eMail Delivery Success – Troubleshooting Email Block and Filter Issues

Email filtering and delivery rates are based on many factors, including:

  1. Complaints: Occur when subscribers mark your message as spam. Complaints happen for a variety of reasons, but may indicate that you have insufficient permission for some or all of the addresses on your list.  In addition, complaints can cause future campaigns to be blocked and sent straight to the spam folder.
  2. High unknown user rates: When a message is sent to many email addresses that have become inactive or do not exist anymore.
  3. Spam trap addresses: Email addresses that are used by a blacklist to test if the email address was obtained by a bot that is crawling for addresses.  If a message is sent to a spam trap, your IP reputation will drop.
  4. Content: Spam filters look for specific words or characteristics from each message that are weighted based on their likelihood to indicate that a message is unwanted or legitimate mail. Spam filters are always adapting and learning more about what is and isn’t unwanted mail, so it is not possible for us to offer specific advice about improving your mail content.
  5. Sending Consistency: Sending with consistent volumes and frequencies month over month is ideal. Spammers tend to “pop up” on an IP and disappear.

Here are some specific recommendations to consider that can help improve delivery rates:

Complaints

  • Clearly offer an unsubscribe option to subscribers and honor unsubscribes requests. Opting out should be just as simple as opting in
  • Add text reminding subscribers where they opted-in to receive your email
  • Monitor your complaint rates
  • Validate you are adhering to applicable anti-spam and privacy laws and policies
  • Ensure your marketing communications are timely, relevant, have been requested and that you have permission to send them to the user
  • Consider the frequency of your mailings. What are the user’s expectations?
  • Check if you imported new emails that were unverified or from an outside source. Email addresses such as info@, sales@, and webmaster@example.com are a clear indication that the list is not 100% opt in
  • From address should be working email addresses that are well monitored

High unknown user rates

  • Maintain your mailing lists. This includes purging old, bad or inactive addresses from your mailing lists.
  • Acquire names responsibly and send mail only to users that opt-in to receiving your email.

Spam trap addresses

  • Monitor and manage both hard and soft bounces. Bounce notices can provide invaluable information regarding the ISP’s treatment of your email.

Content

  • Choose content wisely and verify URLs look normal and point to valid domains
  • Use your own domain in your From address. Don’t use free email addresses as your From address as all DMARC compliant mail receivers (including Yahoo, Hotmail, and Gmail) are bouncing emails sent as “@yahoo.com, @outlook.com, @gmail.com” addresses that aren’t sent through their servers.
  • Ensure emails are cleanly formatted and clearly identifiable as originating from your service.
  • Use a friendly from name and email address to help subscribers recognize and trust emails sent from you
  • Implement outbound email authentication using a sender authentication package. This helps protect from spoofing and ensure the Critical Impact mail servers are authorized to send mail, while protecting the brand and domain from threats to their brand and misrepresentation.
  • Segment or separate traffic by brand or type of mail. Corporate email, customer acquisition, customer retention and transactional emails should be segmented. Senders who wish to maintain separate reputations for each should consider segment mail streams by IP address and utilizing separate authentication packages.
  • Follow content and formatting best practices: use the Spam/link checker tool to help remove known spam keywords and broken links.

Sending Consistency

  • Be consistent. Send email from the same IP’s
  • Less is more. Send less mail more often vs. lots of mail for short periods of time

The bottom line to remember is: if as little as 1% of your customers complain, the inability to communicate with your entire customer base may be the end result.

Finally, please thoroughly test before launching any campaign. This means frequent testing with recipient accounts using various clients and major email service providers to ensure that communications are being received in a desired fashion.

