Email Marketing

Email Marketing

“Spammy” Concerns for Email Marketers

Spam Concerns for Email Marketers

It’s incredibly difficult to choose the right words. Discovering phrases and terms that resonate with subscribers is difficult enough, but there’s also the danger that your email marketing campaigns can trigger spam filters through something you might consider to be the “perfect word” choice.  Although email marketing is just one of the marketing options available to businesses nowadays, it is one of the easiest to control and a good place to avoid mistakes.

ListWise addresses one of the biggest and most mysterious issues with email list hygiene – Spam traps. At ListWise, we have invested a significant amount of resources in assisting marketers escape the spam trap issue and now, we’ve got a highly sophisticated and credible way of not only identifying but also removing potential spam traps from your list.

Checking against 58,989,323 potential traps, ListWise gives your list the best chance of being cleaned with accuracy and efficiency. However, there are hundreds of millions of probable spam traps in the world and it is inconceivable for anyone to be able to detect and remove all of them. While we don’t boast a 100% spam trap free solution, we pride ourselves in being transparent about it and cleaning lists better, faster and cheaper than anyone else on this planet.

Even more so, it’s common for people to make simple typos when opting-in via a web form on a website. Yet, this typo can turn into a major error. ListWise addresses most email marketers typos. This way, missing @ symbols and incorrect domain names are fixed.

With spam being a key issue for email marketers, it’s crucial to have email list cleaning software, which gives any user the best chance of a higher deliverability rate. However, in saying this, it’s also important that an email marketer understands how spam filters work:

Spam filters look at a long list of criteria to decide whether your email is junk. They might look for ‘spammy’ phrases like “CLICK HERE!” or “FREE! BUY NOW!” They’ll assign points every time they see one of those phrases – certain criteria get more points than others. An example of these criteria from SpamAssassin is as follows:

•                Talks about lots of money (.193 points)

•                Describes some sort of breakthrough (.232 points)

•                Looks like mortgage pitch (.297 points)

•                Contains urgent matter (.288 points)

•                Money back guarantee (2.051 points)

It’s important to note that you don’t need to be a spammer to be reported for ‘spamming’. Sometimes it’s a simple mistake, like when an inexperienced user clicks the spam button as an easy way to unsubscribe from an email. But even if it is a mistake, getting reported for abuse is serious and yet often inevitable. As an email marketer, as long as you keep track of your email list and can prove a ‘reported abuse’ is a simple mistake, you will be in the clear. 

How will Wearable Tech Impact Email Marketing

How will Wearable Tech Impact Email Marketing

Wearable Tech is a new buzzword and is essentially defined as clothing & accessories that incorporate advanced electronic technologies. These devices generally perform the same computing tasks as hand-held devices such as smartphones and tablets but in some cases wearable tech can actually outperform them! This is because the design of wearable tech is actually smarter – it can provide sensory and scanning devices such as biofeedback and physiological tracking that are generally not seen in mobile devices.

Take Jawbone’s UP as an example – it is a wrist worn device that literally gets to know you and then tracks your activity, sleeping patterns, food intake and then gives you recommendations based on what you want to get from your current activity pattern.

If you’re a marketer that focuses on digital marketing tools such as email marketing, it is important to ascertain how these wearable tech devices will impact your strategy. While most organizations have already begun to optimize their emails to work on mobile devices, this new technology makes you think a step further on how you present your content.

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular wearable tech devices and what the impact of each of them will be to your marketing operations.

First up, let’s discuss Google Glass. This revolutionary device is the gadget everyone wants. The first thing to remember though is that it does NOT allow for advertising at all. As popular as this is, it could end up being a problem for you. As the technology on this device advances and people start reading their email content on Google Glass instead of their smartphones, you may have an issue , as marketing content won’t be allowed. Re-think how you can deliver content to this device without having a marketing approach so your content can be viewed.

Next, let’s take a look at smart watches such as Samsung Galaxy Gear and the up-coming iWatch. This poses a completely different problem to Google Glass in that they are literally tiny. How will recipients be able to read your content in its entirety if they aren’t able to even view it properly? These devices are also not internet enabled but can be paired via Bluetooth to other enabled devices and will display only notifications of content. Unlike Google Glass however, this is a solvable issue. If recipients get notifications on their wearable devices the headline of the matter they receive will be what prompts them to go ahead and read it. This means you need to work harder at creating a rock solid headline that will be delivered to their smart watches and make them want to view the entire content immediately.

Be smart about your approach to these devices that may be on the path to outsmart you by delivering better usability to consumers and don’t be left out of the game. 

Grow Your Email List

Grow Your Email List

Are you looking for ways to attract email subscribers? Are you trying to get followers on social media on to your mailing list?

Email is one of the most used communication channels to date, it is checked by at least 91% of consumers every day. Using a subscription form is one of the most efficient tools you can use to use to grow your email list.

If you haven’t started using a subscription form because you do not know how, most email service providers have subscription form tools that are user friendly and easily customisable to suit your needs. Using a subscription form generator allows you to generate a HTML form that can be used on your website. As the form is completed by visitors to your website, data is stored in your subscriber list saving you from the hassle of having to import them.

