One of the biggest challenge facing email marketing campaigns is deliverability. Internet service providers (ISPs) are continuously coming up with new ways to counter spam messages. The problem isn’t confined to big brands – in fact, it is more pronounced with small businesses that are unfamiliar with email’s technical issues.
Being caught in the crossfire of the spam wars is no good.
Here are five ways to ensure that your email marketing campaign reaches inboxes:
1. Avoid spammy gimmicks
Spam filters scrutinize patterns and irregularities often found in spam. This means messages tempered with all-caps, big fonts, weird punctuation, exclamation points, repeated phrases, or common advertising phrases such as “free!” or “limited time offer!”. It’s good practice to be conscious of these tricks and not overdo them. Another option is that you can screen your messages with a spam filter such as SpamAssassin to flag any potential content problems before you send your mass mails.
2. Update your database regularly
Since spammers’ lists usually contain invalid and out-of-date information, ISPs also ferret out mails by watching for mailings with a high percentage of dead or invalid addresses. It is therefore important to keep your database updated! Ensure that the bounce rate of your mass mailing initiative is not more than 4 to 5% – anything above 7% is likely to adversely impact your email deliverability.
3. Pay heed to the ISPs
Not all email marketers are aware that they can set up an email@example.com mailbox where ISPs can communicate bounce codes back to a mailing’s origin. Set up this account, so you don’t look like a spammer. Keep the communication channels open with ISPs. Once you know the problem, you can rectify it and ensure your mails can get past the filters.
4. Keep volume low
If you’re sending marketing emails through your business server, you should try to keep the volume low. Although the numbers vary from one ISP to another, the general thumb rule is that if you are sending about 1,000 identical mails, you’re inviting an ISP to take a closer look and turn on the spam filters. Obviously this varies but play it safe.
5. Protect your corporate IP address
Your Internet Protocol (IP) address is your unique “Internet address.” Some suggest sending marketing email through a different IP address than the one you use for your corporate email. This ensures that any deliverability problems don’t put your business email at risk. We know you aren’t a spammer but you don’t want there ever to be a slow down in the event an ISP makes a mistake.