Delivery Rate Scenarios

 

Scenario 1: Your email is being delivered to the Junk email Folder
Symptoms:

1.  Open, click and unsubscribe rates decline

2.  Recipients inform you that your email is delivered to the junk folder

Common Causes:

1.  Too many recipients reported your previous emails as spam

Recommended Actions:

  • Be consistent. Send email from the same IP’s
  • Change the Subject lines of your messages to be more relevant.
  • Make sure the From address is recognizable and would never be perceived as deceptive.
  • Reduce the frequency of your messages.
  • Make sure you are sending what the recipients expect to receive.
  • Increase the relevance of your messages.
  • Reduce frequency to addresses that have not opened or clicked recently.
  • Make the Unsubscribe option easy to find and use.
  • Send an immediate confirmation message.
  • Add more relevant text content to your messages.

2.  Too much of your mail is sent to invalid or inactive email addresses

Recommended Actions:

  • Avoid mailing addresses that have not responded to your mail (i.e. opened or clicked) recently, or from users that have requested to be unsubscribed
  • Please contact support@emailnetworks.com for help to create an exclude list and properly import.

 

3.  Your sender authentication record is incorrect or missing

Recommended Actions:

  • Ensure your outbound mail is compliant. Contact support@emailnetworks.com to verify your sender authentication is set up correctly.

Scenario 2: Your message is delivered successfully without a bounce but not delivered to the Inbox or junk mail folder

 Symptoms:

1. Open, click and unsubscribe rates decline

2. Recipients inform you that your email is not delivered to the Inbox

3. Some or all of the email sent to your personal email account is never delivered to the Inbox

Common Causes:

1. You are sending to dynamic spam/trap accounts

Recommended Actions:

  • Reduce frequency to addresses that have not opened or clicked recently
  • Contact Support to create a Dynamic Exclude List.
  • Segment mailings (transactions, newsletters) by IP address and try to identify bad data segments or sources

2. Too many of your email messages have been detected as SPAM by internal filtering and reputation systems

Recommended Actions:

  • Change the Subject lines of your messages to be more relevant
  • Reduce the frequency of your messages
  • Make sure you are sending what the recipients expect to receive
  • Increase the relevance of your messages
  • Reduce frequency to addresses that have not opened or clicked recently
  • Make the Unsubscribe option easy to find and use
  • Add more relevant text content to your messages

 

Scenario 3: Your mail is blocked or mail is bouncing

Symptoms:

1. You receive an unusually high number of bounce messages

2. Open, click, and unsubscribe rates decline significantly

3. Recipients inform you that your email is not delivered to the Inbox or the junk mail folder

4. Some or all of the email sent to your personal email account is never delivered to the Inbox

Common Causes:

1. Volume Caps

Recommended Actions:

  • Utilize additional IP addresses with the same sender authentication

2. Blocklists

Recommended Actions:

  • Contact support@emailnetworks.com

Email Marketing Bounce Management and Bounce Resolution Compliance

Email Bounce Processing and Bounce Best Practices Compliance

 As a user, you cannot control bounces, but it is important that you gain an understanding of what bounces are, how a subscriber’s email address becomes “bounced”,and how the application deals with those bounces.

What is an email Bounce?

Bounces are messages that ISPs send back to Critical Impact to explain why they can’t deliver your email to the email address you sent it to. Once you send an email, the recipient’s email server either accepts your message, or “bounces” it. If the recipient’s email server accepts your message, the recipient’s email address remains active in Critical Impact. If the recipient’s email server rejects your message, we consider this a bounce. There are two kinds of bounces – one is temporary, and one is permanent.  We’ll explain how each of those work in the next section.

The Soft Bounce (temporary bounce) – The email address is valid, but the message couldn’t be delivered to it, most likely due to a temporary encumbrance.

A soft bounce occurs when the recipient’s email server rejects your email message due to a temporary condition that exists on the receiver’s side, e.g. perhaps their inbox is full and not accepting any new messages. When a soft bounce occurs, Critical Impact will retry sending your email to the intended recipient every 60 minutes for 24 hours, which totals 24 attempts. Only after the system makes the 24 attempts does a ‘bounce’ appear in your tracking report.

The 24 re-tries do not count as bounces or additional sent emails.  Instead, 24 unsuccessful retries equate to one soft bounce. The following table describes the possible causes of a soft bounce.

