153 posts categorized "Deliverability" Feed

Best Practices In Data Capture

As the first article in a series of in-depth best practice articles, Spencer Kollas discusses the first thing you have to do to be successful in email marketing: capture data. Starting with data capture is fitting, as it sets the stage for future deliverability.

The way in which you capture your customers' data is critical. It marks the beginning of a customer relationship that will evolve over time. At this initial interaction with the customer, you need to collect critical data reliably so you can create rules of engagement for all future communications.

1. Strategy
When identifying which data to capture, you should consider the value exchange (i.e. what you'll be offering the customer in return). For optimal results, you should try to keep the two sides equal. If you ask for too much data, you risk having the customer abandon the form. On the flip side, you don't want to overlook data that you'll need in order to provide the service. It's also a good idea to test the optimal amount of data to be collected. And don't ask for information that you won't or can't use, as that can reflect poorly on your organization in the long run.

Continue reading "Best Practices In Data Capture" »

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Join the Spamhaus Policy Block List

By Neil Schwartzman

Many senders wonder what action steps they can take to help in the fight against spam. Well, Spamhaus launched a new Policy Block List that is intended to be a compendium of legitimate IP addresses. Want to help the global fight on zombies and botnets? Join the list.

The Spamhaus PBL is pretty simple. Network managers will be able to self-specify those IP ranges under their control that are supposed to be sending email (their own servers, and, in the case of service providers, their customers'), and all other IPs will be considered to be sources of illegitimate mail -- a zombie on a home computer, for example. If you do not control your own IP addresses, encourage whoever does (your email service provider or other vendor) to provide their data to the PBL.

Continue reading "Join the Spamhaus Policy Block List" »

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Monitor and Request Feedback to Boost Deliverability

In this article, Stefan Pollard explains how bad feedback management can affect email deliverability. He also says not to stop with just processing comments, complaints, and questions that arrive in response to a mailing, purchase, or some other interaction.

You should also be out in front of your subscribers or customers, soliciting comments with regular surveys and with prominently displayed requests in newsletters, solo offers, transactional email, and Web links.

When you seek out comments, you unearth valuable information that not only helps your marketing goals but also spotlights dissatisfactions that can potentially affect deliverability.

To avoid over-surveying your whole database, concentrate on the four prime points in your relationship with customers at which you're likely to get the most valuable feedback:

Continue reading "Monitor and Request Feedback to Boost Deliverability" »

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E-Dialog and Return Path get friendly with European ISPs

As its British office grows, email marketing services firm e-Dialog has extended its partnership with Return Path Inc. to provide Internet service provider relations and deliverability services to clients in Europe, the Middle East and African countries.

E-Dialog will work with Return Path to help marketers navigate the increasing complexity of e-mail delivery assurance in the fragmented Pan-European market. The partnership means the development of ISP relations with local ISPs in Britain, France and Germany. Read the story here.

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The Seven Best Ways to Boost Deliverability in 2007

If your delivery rates have fallen into the basement, it can be next to impossible to find out which e-mail crime you committed. Most likely, it was a host of offenses, including buying or renting dirty mailing lists and ignoring spam complaints.

Don't know where to start to identity your greatest deliverability inhibitors? Check out these seven sure-fire deliverability boosters and see where you need to upgrade your program. Any changes you make should result in a marked increase in delivery rates.

  1. Immediately Engage Recipients With Permission-Based E-Mail
  2. Clean Up Message Content
  3. Study Delivery Reports
  4. Build ISP and Blacklist Relationships
  5. Resolve Spam Complaints Promptly
  6. Clean Your Lists Regularly
  7. Authenticate Yourself

Continue reading here.

Source: ClickZ

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ESPs and Deliverability: What They Can Do, What They Can't Do

Return Path's Ken Takahashi is often asked by email marketers which ESP is the best at deliverability.

The good news: when it comes to infrastructure and the basic technological and authentication set ups that ISPs are looking for, all the major vendors in the United States do just fine. Additionally many top-tier vendors have ISP relations or other deliverability professionals who can help fix minor problems as they arise. The smaller players tend to manage this through their technology departments and others offer that service through outsourcing.

