Category Archives: General

Reputation Tracking – Why is it Important for You?

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Email Reputation TrackingIn our recent blogs, we have been talking about ways in which email marketers can stay away from the recipient’s dreaded spam folder. This week, let’s touch on another essential way in which you can avoid getting your messages from being marked spam: Reputation Tracking.

Reputation tracking, also commonly referred to as Sender Reputation Tracking and is closely linked with the IP address of the mail server that is being used to send messages to your subscribers. ISPs review multiple factors of your email marketing activities and will award you a sender reputation score based on their findings. This score indicates to the ISP the level of your trustworthiness when it comes to sending non-spam related emails. While there can be some differences in how each ISP reviews and assigns trustworthiness, there are some common factors that you, as an email marketer, need to familiarize yourself with in order to help yourself score higher.

Newcomer Penalty

As with many other things in life like credit scores and finding your first job, being a new kid on the email marketing landscape can cause some initial issues.  If your company and email address are brand new, you shouldn’t be surprised to see yourself land in the spam box at first, as a new IP having no history whatsoever is typically treated suspiciously by all of the ISPs. With time, however, you can make considerable improvements.

 

The Importance of Clean Lists

Reputation Tracking is closely connected with having a clean list for your email campaigns. To repair your sender reputation you need to ensure that your subscriber list is of quality because this will affect your bounce rates and damage your score. If your bounce rate is above 10% then you need to look into your subscriber lists to see what the problem might be. Also, a hard bounce can be even more damaging – this is when you send your emails to invalid email addresses. These are often referred to as spam traps as they appear to be valid email addresses, but in reality, they are anything but valid. According to most of the ISPs, a hard bounce rate can drop your reputation score by 20 points with just one such invalid email address, so you will want to be vigilant about monitoring for this. Some of the things that you should try to avoid include:

  • Poor List Sources – Avoid paid subscriber lists at all costs.
  • List Aging – Use bounce management tools to filter out any old email addresses that might be used by spam traps.
  • List Poisoning – Inserting Opt-In approach can help you minimize getting those invalid email addresses.

 

Spam Complaints

You should be concerned if you are receiving multiple spam complaints for every 1000 emails that you send out; a ratio like this can damage your sender reputation. Whenever a recipient clicks on the “spam” button on your email, a complaint is logged at the ISP level or will be notified to the sender if there is Feedback Loop. To prevent this negative reporting, ensure that your ‘opt-out’ and ‘opt-in’ messaging is clear to understand and easy to access and/or update if necessary. You should also review the content of your emails in case you continue to get a high level of spam complaints even after integrating opt-ins. Sometimes, your content just isn’t relevant enough for your subscribers.

Here at Mail Monitor, we have a dedicated team that works tirelessly to help our customers with improving their reputation score. With our support you can be sure to land a consistently high score after the ISPs perform reputation tracking on your email marketing campaigns. You can find more about our features here.

10 Ways to Keep Your Email Engagement Fresh and Optimized

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

email best practiceEmail Marketing continues to be one of the strongest, most trusted, ways for marketers and businesses to reach new customers and stay connected and engaged with current customers.  If executed with purpose, and strong message and in an optimized manner, it is the most effective outlet for marketing hands down.

Email marketing optimization is the best way to ensure success of email campaigns; however, it’s often one of the most neglected practices, specifically for smaller companies and entrepreneurs as they don’t always have the time and resourced available to devote to the process of optimization.

For those finding themselves in this position, the suite of tools offered by Mail Monitor will allow you to optimize like a pro and enhance the overall performance of your email campaigns.

Email optimization is cost-effective, versatile, immediate, personal and of course, trackable.  However, all of this is true only if your emails are opened.  So how do you achieve a good open rate? We look at some of the 10 easy ways to keep your email engagement fresh and optimized.

  1. Segment your email lists into targeted user groups. Segmenting your email database should be a top priority for you. Segmenting will provide you with the ability to create targeted email messages that will appeal to a particular group, which will directly increase your click-through rates.
  2. Always send from a real person that recipients can reply to. Gone are the days of using a standard, impersonal info@companyname.com.  Emails from such email addresses will typically now go straight to a user’s trash folder.
  3. Make the subject line your moment to shine. You can make all the difference to the open rates with a killer subject line, so think carefully about this one.  Also, avoid long subject lines, keeping them under 50 characters for maximum impact, and refrain from excessive punctuation, such as multiple exclamation marks.
  4. Have a killer preheader. This is where you can capitalize on the interest created from the subject line. Give your recipients a taste of what to expect from the email.
  5. Define clear expectations for your subscribers. Before you start sending out emails, it is a good idea to let your recipients know what type of content and emails they should be expecting from you. Avoid the standard lines like “Can’t red this email? View the web version.”
  6. Highlight your Call-To-Action. It is recommended that you display your CTA near the top so that the recipients can see it even without scrolling.
  7. Have emails optimized for mobile. More and more emails are now being opened on a mobile device. It only makes sense to make sure you have your email marketing campaigns optimized for mobile and other portable devices.
  8. Personalization is the key. The moment you personalize your emails with the recipient’s name, you have increased your chances of getting better open rate and a superb click-through rate as well as stronger conversion rates. Use your recipient’s name in the subject lines as well as the main body.
  9. Give complete control to your recipients. It makes no sense in being pushy with your email marketing campaigns. It is better to give all kinds of control options to your subscribers, including opting in or out, type of content and frequency of emails. Sending too many emails can seriously damage your chances of conversion so be balanced.
  10. Monitor and analyze everything. Keep studying the behaviors of your customers. What time of the day do they open the emails the most? What type of links are they clicking in your emails? What are their interests?

