Tuesday, January 22, 2008
1. Don’t Forget the Basics
Despite the unique challenges BtoB marketers face, the basics of responsible email marketing still apply. As a marketer, you still want to adhere to basic principles that help to ensure that your email is not mistaken for spam. As with BtoC senders, BtoB marketers should take care to follow these basic rules:
- Establish a regular send schedule; most companies experience employee turnover, and bad email addresses are common, so weed them out regularly.
- Ensure email creative and content don’t contain spam-like features (i.e. large images, non-typical fonts, FREE! FREE! FREE!, etc.).
- Make use of your brand name; recipients are far more likely to open messages from a well-known and trusted source, even if it winds up in the junk folder.
- Regularly test your renderability; complicated designs or graphics-intensive messages can look different from email client to email client.
2. Authentication Helps with Validation
- Sender Policy Framework (SPF) publishes the mail servers allowed to send mail on your behalf. ISPs and administrators use this information to validate the incoming message, comparing it to your authorized list.
- Sender ID also verifies the origin of an incoming message, comparing its Internet domain to the IP addresses you've entered into the Domain Name System (DNS).
- DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) uses digital signatures to authenticate the sender, allowing you to add what amounts to a "digital fingerprint" to the messages you send.
3. Don’t Get Blacklisted
Blacklists contain IP addresses suspected of sending spam. These lists, some compiled by ISPs, some maintained privately, are used to create filters that help block unsolicited mail. There are three steps you can take to reduce the odds of being blacklisted.
- Make opting-out easy.
- Send recipients only what they asked to receive.
- Keep a clean list to avoid sending to a non-existent address or to someone who has opted-out.
4. Do Get White Listed
- Determine which ISPs or corporations you regularly send to use white lists and what criteria they use.
- Build a good send reputation on your IP address before asking to be included on a white list.
- Convince the ISP or inbox provider that your positive send history and adherence to best practices are in line with its white listing requirements.
5. Enlist the Help of a Professional
- Renderability issues
- Coding errors
- High proportion of graphics-to-text ratios
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