Monthly Archives: October 2017

Email Blacklist

Not Everyone Looks Good in Black — Especially Your Email Campaigns

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Marketing Email Deliverability, Tips and Resources | No Comments

Black is a classic fashion look that pretty much everyone looks good in.  However, as a marketer, black, as in being blacklisted, isn’t a color you want to find your emails dressed in.

After you’ve put all that time and hard work into an email campaign, the last thing you want to discover is that your emails aren’t reaching the target audience because you’ve been blacklisted.  Let’s take a few minutes to dive into what blacklists are, what to do if you ever find yourself on one, and how to avoid them in the first place.

Blacklist: The Blackhole Syndrom for Emails

An email blacklist is a real-time review of emails by ISPs to determine if an email that is coming through could be considered as spam.  The goal is to minimize the number of spam emails that reach their email users.  Each ISP manages their own list, so you may find yourself on one or multiple at any time.

People, countries, companies and other entities that are deemed to be untrustworthy could find themselves on a blacklist without warning.  ISPs are focused on preventing fraud and protecting their users, so if an email displays any suspicious signs or characteristics, that sender will be added to the ISPs blacklist and all emails from that sender will be dropped immediately.

As with most things, there is an opposite to blacklists and that, not surprisingly, is known as a whitelist.  This is the list you want to stay one as all senders on this list will have their email delivered to their targeted end users.

From Blacklist to Whitelist

Should the worst case scenario occur and you find yourself blacklisted, don’t despair…it will take some effort, but you can rectify the situation.  Typically you’ll receive notification that you have been blacklisted with specific instructions.  However, that’s not always the case.  Since one of the top reasons companies get blacklisted is due to being marked as ‘spam’ by end users, it’s not a bad idea to add an email delivery audit to your end of month reporting processes.

Here is a list of the top six to check:

  1. Spamhaus –The Spamhaus project is one of the most reputable blacklisting companies providing real-time anti-spam protection for internet networks worldwide.
  2. SURBL –SURBL is a second tier filter that works in conjunction with Spamhaus to identify some of the most difficult unsolicited messages to track.
  3. Barracuda Reputation Block List –BRBL is a free DNSBL of IP addresses known to send spam.
  4. Invalument –The Invalument anti-spam DNSBL is a subscription-based service that specializes in blocking elusive types of spam where the sender is sending 100% unsolicited bulk email and escaping traditional detection methods.
  5. Spamcop –The SpamCop Blocking List (SCBL) lists IP addresses that had mail reported as spam by SpamCop users.
  6. MultiRBL –This free multiple DNS Blacklist service that cross-references other blacklists by IPV4, IPV6, or domain.

Reputation Monitoring is Key

Reputation monitoring is a critical component to ensuring that your email deliverability rate stays as high as possible.  By managing your complaint rates and watching for delivery dips in your campaign metrics, you’ll be able to see trends and stop issues before they start.

Working with companies such as MailMonitor that offer a suite of services to help you better manage your reputation will make it easier for you to stay on top of things.  With features such as Inbox Monitoring, Reputation Tracking, and Spam Filter Testing you’ll be able to maximize your deliverability rate and minimize you propensity for landing on the dreaded blacklist.

 

 

Email Re-engagement

Email Re-engagement: Show Love to Sleeping Users

By | Marketing Email Deliverability, Tips and Resources | No Comments

As an email marketer, it’s easy to create engaging content for your active users, but how do you connect with your inactive or sleepy users?  Too many marketers just write this group off, which is a huge mistake!

Typically, these users still want to connect with you, but they’ve just been busy.  This is why a well-developed email re-engagement strategy needs to be part of your overall email marketing plan.

Email Re-engagement: Identify the Sleepers

The first thing you’ll want to do is identify these sleepy, non-engaged users on your email lists.  Then create a separate list for just them.  Once they are back into the swing of things you can move them back to their appropriate list.

The users you are looking for are those who haven’t opened or clicked on an email in a while.  Depending on how often you send emails, ‘a while’ could be for 30 to 60 days or more like within the past year if you only send out emails once per month.

Email Re-engagement: Create a Plan

When designing your campaigns, develop them for the long run and don’t go into it with a ‘one and done’ mentality.  You don’t want to force the issue, but rather nurture the user back into your relationship, reminding them of everything they love about your brand.

Part of your plan should probably also include some of the features found in the MailMonitor application:

  • spam filter testing
  • a display preview in various browsers and ISPs before sending

These extra steps increase your chances making it to the user’s inbox and will also ensure that they are able to see the beautiful images and content you’ve created.  Think about it, if you’re trying to re-engage with someone, you don’t want to send them an email with broken images or links.  An email like that looks sloppy and sends the message that you don’t care.

Another key component to your plan is to set up some kind of automation to catch sleepy users.  You’ll set up your marketing automation system to trigger a series of “re-engagement emails” to users who display the behavior of a  sleeper.  The goal here is to identify them and re-engage with them before you lose them.

Email Re-engagement: Redeveloping Brand Relationships

Yes, we do mean ‘relationship.’  (Those of you with relationship-phobias, just stay with us on this one.)

Your connection with your audience develops into an ongoing relationship, so, just as with any other real-world personal relationship, you need to foster and grow that relationship over time.  You never want your users to feel like you’ve moved on to something better or that you just don’t appreciate them any longer.

In your re-engagement emails, consider using dating terminology.  A recent study found that users react to this type of language better than the standard business language.  We aren’t saying be schmoopy, but rather, consider incorporating phrases like ‘Miss You’, ‘How long since we last talked’, ‘Are you still interested?’ or ‘We Want You Back!’  Test out a couple and see what resonates best with your audience.

Need a little inspiration?  Check out this Pinterest board!  It has over 71 of the best re-engagement email design and content ideas.  Just remember to keep things more relaxed and friendly….just have some fun with it!