One of my main responsibilities at Emailcenter is ensuring we offer our clients the very best delivery rates into the inbox.
Today it is no longer the case that the content of an email determines whether it is junked or not. It is now the reputation you have as a sender with the receiving ISP or filter that is important.
Why is reputation important? Well it’s because you can change content to bypass content filters (think of the shift in spammers technique from Viagra to V1agra) but you cannot fake your reputation.
In a nutshell reputation is made up of the following factors:
How clean your list is:
If you have a lot of unused email addresses because employees no longer work at a company or a person has closed down their email account this will count against you
The number of complaints you get about your email:
Often recipients will prefer to use the spam button rather than the unsubscribe link. In this case these will still normally be unsubscribed by Maxemail as ISP’s send them to us via what is termed a ‘feedback loop’
How often you send your emails:
The longer the history of good email coming from your IP’s the more confidence an ISP will have in you. However if you only say send one email a week rather than a fairly consistent load over the week then this can count against you too, because you will look like a spammer in the eyes of the ISP. A spammer will send lots of email out in one hit, the IP will get blocked and then they will do the same again once the block is removed. Now you can see why it is difficult for an ISP to tell the difference between a spam attack and your weekly newsletter!
Content is still a factor although just not as crucial as it used to be. If you have a good sending reputation then using ‘free’ in the subject line should be fine. However, you should still use a tool like our ‘Inbox Seeding’ to check that you won’t be tripping any filters before you deliver the email to your list.
To help with your sending reputation there are a number of tactics. Firstly you must send good, permission based email. If your list has been collected in a suspect way, has been purchased or rented you will definitely have deliverability issues.
Even if you have followed the height of best practice in data collection you still need to remember that it is not the law you need to be perceived in a good light by, but the consumer. Consumers consider spam to be commercial email they don’t want so make sure they will want your emails by making the content valuable, relevant and don’t over email your lists.
Non-active subscribers could be segmented out of your list as they are the most likely to bounce or report your emails as spam.
Not only is everything above important to aid your reputation there is another more important reason – these steps are what makes a successful email programme!