But, here's the bad news: No ESP has the magical power to get your email to the inbox. And the truth is that four of the five root causes of deliverability problems are wholly in your control. These are complaints, unknown users, spam traps and content - which are all associated with your email practices and policies.

Weak permission, irrelevant content and poor hygiene practices can't be fixed by anyone but your team. In fact, many of these problems begin with your data collection practices, a point long before your ESP is involved with your program. The fifth cause, infrastructure, is the only part that the ESP has direct influence over.

Moreover, fixing problems caused by complaints, unknown users, spam traps and content is beyond the scope of most ESPs. In the case where an ESP can handle this for you, this is typically accomplished through their consulting divisions. As this is above and beyond what their deliverability team can handle, you should expect to be charged separately for these services. If an ESP states that this service is included, they usually mean their reactive monitoring and relationship services. An intense, high-level consulting project into your email program aimed at resolving root causes for deliverability simply can't be accommodated within their traditional CPM model.

The bottom line is that all vendors have the infrastructure to get your email delivered. So you can relax – if you have a great reputation you aren't going to inadvertently pick an ESP that will ruin your deliverability. But, if your reputation is an issue and your email isn't getting through, you need to be prepared to pay more -- to the ESP or to someone else -- to improve your program and increase your inbox delivery rate.

Source: Return Path

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Improve Email Deliverability: 15 Tips

According to MarketingSherpa, one out of every six people who asked to be on your mailing list won't receive your email newsletter or marketing message because a spam filter blocks it by mistake.

Your emails fail to reach your subscribers for three basic reasons. Either the email is blocked by the subscriber's ISP or enterprise firewall (in which case it never gets delivered), the email is blocked by the subscriber's spam filter (in which case it gets delivered but is never seen) or the email is deleted by an irritable subscriber with an overzealous delete-key-finger who does not recognize your "From:" address or mistakes your email subject line for something unwelcome.

But take heart. Alan Sharpe offers some tactics you can employ today to increase your email deliverability scores and reach your newsletter subscribers and customers with the email messages they have asked you to wing their way.

1. Hire someone to monitor your mail
Your most expensive option is to retain the services of a third-party vendor to monitor your email deliverability. For a fee, ReturnPath.net, PiperSoftware.com, Deliverability.com, DeliveryMonitor.com and other companies will seed your mailing list seeded with hundreds of email addresses from a variety of domains. When your email arrives, these firms record the time, count the number of emails that escaped the spam filters, and generate a report that shows deliverability scores for each ISP. These reports help you notice which ISPs are blocking your messages or only allowing a few to get through before blocking the rest. You can take the steps needed to improve deliverability.

2. Test your email messages for spam before sending
The above companies and a host of smaller software firms let you run your email message by a spam filter before sending. They search for "free," "buy now" and other words that trigger spam filters. That way, you can see if your message is likely to be flagged as spam somewhere enroute, and tweak where needed to improve your score before hitting Send. Try the free service at www.ezinecheck.com.

3. Make sure your ISP is not on a blacklist
Spammers may have abused the servers of the autoresponder or listserver service that you use. As a result, the major ISPs may have blacklisted or blocked emails from these servers. To discover if you are blacklisted, find the IP address of the email server and do a spam database lookup at www.DNSstuff.com or www.OpenRBL.org.

4. Slow down your email send rate
Some ISPs set a threshold for how many emails you can send during one session. If you exceed this threshold, their software flags you as a spammer and blocks the remainder of your messages. One way around this wall is to send your messages in small bursts, say 200 at a time, with a pause of a few minutes between bursts. The other solution is to host your list on a reputable listserver.

5. Send your email when it's most likely to get read
If you send your message to businesses on a Friday afternoon, chances are that your recipients won't check their email until Monday morning. Your message will be buried way down the list with a ton of spam ahead of it (assuming the recipient's inbox is sorted by date). The most recent messages will get the attention, and your message will likely get overlooked or deleted in the rush to start work. The open rate for email is strongest within the first two days of delivery. Then it drops off a cliff.

