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Email Deliverability Tips
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Email Deliverability Tips
By Tom Kulzer
Ensuring requested opt-in email is delivered to subscriber inboxes is
an increasingly difficult battle in the age of spam filtering. Open and
click thru response rates can be dramatically affected by as much as
20-30% due to incorrect spam filter classification.
Confirming that the people who ask for your information have actually
requested to be on your list is the number one step in the battle for
deliverability. You should be using a process called confirmed opt-in
or verified opt-in to send a unique link to the attempted subscriber
when they request information. Before adding the person to your list
they must click that unique link verifying that they are indeed the
same person that owns the email address and requested to subscribe.
When requesting website visitors to opt-in ask for their "real" or
"primary" email address instead of a free email address like Yahoo or
Hotmail. Free emails tend to be throw away accounts and typically have
a shorter lifetime than a primary ISP address.
Always promptly remove undeliverable addresses that bounce when sending
email to them. An address that bounces with a permanent error 2-3 times
in a 30 day period should be removed from the list. ISP's track what
percentage of your newsletters bounce and will block them if you
attempt to continually deliver messages to closed subscriber mailboxes.
Usage of HTML messages to allow for text formatting, multiple columns,
images, and brand recognition is growing in popularity and is widely
supported by most email client software. Most spam is also HTML
formatted and thus differentiating between requested email and spam
HTML messages can be difficult. A 2004 study by AWeber .com shows that
plain text messages are undeliverable 1.15% of the time and HTML only
messages were undeliverable 2.3%. If sending HTML it is important to
always send a plain text alternative message, also called text/HTML
multi-part mime format.
Many ISP's filter based on the content that appears within the message
Research potential newsletter advertisers before allowing them to place
ads in your newsletter issues. If they have used their website URL to
send spam, just having their URL appear in your newsletter could cause
the entire message to be filtered.
Choose your language carefully when crafting messages. Avoid hot button
topics often found in spam such as medication, mortgages, making money,
and pornography. If you do need to use words that might be filtered,
don't attempt to obfuscate words with extra characters or odd spelling,
you'll just make your messages appear more spam like.
Avoid creating messages that are entirely images. Use images sparingly,
if at all. Commonly used open rate tracking technology uses images to
calculate opens. You may choose to disable open rate tracking to avoid
being filtered based on image content.
With viruses running rampant and spreading thru the usage of malicious
email attachments many users are wary of attached documents. It's often
better to link to files via a website URL to reduce recipient fear of
attachments and reduce the overall message size.
The January 2004 Federal CAN-SPAM law introduced a number of rules
regarding the delivery of email. It's important you have your legal
counsel review your practices and ensure you are in compliance. The two
most important rules include having a valid postal mail address listed
in all commercial messages and a working unsubscribe link that is
promptly honored to remove the subscriber from future messages.
Reputation services are often used by large ISP's as a way to vet email
senders regarding their email practices and policies. Businesses listed
with these services are then given less stringent filtering or no
filtering at all. Several reputation services are:
Contact with major ISP's and email providers is essential in letting
them know about your requested subscriber email. Many large providers
such as AOL and Yahoo have specific whitelisting programs and
postmaster website areas to ensure your email is delivered as long as
you meet their policies and procedures in handling your opt-in list.
Email deliverability is about ensuring requested opt-in email is
delivered to the intended recipient. While no single tip will enable
you to get 100% of your email delivered each one utilized as a group
can go a long way to reaching that goal.
About the Author:
Tom Kulzer, CEO and Founder of Newtown, PA based AWeber Communications,Inc. an opt-in email service provider. With 7 years managing opt-in follow up and newsletters for small businesses, email deliverability is an integral part of day to day operations. Learn more about AWeber
email marketing and email
deliverability tracking at DeliveryMonitor.com
********** Additional References **********
The Insider Secrets to E-mail Marketing -- Advanced Series - e-mail trade secrets of a mega marketing company
The MOE Manual - complete guide to ezine publishing
Your Lucky List - build your Optin lists for free!
EZ Money With Ezines - comprehensive guide to starting your own profitable ezine.
Viral Email Matrix - free list builder with RSS feeds.
Best wishes for your online success!
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