We're always thinking about ways that we can boost our customers' deliverability and email reptutation to previously unheard of heights. And, as we've mentioned before, open rates are becoming increasingly important. That is because ISPs look at your open rates to see if people are really interested in receiving and reading your email. So I got to thinking about things that can artificially suppress your open rates.
Last week we talked about how if your email is not "mobile friendly", that is, if it doesn't render well on mobile devices, your email will not bring you the results for which you are hoping. And because once someone reads your email on their mobile device, they aren't as likely to read it on their computer, this is very important. Remember that open and click-through rates can directly affect your deliverability.
I'm sure that you know that more and more people are reading email on the go (I, for example, read a large percentage of my email on my Sidekick, many others read email on their Blackberrys). In fact last year Marketing Sherpa determined that 64% of key decision makers are reading email on their mobile devices. Reading your email on their mobile devices. Have you ever stopped to think about what that means in terms of your email deliverability?
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.
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?" There are a couple of reasons for that.
Many email senders rage against the machine - the spam filtering machine, that is. And it's easy to understand why: legitimate email getting caught and misidentified as spam - what we call "false positives" - is a big problem. But, consider this: what would the email world look like without 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.
One of the most frustrating things for commercial and volume email senders is that different ISPs have different standards for what they require in order to ensure that your email gets delivered. On top of that, many ISPs don't seem to adhere to the agreed industry standards in terms of how their receiving mail servers interact with the sending mail servers - for example five different ISPs may use five different SMTP error codes when they bounce an email because the email address doesn't exist, even though people believe there to be one generally accepted code for that situation (along the lines of "550 user unknown").