There’s no faster way to kill an email marketing campaign than getting blacklisted. And even if your intentions are good (we assume they are) that won’t matter to the automated SPAM filter on the receiving end that is designed to make snap judgments about incoming email. Here are 5 easy tips to ensure your emails don’t get blocked, even if the recipient has excellent IT security measures in place.
- Implement a double opt-in policy for your email marketing campaign. In other words, when someone signs up to receive emails from your business, send a confirmation email that requires active verification. This ensures that only valid, engaged recipients are added to your list; greatly increases open and click-through rates; reduces spam reports and unsubscribes; improves ROI of messages sent. This also prevents typo traps, recycled spam traps and pristine trap addresses from being added to your distribution lists.
- Never include attachments for download in large group distributions (unless you want to be blacklisted). Instead, include links to PDFs housed on a trusted website. And use embedded images sparingly. While pictures can make an e-blast more visually appealing, less is more when it comes to electronic communications.
- Run your email a through blacklist testing before you hit send. If you’re using an email marketing platform such as MailChimp or Constant Contact (which you should be) there are automated tests that can check your emails for nefarious links or other possible red flags before you hit send. Taking a few additional minutes to verify that your email is clean can save you hours (or even days) of headaches associated with being blacklisted.
- Review your email database with regularity. Unexpected or disproportionate number of hard bounces to any given email is usually a sign that there is an issue. To take it one step further, we also recommend implementing an engagement-based sunsetting policy, whereby email addresses are removed from your distribution list if your emails are consistently delivered but not opened over a predetermined amount of time. Taking these steps helps to decrease spam reports and unsubscribes and reduces your exposure to recycled spam traps and typo traps.
- Make certain your “sender” email address is a legitimate email account. Ideally this email address should also be checked, at least periodically, by a person. Although “donotreply” email addresses have been popular in the past, having replies land in a dead end inbox that is never checked certainly doesn’t do anything to build your reputation with the recipient of your email.
Are you already implementing these best practices? If not, or if you have questions about how you can improve your email marketing game to ensure you’re never blacklisted, contact the team at ATB. We’re here to help!