There is a lot of talk these days of the importance of email “sender reputation” especially for your New Zealand Business.
The good news is the reputation of the sender can be enhanced and using an Email Service Provider (ESP) to deliver your bulk email is step in the right direction to improving your ‘sender reputation’.
I know I am biased due to owning an ESP however there is proof that using the same IP Address to email out on and implementing email authentication mechanisms such as SPF, Domain Keys, Domain Keys Internet Mail and Sender ID does provide the sender with a desirable reputation for successful email delivery. These solutions are available to you with Mobilize Mail.
However it is also very important to remember that one of the most important influencers of whether your email ends up in the inbox or spam folder is of course your subscribers. The power of the “This is SPAM” button is clearly something to be respected.
If you send emails to your subscribers that are far from interesting or poorly presented the subscribers will (one survey stated up to 60% of people use the “This is SPAM” button to unsubscribe!) without much hesitation click the dreaded button. What follows thereafter depends on the recipient’s mail server. For example your email could be processed by a content filter such as Cloudmark.
Cloudmark scans the email content looking for “finger prints” and other common spam indicators.
As with the spam complaint button, one report by itself will generally not affect your message however if enough subscribers mark your message as spam the end result is not good for you, your business and your sales.
Your email content needs to look professional, have appropriate content that is of interest to your subscribers (not you) and email presentation needs to be formatted smartly as to not raise suspicions that your email could be a hoax (called Phishing).
The latest Habeas report provided the following alarming facts that you need to be aware of:
- 69 percent of respondents worry about being victimized by e-mail fraud scams, up from 62 percent in 2007.
- 35 percent said they don’t know what to look for when trying to sift through e-mail messages that are potentially dangerous. This means 65 percent feel they know what to look for.
- About 25 percent lose “some degree of faith” in a company that can’t deliver e-mail reliably.
This means that if your message does get to your subscribers, they might still decide that it looks like spam and click the “This is SPAM” button. Overtime your email will end up in the spam folder.
We recommend that you not only provide content that is of interest to your subscribers but also really focus on providing a professionally presented email (we can help you here with our content presentation services for email. If you are an existing client please send your content to firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Here are some tips to help you that our content presentation team deem as 101:
- Avoid small text (less then 8 points should be avoided but no large than 14 points.
- Try and keep the use of ‘spammy’ words down for example mentioning the word “free!” 10 times in your message is not a smart idea.
- Misspelled words are a ‘no no’ – it seems spammers are not great spellers.
- Don’t hide text by making it the same colour as the background on which the text is presented.
- No CAPS!
- Respect your subscribers’ inbox by only sending on the frequency you initially promised them. If you stated a monthly newsletter then avid sending them a fortnightly one.
- Make sure the subject line provides some spark of recognition to the subscriber about your business. Using a vague or ‘spammy’ subject line is almost guaranteed to get your email ignored.
At the end of the day it all comes down to common sense. Provide email content that is interesting to them (not you) and is professionally formatted.