Happy New Year everyone, time to start fresh and there is no better place to begin than with your deliverability.
The key to successful email marketing, is, of course, successful delivery of email to your email marketing list. This point could not be simpler. If the email you create and send does not reach the inbox at a high delivery rate, you are actually wasting valuable time and resources.
For that reason, if you intend on incorporating email marketing into your overall marketing strategy or improving on it this year, you need to first educate yourself on the deliverability of your email list.
If you ask our front liners at SimplyCast, they will say the deliverability of your email list is easily one of the most important factors that directly impact your marketing performance.
Far too often deliverability is jeopardized because businesses continue to send to lists that contain spam traps, blacklist flags, and those darn spam robots that we all love.
Before you know it, your IP address becomes blacklisted, you have been flagged as a spammer by your ISP and last but not least, your business takes a hit that is hard to recover from.
What should you do?
To ensure that you stay clear of everything involved in unethical email marketing practices, you must be aware of what spam traps, blacklists, and spambots actually are. Only then can you prevent them getting into your email marketing lists.
Spam traps – These are email addresses used by email filtering companies and blacklist owners for catching senders who are harvesting email addresses or sending unsolicited mail. Basically, they are email addresses that are created to see what mail starts coming to them and trapping the abusers.
Blacklist - This is a list of machines or email addresses that are suspected of sending spam. Anti-spam services will collect reports coming from these machines or email addresses and publish them on a blacklist. Companies can then take this list and use it to reject inbound email from any address on the list. You can probably guess this means that it will never reach the intended inbox.
Spam bot – This is an automated program that sends out spam. There is no human interaction in this process. Email spam bots will gather email addresses by scraping material from the web to build mailing lists for the purpose of sending unsolicited email offers.
How do these email addresses get into your lists?
Although they won't admit to it, some spam filtering companies and blacklist owners will create email addresses and sign up for offers to see what is being sent to them.
When they get these emails, they complain and never opt out to the point where they become habitual complainers. You will also get listed as the sender of spam or unsolicited email.
If you can believe it, there are also many filtering & email blacklisting companies who post these "special" emails on websites, forums and in comment posts to see if they start receiving emails to them from people who harvest emails from the Internet.
Then, if you do not unsubscribe these users yourself, which is virtually impossible, you will eventually become blacklisted and blocked or shut down by your ESP (Email Service Provider) or ISP (Internet Service Provider).
What can you do about it?
Without the manpower and technology in place, you won't know there is a problem until you encounter one first hand and by that time, it is usually too late.
That is why it becomes essential to invest in an email validation and list cleaning service to purge your lists of spam traps, bots, habitual complainers, bad domains, and invalid email addresses.
Even if you are sure that your list has none of these "special" emails in it, email addresses change constantly.
Our team recommends validating your internal email database at least twice per year. This, of course, is only needed if you do it manually. Many email marketing solutions (like SimplyCast) keep lists clean for you. This ensures that you are not sending to dead or undeliverable email addresses, which will also help keep your IP reputation at the highest level.
By doing this, it will also help in delivering your email message to the inbox versus the spam folder or being totally rejected by the ISPs in the first place.
Start implementing list validation into your email marketing routine today as it will quickly improve the deliverability of your email marketing list.