A few years back I worked with a large cruise line company. Although the cruise line spared no expensive when it came to onboard amenities, the CEO flatly refused to spend money on an ESP (e-mail service provider) to help send out his e-marketing campaign to his very large user base. Within a very short period of time, he managed to get his entire company domain black-listed to the point where he could no longer send messages to even his own family members.
Once your e-mail address –or worse yet – your company’s domain – becomes black listed it can take you months or years to get the problem rectified. And, even if you don’t get blacklisted, most spam filters will eat your message for lunch if you don’t follow a few e-mail best practices.
Here’s my short list of suggestions to prevent this from happening:
- Scrub your database. Make sure that you aren’t emailing to e-mail addresses that have bounced in the past or are just plain invalid. Avoid sending your message to duplicate addresses or generic addresses that start with “info” or “webmaster”.
- Make sure you’re spam compliant by following the Can-Spam law. Basically you need to make sure you have procedures in place for users to easily opt-out of future mailings, and include a valid mailing address in your message.
- Use an ESP (email service provider) that uses a valid form of e-mail authentication. That basically means that your e-mail blast comes from an authorized source. These folks spend lots of time – and money – making sure that their emails get through to the folks using the Big Three for their e-mail (Yahoo, AOL and Google).
- Time the frequency of your mailings; sending out a monthly newsletter is much more appealing than sending out a daily special pricing offer. Target your mailings so that you are not sending your message to folks who have absolutely no interest in your products.
- Make sure you know the difference between plain text and HTML e-mails. If you want to include graphics in your e-mail blast you’ll need an HTML editor or risk having your message show up as a jumbled mess.
- Avoid common spam triggers like exclamation points, red lettering and words like “sale.”
If you’re new to the world of e-marketing you’ll want to consult with an expert for a while. They’ll be able to help you master the process and avoid some serious blunders.