It is important to note that soft bounces are not controlled by our system or by you, our customer.  Soft bounces are entirely dictated by the intended recipient’s email servers.

Cause

Definition

Possible Cautions and Resolutions
Inactive Email  Account Address is temporarily unavailable as recipient’s mailbox is inactive or temporarily disabled The subscriber’s email account is temporarily inactive or disabled. Mailboxes can be disabled for several reasons, including infrequent use, change of address, delinquency or dispute. These errors could be temporary or permanent. Recommended actions include sending messages to these subscribers in the short term to monitor acceptance, and then to contact the subscriber through other methods to confirm address, if delivery issues persist.
Temporary Domain Failure Temporary failure at the receiving domain The subscriber’s mailbox is not currently accepting messages. This is a temporary deliverability issue that should be resolved prior to future sends. Continue to monitor deliverability for this subscriber. Consider contacting this subscriber through alternative means if these deliverability issues persist.
Other Mailbox temporarily unavailable or indecipherable bounce message received The subscriber’s mailbox is not currently accepting messages. This is a temporary deliverability issue that should be resolved prior to future sends. Continue to monitor deliverability for this subscriber. Consider contacting this subscriber through alternative means if these deliverability issues persist.
Mailbox Full Recipient’s mailbox is full or has exceeded storage allocation Your recipient’s mailbox is full or it has exceeded it’s storage allocation. The could be caused by infrequent use, a temporary change in email checking habits, or an address change. Mailbox full errors should serve as a warning sign. Consider contacting the subscriber through alternative means to confirm that you are mailing to a valid and frequently checked address.

Soft Bounces can also be caused by poor sender reputation and/or issues stemming from too many bounces, too many complaints, or sending SPAM.  This type of soft bounce is called a “block bounce”.  It occurs when the email server rejects your message due to filtering issues, such as URL blocks, complaints, lack of proper authentication, or the domain or IP address is found on a blacklist utilized by the receiving domain. A subscriber who receives a block bounce will be re-tried in the next email send.   The following table describes the causes of a block bounce.

Cause                     
Definition
Complaint Your email is blocked due to complaints
Blacklist IP address is on a blacklist
Content Message was filtered due to content
URL Block Emails containing your URLs are blocked
Authentication Message lacks required authentication

 

Soft bounces can also be caused by technical issues. This flavor of soft bounce, also called a technical bounce, occurs when the recipient’s email server rejects your message due to technical errors, such as a data format or network errors. When a subscriber experiences a technical bounce they will be re-tried in the next email send. The following table describes the causes of a technical bounce.

Cause
Definition
Server Too Busy Receiving email server is temporarily overwhelmed with delivery attempts from you and other senders
Data Format Error Email is rejected due to formatting or line length errors
Network Error Connection lost or timed our during delivery line length errors

The Hard Bounce

A hard bounce occurs when the email server rejects your message due to permanent conditions (this typically results when an email address no longer exists, or is inactive). No more attempts are made to send this email campaign to this subscriber, and the subscriber will be automatically unsubscribed from all future email attempts.  While this model suits most cases, certain ISPs change from time-to-time based on how they handle spam and a number of other deliverability items.
The following table describes the possible causes of a hard bounce.

Cause

Definition

Possible Cautions and Resolutions
Domain Unknown Domain is bad or non-existent Sending to unknown domains is a result of poor data capture methods, old data, or questionable data sources. Sending to old lists can also increase the likelihood of mailing to dead domains, as domains that are no longer active will be represented on old lists. To avoid receiving a high number of “Domain Unknown” errors, we recommend sending a test send to 10% of your regular mailing volume. In doing so, you can assess the results from the test send without exceeding the acceptable bounce and complain rates and make a reasonable risk assessment before proceeding with a larger send.
User Unknown Address is invalid and/or failure is permanent per bounce message Industry statistics indicate that up to 33% of email addresses become invalid over a 12 month period. Receiving the User Unknown error indicates that the address is no longer active or has never been an active email address. Because of the high rate of turnover of email addresses, sending to subscribers on a regular basis will decrease the possibility of a sudden spike on a specific campaign. If mailing to an old subscriber list, we recommend sending a random 10% test to avoid a sudden increase in bounces. This error could also be the result of poor data capture methods. If this is the case, we recommend requiring subscribers to enter their email address twice
Bad Address Syntax

