Other than overflowing email inboxes, the biggest challenge for email marketers is deliverability. While ISP blocking and corporate email filters have gotten much more effective at keeping garbage about cheap pharmaceuticals, p*rn and miracle weight-loss plans out of our mailboxes (which is good), they also often over zealously block legitimate marketing emails (which is not). Here are four tips to improve the deliverability of your legitimate, opt-in email marketing newsletters and campaign blasts.
1) Run a spam check on your content before sending. There are a number of helpful, free online spam-checking tools available including tools from Lyris and Sitesell. Both give you a score and rationale for the "spamminess" of your message.
2) Be careful with subject lines and content. Spam blocking filters hate the word "free" (which is too bad because real people love it; try "no cost," "no obligation" or something similar instead) and exclamation points. TheyREALLY hate multiple exclamation points!!! So avoid these, as well as references to prescription medications (easy for most of us, though not always for healthcare organizations) or young Hollywood starlets.
For the benefit of human readers, make sure the subject line addresses WIIFM (What's in it for me) rather than being focused on your new product or service. The Email Insider blog has an excellent post the topic.
3) As I've written previously, use a hosted email service for sending out your newsletters and blasts. They automatically ensure CAN-SPAM compliance, are white-listed by major ISPs, provide complete statistics on opens and click-throughs as well as message delivery, and automate list management tasks. There are a number of feature-rich, reasonably-priced hosted email services available.
4) Read Chris Baggott's Email Marketing Best Practices blog. It's one of the best resources available for guidance on deliverability, branding and other email marketing topics.
Terms: email marketing, spam filters, email deliverability, spam check tools, Lyris, Sitesell, Chris Baggott
The web marketing tools and services portal: WebMarketCentral.com
The B2B techn0logy public relations and lead generation specialists: KC Associates
Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com