISP’s and possibly terminated by TrafficWave.net
Avoid 3rd party redirect URL’s. Many scammer, phishing, or hacking sites will regularly use 3rd party redirect URL’s to cloak or mask the identity of the web site people are actually going to. Use of these cloaking URL’s can cause a problem for email marketers.
Gauge your sending schedules. Mailing to your lists on a daily basis can raise flags with many of the major ISP’s. Also, if you stop sending to your list for a long period of time and then, all of a sudden begin mailing frequently or sending unrelated content, your complaint rate is going to increase and this will cause problems for you with the major ISP’s.
Be aware of Content Filtering. Content filters look at a range of things, from the simple to the complex: word use, misspellings, the ratio of text to images, font colors, the subject line and actual text in the message, hypey words, multiple exclamation points, overuse of capital letters, and much more, including the hidden structure of an email. Some filters take a “fingerprint” of the email. They can compare the fingerprint with a database of known spam and known good email and determine how like spam the email is. Some tests look for distinctive features from particular pieces of software. For instance, there was a piece of spamware that used a fake time zone value in its email headers. Email with that value was always marked as spam.
Recognize that email marketing deliverability is a moving target. Major ISP’s control how aggressively they check and block content. Email addresses change constantly. It is reported that 30% of people change their email address annually. People do lose interest in something they requested months earlier and will unsubscribe. Your lists will always adjust. It’s just part of the email marketing business.
By being aware of these concepts and managing your lists responsibly, you can help impact your email marketing deliverability in a positive way.