 

Email address invalid

 

The email is not in a correct syntax. For example, you may have left out the “@” symbol or didn’t include a domain name (like “yourdomaincom” instead of “yourdomain.com”). Check your email address syntax and correct any errors you see.
High Unknown Address Percentage

 

Email is blocked due to the high quantity/percentage of unknown or inactive addresses on your list The subscriber’s ISP has flagged your IP address for sending too many messages that were unknown or inactive. The ISP sees that you sent emails to people that didn’t accept them. To improve this, see the section on Best Practices.

 

 

Other

 

Address is invalid and/or failure is permanent per bounce message

 

Bounce Tracking

We track your bounces in the tracking area of the application. To access your bounce tracking data, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Reports folder.
  2. Click Custom Reports.
  3. Select Display All Hard and Soft Bounces by Date.
  4. Click Run Report

We take bounces very seriously. Poor delivery results from any of our customers damages the reputation of the company and, by extension, all of our customers. Therefore, the Sending Guidelines and Thresholds are in place to prevent abuse of our email system and to ensure our clients practice permission-based, opt-in email. We continue to lead the industry in deliverability rates – due in part to our commitment to, enforcement of, and client consultation on permission marketing best practices.

Email Bounce Codes List

While there are many Bounce Codes few are commonly used (noted in bold and orange)

0    Unknown
2    Email Send Error
10    Email address is invalid or not active, no such mailbox exists
20    General Soft Bounce
21    Soft Bounce – DNS Failure
22    Mailbox Full
23    Message Too Large for mailbox recipient
24    Response timed out from destination mail server
25    Message Quarantined
26    Message was flagged due to characteristics of spam
27    Firewall issues on the desitnation mail server prevented this message from being delivered
28    Mail server refused connection
30    Email address is invalid or not active, no such mailbox exists
40    Destination mail service problems
50    Message was flagged due to characteristics of spam
51    Spam
52    Message was flagged due to characteristics of spam (Content)
53    Mail blocked due to attachment
54    Destination mail server does not allow relays, mailbox is most likely incorrect
55    Mail server requires more information on senders domain
60    Auto Reply response detected (e.g. out of office)
110    Mail server requires confirmation
501    rejected due to configuration issues with remote host
502    bounced due to bad connection issues with remote host
503    refused or blocked due to content related reasons
504    bounced due to not being delivered before the bounce-after
505    bounces due to receiving no response from remote host after connecting
506    rejected due to other reasons
507    refused or blocked due to general policy reasons
508    rejected due to SMTP protocol syntax or sequence errors
509    rejected or blocked due to mailbox quota issues
510    refused or blocked due to remote mail server relaying issues
511    bounced due to mail routing issues for recipient domain
512    refused or blocked due to spam related reasons
513    refused or blocked due to virus related reasons
514    Invalid Sender, might require pre-authorization
550    General Send Error
1000    bounced due to invalid or non-existing domains
1001    rejected due to expired, inactive, or disabled recipient addresses
1002    rejected due to bad, invalid, or non-existent recipient addresses
1100    rejected due to bad, invalid, or non-existent recipient addresses

Why is my message marked as SPAM or sent to Quarantine Folder?

SPAM filters have become increasingly complex in order to identify which emails are from legitimate senders which are not.  Spam filters look at a long list of criteria to decide whether your email is spam.  Also, spam filters are very private about why your email passed or failed to try to prevent spammers from figuring out their techniques.

