4 min read
Your Questions Answered: How Can I Mass Email Without Getting Blacklisted?
Out of any question that is asked of us regularly, "How can I mass email without getting blacklisted?" comes near the top. Blacklisting scares many marketers away from mass emailing because they don't want to be labeled a spammer. Fortunately, there are some easy things that you can do to keep you off that dreaded list and in the favor of your subscribers. How to prevent blacklisting, in a few easy steps:
1. Only Add Contacts to Your Mailing List Who Opt-in to Receive Messages
Don't stoop to the spammer's level by buying or renting an email list. Grow yours right from your current customer base. By asking your customers to opt-in or sign up for your mass email, you will ensure that you're not going to be blacklisted.
There are many ways to acquire opt-in email addresses. A great way to start out is by posting a newsletter signup form on your website and also your social media pages. This provides an easy way for visitors to provide their information and sign up to receive your email newsletters. You should also provide paper signup forms if you have any physical locations, so people can subscribe in person.
Keep signup forms for your email newsletter short. If people have to provide too much information, they will hesitate and often lose interest. Just ask for name and email and maybe one more piece of information. You can always collect more information later.
It does take time to build up a list of quality email addresses, but once you have that list you know that each subscriber wants to read the information you are sending. You will not be reported as a spammer, your delivery rates will remain high, and you will not be blacklisted!
2. Confirm All Opt-ins with Autoresponder Confirmation Messages
After your new subscribers opt-in, it's an industry best practice to immediately follow up with an autoresponder confirming their choice. This step covers you and covers your customer. In the autoresponder, ask your subscribers to add your email address to their address book. This is called "whitelisting."
Requiring customers to take this extra step ensures that only customers who want to receive your email newsletters will be added to your subscriber list. This is called a "double opt-in" and it is considered to be a thorough and effective way to build your email newsletter subscriber list.
As many email senders have their IP address blacklisted because they are sending email messages that their customers do not want or have not signed up to receive, the double opt-in process ensures that you have quality email addresses and that you will not be blacklisted.
3. Ask to Be Whitelisted by Your Subscribers
After your autoresponder, remind your subscribers to add your email address on each email communication you have with them. Some people forget!
Once subscribers have added your email address to their list of safe and trusted addresses, they will be sure to receive your email newsletters and they will recognize the name of the sender. This helps to build up the sense of trust and expectation among your subscribers.
It also helps to send your email newsletters at a specific time and on a consistent day of the week so subscribers learn to expect when your emails are coming. This practice helps to ensure that your emails are not buried in subscribers' inboxes and accidentally deleted or missed. It does take some time to establish the best time to send. Test out different send times to see what is the best time for your customers. When do you receive the highest open rates? And response rates?
All theses tips are industry best practices intended not only to reduce the chances of your company being reported as a spammer, and to help you avoid being blacklisted, but also to help you get better results from your email newsletters.
4. Check Your Blacklisted Status Frequently, or Use a Solution that does it for You
There are many online services that post companies' blacklist status. Check yours regularly to ensure that you're not blocked. Many blacklist monitoring services also send out an email notification any time your IP address appears on a blacklist.
The fastest way to be blacklisted is to do any of the following to your mass email:
- Attaching anything to the email. Attachments are not allowed by most mass emailing services. They slow down the send time of emails, and also many spammers use attachments to attempt to send viruses or other harmful software to people's email addresses. If you wish to provide subscribers with any additional information, images or videos, or other documents you can use links to your website or other online sites. Include links to relevant information so subscribers can click to learn more.
- Emailing your subscribers incessantly and not on a predictable schedule. If you send too many emails, your subscribers will become annoyed and will simply opt out of your email newsletters. If you send at all different times, your subscribers may miss your emails in their inbox.
- Including large image files in your email. This slows delivery time, and images may not display properly for some subscribers. Large images also make it more difficult for subscribers viewing your email newsletters on their mobile devices.
- Ignoring unsubscribe requests. This will definitely cause you to be reported as a spammer and may also cause you to be blacklisted. When someone informs you that they no longer wish to receive your email newsletters, take them off your list as quickly as possible.
- Forgetting to clean out your email list of bad addresses. Unused email addresses become spam traps, and if you continue to send to inactive email addresses, you may end up being blacklisted. Clean your lists regularly of any old addresses, and also ask your subscribers annually to confirm that they still want to receive your email newsletters.
5. Stay Up to Date with Email Spam Regulations
One of the smartest thing you can do to avoid attracting the attention of blacklists is to keep yourself familiar with the email spam regulations of your country and those of any country to which you are sending. These spam rules and regulations are available online, and they do change from time to time.
By reviewing these rules regularly, you will continue to follow laws and best practices and you will avoid blacklists.
Now you know how to mass email your customers without being blacklisted, and you also have tips to help you gain subscribers and increase engagement with your email newsletters.