Bulletproofing EMail Deliverability

The devils in the details when you take a hard look at bulletproofing your email delivery. Whether you are doing it in house, or working with a high quality vendor such as Vertical Response, who we recommend and utilize for clients at present, some insight that should help you bulletproof email delivery.

1) Make sure you are using double opt in best practices to ensure your list quality is excellent and you don’t trigger complaints from recipients.

2) Utilize Feedback loops (if sending yourself), which enable you to see who is indicating your email is spam, so you can remove them instantly.

3) Use standardized “From” Information: utilize the same address so you don’t force recipients to keep adding new addresses to their address book. If you vary addresses, your spam complaints will go up as well, as your email goes into a spam folder, which triggers a rejection.

4) Add an unsubscribe link at the top of your email - this enables the recipient to easily and instantly remove themselves from your list. If many are forced to scroll to the bottom or dig through the email they will find it easier to complain.

5) Delete your inactive subscribers from your list; yes, you hate to cut down the size of your own list. But, better that you do it yourself so inactive subscribers don’t treat your email as spam.

6) Always have a “white list reminder” for your users; in some cases ISPs will look at the number of time you get added to an address book as a sign of integrity.

7) Remove all hard bounces that come back as undeliverable immediately from your list - if you keep sending them this will send a negative signal to your ISP or List Provider.

8) Make sure your content is relevant to the interest of your subscribers. Don’t stray from your subject matter by sending extemporaneous emails that are not consistent with your audience.

9) Your Subject Line is not only critical to deliver ability (getting opened and read) but also sets the tone for the content that is in the actual email. Make it as creative as you can and test several variances with 10-15% of your list, then utilize optimum content.

10) Incorporate a static IP Address in your campaigns. If working with an email provider, some will offer a dedicated IP for an additional charge. If they offer one it can be worth the fees (especially for larger lists), as some providers group multiple clients under the same IP Address and what another company does can impact your deliverability.

Our take on bulletproofing email deliverability - if you need help with your email marketing please click here to contact me.

Best Practices for Successful EMail Marketing

EMail Marketing  Campaigns have lost a lot of the luster recently, especially when factoring the never-ending deluge of Spam Email we all receive. But, it can be a powerful tool that compliments Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing and Blogging.

Most importantly, Email delivers a great return on your marketing investment and its Measurable and “Testable.” Best Practices for Successful EMail Marketing:

1) You can use list brokers or build your own list - it takes time to work up to this but use Aweber’s Technology to “ping” and email your contacts when have something of value to convey. But, if you can’t develop your own list the look online for a vendor.

2) Pick your Subject Line carefully - this single factor impacts your “open” (click & read) rate by 20-40% - be provocative if you can. “Save 30% on Rates Today”

3) Use 2-3 sentence paragraphs, with no more text than this and some “white space” in between your paragraphs,use power words that resonate with your reader at a gut (visceral) level.

4) Pick up on themes commonly held or believed to add credibility to your email message: “today’s New York Times talked about……..”

5) Use Paragraph Headers to drive the reader into your copy that have impact.

6) Test your messaging - change your “offer” or content in the message and send out a test campaign using 10% of your total database of names and see which offer outperforms the other.

7) Use PS to reinforce a core part of your EMail Marketing Campaign message ” we told you to save XXX% by clicking through this email for this discount.

8) We highly recommend Vertical Response and use have worked with them and had the pleasure of engaging and interacting with them many times over the years.

9) Frequency of messaging is important; meaning, you may have to send out several messages to get your message heard through the clutter/babble that we all deal with. Don’t despair if your first couple of mailers don’t generate much - retest and resend! Tenacity of purpose wins…..

10) Be actionable to your reader - give them a way to take some action (registration, sign up for discount, etc.); if driving them to sign up page keep it simple, with minimal fields (Name, EMail no more).

11) Cross promote email marketing with Social Media - we anticipate seeing more of this as we move into 2010 - Twitter is our Social Media Platform of Choice.

12) Don’t forget to check your Google Analytics to see what type of traffic your email campaign is generating; if you are using service providers they will have their own analytics, but always good to cross check.

So, our recommendations for Best Practices for Successful EMail Marketing - follow us on Twitter or please sign up for our Blog to connect!