2010 Spam Filtered World FvPresentation Transcript
How to Deliver eMails in a SPAM Filtered World
Cactus Sky Communications, Inc.
Power of eMail
eMail earns the Highest ROI
Last year, the average return from every dollar spent on:
eMail Marketing was $45.06
Newspaper advertising $16.86
Direct mail of $15.55
Internet users in the US check their personal eMail throughout the day, including at work.
Over 70% of employed respondents also said they checked their personal eMail at work—and nearly one-third said they did so more than three times a day.
On average, business users spend over an hour per day managing their eMail account.
-Garner Report as reported in Digitrends Magazine
The Value of eMail
“ It’s always easier and cheaper to keep old customers than find new ones .”
Dan Lawlor, senior analyst with J.D.Power ,
20 percent of permission-based eMail messages are being blocked.
The steps presented today will help you improve your eMail deliverability.
eMail Deliverability Challenges
Creating compelling content
Testing and continuous improvement
Implementing personalized and segmented campaigns
Monitoring and analyzing program performance
Increasing revenue and return on investment
Poor deliverability costs your company significant revenue from:
Lost potential sales
Money wasted to create content
Building databases or lists
Sending messages that never reach their intended audiences
Reputation is the key to deliverability.
Minimize spam complaints
America Online, for example, currently recommends keeping spam complaints below one per 1,000 messages.
Complaints are the #1 factor for deliverability
You need to set up and manage Feedback loops
Complaints are forwarded to sender’s abuse address for processing
Remove/suppress complaining addresses immediately
Analyze complaints for patterns
Complaints are the cause of ISP blacklisting.
Someone can complain or register your eMail as spam with the click of a mouse button.
When enough people do the same thing with your eMail, you will be blacklisted.
Your Sender Reputation
Your sender reputation has become the primary check that ISP’s use when determining how to treat your eMail.
Use recognizable sender names and explicit subject lines.
Send only relevant, wanted content.
Message frequency: not too much, not too little
Opt in Permission
Who the message will be from
Content you’ll be sending
Provide value & state the benefits
May want to show an example
The frequency of delivery
Obtain segmentation information through preference center
Leads from various lead providers
eMail address collected at
Maintain & Clean
Analyze your data and remove invalid addresses:
No spaces or special characters (i.e., commas)
Make sure eMails have a valid domain structure
Add data validation to your web sign up form
Distribution addresses (i.e., sales@)
System addresses (i.e., postmaster@)
Any address with the word ‘spam’ in it
Complainers and inactives
Your customers The average dealership has less than 2%of its customers’ eMail addresses.
Increase your dealerships eMail house list count by up to 30%. Average Match Rates
A welcome eMail is sent to your customers introducing online communications to them, and giving them an opportunity to decline receiving any further online communications. Matching Process Your existing customer database is sent to eMail Matching for processing. eMail Matching solution At the completion of the eMail matching Process, the enhanced file is sent back to you. Your file is matched against our permission-based eMail append database. When a match is found, the eMail address is added to your file. eMail Enhancement Enhanced Consumer Database for Marketing
eMail Sign Up
Encourage new subscribers to add your eMail address to their address book.
These personal white lists are your fastest route to the inbox.
How to Improve Deliverability
To achieve high deliverability rates requires involvement and cooperation from:
Database and list managers
Your staff on the front lines collecting eMail addresses
Avoid Spammy Content
Avoid overaggressive language and spammy-looking content such as
Very large fonts
Using all caps
Big red letters
Anything that looks unprofessional and could be confused with a true spam eMail
“ Catchy” vs “Spammy”
Run your copy through a content checker to identify any spam-like words, phrases or construction.
The content checker will tell you which phrases to avoid.
Two tricks that could trip a spam filter:
Subject lines in all capital letters
Using more exclamation points than necessary.
In fact, we recommend against using exclamation points at all if you can avoid it.
