We recently had a customer muse to us "I think there's got to be a phone number at the ISP that we could call, so we can ask them to explain the reason we are being sent to the junk folder." As most of you who read this probably know, well, there isn't such a phone number. But why not?
While I'm off at the last of the three conferences in four weeks (actually I'm running the Boulder Business Retreat), I thought I'd share this little example of what not to do with your email marketing. I should be back more regularly next week; I hope you've missed me as much as I've missed you! Today's shining example of a company that just doesn't get it is AmericaRX.com.
This has been a long time coming. We've been asked and asked to do this, and so now we finally are. The Email Sending Secrets Insiders Circle.
Here's a word that is guaranteed to kill your email deliverability rate: debt. There is so much spam out there talking about debt, that the spam filters are eating just about anything featuring the word, especially in the subject line.
Challenge response systems have been around long enough now that pretty much everybody has an opinion on them. The end users who use challenge response systems seem to love them. But legitimate email senders often never respond to challenges, and so the end users are actually missing out on a lot of wanted email.
Let me tell you about one of the coolest email platforms about which you've never heard. It's called Eyejot. Eyejot is a video messaging platform, but with a couple of important twists. First of all, it's video email. But it's video email that requires nothing more than a webcam and a web browser. That's it.
Getting spam complaints and not knowing who made a particular email spam complaint is really frustrating. We get it. A common complaint that we hear, particularly from email senders who are signed up for feedback loops from ISPs, is "why won't the ISPs let us know who is complaining and clicking "this is spam" on our email, so that we can unsubscribe them?" This is frustrating for senders who are following all best email marketing practices, including confirmed opt-in, because it means that someone who confirmed their consent to receive the email still complained that it was spam! (There are a few things that can cause someone who requested your email to still complain that it's spam, which we go into in a different article.)
Many email senders rage against the machine - the spam filtering machine, that is, and specifically spam filters for email. And it's easy to understand why: legitimate email getting caught and misidentified as spam, also known as false positives, can play all sorts of havoc for an email sender. But consider this: what would the email world look like if the email receivers (ISPs and inbox providers) didn't use spam filters?
We've talked in the past about why address book importing is just not ok. But in addition to the fact that it trains people to enter their passwords at third-party sites, and to the fact that when you send out all those invitations it makes you look like a spammer, there's another big reason to not do address book importing.
We got the following in the mail this week from United Airlines: "Watch your email during the week at August 11 to receive a valuable limited-time offer from United for international travel this fall." Something has gone horribly wrong when in order for an email marketing campaign to be effective, you first have to send your customers something via the post office to alert them to watch their inbox.