The single most influential factor when it comes to people interacting with your emails is content. Studies have shown that open rates for targeted campaigns are typically twice that of a generic newsletter. Segment your list and send targeted content to your recipients on a regular basis to keep them engaged.
Content filters also play a huge role in email delivery. Signup to services like Litmus or setup seed accounts of your own. Whatever you do, test, test, and test. If you aren’t doing this simple task before sending your email off to your entire list, it’s like going to work with no pants on. Sure it’s easier, but it’s only a matter of time before you regret it. ☺ Here is an excellent example of what I’m talking about from the folks at MarketingSherpa.
Take away: Write engaging targeted emails to each person on your list. Making sure your content is clean and doesn’t upset any spam filters should be part of every email you create.
Getting your email marketing messages to your audience relies heavily on your reputation. Your delivery is determined by the reputation you have acquired by the practices you adhere to as a sender. You have to earn a positive online reputation, but once you do it will make the difference between your email getting delivered to the Inbox, Junk folder, or not showing up at all.
Take away: A good reputation is key to everything, if you don’t start caring about it, nobody else will.
Almost all ISPs these days (even the small ones) are looking at some form of authentication to filter spam. Even the SMB crowd looks at authentication (however indirectly) by incorporating outside filtering services such as Postini, McAfee, Brightmail, Spam Assassin, etc.. to their anti-spam filtering solution. Allowing Cakemail to send on your domains behalf will go a long way to ensure your email gets delivered.
Take away: If you’re not who you say you are, your email has a little chance of making it to its destination.
Blacklists are used by receiving networks to judge a given IP and/or domain’s reputation. Blacklistings are the result of sending Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) to addresses that never asked for it. There are many different blacklist providers out there and some carry more weight in the community than others, so it’s very important you keep your lists as clean as possible.
Take away: If you have a history of being labelled a spammer, there’s a fat chance anyone is going to let you send them anything.
There are many aspects when it comes to Email compliance, but for this list I am referring only to the one that will keep you out of jail. Sending commercial-based email has certain laws and breaking those laws is a criminal offence. It doesn’t matter what country you are in, it matters what country you are sending – To. The following are links to several anti-spam policies available online.
United States: The CAN-SPAM Act: Requirements for Commercial Emailers
Australia: 2003 Spam Act
For email legislation in other countries, please consult Wikipedia.
Take away: Even Email has laws, if you choose to ignore them you not only stand a good chance of getting fined, you won’t make a very good impression with ME either.