All posts by Rebecca Downing

Email Marketing Process

Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing: Part 2 – Start Your Email Marketing Process

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

Welcome to Part 2 in our series, ‘Your Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing.’  In this blog, we will cover everything you need to know to start your email marketing process.

Setup Your Email Marketing Process

The first thing you’ll want to do is build your email lists.  Keep in mind though that you need to have permission to email your customers and other prospects prior to adding them to your list.

And while you might be inclined towards buying email lists, it’s not something we ever recommended. There are just too many issues with purchasing an email list that end up outweighing any benefits you might gain. We also don’t recommend you simply adding emails from your prospect’s business cards that were collected at a conference or a networking event. Just don’t put anyone on your list until you have express permission from them to receive your newsletters or emails. Failing to do this means your emails are more likely to be marked as spam, which will only damage your business reputation online.

Remember that people who don’t opt-in to specifically get your emails are just not the people who will be buying from you. So sending them your offers and/or other deals will be a complete waste of time and money.

To get started with your email marketing campaigns the spam proof way, you should:

  1. Create an Email Opt-In Form
  2. Set-up an Account with an Email Marketing Service

Let’s talk about some of the leading email marketing service providers out there:

MailChimp

For all first time email marketers out there, we recommend that you try out MailChimp as your email marketing service.  It’s a great service with an easy to set-up and highly intuitive user interface.  Adding new subscribers to specific segments is as easy as it can get.

The best thing about MailChimp is that it offers a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers – that’s more than enough for any new businesses.  However, if you are looking for auto-responders or any other powerful tools, then you will have to make a switch to a paid plan.  But not to worry, their paid plans are some of the lowest out there, starting from as little as just $10/month.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is one of the biggest email marketing services.  We find them to be extremely easy to manage subscribers and create highly professional emails using customizable templates via their simple drag-and-drop editing tools.  They also allow you to send out automated emails to all of your new subscribers and track the performance.

Constant Contact offers a free, 60-days trial, after which you can start a plan from as low as $20/month or get further discounts for prepayments of 6 or 12 months.

AWeber

AWeber is another famous email marketing service with a wide range of tools, including auto-responders, email builder, segments and much more.  With a fantastic customer support team and features like highly targeted emails using opt-in forms, AWeber might just be the right service for you.

Their service prices start from as low as $19/month and offer a 30-day free trial for new subscribers.

ConvertKit

ConvertKit can be the perfect choice for you if you are a beginner who needs some advanced features to be used in the near future, including complex auto-responders.  You can think of it as a CRM minus the heavy price tag. ConvertKit is massively used by authors, professional bloggers as well as speakers.

Pricing starts at $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers.

ActiveCampaign

Oriented more towards marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is a unique email marketing software. With ActiveCampaign, you can reveal more about the subscribers’ behavior, using tags on their profile.

Pricing starts at a meager $17/month.

InfusionSoft

InfusionSoft is an end-to-end CRM as well as marketing solution created with small and medium-size businesses in mind.  With extremely advanced features of list segmentation, marketing automation, and lead scoring, InfusionSoft is a powerhouse that is on top of its game.  You’ll either need to know a little HTML to be able to truly customize your emails or you can pay their team to do it for you.

Monthly package starts from a minimum of $99/month.

GetResponse

GetResponse is great for email marketers who wish to create responsive emails and have built-in auto-responders with A/B testing capabilities. The pricing starts at $15/month for 1,000 subscribers and can go all the way to $999/month for enterprise solutions.

Hubspot

HubSpot is an all-in-one marketing software that offers more than basic email marketing services.  Designed specifically to meet the needs of medium to large businesses, HubSpot will help you with strong SEO and a fantastic customer service.  They also offer free training to equip you with the inbound methodology in attracting, nurturing, converting and delighting your leads.

The basic plan starts at $200/month which features content creation tools, content optimization, email marketing, social media suite and a sublime marketing analytics dashboard.

How to Grow Your Email Marketing List

Once you have your Opt-In Forms and Email Marketing Services ready and in place, the next step is to start working on creating your email lists and make sales.

Let’s move on to Part 3 of our series: Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing – Part 3 Grow Your Email Lists.

Mail Monitor Spam Tracking: The Tools You Need to Optimize Email Authentication

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Product Features, Services | No Comments

spam trackingEmail spams are common – these unsolicited messages are responsible for deteriorating the overall experience of subscribers and defaming email marketing as a whole.  The worst part about them is that they are often unavoidable and are repetitive disruptions for end users.

While most of these email spam messages are overtly commercial in nature, there also are many with disguised links in them that may seem to be from a familiar website but, in reality, are leading to phishing websites or sites containing malware.  These type of spam emails can also have malware as embedded scripts or attached executable corrupt files, commonly known as Trojans.

The situation of email spam has worsened in the last decade. These days, botnets are commonly used to send out spam.  These botnets are basically networks of virus-infected computer systems created with the sole purpose of spreading viruses like wildfire, from one user and one system to another.

