The Hidden Legal Dangers in Not Confirming Email Addresses
There is a hidden legal danger in not confirming email addresses, and yes, even in the United States. We talk a lot about email deliverability (because hey, we're the original email deliverability company and consultants). And in that context we always explain how using double opt-in (i.e. confirmed opt-in) helps immensely with deliverability by reducing spam complaints and increasing interaction rates. But now we're going to talk about something that people rarely think about: not confirming someone's email address before you use it or add it to a mailing list can have serious legal consequences for you having nothing to do with CAN-SPAM, GDPR, CASL or any email-specific law. It can also have serious consequences for others, consequences that in turn can come back to you in serious, unexpected, but entirely avoidable, legal ways.
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Sending email from a decoy, pass-through email domain which forwards to a primary domain is never a good idea. (Some people call this a 'dummy domain', but that's actually something different.) What they do is set up a decoy domain and send their cold email from it, with links in the cold email which point to their primary domain. They do it this way in an effort to protect the reputation of their primary domain, aren't they so clever? Here's the thing; actually two things: 1. It doesn't work, it will still drag down their primary domain's reputation, and 2. it doesn't work because they are spamming. Calling it "cold email" when what you've done is scraped or purchased an email address and put it on a mailing list without consent is spam, no matter how much you try to polish it up and call it something else.
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Every business email sender knows about the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, but did you know that CAN-SPAM compliance isn't enough? By "not enough" we mean that if you consider compliance with CAN-SPAM to be all that you have to do to also be in compliance with your email sending platform, and in compliance with the inbox providers hosting the email inboxes to which you are sending email, well, you need to keep reading.
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Properly conducting an email reengagement campaign, and following reengagement campaign best practices, is critical to your email deliverability. One misstep and all of your email can start going to the spam folder, if not being outright blocked as "spam". In our knowledge article about How to Revive, Warm Up, and Re-Engage an Old Mailing List without Getting Into Trouble we highlight six points that are key to conducting an effective reengagement campaign: remove non-opening email addresses, make sure your authentication is set up correctly, minimal formatting, compelling subject line, brief content, and be consistent. Below is a real-life reengagement email campaign example, showing how doing this carefully, correctly, and following these points, can lead to success.
Why Open Rates are Still a Relevant and Very Important Metric to Monitor
Since the moment that iOS 15 was a gleam in Tim Cook's eye, self-styled email marketing experts started advising that you could start ignoring open rates because, and we quote, "they are no longer accurate" and "they are artificially inflated by iOS 15." To paraphrase a beloved children's story, this is terrible, horrible, no good, very bad advice.
winner game quiz show
Let's play a game that we like to call "Can I Use This List?" or "Can I Put This Email Address on My List?". Here are fifteen scenarios in which someone may come across or into possession of somebody's email address, or a mailing list, and you have to decide whether or not it is ok to use the email address or list. Which ones are fair game to use? The answers may surprise you!
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In our world we talk a lot about open rates, and why it's so important to track them (you can read more about the importance of tracking open rates here). Generally speaking inbox providers and ISPs like to see a consistent 20% or better open rate in order to keep putting the email that you send to them in the inbox, and to avoid landing in the spam folder. But what is less talked about is what causes failure to opens (FTOs) and how to prevent them.
words that can get your email in trouble
Remember George Carlin's "7 words you can't say on tv"? Well, there are a whole lot more words that you can't say in email without risking going to the spam folder. In fact there are a lot of regular words that can get your email into trouble with spam filters? One of the things that is surprising to many email senders is just how many words there are that, when in their email, can trip the spam filters. They are even more surprised when they learn what some of those words are, because they are very common words, words that seem (and often are) innocent, and yet the spam filters will chew on them, and often then spit your email out directly into the spam folder.
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There's a reason that email hygiene services are so popular: following regular email list hygiene best practices not only keeps email deliverability from tanking, but will also boost your list's performance to the moon! Regular mailing list maintenance gives you amazing open and click-through rates, and not just because you've removed the dead wood. So many email senders who know that they should follow email hygiene best practices often just can't bring themselves to abandon inactive subscribers. However, once you realize just how incredibly responsive a leaner, meaner list can be you'll not only want to perform mail hygiene maintenance regularly, you'll actually look forward to it, because it's the secret sauce that will keep you ahead of your competition. We call this secret sauce "compounded deliverability".
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