Typically, there is not one single change that can be made in order to let your email pass a spam content filter.  Instead, most filters use a scoring system, if you score high enough, they block your email.  Having !!! in the subject may be 10 points, and having a high image to text ratio could be 24 points!  Once you are over a certain score, your email is blocked.  There are 100’s of spam filters, each with their own unique settings.

Reasons a message could land in the SPAM or junk folder

Subscriber Engagement

  • AOL, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, and other major email clients use subscriber engagement to filter spam
    1. The more your recipients open, click, and read your messages, the more highly engaged your audience
    2. The more engaged your audience, the more likely your messages are to land in the inbox
    3. If your subscribers are not engaged, the message could be filtered as spam
  • Email providers don’t share exact filtering data with senders. But by tracking your campaigns’ opens, clicks, and unsubscribes, you’ll be able to gauge how your subscribers are engaging with your messages

Subscribers click “report spam” button

  • One of the greatest marks against you if you’re having trouble getting into the inbox will be if your email content has been previously flagged as spam by your subscribers
  • If a lot of your recipients click the “report spam” button against your messages, their email client can start to block your campaigns and deliver other messages straight to the spam folder
  • If subscribers move emails out of the spam folder, that’s a positive indicator and can help ensure future emails that are similar are delivered to the inbox instead.

Subscribers No Longer Wish to Receive Messages

  • A frequent sending pattern might be tolerated initially, but eventually subscribers may tire of the frequency and start marking your mail as spam
  • To prevent this, you may want to adopt engagement based sending

List Hygiene

SPAM Traps

  • Spam Traps are email addresses that are used by a blacklist to test if the email address was obtained by a bot crawling for email addresses.  If you send to a SPAM trap email address, the SPAM filters will know that you did not receive this address through a valid opt-in
  • Purchased lists can contain many dead emails and spam traps that quickly inform mailbox providers that you are sending unsolicited emails
  • To avoid including a SPAM trap email in your mailing list, use an opt-in process to obtain your subscribers and do not buy lists

Unsubscribes

  • If the unsubscribe link is not prominently displayed in the message or the message footer, some subscribers choose to mark as SPAM instead of unsubscribing

Subject Line

  • Misleading claims could make the message look suspicious: the subject line needs to correlate with the content of the message.
    Example: the subject line states that the recipient has won a prize, while the copy lists conditions that have to be met in order to claim it.
  • Your subject contains trigger words or excessive punctuation (FREE!!!!)
  • Exclamation marks are especially risky in email subject lines

From Address

  • A free email address as your from address can trigger SPAM filters
    1. Avoid using a free/personal email address such as @hotmail.com or @gmail.com
    2. Instead, use an email domain for the company or organization for which you are sending email
    3. Make sure to use a working email address that can receive messages
  • Your from address needs to be recognizable and trustworthy to external audiences: if subscribers do not recognize the address, they may mark the message as SPAM before opening it
  • No from address or noreply@ since this looks like spam and will increase the likelihood of your email being filtered.
  • Frequent changes of from address names
  • Obscure from address field names or from addresses that do not exist

Message Content

Word Choice

  • There is no complete list of spam trigger words, but you can try testing various text and avoid the risky words listed below.
  • Be careful with words associated with the language of sales. If overused, they may trigger spam filters and route your emails to junk folders. Risky words include: prize, free, bonus, buy, purchase, order, guarantee, credit card, sex
  • Anything about getting money, paying less money, or money-back guarantees may be marked as SPAM
  • Excessive use of “click here.”  Make your call-to-action links more specific to avoid filters.
  • Don’t forget to use spell check; misspellings are yet another spam indicator in your email content

Font Styles

  1. Font Colors

    • Do not use too many different font colors (especially red or green)
    • Since red is a loud color and can be hard to read, it may cause your message to be caught in an email filter
  2. All Capital Letters

    • Using all capital letters MAKES IT LOOK LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING, makes your email look like spam, and will dramatically increase the likelihood of your email being filtered
    • When emphasis is needed, use a maximum of one word per sentence in all capitals, never a whole sentence
  3. Extraneous Styles