6. Mail on the best days
Online marketers have discovered over the years that B to B emails are read most often when they arrive on a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, around noon. Mondays are too busy. And Fridays are too close to the golf course.

7. Use the right email service
Choose a reputable service provider who is respected by the major ISPs. They will work on your behalf to keep you off blacklists and deliver your messages on time.

8. Help subscribers change addresses
In every email message, tell your subscribers where they need to go to change their address or modify their subscription. You'll reduce the number of bouncebacks you receive each mailing.

9. Use creative copy tactics to circumvent spam filters
Spam filters block your e-newsletters and marketing messages in a number of ways, and one of them is looking for words that are found in most spam. These include perfectly legitimate words and phrases, such as "free," "opportunity," "multi-level marketing [OK, that one is debatable]," "compare rates" and "free installation." Most of these words you can get around by employing a thesaurus. Instead of saying "free," say "complimentary," or "no charge." You can also disguise the word in some way (free becomes free~, or fr*ee), although you must tell your subscribers what you are doing beforehand.

10. Get your subscribers to whitelist you
When your subscribers opt-in to your list, immediately tell them to add your sending email address to their whitelist or "allowed senders" list so your messages are never blocked by the subscriber's spam filters.

11. Use a distinctive, predictable subject line
Include a phrase in every subject line that shows at a glance who you are and what your message is about. Subscribers get used to recognizing each message from you.

12. Welcome new subscribers immediately
As soon as someone signs up for your e-newsletter or opts-in to your list, send them a welcome email. Immediately establish a connection between their opt-in action and your email that confirms their membership.

13. Make your email welcome message look like your sign-up form
Help new subscribers to recognize you in their inboxes by branding your online sign-up page and your welcome email with the same colors, images and typography.

14. Send from the same domain that signs them up
The domain in your welcome message and subsequent messages should match the URL of the webpage that subscribers used to opt-in to your list, otherwise they may not recognize you as the sender and delete your message by mistake.

15. Use the same From: address
Keep your From: address constant. This helps subscribers who have added your email address to their whitelist or "allowed senders" list.

Source: Article010.com

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What To Do If You Are Blacklisted

In this article, Habeas' J.F. Sullivan makes an effort to demystify the blocklist:

When you find yourself listed on a blocklist, the first and most important step to take is to visit the blocklist's Web site. Read the policies about listings and removals, which provide good hints about why a blocklisting took place and what changes to make.

Most sites offer a utility for checking whether a specific Internet provider address is included on the blocklist. Take advantage of these utilities. They will confirm if your IP address is listed. They may also lead you to the evidence supporting the listing, or even an automatic removal option if one is available. Sometimes you won't find out about these possibilities until you have entered your IP address into the checking tools.

After checking the site, contact the blocklist administrator. The message should be short, friendly and focused. Demonstrate your interest in cooperating with the blocklist operator and your willingness to make changes. Make the administrator an ally rather than an adversary. The best approach is to simply ask why you have been listed and what you need to do to be removed.

There are generally three ways to get your IP addresses or domains removed.

  1. Stop the activity that got you listed. Blocklists might remove you once the activity stops.
  2. Fill out the self-removal form, if provided. Some blocklists provide a removal form on their Web sites. However, if the abusive activity continues, you will probably be placed on the list again and you won't have a second chance to use the form.
  3. Give it time. Some blocklists have automated expiration policies. Some will even tell you how long the block will remain.

While most blocklist operators will work with you, it's important to remain patient and courteous. These are the four things you should not do:

  1. Do not threaten to file a lawsuit. Discussions halt and a lawsuit will likely fail. Furthermore, the Internet community often rallies around the threatened blocklist and adds you to dozens of additional blocklists.
  2. Do not declare compliancy with CAN-SPAM. Most blocklist administrators consider CAN-SPAM the bare minimum legal requirement and set the bar higher for their blocklists.
  3. Do not assert, "My e-mail messages aren't spam!" The administrator already determined you are distributing spam, and arguing about your message validity is futile.
  4. Do not demand evidence. Evidence files, if available, can be found on the blocklist's Web site. Most lists, however, are volunteer efforts and do not have the time to maintain documentation.

