Archive for July, 2011
We’ve discussed blacklisting, I wanted to spend some time looking at where the rubber hits the road for email delivery: the ISP inbox.
Let’s be very clear about this for consumer facing campaigns there are 4 major ISP’s that manage the majority of consumer inboxes.
• Yahoo Mail
• AIM Mail
What Does this Mean?
Basically unless each of these mail platforms relays your message to the primary folder, your email campaign is far from optimized.
What Causes mail to be delivered to a bulk/spam Folder?
All of these ISP’s allow their users to report spam with a “report spam” button. The ISP uses this feedback to create a profile for your mail. If users are reporting your mail as spam you will run into problems.
What Can I do to make sure I do not create ISP Spam complaints?
AOL recommends keeping spam complaints below 1-3 percent of traffic, depending on volume. This figure is unique to AOL’s user base; it’s too generous when applied as a general standard. Be at or below the range of one complaint per 6,000 to 8,000 messages, or 0.013 percent.
Minimizing complaints always starts with practices used to collect e-mail addresses. It should be obvious by now sending unsolicited e-mail only gets you in trouble. Mailing lists with the lowest complaint rates are either confirmed opt-in or properly managed single opt-in. If you have a solid permission-based list but still find incoming complaints are higher than the optimal rate or are rising, consider the following:
• Brand your subject lines. Mail systems with spam complaint buttons offer it at the inbox level. A recipient need only to scan subject lines and decide which messages not to delete immediately. A subject line such as “Exciting offers for you, Bob!” will surely be marked as spam. Consider using your company or newsletter name in brackets at the beginning of your subject lines.
• Consider including unsubscribe instructions at the top of your e-mail, in addition to the footer. Some users use the “report spam” button as an unsubscribe method and won’t scroll through an entire message to find that link.
• Include instructions for users to whitelist your domain. This prevents a user-based filter from mistaking your message for spam and either diverting it to the spam folder or prefixing “[SPAM]” to the subject of the message.
• Provide a preference update page. Disclose how your organization will use a subscriber’s e-mail addresses, and how often. Allow subscribers to select preferences on the opt-in form, and link from e-mail to a preference or profile update page.
• Avoid spammy looking content. Try not to use garish, bold fonts; large, red letters, and the like. Avoid images with poor compression quality. A clean, readable design isn’t as likely to be mistaken for spam.
• Don’t over e-mail. If recipients expect to receive a few informational e-mail messages each month from your company, don’t suddenly start sending two or three each week.
• Don’t send unexpected e-mail. If subscribers opted in to receive your “Trends & Tips” newsletter, don’t send them your hard-sell e-commerce messages, unless they clearly requested them.
• Include opt-in information. If possible, add to your e-mail admin area information, such as the subscriber’s e-mail address, date of opt-in, and how she potentially subscribed (product registration, white paper download form, sweepstakes entry, etc). With many subscribers receiving dozens of commercial e-mail messages daily, it’s easy to forget signing up for your newsletter — and then to file a complaint.
What Can I do to test my ISP deliverability?
We recommend you use a service like EmailReach. Their trial is free and let’s you know where you stand in about 5 minutes.
Following these guidelines should help you to avoid being bulk foldered by the main ISP’s.
With the digital age upon us, personal contact is becoming less popular. everyday. Cellphones,e-mail,voice mail and blogs almost make actually seeing a person unnecessary.
The main problem with digital communication is, we tend to forget all about etiquette.
The internet is a world within itself, with that, there are certain guidelines that we should follow. The list I have compiled is not in any particular order.
1. Don’t’ assume everyone knows everything.
We are still very much in the infancy stage of the internet, that being said, everyday thousands of people surf the internet for the first time. That fact alone is astounding. It almost seems hard to believe that there are millions and millions of people that have never surfed the web or even checked their e-mail. That means, the obvious things that most people know about computers, is not known by everyone. I clearly remember when someone took the time to show me how to cut and paste, now I have cut and paste keys on my keyboard
2. Take time to read e-mails, if not interested unsubscribe
People spend good money to send you e-mail. We all know spam is a bad thing and as technology advances its days are truly numbered. The email that we subscribe to by requesting info, or by purchasing something should be welcome . Take the time to read their offer, you were interested at some point in what they had to say. If you are no longer interested, unsubscribe from their mailing list. Don’t waste your time (or theirs) if you are not interested any longer.