Most of the spammers out there collect email addresses from chat rooms, customer lists, websites, and newsgroups.  Many viruses are used to harvest users’ address books.  These lists are then commonly sold to other spammers.

All of this has made it imperative for professional email marketers and ethical online businesses to integrate solid spam tracking to ensure their business and subscribers avoid this trouble.  With Mail Monitor’s Spam Tracking features, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands and will not be impacted by these issues.

 

Spam Tracking: Know What’s Getting Flagged

If your emails don’t make it to the inbox, they will not get read.  Therefore, you need to check your email content before sending it out to your lists.  Thanks to our years of experience in the field, Mail Monitor knows how to spot these types of spammers.  We will check your content for specific terms and various elements to ensure no links are leading to flagged websites and double check the HTML coding to verify that it won’t raise a red flag with any of the leading email providers.

 

Takes Actions Before Getting Flagged

There’s a reason why so many market leaders trust us with identifying any issues that can get them in hot waters.   Our foolproof content testing and analysis features will protect all of your emails from getting flagged.

We will run your email content through all of the common spam filters to get spam scores and then created itemized feedback for you.  Most of the times, this feedback will point out any specific areas in the email that should be changed and improved for an optimum email marketing performance.

 

Authentication Testing

Each time you send us an email, we will use our spam filter testing reports to check your authentication.  This will help you see on an individual email campaign level if your emails are passing SPF and DKIM authentication.

What more assurance that you have the right spam tracking in place?  You can sign up today for a free trial and see what we’re all about!

MailMonitor: State of the Company

By | General | No Comments

State of the CompanyState of the Company from MailMonitor:

It is with a heavy heart that we need to inform our customers that our Founder, Jay Wadley, has passed away.  His passing has taken us all by surprise and has left many of us with a profound sense of sorrow.

While Jay has served as the heart behind Mail Monitor from its launch, we are determined to move forward, aggressively enhancing our offerings and seeing his vision succeed; both as a tribute to him and in continued support of his family.

Our acting CEO, Chris Maeda, and our VP of Growth, Adrian Patel-Delaloye, will be reaching out to each of our clients personally to discuss account status and how Mail Monitor can better assist in helping you achieve your goals.

Our top priority is ensuring that our customer’s needs are met throughout this challenging time.  We are excited about the opportunities ahead and the future for Mail Monitor.

Email Blacklisting 101

By | Features and Updates, Marketing Email Deliverability, Services | No Comments

Email BlacklistingWe are living in an age where effective direct marketing has become a continually changing and growing challenge.  With so many brands looking to be heard and consumers become super savvy, marketers seek new ways to be heard above all the inbox noise.

In this competition and struggle to be noticed it’s not uncommon for email marketers to bite off more than they can chew, often delving off into efforts which ignore best practices for email marketing.  Such rogue adventures typing end up in your brand being blacklisting.

 

What are Blacklists?

To put it simply, blacklists are lists of bad marketers.  These generally include spammers; however, legitimate mailers can also easily end up blacklisted just by not adhering to the best emailing practices.  While most blacklists are usually IP based, they can also be URL or domain based.  Typically blacklists are run by independent operators, hosting companies, corporate email managers or organizations who cater to ISPs.

 

What Makes You Get Blacklisted?

Blacklist operators are always actively using networks of spam traps to track and catch spammers and bad, unethical marketers.  If you’re emailing to spam trap addresses, then that becomes a clear indicator that you are not following the best practices in list acquisition and list management, since these addresses are phony and don’t belong to a real user.  This can cause you to be flagged as a spammer or even worse, get yourself blacklisted.

 

What Happens When You are Blacklisted?

Blacklists are commonly used by email receivers like ISPs and hosting companies to clock all unwanted “spammy” emails from suspicious mailers.  Another thing to note is that the number of your emails blocked also depends on the blacklist that you have ended up in.  One of the most widely known blacklists is Spamhaus and it is used by the majority of mailbox providers. If you end up on their list then you have a big problem for your business on emails.

 

How Can You Resolve a Blacklisting?

Keep in mind that each blacklist has its own process for removal.  Once blacklisted, the most important thing to understand is how you got there in the first place.  Once you have that figured out, you can reach out to the blacklist operator and formally request them to remove you from their list.

The best rule of thumb though is to stay off the lists entirely.  Some of the ways to ensure that you stay off of blacklists include:

  • Send out emails to users who have engaged with you in the last 90 days.  This can vary from campaign to campaign, but keeping within this range will ensure you don’t get flagged.
  • Remove users who haven’t engaged with you in over a year.  If you don’t, you might end up in recycled spam traps and get flagged for unethical email practices.
  • Employ double opt-in methods to avoid emailing repeatedly to spam trap addresses because they will not be able to click the confirmation links.
  • We also advise that you always follow the best practices for email list acquisition.