    • Make sure your content does not include styling from Microsoft Word. If you are pasting in content from Word, you will want to use the “Paste from Word” button in the message editor to avoid having extra styling tags pasted along with the text
  4. Font Size

    • Using extra large font size could trigger a filter.  Ordinary font size is considered 10-14px

Excessive Punctuation Marks or Symbols

  • !!! or ??? or $$$ are likely to trip email filters especially when used in conjunction with spam-like words and capital letters.
  • One exclamation mark per sentence is enough
  • Spam filters check the links in your message. If you link to a domain that has a poor reputation you will be penalized.
  • Check that the links in your message are valid.
  • As a best practice, please avoid shortened URLs in emails because spammers frequently abuse them. Some shortened domains have been placed on some of the most widely used block lists, which means that emails containing these links can be blocked by a spam filter
  • Linking to too many different domains in an email could make the message look suspicious
  • Additionally you should avoid linking to URL’s that contain folders with 1-2 characters, because some filters will see that as a bad thing

Unsupported Content

  • Javascript, form code, or embedded video within your email could flag the message as SPAM
  • Sending attachments with the message

Images

  • Good text to image ratio: it’s suggested that for every graphic, include at least two lines of text
  • Do not send any image-only emails
  • Optimize images: this will shrink the overall size of the message

Message Length

  • An email with no content in the subject and body of the message might be classified as spam.
  • Keep emails short because too much copy is another red flag for spam filters.

Email Versions

  • Include both a HTML and text version of your email.  Not having a text only version of the message could trigger a SPAM filter
  • Note: our system automatically generates a text version from the text inserted into the message tab of the message editor.  Just make sure that if your message contains only images, you add some text to the text only tab.

Incomplete Information

  • Your physical address is required by law. Always include your reply email address and your Web site URL, if you have one. Depending on your business, you may decide to include your phone number as well.
  • Your physical address is added by default to the message footer.  If you use a custom footer make sure to add the physical mailing address to this footer of elsewhere in the message content

Guidelines to Avoid being Marked as SPAM

General Guidelines to avoid content spam filters

Spam filters are very private about why your email passed or failed. They do this to ensure that spammers don’t figure out their techniques.

There is typically not one simple change in order to let your email pass by a spam content filters.  Instead, most filters use a scoring system, if you score high enough, they block your email.  An “all caps” word may be one point, repeated words may be another point, and $$ in the subject may be 10 points!   Once you are over a certain score, you email is blocked.  There are 100’s of spam filters, each with their own unique settings.

Things to Avoid

Spam-like words
Free, guarantee, credit card, sex etc.

Red text
Red is a loud color and can be hard to read. It is also a spam tactic that may trip an email filter.

All capital letters
Resist the temptation to use capital letters and over-punctuate. When you use all capital letters, there is no differentiation in your words. This makes them harder to read. It COMES ACROSS LIKE YOU’RE SHOUTING, makes your email look like spam and will dramatically increase the likelihood of your email being filtered.

Incomplete information
Your physical address is required by law. Always include your reply email address and your Web site URL, if you have one. Depending on your business, you may decide to include your phone number as well.

Excessive punctuation !!!, ???
This is likely to trip email filters especially when used in conjunction with spam-like words and capital letters.

Excessive use of “click here” especially in all capital letters
Make your call-to-action links more specific to avoid filters.

Excessive use of $$, and other symbols
Again, this tactic is likely to trip email filters. Use just one dollar sign for currency and use descriptive words instead of symbols to get your message across.

No “From:” address or noreply@
It looks like spam and will increase the likelihood of your email being filtered.