Source: DMNews.com

Mark Brownlow recently updated this email blacklists page. You will find:

  • tools you can use to find out if you're on one
  • links to the major blacklists used by ISPs
  • links to various articles explaining how they work and how you get or keep off them.

I can also highly recommend MarketingSherpa's Buyer's Guide to Email Delivery Audit Services in which 9 email audit services are profiled, including samples of real-life result reports and pricing details.

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What Is SpamAssassin And How Does It Work?

SpamAssassin is an open-source project of the Apache Software Foundation. In a corporate setting, usually small to midsized businesses and ISP mail servers, it runs each email message through hundreds of tests that analyze headers, text, and HTML coding and checks domains and IP addresses against DNS (define) blocklists and filtering databases.

When a message flunks a test, it scores anywhere from a fraction of a point to multiple points. If a message scores too many points, SpamAssassin rejects it. But the message can also receive negative points (a good thing) that help offset the unwanted positive points. Check out the list of tests to get a basic understanding of what SpamAssassin checks for.

Though it can reject permission-based messages, SpamAssassin has many positives:

  • There's more latitude with content. Using a word such as "free" too often in copy might cost half a point, but the filter won't reject your message outright as some others do.
  • If your email is rejected, the ISP or receiving business may provide this detail in a bounce message; not inform you (the sender) at all; or simply insert the word "SPAM" at the beginning of the subject line when the message is delivered to the recipient. In some cases, the receiving entity will return the message with a detailed report showing exactly which tests it violated and how many points it accumulated. (This email can go back to either your reply-to email address listed in the header or your sender address. Make sure somebody monitors those mailboxes.)
  • SpamAssassin rewards you if you're listed on an individual or corporate whitelist, or with a reputation or certification agency, such as Habeas, Bonded Sender, or ISIPP's Email Senders Accreditation Program. Habeas accreditation can take 4.3 (for single opt-in) to 8 (for confirmed/double opt-in) points off your score, for example.

A couple negatives, besides the rejection potential:

End users, whether individuals or corporations, can set the maximum score as high or low as they want, although a score of 5 or so is most common. They can also decide which tests to apply. The scores vary according to how SpamAssassin is configured, and users can boost or reduce them if they want.

Also, SpamAssassin penalizes messages more heavily for factors you might not control, such as using open relays or blacklisted IP addresses, or using malformed HTML or MIME coding. If you flunk one of those tests, notify your HTML designer or email service provider (ESP), pronto.

Read the full article on ClickZ.

In part two of this column, Kirill Popov and Loren McDonald demonstrate how SpamAssassin works on real copy and how to use it to fine-tune your own email program, both to improve content and increase deliverability. View the examples they give here.

Kirill and Loren provide a couple of strategies to help you use the SpamAssassin tests to tune up your email program the right way:

  • Run your email marketing message through a content checker, whether a free or promotional service, third-party solution, or proprietary application provided in your email service provider's solution or in-house software, to spot and correct problems before you hit "send."
  • See your email as SpamAssassin does. SpamAssassin breaks messages down into components instead of viewing it as all one piece: headers, subject and sender lines, body content, HTML code, pings on blacklists and whitelists, and so forth. You should adopt this manner of viewing email and work to correct problems in each component, not just the components that affect you most, such as subject line or body content.
  • Test your templates. Your primary newsletter or promotional message may not be the only email that gets tangled up in filters. Take all your email templates: company newsletter, sales promotion, order or subscription confirmation, welcome message, complaint response, announcement, and so forth, and run them through the content checker with no body copy or coding beyond what the template requires.
  • Use the checker with caution. Checkers provided as a free or promotional service on a company Web site may not be using the latest SpamAssassin version (3.1.0 in 2005), not configured to include the same tests an ISP corporate or individual mail server might use, or not assess the same point penalties.