Email Delivery Tips for Marketing to Outlook Users

By | Email Delivery Tracking, General, Marketing Email Deliverability | No Comments

Outlook LogoOutlook is the oldest webmail service provider in the world. It originally started off as Hotmail back on July 4th, 1996, and has since evolved into a web-based suit of webmail, tasks, calendaring services and contacts from Microsoft.  Available in 106 languages and with over 400 million users, Outlook is a preferred email service provider for people from all around the world because of its easy integration with multiple apps and services offered by Microsoft.

The platform follows Microsoft’s Metro design-language and features unlimited storage, contacts management, integrated calendar, Ajax, as well as close integration with Office Online, Skype and OneDrive.  It’s one of the most popular of the free service emails available on the market today.

FeedBack Loop

With the help of FeedBack Loops (FBLs), volume senders can identify campaigns in their traffic that are receiving high numbers of complaint from Outlook users. The Outlook team can detect an abuse of their services with FBL, allowing them to immediately initiate any necessary actions needed. Click here for more information on Outlook’s Feedback Loop.  Scroll to the JMRP section (Junk Mail Reporting Program), and click the link to sign up and start receiving feedback within as little as 72 hours.

 Whitelist

Whitelists are lists of IP addresses that are expected to send your users legitimate mails. Adding an IP address to your whitelist will categorize the sender as “not spam” ensuring that most of their emails will show up directly in the user’s inbox and not the trash or spam folders. You can find out more about whitelists and blocking features for email recipients by Outlook here,  Outlook does not currently have a whitelist for senders.

Postmaster Tool

Outlook’s Postmaster Tool site gives senders information about getting your messages to the right place. The postmaster site is https://mail.live.com/mail/postmaster.aspx, which includes helpful troubleshooting tips at https://mail.live.com/mail/troubleshooting.aspx

SNDS

Microsoft provides sender reputation information with their SNDS program (Smart Network Data Service).  This applies only to IP addresses so in order to get the data you will need to be using a dedicated IP in order to take advantage of this.  The data provided will show reputation, sending volume, complaint rates, spam trap hits, and more.  This is a fantastic tool for any sender.  You can sign up for a free SNDS account at https://postmaster.live.com/snds/.

With Mail Monitor’s Performance and Enterprise plans you will also be able to track SNDS data each day to easily analyze.  Another advantage of tracking this data through Mail Monitor is that we will track your data over time so that you can easily track trends.  This is very helpful when troubleshooting delivery issues.

Outlook Delivery Tips

Here are 4 tips to help you stay clear for Outlook:

  • Always confirm that your email list was acquired using opt-in method. It is imperative to have explicit permissions from the users to avoid them marking you as spam.
  • Make sure your emails come with a clear “unsubscribe” section.  Hiding them or keeping it vague will not help you retain any readers – in fact, it will increase the chances of you being marked spam and even reported.
  • Shortened URLs are usually associated with spam by most of the leading webmail service providers, so avoid using them in your email.  Try and keep the URL description as relevant to the subject of your email as possible.
  • Continuously check the sending IP against blacklists.  This needs to be a regular exercise to maintain healthy IPs.

We Lost Our “App”!

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After 5 years we finally decided to secure the MailMonitor.com domain!  The “app” in MailMonitorApp.com has caused confusion more than a few times so we’re happy to simplify and save everyone a few key strokes.

We figured we might as well build a new site to celebrate.

Voila!  Let us know what you think!

P.S. For the time being our application site and API URLs will still continue to use the mailmonitorapp.com domain name.

SuretyMail Accreditation Partnership for Mail Monitor Customers

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We are very pleased to announce a new partnership with SuretyMail.

SuretyMail provides an Email Accreditation service for legitimate senders to help improve and maintain deliverability. Additionally, they can assist with SPF, DKIM and rDNS, monitor and analyze feedback loops, and review sending practices.

Mail Monitor customers can receive a special discount for new accreditation applicants. Contact us for further details.

You can read more about SuretyMail here:

isipp.com

Hotmail / Outlook.com supports IMAP….FINALLY

By | Email Delivery Tracking, General, Marketing Email Deliverability | No Comments

Just recently Outlook.com (formerly Hotmail) began supporting IMAP.

http://blogs.office.com/b/microsoft-outlook/archive/2013/09/12/outlook-com-now-with-imap.aspx

What is IMAP and what does this mean for Mail Monitor accounts?

IMAP allows applications to connect and read email from any folder inside an email account. The other method of connection is POP3 which only allows access to the inbox of email accounts. When Microsoft only allowed POP3 access this meant that Mail Monitor only had visibility into the inbox for delivery reporting. That was fine if your email was delivered to the inbox but if your email was delivered to the Spam/Bulk folder it showed up as missing which was often confusing. Missing at Outlook.com could mean blocked completely or delivered to the spam folder. Those are very different things.

Now that IMAP is supported we can see right into the bulk/spam folder and report on delivery more accurately to Hotmail and Outlook.com accounts. Well done Microsoft…finally!

Download Email Deliverability Reports

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We made a fairly minor update at the recent request of several clients. Delivery reports can now be downloaded.

When viewing the Delivery tab, click on the “All ISP Report” link. There is now a CSV download icon in the upper right corner that can be opened in Excel, Google Drive, or whatever spreadsheet software you use.

We are working on a much larger feature release and will have details shortly. We’ll announce the updates here as soon as they are live.