3. Respond to e-mail and blog post as soon as possible.
People that are trying to get businesses started on the internet rely on other people for a lot of different things, if someone asks you a question, answer them quickly, they may be waiting for your reply to reply to someone else.
4. Kill em with kindness
In the digital world it is very easy to be misunderstood, without seeing facial expressions and other forms of communication in person, it is easy for someone to not realize you were making a joke or being sarcastic.
5. Don’t forward e-mail with your whole mailing list on it.
When you receive those e-mails from someone with the jokes or inspirational stories, before you pass it on, copy and paste it in a new e-mail, so you are not sending all the e-mail addresses that are attached all over the internet. If that is to much work, don’t forward it at all.
6. Check out offers
If an e-mail gets passed all your anti-spam software, read it. It is well documented that there are millions of bogus offers on the net, but there are also millions of legitimate ways to make money on the net. One of those legitimate offers that could be the key that opens the door to a world of financial freedom may be in your inbox right now.
There are basically three words that can describe spam accurately: desperate, manipulative, evil. While that may sound like the resume of some soap opera villain, it rings true for every one of us who have ever been burned by spam. Spam is an example of why sometimes, the means does not justify the end.
True, the aim is to build buzz for your blog but the technique used is just plain wrong. If you’re planning on leaving spam comments on other websites any time soon, know that it’s not the way to promote your blog. On the contrary, you might even do damage to your blog without knowing it.
Understanding spam comments
Spam comments started sprouting their evil seed when online guestbooks began appearing on websites. Unscrupulous site owners and marketers bombarded these guestbooks with links (many even used purely links) back to the spammers’ websites. If any comment is included at all, it may contain highly generic ones such as ‘cool post’ or ‘great website’ or ‘nice page’.
Spam appears in just about anything these days, including blogs, often in the form of a comment. How this is done is quite simple. Any blogger who wishes to promote his blog can simply write down keyword-heavy texts in the guise of a comment and then post it at random on another blog or website. Sites that allow hyperlinks to be displayed are usually the prime targets.
The problem here is that this type of commenting is not purposeful at all. It’s done at random, similar to throwing darts at a huge dartboard while wearing a blindfold in the hopes of hitting something, anything.
Why spam commenting will not work for you
Leaving spam comments to promote your blog may seem tempting enough but it’s best to avoid it. That is, if you want to be taken seriously and see your blog last long enough for your grandchildren to appreciate. Here are reasons why leaving spam comments to promote your blog are NOT the way to go:
You’re being watched
These days, you spam someone once and you’ll be branded for life. Or at least the blog or business you’re trying to promote will be. The CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 makes sure spam is controlled and no one can wave it around like a weapon.
Becoming associated with spam is bad news for your blog. People hate spam… period. They will be more than happy to report you to your host provider or even your affiliate companies and avoid your blog altogether. And yes, Akismet and a host of other plug-ins designed to fight spam will be watching.
You will be penalized
By leaving spam comments on another website with the sole purpose of promoting your blog, you give that website’s owner the permission to become a witness against you. Your host provider will cut off ties with you and if you’re using your blog to promote an affiliate’s products, even your affiliate will drop you.
Should this happen, you will have to start all over again, from square one, with a tarnished reputation. If you leave more spam comments in the future, you’ll only be repeating the cycle all over again, all to your detriment.
You’ll be seen as unprofessional
Leaving spam comments to promote a blog is for the lazy, the uninformed and the desperate. Why else would you use a technique that is generally viewed as unsavory? If you’re unprofessional, your visitors will find it difficult to trust you ever again.
You’ll be violating certain unwritten codes
The reason why comments are allowed in websites is to provide people a platform with which to interact. Blogs, forums and discussion boards are large meeting places, open to people regardless of their age, sex, location or personal beliefs, with the implicit agreement that those who participate will be respected for their beliefs.
By leaving spam comments on these sites mainly to promote your blog, you break this code of trust.
Leaving spam comments can increase your blog’s ranking… artificially
Although an artificial increase in ranking can mean good news for your blog (it will allow your site to appear high in search engine rankings), this is only an initial effect, sort of like anesthesia. Soon, it will wear off.
This is particularly true if your blog has nothing else to offer. Visitors who have been driven to your blog through search engine links (which you were able to achieve artificially) will sniff around your site and if they find nothing there, they’ll leave soon enough, never to come back.
Worse, word might even get around that your website is filled with nothing but air. If you must promote your blog this way, make sure you have the content to make visitors stay.