Misleading (or missing) subject line

Include both a HTML and text version of your email

Words to Avoid in Subject Lines

This does not include any inappropriate subject lines:

  • All caps
  • dollar amounts
  • spammy looking monetary reference
  • owe
  • indebted
  • other
  • wipe out
  • remove
  • get (?:rid| out) of| eradicate)
  • (?:owe| debt| obligation)
  • (?:alert| response| assistance| proposal| reply| warning| noti(?:ce| fication)| greeting| matter))
  • \bsecurity (?:[a-z_,-]+ )*?measures?\b/i
  • (?:Jan| Feb| Mar| Apr| May| Jun| Jul| Aug| Sep| Oct| Nov| Dec)\S* \d+% OFF/
  • “At No Cost”
  • Cheap in Caps
  • talks about money bonus!
  • low rates
  • looks like Fharmacy spams.
  • starts with Do you dream,have,want,love, etc.
  • starts with Lose
  • says will help
  • Re: new \d\d\d
  • Attempt to obfuscate words in Subject:
  • line starts with Buy or Buying
  •  starts with dollar amount

Take the Day Off – eMail Networks Full Service Options (by request)

We have experienced quite a surge in interest for our “Full Service” Account Management Services.  Here is a basic breakdown of how we can make your job much easier.

Full Service – Basic

– Including Data import and export.

– Including sending statistics reports.

– Client provides content of the e-mail blast.

– eMail Networks specialist sets up and sends the e-mail blast

by using your existing templates.

– Included are two e-mail blasts per month.

– $50 for an additional blast.

 

Full Service – Premium

– Including Data import and export.

– Including sending statistics reports.

– Including best practice e-mail campaign consulting.

– Client provides content of the e-mail blast.

– eMail Networks specialist sets up and sends the e-mail blast

by creating one new customized HTML email template every month.

– Included are two e-mail blasts per month

– $50 for an additional blast.

 

Full Service – Complete Campaign Management

– Including Data import and export.

– Including sending statistics reports.

– Review of e-mail marketing needs and goals.

– eMail Networks manages the entire e-mail marketing campaign.

– Complete Coordination of photos, text and graphics.

– Offers, Coupons and specials developed for client

Contact me at stephanie@emailnetworks.com or the Sales Team at sales@emailnetworks.com

Talk to you soon! :)

Stephanie

Best Email Marketing Practice of the Day by eMail Networks

Forward to a Friend:

One way to increase your email database size is to include text and graphic links to your eMail Networks White Cloud “Forward to a Friend” functionality.  This will allow your subscribers to easily “share” your email with friends nd associates

You can find the dynamically insert them into your emails.  We can also set-up your eMail Networks White Cloud footers and or headers to include the Forward to a Friend links.

Happy Email Sending

Five Tips to Increase Your Email Click-Through Rates

Email marketing is the perfect tool to increase your website traffic or conversion rates. Email recipients will click the hyperlinks in your well designed email.

Here are 5 tips to help you increase your email’s click-through rates:

1. Ensure your emails are opened

Admittedly, this sounds obvious, but it isn’t as easy as it seems. Just because your email is delivered to your recipient’s inbox doesn’t mean the recipient will open your email. There are many ways to increase the open rates of your emails. Here are the most important ones:

Increasing your open rates starts with using a reputable Email Service Provider (ESP) that will host your opt-in database.  Be very clear on your sign-up forms of what subscriber is signing up for, and what kind of information they can expect to receive.

How many times will they receive your emails?  You’d rather have one opt-in who reads your newsletter, than many that delete it without even opening it.
Identify yourself: Make it perfectly clear for the recipient who the sender is. Use your name, your company name or both.
Write an appealing subject line: A well-written subject line invites the recipient to open the mail. Be sure to stick to a maximum of 50 characters (20 if you have a lot of mobile readers) to prevent it from being cut off in most email clients.
Compose a strong snippet or pre-header: This is the first text that’s displayed underneath or next to the subject line. Often the snippet contains text like “Unable to read this mail? Open the web version.” You can do better.

2. Have a clear call to action

Click Here!    Call 1888 456-7155

“Create an account now!” “Buy product X!” Having multiple calls to action (CTAs) only makes it confusing for your recipients. Determine what the main goal of your email is, and make sure your call to action serves that goal, and that goal only.

