Can it really be this easy?
I love details, and I love numbers. Makes sense, right? I’m a developer. Details matter because they define our work. But much as I love details, I also love simplicity. There’s an elegance to simplicity that, if done right, can make for better and more powerful solutions to complicated problems. One great example of this is Google Postmaster Tools’ reputation system. It’s surprisingly basic, and yet it works wonders in email deliverability.
In this post, I'll explain the benefits of the system and give you a few pointers to help you get the most out of it.
What's in a Name?
As humans, we love to name things: children, pets, streets, mountains, rivers, oceans, deserts, and IP addresses. Yes, IP addresses. If you're running an email server, then each of your IPs needs a name. But you need to choose that name wisely, because choosing the wrong name (or not setting it up correctly) can affect your email deliverability.
Thankfully, you don't need to be super-creative or spend hours pouring through baby name books. Just follow a few simple guidelines (listed conveniently below) and you should be well on your way towards choosing the perfect name for your babies... I mean, IP addresses. :-)
After the recent Mandrill announcement, I was confused as many of you were.
When I read their blog post which describes moving from the "utility" or "dumb pipe" path, and embracing the "personalized transactional" path, I wasn't really sure what this meant. This may mean they are discontinuing the ability to give them email for delivery via SMTP after the migration. (But it's not yet possible to tell until I can merge a Mandrill and MailChimp account and try.)
Ahhh, the challenge of managing multiple senders.
You’ve heard the expression – "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." It's not just an old-timey expression – it’s actually true.
But why should you care? These days we don’t worry about long-term storage of our apples. Instead, we find fresh apples every time we go to the grocer. The same kind of "Bad Apple" problem can happen in email delivery. One client sending bad email can ruin the reputation of your entire mail flow and cause email for other clients to be blocked or directed to the Spam folder.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 6 ways ESP's protect their 'good apples' just like a good produce manager.
Will the real complaint rate please stand up?
The spam complaint rate is one of the most important statistics in email delivery. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most misunderstood.
It can happen if your software is measuring your complaint rate differently than the ISPs.
You see a low complaint rate reported in your email software and think “Great, people love my email. Almost no complaints!” Usually people are struggling with an Inbox delivery problem and think “it can't be because of my complaints; the complaint rate is low.” The shocking thing is that your complaint rate is low because of the poor inbox delivery: your subscribers are not getting your email so they can't complain.
Understanding the Who, What, and How of Email Delivery:
Explaining the drivers of email deliverability can be a challenge, and there are still a number of myths about email deliverability floating around.
I recently created a new, simpler, and clearer way to explain deliverability. And this approach seems to crystallize understanding with some people. Let's give it a try:
How does it work? Should I use it?
There have been some big changes at gmail.com, yahoo.com, and aol.com recently regarding their DMARC policies, and this has had an effect on some email marketers. Interest in DMARC has also been growing. You may have been wondering, other than a five letter acronym, "what is this DMARC thing?"
What are Spam Complaints, and How Can You Keep Them From Happening?
Spam complaints are negative responses to an email. They are specific actions taken by the receiver of the email to let the ISP, ESP or sender know he's not happy about the email and wants to report it as spam.
Although it's almost inevitable that your email will generate some spam complaints, high complaint rates are indicative of a problem and will cause poor inbox delivery.
Spam complaints are a key driver of email deliverability, so it's important to understand them.
This is your golden opportunity.
The welcome letter is an underutilized, but essential part of any email marketing program. The welcome letter can not only improve sales and brand loyalty, it can also be an invaluable tool for improving email deliverability - increasing your ROI long after it is delivered.