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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".
Often the way that you find out that a user's email address is no longer valid is that you get a bounce back ("user not found"). But sometimes a user will switch email addresses, and they will actually try to notify you. What do you do then?
We recently had a customer contact us to ask us whether a particular vendor's Permission Pass system was legitimate, because to them it seemed to cross the line. Smart customer! Because, in fact, this particular vendor (no, I'm not going to name them) is not only conducting Permission Pass in the completely wrong way - but in a way that would be sure to have gotten our customer in hot water with the ISPs and spam filters!
We regularly get questions and comments, both in the course of our business day, and in casual conversation, which make clear that there is something that people just aren't getting - so here it is, put as plainly and clearly as we can put it: If you get too many spam complaints, your email is going to be junkfoldered.
Most legitimate mail senders know to process bounce messages. This means that if they get what is called a "hard bounce" for an email address on their list (meaning that the bounce tells them that the email address simply doesn't exist), they remove the email address from their list permanently. But more and more ISPs are inserting the bounce message right into your mail log, right at the time of the SMTP transaction, instead. If you don't check your mail logs regularly, you'll never see the bounce.
Sender Reputation Data (SRD) can refer either to the data related to your email sending reputation generally, or to Microsoft's Windows Live Sender Reputation Data (WSRD or WLSRD) program. In either case our SuretyMail email reputation certification can help!
As we've talked about at length before, web-based email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail, take into account the open rates and click-through rates associated with the email that you send to their users. If your rates are too low, they will start putting your email in the spam folder. But in addition to the obvious concerns and issues related to open rates, there is another aspect of these web-based mail providers - and Gmail in particular - to which nobody gives a thought, even though it is quietly killing email deliverability for countless legitimate, ethical email marketers and other email senders.
Our data suggests that a complaint rate of more than even 1 in 10,000 (.01%) can cause problems. This may happen as a consequence of direct actions by the ISP or as a reflection of something else. You may see issues mainly because you will be reported by recipients in a sustained trend.
Today's deliverability tip comes to you hot-on-the trails of a retail mini-saga that unfolded for me this week with a large, well known online retailer. The saga could have been easily downgraded to a minor glitch, had it not been for the fact that I kept receiving alarming emails, all from "do not reply". It served as a good reminder that not only can "do not reply" email addresses be incredibly frustrating if some sort of alternate communication option is not provided, but they can also affect your email deliverability!
We were stunned when we came across an article by Internet Evolution, suggesting email marketers use Paypal's batch payment function to send mass emails to non-opted-in recipients, with a payment incentive to open the email. The article even states directly, "The sender can simply upload a list of targeted but unknown email addresses and give each a 1 cent payment."
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