Category Archives: Email Delivery Tracking

Why You Should Monitor Inbox Placement and Not Just Email Deliverability

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For years we’ve been told that monitoring email deliverability is critical to managing a successful email campaign.  While it is important, it’s actually only half of the picture.

To truly understand your overall campaign performance, optimize your campaign ROI, and prevent your company from landing on the blacklist, you want to monitor inbox placement as well.

Sowing the Seeds of Email: The Hows and Whys Around Email Seed Lists

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For marketers, creating and sending emails comes with two goals:

  1. Get the email to land in your target audience’s inbox, and
  2. Get your target audience to act on your email (preferably in a positive manner and not ‘unsubscribe’)

In the beginning, the process was pretty straightforward:  create an email, spell-check the email, send the email, and watch the results.  Over the years as browser and ISP offerings have evolved, so has the process of email marketing automation.

There are tons of variables new you want to test and track now before you even send out your emails to your target audiences, such as spam scoring and multi-browser/ISP display.  This is where incorporating seed emails and email marketing tools such as spam filtering testing and email previewing become requirements for any successful email marketing arsenal.

What Are Seed Emails and Seed Email Lists?

In a nutshell, an email seed list is a list of email addresses that you will send an email to before you send the email out to your intended target audience.  This list allows you to test across various browsers, ISPs, and even device types.  Basically, you’ll be able to see how your email will appear and interact with each of these before you make it live.

Traditionally, companies created email seed lists that were full of employee personal emails.  As this practice has grown, it has expanded to test accounts which have been opened for the sole purpose of email marketing testing.  While some companies opt to take on this task themselves, many chose instead to work with outside vendors that specialize in this field and handle the ongoing tasks of managing and maintaining the lists on their behalf (which is typically the more practical and economic course for most companies to follow).

What are the Benefits of Seed Emails?

The main benefits are that you’ll be able to fix any display and engagement issues before sending out your email or email campaign.  You never want to send an email to potential or current customers that won’t display or that has broken links appearing.  This is clearly just bad form.  Too many emails like that and people will simply delete without opening or unsubscribe from your marketing emails entirely.

You’ll also be able to ensure what you’re sending will have little to no impact on your overall email reputation (lowering your chances of being marked as spam or ending up in spam folders instead of targeted inboxes).  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.

Get your 2018 Email Marketing Strategy kicked off with a bang!  Check out our six-part series on email marketing,  “Your Guide to Spam Proof Email Marketing.”  As your partners in email deliverability, we want to help you maximize your marketing dollars, grow your bottom line and strengthen your brand’s reputation in the coming year.


Optimize Your Email Strategy for Cyber Monday

By | Email Delivery Tracking, Features and Updates, Marketing Email Deliverability | No Comments

Cyber MondayIt’s that time of the year again.  Time for family friends to come together, eat, visit….oh yes, and SHOP!

While Black Friday is still a staple of the Holiday Shopping Season, Cyber Monday has made its mark as a true contender as well.  Now is the time to get your game plan ready and prepare your business for the big day.

Here are four steps that will help you get your business ready for the crazy shopping frenzy of November 27th…Cyber Monday.

Design Your Strategy

What is it you want to accomplish on Cyber Monday?  Are you wanting to promote a specific service or product or are you simply trying to promote your brand and build your email list?  Whatever your goal, you need to establish it and design your email marketing strategy around that goal.

You might consider including additional content on your website as well, something like a survey or special offer that users who land there, instead of your landing pages, are able to take advantage of on Monday.  Don’t forget to ask for their email and name before giving them the offer or showing them the survey.  With the opportunity to drive so much additional, new traffic to your site, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to grow your email list.

Create Specialized Email Lists

You also have a couple of decisions to make around your email lists.  Are you going to reach out to everyone in your approved email database or a specific subset?  Since you are creating a special strategy for the event, it makes sense to create a specific email list to go along as well.

This list can include new users as well as those dormant customers who you haven’t heard from in the past six months.  Cyber Monday specials are a great opportunity to promote in order to get them back in the game.

Develop Landing Pages

As this is a once a year special event, it calls for specially designed landing pages.  If you typically have more low-key,  formal-sounding pages, this is your opportunity to cut loose!  You want to use bold colors and dynamic calls-to-action that emote a sense of ‘act now’ and ‘amazing pricing for today only’ in order to excite your target audience.

And don’t forget about SEO.  Make sure your landing pages incorporate keywords, have meta descriptions and tagged images.  Also, you’ll want these to link back to your main website as this influx of additional traffic could help your overall search rankings increase as well.

Develop Your Email Campaigns and Marketing Follow-up

As you all know, a successful campaign is more than social media ads and landing pages.  You need a strong email strategy.  The first email series is to get them into the game.  Creating an email campaign that builds excitement up to Cyber Monday.  Also, include emails with ‘special offers’ for your long-term customers.

Many marketers forget the follow-up series, but even though the event is one day, it’s the start of a long shopping season, so create a follow-up campaign that can guide and prompt users to purchase from you all the way up to Christmas.

Ans since this is such a critically short window of opportunity, test your emails before you send them to ensure you don’t land in user spam folders or get flagged for spamming and blacklisted by ISPs.  Run your entire campaign through the MailMonitor Spam Filter testing system.  This way you can identify possible issues and resolve them before ever pushing the ‘go’ on your Cyber Monday email marketing campaign.



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.



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!