Service Coupons You can have an unlimited number of online coupons.
Relevant eMails equal:
Better opens, reads, clicks & conversion rates
Easier to spot deliverability issues
Lower spam complaints
One-third (33%) of users in a DoubleClick study had purchased something from a web site by clicking on a link in an eMail.
Another 42% clicked on an eMail link for more information, then purchased the product at a later time.
eMail Adoption Process Attention Recall Acceptance Comprehension Action Builds Awareness Builds Intentions Builds Sales ROI
73% of consumers have a coupon for an online purchase.
59% have redeemed an online coupon offline.
Optimize design and HTML coding for delivery and rendering.
Many self service programs create spammy code.
eMails that are improperly coded or designed will render poorly (particularly when images are blocked) and make your messages look untrustworthy and spam-like, increasing the chance of a spam complaint or unsubscribing.
I received your request for information regarding a Hummer. Please let me know what you are interested in and I will assist you. Best regards, Mark "the bow tie guy" Cadillac and Hummer 727-822-20
Benefits of HTML
If your message is promotional or informative, but not one you would typically send via post on letterhead, we recommend designing it in HTML.
HTML offers greater control over formatting, layout, color, fonts, graphics and branding.
A visually pleasing design can affect your reader’s ability to process and enjoy the information.
HTML design also opens up a wealth of possibilities and interactive functionality within each eMail.
It gives you the ability to embed forms, links and surveys to truly participate with your reader.
Reach your audience at the right time.
Frequency is determined by relevancy
No longer defined by calendar
Once per quarter, twice per month, once per week, once per day
As long as the message is relevant to the recipient, the audience will open, read, and respond to the message.
One of the most welcomed eMails.
Don’t over eMail
Stick to a frequency that you promised during the opt-in process.
Opt-in is the process of someone filling out
a form on your web site.
We recommend twice a month.
Beginning of the month for service
Middle of the month for sales
Because eMail has such high potential ROI, many marketers and their internal stakeholders fall victim to the approach of, “If it works, let’s send more eMails.”
What happens when you hit send?
Best case, it is delivered into the inbox.
While ISPs and corporate filters all handle suspected spam messages differently, they generally are handled one of four ways:
Block it and return to sender with a message explaining the block
Block it without returning or notifying the sender
Route to the junk folder, often adding [SPAM] or similar notice to the subject line
Return it to you with a request to remove the subscriber if he or she clicked the spam button via a feedback loop
Authentication Verifies sender’s identity Accreditation Third-party verification of sender’s good habits Certification Tokenized proof of sender’s good reputation
The message header is the first thing that is seen by an eMail receiver (i.e. ISP) There are four major areas within an eMail header that should be checked prior to sending the message. These areas include:
Sender IP address
Host name of sender IP address
Envelope header From or Return Path address
Reply-To and From addresses
The Sender ID Framework seeks to verify that every eMail message originates from the internet domain from which it claims to have been sent.
Sender ID validates the origin of eMail messages by verifying the address of the sender against the alleged owner of the sending domain.
Sender ID uses SPF records for part of this validation process.
Sender Policy Framework (SPF)
Most domains send outbound mail through relatively small number of servers.
Domains should describe that set of servers in an SPF record in their DNS.
Internet eMail receivers can then reject forged messages.
A typical SPF record looks like: fromaddressdomain.com IN TXT "spf2.0/pra include:sid.acme.com -all"
Domain Key Identified Mail (DKIM)
DKIM is a method for eMail authentication developed by YAHOO and now also used by other providers such as Gmail.
DKIM uses public-key cryptography to allow the signer to electronically sign legitimate eMails in a way that can be verified by recipients.
A typical DKIM DNS record has two parts that look like: key1._domainkey.acme12.com IN TXT “k=rsa;p=key” AND _domainkey.acme.com IN TXT “t=y;o=~;”
Dedicated IP Address
Belongs to you exclusively
When you share an IP address with other senders and they deploy a bad practice- your messages will be filtered or blocked along with theirs.