Bottom line: A zero or low score is reassuring, but it's just a start. Review the content one more time. Check the IP address used to send your message against a blacklist clearinghouse like DNSstuff.com. Monitor your reply mailbox for any filter or block reports.

Source: ClickZ

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How To Avoid You Wrongly Get Blocked As A Potential Phisher

Phishing is the effort to steal sensitive identity or financial data through fraudulent email seemingly sent from banks, investment houses, government agencies, e-commerce divisions of major retail brands, or online auction and payment-transfer services. The email redirects users to authentic-looking but bogus sites that collect the data and use it for identity theft and other crimes.

As a sender, you needn't have your company name or brand identity hijacked to be a phishing victim. Now that ISPs are cracking down on fraudulent email just as they have on spammers, your email practices could get you wrongly blocked as a potential phisher.

Also, many email clients are being updated to sniff out phishing attempts. To determine whether an email could be a phishing scam, the client looks for a link in your HTML message where the display text is a URL. If the displayed link is different from the actual URL, the client alerts the user.

So to avoid you are mistakenly flagged as a phisher you should revise how you handle message text, especially if you use tracking technology that encodes the URL.

All email service providers (ESPs) do this as a customer service; many in-house systems do, too. However, ISPS now look for mismatched URLs and will block or filter any they find.

Don't put your domain name in the display text of an HREF email tag, which is what your readers see in the message: <a href="http://www.yoursite.com">http://www.yoursite.com</a>. Tracking technology could encode it so that it looks like this, creating a mismatch: <a href="http://ESP.com/c.html?rtr=on&s=3d2">http://www.yoursite.com</a>.

Instead, use a descriptive term or describe the action you want readers to take: <a href="http://www.yoursite.com">Visit us here</a>. Readers will still see a clickable link, but any encoding for tracking will not create a mismatch.

Read the full article for more tips on how to avoid you wrongly get blocked as a potential phisher.

Source: ClickZ

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View How ISPs And Filtering Companies See Your Email Campaigns

Return Path has launched SenderScore.org, a database of corporate e-mail reputation data. Companies can access the free database to view how ISPs and filtering companies see their e-mail campaigns. The database assigns a score to the campaign and is fueled by data from ReturnPath’s Sender Score Reputation Monitor, a system that aggregates reputation data from ISPs and filtering companies. Other information available includes data on spam complaints, e-mail volume tracking, bounce rates, black- and white-list inclusions, spam trap hits and authentication status.

Check it out here.

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ISPs Respond to High Volume and Reputation Plays a Role

It’s depressing but true: there is more spam being sent than ever before.

In fact, ReturnPath's ISP and other receiver contacts report a tripling in the amount of spam coming across their networks in the past six months. This volume, combined with the increased volume of permission-based email typically seen in the fourth quarter means that overtaxed networks may process email slower as the volume backs up the systems.

As a result, your campaigns may generate higher-than-usual number of soft bounces including 421 and 451 SMTP error codes, as well as connection time outs. In particular, these system time outs could become more common as we move further into the high-volume holiday season (which kicked off with Halloween and will intensify after Thanksgiving).

What’s more, ISPs are prioritizing email traffic based on complaints, bounces, and other data to allow senders with better reputations to have their email delivered first. Once again, it’s all about reputation.

Minimize the chance that you will experience increased soft bouncing by achieving and keeping a good sender reputation. Be extra vigilant in keeping your unknown users rate low, maintaining low complaint rates, processing feedback loop data, honoring your communicated sending frequency and making sure your unsubscribe process is easy and works.

Also make sure your infrastructure is in full compliance. All your IP addresses should have valid reverse DNS information. Your systems should not be open to abuse from open relays and open proxies. Also double check that your sending domains are being authenticated using SPF and DomainKeys.

How do you know if volume thresholds are causing problems for you? You may see a sudden drop in deliverability at an ISP where you previously had been delivered. If this happens in combination with unusual bounce reporting from that same ISP, then that is a good indication that volume thresholds might be the problem.

If you see this pattern, consider metering your email sending volume and sending at off-peak times during the day (early morning or later in the evening) to lessen the competition your messages face as they pass through the receiver gateways.