Also, a CTA should make clear for the reader…

What is expected of him
Where the CTA will take him
Why he has to go there

The best CTAs answer those three questions, using as few words as possible:

Contact us.
Apply now.
Sign up now.
Create an account.

and so forth.

Avoid CTAs that state the obvious. The internet has been around long enough even for the biggest technophobes to understand that they have to click on a hyperlink to make it work. In other words, don’t use “click here.”

3. Create mobile-proof emails

In 2012, the amount of mobile online traffic was 12 times the size of total Internet traffic in 2000. And mobile data traffic is still skyrocketing. But while more and more companies prepare their websites for mobile visitors, only few of them do the same with their emails.

In the meanwhile, according to Litmus research, 38% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. That makes mobile phones the most popular medium for reading emails.

Not preparing your emails for mobile is a mistake you can’t allow yourself to make. Create your email templates using responsive design, which will adjust the email to, for example, screen size used or the orientation of your screen (in the case of smart phones, which you can hold horizontally or vertically).

Also, keep in mind that mobile users click using their fingers instead of a mouse. Make sure all your calls to action are large enough and your hyperlinks have enough space between them. Tip: a finger takes up, on average, about 44×44 pixels on a mobile screen.

4. Be relevant

Your database is one of the most powerful assets you have to increase the number of clicks in your emails. Using the information in your database, you can send your recipients relevant emails that fit their needs.

The most efficient form of email relevancy based on the data in your database is event-driven email marketing. For example, you send emails based on someone’s interests, products someone purchases or didn’t purchase. Abandoned shopping carts, for example, are known to increase click-through rates 20%.

5. Test and measure

Not every target group is the same. That’s why you should use the previous four tips merely to get started. From there, the best way to improve your open rate is by testing various strategies and to keep measuring the results.

Test emails with split-run and A/B tests, including different send times and different subject lines. Keep tweaking and molding until you find the right format and the click-through rate until your reach your campaign goals.

SalesForce Integration with eMail Networks White Cloud

eMail Networks Integration with Salesforce

Yes, you can integrate your Salsforce Portal with your eMail Networks Portal

Our Email Marketing platform creates a seamless bridge between Salesforce and your email marketing activities.

Want to simplify the task of sending mass email campaigns to leads in Salesforce? Are you tired of manually exporting and importing between Salesforce and your email marketing platform?

With our integration it couldn’t get any easier. Just select the message you want to send, choose the Salesforce report(s) that you want to receive the email message, and deploy. Job done.

Once your email is deployed, tracking statistics populate each lead record, making it a “breeze” for sales reps to see and act upon your marketing initiatives. Email opens, clicks, and bounces become visible in Salesforce at both an individual lead level as well as an aggregate level. These results can also be leveraged to create new reports and action-oriented dashboards for sales reps.

Using our Integration with Salesforce, you will achieve:

*More highly targeted marketing campaigns, improving email engagement rates

*More event driven emails that connect you closer to your customers, improving retention rates

*Elimination of the need to manually upload/download subscriber data, saving valuable time

*A more complete picture of prospect’s and customer’s behavior, leading to a better understanding of how to market to them

*Increased visibility for your sales team into which leads to focus on, leading to more revenue with less effort

Contact your eMail Networks Sales Rep at sales@eMailNetworks.com for more information.

Okay, Here’s the answer on purchased lists – Just say NO

Do not purchase or rent lists. Many purchased, rented or stolen lists contact “honey pot” email addresses maintained by the SPAM filtering organizations. If you sent to these address the organizations send an automated report to all major ISPs and SPAM filtering companies that mark you as a spammer or potential spammer. This flags the sender and sending IP addresses that there is problem and scrutiny of the sender and IP are increased. If a problem is severe or persists an IP or sender block is issued which can have a negative effect on your delivery results in the short and long term. Contact our support team at support@emailnetworks.com to discuss any questions about new lists before you import them into your White Cloud system.

Talk to you soon!

Stephanie