1) Double Opt – in your list
The bounce rate with double optins is usually lower compared to those were you have the email address not confirmed. Make sure your email marketing software implements this – otherwise you may find that your list gets filled with users who have made a typo in their email address, or worse still, filled with email address that didn’t request your email in the first instance.
2) Use the same domain for all links
If you use a website to direct visitors to within your email campaign, use a website on the same domain as the mail server. This will help to keep your spam score low. Also , if you have outgoing links, if at all possible keep them on the same website domain.
3) Add to Safe list
A simple line asking subscribers to add your email address to their safe lists can improve delivery threefold. You may wish to add this to your subscribe confirmation email and confirmation page.
4) Honour unsubscribe requests
Always honour unsubscribe requests quickly, and make sure your email marketing software implements unsubscribing options. If it doesn’t you are going to appear spammy, and potentially get reported as a spammer.
5) Set up your mail server with a fixed IP address, domain name and SPF record.
This is paramount to good delivery. The fixed IP address ensures that you are recognised as “good” by other mail servers around the internet, and by your recipients. Also By having your own server you have much more control over delivery of your campaigns, which may link to other e-commerce activity within your business. SPF records are used to determine who has authority to send email from your domain. You will need some experience in setting up domain names to perform this.
6) Request Whitelist status from the major ISP’s
Don’t be fooled by the myth that people have special relationships with email service providers such as Yahoo or Hotmail. Rubbish. You can request this all yourself. With the majority of your customers domains coming from Aol, Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail it is worth requesting this. The following sites allow you to do so for bulkmails:
Google doesn’t allow a request but has the following information:
7) Remove hard bounces quickly
When you discover that an email address has failed either through a hard bounce, you need to remove that email address as quickly as possible to ensure it never gets used again. Soft bounces need to be detected, but generally speaking two soft bounces should equal a strikeout. A soft bounce occurs when an email box is full and the mail cannot be delivered for example. A hard bounce is when the email doesn’t exist.
Some ISP’s prefer for you to wait an incremental length of time when sending bulk email – for example only sending in batches of ten emails, and waiting 60 seconds between batches. You should set your server to perform this as well.
9) Use the same address in the From field for every mail you send.
Its a simple one but works. Dont use aliases in the from field.
10) Validate server side email addresses.
You can validate email addresses when you collect them by checking against mail servers that the email is attached to that account. Taking that extra measure by firstly checking DNS for the proposed email domain, then MX records programmatically.
These steps can make all the difference in email campaigns getting through. Webdistortion also provide fully managed email marketing solutions for businesses in Ireland.
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About the Author (Author Profile)Paul is a regular 30 year old web bloke / programmer with a penchant for online marketing. This blog is a personal outlet, with an eclectic mix of articles.
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