We also recommend testing the time intervals in which your system resends the messages that were bounced back. Part of how your incoming email is evaluated by ISPs and other receivers is whether or not a retry is attempted. Traditionally, email senders had been advised to retry sending within 15 minutes of the first attempt. We are now advising our client to schedule retries between 30 and 60 minutes, since shorter time intervals can place an undue burden on already overloaded systems. One other possible solution is to utilize mail server functionality that allows for you to hold back the sending on certain ISPs while allowing the rest of your campaign to move forward. If you’re a large volume mailer, this could result in large retry queues. Make sure your hardware and applications are equipped to handle this.

As they constantly do, receivers will adjust their thresholds to accommodate the additional spam, but the seasonal traffic spikes permission marketers does compound the problem. Knowledge is power! Watch your bounce codes and act swiftly and appropriately to protect your email revenue this season.

Source: ReturnPath

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European Email Marketing More Complicated Than US

Email marketing in Britain involves understanding the cultural differences and characteristics throughout Europe, according to e-Dialog executives.

John Rizzi, CEO of e-Dialog, and Simone Barrat, managing director at e-Dialog UK, told this publication in an interview in the London office that relationships with Internet service providers throughout Europe is much more complicated than in the US.

“It is quite hard to find out who the top ISPs in Russia are, so we have to work with our customers to find out who they are trying to target and what ISPs they are using,” Ms. Barrat said.

Mr. Rizzi agreed and said that the market here is much more fragmented. “There are a handful of ISPs in the U.S., whereas over here there are a lot more to keep track of,” he said.
These include the main U.S. players like Hotmail, MSN, Yahoo and Gmail, but also extend to Virgin.net, BT and Wannadoo. To deal with deliverability in all of the varying ISPs, Ms. Barrat said that it is best to test emails across the different providers.

Differences are not just due to the fragmentation with the ISPs. The European market includes a number of countries with different languages, cultural traditions and demographics. HP is one e-Dialog client that sends emails to 18 different countries in various languages.

Mr. Rizzi and Ms. Barrat said that while many languages are used, English is a common marketing language that is found throughout Europe.

Aside from language, design can be culturally reflective.

“There are subtleties in design style between a Latin country like France or Spain and a Nordic country like Sweden or Denmark,” Mr. Rizzi said.

One thing that is for sure throughout is that personalization and segmentation is growing and email marketing is getting bigger budgets for marketers.

“For retail clients, email marketing is becoming very business critical,” Ms. Barrat said. “There is an elevated importance of email because of the fantastic returns that can be seen through tracking.”

Source: DMNews

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How Domains Affect Deliverability

In this article Spencer Kollas breaks down email success explaining that domains are the first step.

A domain analysis is the first step to ensuring your email messages are delivered as intended. A few domains dominate the market, but your audience's usage could vary, so it's important to run a report to see exactly which domains are represented in your databases. Consumer lists are likely to be dominated by AOL, Yahoo!, MSN/Hotmail, while business lists may also contain large company domains.

Next, you'll want to assess how your content appears in each domain, and whether or not you have some ISPs where your message is breaking or images are missing. Using one of the many email rendering tools available is an important step to understanding how your brand and your messages are being presented to your customers. Analyzing reports that show previous campaign results by your top domains can allow you to compare metrics such as open rates and clickthrough rates to see if there are any potential issues as well. Once you've identified the domains delivering less-than-satisfactory results, you're ready to tackle each one's specific deliverability barriers.

Read the article and find out what are the main do's and don'ts of domain analysis (according to Spencer Kollas).

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Is E-mail The Same Around The World?

Jeanniey Mullen and Paul Beck recently participated in an e-mail marketing conference in Holland. They were surprised to learn that many of the challenges faced in other countries are the same as those they face in the United States. The impact e-mail has on marketing efforts, funding, appropriate usage, cadence etc. were about similar to the types of questions they receive in the U.S.

