Best Practices: Campaign Email Guidelines | Predictive Response

Best Practices: Campaign Email Guidelines

There are a lot of things to consider when creating your campaign emails to ensure that your email does not go directly into a spam/junk folder when received. These topics may help:

How to Avoid Sending SPAM

Important Important!: Be compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act: If you are sending “any electronic mail message, the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” then you must comply with the CAN-SPAM regulations.

If your email contains only transactional emails or relationship content, then you are exempt from these rules; however, you must still not include false or misleading routing information.

info1 Reference: For more information on CAN-SPAM regulations, click here.

  1. Think like a spam filter: When you consider spam filters and spam firewalls, it is obvious that spammy words will get you filtered. Spam filters also look for words which you may not associate as spam like “Free” especially in the subject. Spam filters also look for other things such as too many images vs. text.
  2. Spam filters look for emails that they consider to be “commercial” such as advertisements or promotional emails. There is no master list of SPAM trigger words although doing some online research may help. This link provides some information on common SPAM words.
  3. Phishing emails are designed to steal your identity by getting you to click on a fraudulent link. The most common method is for the email to be disguised as a legitimate email from a service you trust, such as your bank or a website you frequent. Thus, you want to avoid using phrases that are common to phishing attacks. Again online research can be helpful – we found this link: http://www.allspammedup.com/2013/03/analyzing-the-top-20-phishing-terms/.
  4. Include a text version of your email: This is a common, and easily preventable, cause for landing in the spam folder. Not only is this a good practice for avoiding a spam filter, but it also covers you in case the recipient can not view HTML emails. Predictive auto-creates a text only version of your email, and you can create your own version by clicking the Text icon in our email editor.
  5. Use permission marketing techniques: Only send emails to members who have provided their permission to do so. Take it a step further at the point of subscription and ask to be placed on their trusted sender (individuals) or company white list. Predictive provides a Subscription Page feature that can help with this technique.
  6. Use spam checkers before sending your emails: It’s worth the time to utilize a spam checking service. Predictive provides Insight. With the initial purchase of the Adaptive Mailer, you may have already purchased a single user or domain wide license. If not, you do have access to 6 free trials. If you are interested in purchasing an Insight licenses, please contact sales@predictiveresponse.com.
  7. Get off blacklists: If your email server is on a blacklist, it becomes extremely difficult to reliably send email, especially to new people on your lists.The first step is to check if your email server is on a blacklist, click here to access a Free Email Blacklist Lookup: If you find that you are on a blacklist, you will need to follow up with the website that has added you to their blacklist.
  8. Avoid spam traps: Spam traps are email addresses that are flagged by ISPs as being no longer used by a human, so it then stands to reason that there could have been no opt-in. To avoid including a Spam Trap email in your mailing list, use a opt-in process and do not buy lists from email brokers.
  9. Make sure your  SPF, Sender-ID and Domain Keys are setup properly: You will want to make sure your email server supports these protocols and that they are properly implemented.This alphabet soup helps ISPs determine the authenticity of your email from a technical perspective.
  10. Maintain a good text to image ratio: It is usually best to not include images at all; however, if you must include images, here are some tips:
  • Do not send any image-only emails
  • We suggest that for every graphic, include at least two lines of text
  • Optimize your images the best you can
  • Use well formed HTML for email

info1 Reference: For more information enabling SPF ( Sender Policy Framework), click here.

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Spam Traps

Sending emails to a spam trap is like putting out a sign with flashing arrows that says, “I’m spam! Block me now!”

What is a spam trap? It is an email addresses that ISPs and receivers use specifically to shine the light on spammers. Spam traps come in two different varieties

  • Email accounts that are not linked to or accessed by humans. Since no actual person uses the account, it follows that they could not go through opt in process for an email delivery program.
  • Those email accounts that have been left along the wayside, abandoned, and no longer used. ISPs will use these accounts and will block you if emails are being sent to them. Their justification is if they aren’t active anymore then they should not still be receiving email.

Repercussions of being sent to a spam trap are quick and severe. Most of the time, ending with ISPs totally blocking the sender’s IP address, thus making email deliverability nearly impossible, until you remove these spam traps from your email list.

Which addresses that the ISPs are using as spam traps is not public knowledge, making it nearly unfeasible to recognize and eliminate these specific spam traps from the email list of marketers.

While the former is unfeasible, it is feasible to recognize if the email lists you are using have more spam traps than Swiss cheese has holes, since most ISPs strictly do not tolerate emails from email marketers to these outlawed addresses. These are easily recognizable when your email deliverability seems to jump off a steep cliff and then through the appearance of your IP address on several blacklists.

What does this mean to me?

The first step to avoiding a buildup of spam traps is to sustain a correct subscriber record. Ways to do this are:

  • Center your attention on cultivating your house list naturally instead of purchasing an email list from brokers. This is by no means an implication that all email list brokers partake in dubious business practices. With that being said, purchasing a rotten list with data that is not the cream of the crop is the best way inadvertent damage is done to email marketers sending reputations.
  • Send to active leads/contacts only. Review your lead and contact records on a regular basis to confirm that have actually responded to your campaign emails. Salesforce includes a check box for “Responded” on the lead and contact page layouts – add this field to a lead or contact list report to easily see those leads or contacts that active.
  • Purchased Lists. If you do purchase lists of leads from a supplier – request that they send an initial email and ask them to forward the results for bounced emails or emails with other deliverability issues. You can then remove these email addresses from your list before uploading into Salesforce.
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