Dedicated IPs cost more, but will ensure that you are in control of your sender reputation.
Importance of “From Name”
Choose your sender/from name carefully.
Use your most recognizable and expected brand.
Be consistent with it.
Make it extremely easy to unsubscribe.
If someone calls in and requests to be removed you must have a policy to accomplish that quickly.
If your spam complaint rates are very high, include an unsubscribe link at the top of your message.
Consult your Legal advisor about compliance with CAN-SPAM and other requirements.
Spend time on your subject line – first impressions mean the world to your recipient.
Personalize the subject line. Import the recipients frist name into the subject line when possible.
Example subject line: Peter we have some specials for you.
Subject Line Best Practices
See which subject lines delivered the action you wanted:
The most conversions
The highest average sale per order
The highest click-through rate, etc.
Review your web analytics reports to see:
Which newsletter article topics draw the most clicks or forwards
Which whitepapers get downloaded most often
Which brands or departments get the most traffic
This analysis should:
Drive content and product selection strategies,
And it can also show you what information is most relevant or useful.
Subject Line Best Practice
Make sure the subject line is relevant. Tie it directly to your message.
Tell the reader up front how they will benefit.
Personalize Subject Lines
Personalize subject lines based on users’ product or content preferences, interests, past purchases, web visits, or links clicked.
Subject Line Length
Some eMail clients allow more characters in a subject line than others, but most give you at least 50, including spaces.
Load your key information in that first 50.
Also, make sure the cut-off doesn’t occur in a crucial word, such as a price or date.
One way to really see how your subject line will work in your recipients’ inboxes is to send yourself an eMail with your proposed subject line.
The process of cleaning your list of undesirable eMail addresses
Why is list hygiene important?
The #1 driver of deliverability today
Proper list hygiene will help establish a good reputation resulting in better deliverability.
Bad list hygiene will lead to poor reputation and poor deliverability.
A “dirty eMail” list is guaranteed to cause delivery problems. Elements of a dirty list may include addresses that:
Have previously hard bounced
Generated a spam complaint
Unsubscribe but are still in the active database
Are likely spam-trap addresses
Are outdated domains
Have not opened or clicked in a few years
Message Delivery Report
General Hard Bounce
General Mail Block
General Soft Bounce
Invalid eMail Address
Message Too Large
Check List Testing Variable Examples Contact Frequency Last time you contacted the recipient Copy / Message Length, versions of wording, tone/style Creative HTML versus text, different layouts eMail Type Newsletters, product information, sales promotions, new information Landing Pages Driving visitors to different pages, different versions of a landing page List Source eMail registrations, customers (current and lapsed), prospects, third-party Offer % versus dollar value reduction, sweepstakes, white paper versus webinar Personalization Use of name in subject line or message, offers based on demographics Subject Header Tone, style, and personalization of subject Target Segments Demographics, psychographics, behavior, geography
eMail Pre-Flight Checklist
One critical process that is overlooked is the pre-flight checklist for eMail marketing. Spending a few minutes reviewing a pre-flight checklist prior to sending out eMail campaigns, will ensure that your messages will be opened, read, and well received.
Have Goals been Clearly Defined?
Are Logistics in Place so the Campaign may Succeed?
Has the Correct Day and Time been Chosen to Send the Campaign?
Are Tracking Tools Available?
Has the List been Segmented and Reviewed for Errors?
Has the Campaign Content been Reviewed?
Does the Message have a Great Subject Line?
Has the eMail been Properly Designed?
Has the Campaign Content been Reviewed?
Has the Message been Tested through Spam Score?
Has the Message been Tested in Different eMail Clients?
Does the Message Comply with the CAN-SPAM Act?
eMail must have a functioning opt-out feature to be “ A compliant opt-out mechanism”
A valid subject line and header (routing) information