Two main cultural differences centered on the use of third-party lists for acquisition purposes and challenges around deliverability. They learned that e-mail list rental is relatively new to Holland. Co-registration, affiliate deals are just in their infancy. In most cases, the e-mail focus is on retention-based and viral efforts. Deliverability/rendering issues are brand new to Dutch marketers as well. In fact, most of the conference attendees were shocked to see the impact that poor rendering can have on a message.

Source: MediaPost's Email Insider Blog

Deliverability and rendering issues are indeed rather unknown in mainland Europe. At the event in Holland, none of the ISP's even participated. But I guess tackling deliverability in Europe in not an easy task.

In general, most European markets aren't as well developed as the US market when it comes to email marketing (especially Belgium is lagging behind quite a bit). The main issue I see in Belgium is that there is (to my knowledge) a real lack of education on even the basics of email marketing. Too many marketers still take an offline approach to online direct marketing or haven't even seen the benefits that email marketing can bring to their business.

When I spoke with the managing director of a major online agency here in Brussels, he was absolutely startled to hear that I am so focussed on email marketing. In his mind, email marketing is just a minor part of the entire online marketing business and it's not really worth specializing in it. I agree that online marketing is broader than just email marketing, but he definitely does not recognize the value email marketing can bring. Of course there are other agencies that do understand the value and together with these agencies we have joined in an email marketing taskforce for the local IAB and are working on a best practices white paper to educate marketers in Belgium. It's a small step in the right direction and it will definitely not be enough, but you have to start somewhere, right?

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DMA E-mail Authentication Resource Directory

DMA has created an E-Mail Authentication Resource Directory to help members employ e-mail identification and authentication systems, which is now a requirement for DMA members that use e-mail for communication and transaction purposes. The directory provides a list of DMA member companies that provide services that will assist in complying with this new DMA requirement.

To access DMA's E-Mail Authentication Resource Directory, click here.

For additional information about the new DMA requirement, visit the antispam section of DMA's Web site by clicking here.

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Goodmail Makes Its Case

You might remember the commotion surrounding Goodmail's announcement that its CertifiedE-mail" program had been embraced by AOL and Yahoo. The case put forth by Goodmail at the time was that the increased trust generated by an e-mail that had been certified as legitimate, the guarantee of delivery, and the promise that HTML would render properly without fail, would result in higher click-throughs, increased profits, and improved ROI that would more than make up for the additional cost of delivery.

Today, Goodmail claims it has solid proof in the form of a number of case studies the company shared with Bill McCloskey. Read more here.

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Microsoft Includes Unsub Button in Windows Live Mail

Microsoft last week became the first e-mail box provider to answer e-mail marketers' calls to include an unsubscribe button in its interface so consumers will be less likely to mistakenly report permission-based commercial e-mail as spam.

According to Microsoft, a consumer hitting the Windows Live unsubscribe button will not register as a spam complaint.

Read more here.

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Spam And Junk Email Buttons Preferred Method To Unsubscribe

In a recent Return Path survey, nearly 79% of consumers admitted that they have hit the "spam" or "junk" email button to get rid of email they don't want. And nearly 37% do it as a way to unsubscribe from things they had asked to receive.

This is not surprising, perhaps, when considering that most consumers get at least 100 emails a week (with 35% getting more than 500) - half of which tends to be commercial. Making your email good enough to avoid the consumer "spam" reflex needs to be a key goal of your marketing department if you want to increase both your delivery and response rates.

Source: Return Path

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97% of Sending IP's Reputions are Bad Enough to Block

Ninety seven percent of sending IP addresses’ reputations are so bad that e-mail box providers are likely to block their messages, according to a study by e-mail deliverability concern Return Path.

Moreover just 0.9% of sending IP addresses scored well enough that their e-mail is likely to be delivered, the company determined.

Read the full article here.

Return Path's George Bilbrey: "when it comes to email deliverability, reputation is the most important element for marketers to work on. It matters more than content, subject lines, and the typical cosmetic fixes that marketers gravitate toward. Sure, content matters for driving response. But it does not make much difference when it comes to blocking and filtering."

Download the white paper here.

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