Yahoo! continues to try to squash spammers by making message-blocking tweaks to its email filters. A quick survey of numerous email service providers shows that the problem is hurting at least half of marketers. Emails are being sent to junk folders or getting held up in the Yahoo! system queue for as long as three hours as they usually wait for a busy server to ease up. Sometimes, emails end up getting coded as a soft bounce.
In this interesting How-To article MarketingSherpa shares 4 steps to cope with Yahoo!’s new filtering tweaks:
Step #1. Evaluate your email system
First, look at your own email system and make sure the problem doesn’t begin and end with your processes. You need to systematically break down what’s happening on your end.
Can you answer these five questions with a quick “Yes.” If not, the culprit may be you and not Yahoo!
- Is your team following best practices with each campaign?
- Do you have a reputation-management manager in your department?
- Are you sending from a dedicated IP address?
- Do you have your sender-authentication lined up?
- Do you have regular teleconferences with your ESP to discuss deliverability?
Step #2. Monitor your email regularly
If you use a full-service ESP, they can help you use their system to do inbox monitoring. Specifically, the program tells you how well your messages are being delivered to Yahoo!, AOL, Gmail, MSN, Comcast, etc.
Typically, this is something your ESP does for you. But it never hurts to audit your service provider. Ask them about inbox monitoring, how to access it regularly and, if possible, actively check it yourself. Or, at least set up a weekly briefing on what the data looks like.
Step #3. Adjust your timing
Right now, delivery to actual Yahoo! inboxes can take up to three hours longer than usual. Part of the problem is that many emailers are sending at the same time – often the favored send time, 10 a.m. Tuesday. That clogs the pipeline.
It’s important to keep this reality in mind. If it’s imperative that your emails arrive in the inboxes at 10 a.m. Tuesday, for instance, you might want to schedule the Yahoo! file a few hours earlier than the rest of the list. This way, even if your message doesn’t land exactly when you want it to in Yahoo! inboxes, you might still be able to beat the mid-morning rush. Test by using a Yahoo! email account of your own.
Step #4. Talk to Yahoo!
OK, you have evaluated your system, monitored your emails, and adjusted your timing for Yahoo! addresses. But your messages are still getting blocked or significantly slowed. Now what? Start pinging the heck out of the ISP’s postmaster team.