Subscription forms vary from hosted webpages to embedded forms that can be added easily on to your website to collect email subscribers. When someone visits your website and decides to subscribe, they are telling you that they are interested in your content and want to hear from you making them the subscribers that are most likely to engage with the content you send.

Having your email subscription form and links to the form on as many pages of your website as possible is a good way for potential and existing customers to interact with your business.

Once you have your subscription form link, you can choose to share it in various ways. Such as:

  • Adding your link in your email signature
  • Sending personal emails to your clients requesting them to subscribe
  • Including your link in your “About Us” page
  • Placing a link in a tab on your Social Media page
  • Holding free give always for lucky subscribers
  • Sharing your link at the end of any blog postIt may seem like too much but the more you share your form the more chance there is that someone will see it. 

Better Email Marketing in 5 Easy Moves

Better Email Marketing

To make sure your email marketing campaigns are as successful as possible, it’s crucial to pay attention to the logistics of managing your email list by keeping it as clean as possible of bad addresses.  If you fail to perform proper email verification and end up with a list filled with bad domains and addresses it can negatively affect your open rates, not to mention hurting your sender reputation.  Below are 5 steps to take to keep your list hygiene in tip top shape.

1)      Run a list cleaning routine on a regular basis.  Scrub your list of any bad domains by running it against a register of known bad domains.  You should also do a check for duplicate addresses and for role addresses such as sales @ or support @, as those addresses will typically pick up your emails as spam and not deliver them.

2)      Analyze your lead acquisition process.  If you find that your lead capture programs are bringing in a large number of bad addresses, review your lead acquisition policies to see what you can do to improve this metric.  Consider using an email validation system to ensure that only valid addresses are added to your list.

3)      Check your failure reports.  An excessive amount of bouncebacks due to bad addresses can harm your sender reputation, so be sure to check your failure reports on a regular basis.  Immediately remove any addresses marked as bad, and delete “soft” bounces if an address comes back as undeliverable after several attempts.

4)      Remove unsubscribes.  Don’t wait the full 10 days you are allowed to remove unsubscribes.  If possible, remove them immediately to avoid the possibility of having an email marked as spam, thereby hurting your sender reputation.

5)      Remove or re-engage inactives.  Inactive leads can not only drag down your open rates but also run the risk of eventually becoming bad addresses or leading to spam complaints.  Too avoid this, once a contact has been marked as inactive, move it to a separate portion of your list set aside solely for inactive leads.  Then, target these leads with re-activation campaigns, by sending out an email asking that they “confirm my email address” or take other steps that show they are still interested in receiving emails from you.  Those that don’t respond after a certain number of attempts can be removed from your mailing list entirely.

5 Simple Principles for Your Email Marketing

5 Simple Principles for Your Email Marketing

As the popularity of email marketing has grown, email inboxes have become increasingly cluttered, making it more difficult than ever to grab the attention of consumers.  As a result, your email marketing should follow the 5 simple principles listed below to give your messages the best chance of getting read and acted on by busy consumers, and to allow you to make sure your list contains valid email addresses so it can reach its full potential.

1)      Put your best foot forward.  Your subject line can make or break your campaign.  If it doesn’t pique the interest of your contacts it only takes a second for them to hit the delete button.  Keep it snappy and leave your prospects wanting more – a desire that can only be satisfied by opening your email.

2)      Keep your text short but sweet.  In this day and age consumers, for the most part, don’t have the time or inclination to read lengthy emails.  Get to the point quickly and keep your paragraphs concise and your language pithy.  If you have more detailed information that you’d like to impart to your contacts offer them a link to your website, or to download a white paper.  This allows you to get your point across without losing your audience, while offering more detailed information to those who want it.

3)      Incentivize your audience.  Nothing motivates consumers like getting a good deal or a bonus of some sort.  Even if the incentives you provide aren’t tremendously significant in terms of savings, just the fact that you are offering them is likely to improve the results of your email marketing efforts.

4)      Keep your list clean.  Designing great emails is one part of the email marketing process, but if your list is weighed down by a bunch of bad email addresses and inactive contacts it can defeat your efforts to maximize the results of your campaigns.  Make sure that you are checking your email software bounceback reports on a regular basis so that you can check email address validity and remove bad addresses.

5)      Reach out to inactives.  In addition to getting rid of bad emails, dealing with inactives is another important element of getting the most out of your list.  An excessive number of inactive contacts on your list can reduce your open rates and cause you to spend resources fruitlessly.  Send reactivation emails to entice your inactives to become active again, and if they don’t respond remove them from the list.  This combined with the use of email list scrubbing services should keep your list full of contacts that are ready and able to act on your email marketing messages.

How to Remove Spamtraps From Your Email Marketing List

How to Remove Spamtraps From Your Email Marketing List

If you are rigorous in your acquisition policies by using double opt-in procedures your email marketing lists should be relatively free of spamtraps – those emails that can get your email service provider (ESP) placed on the blacklist and your company banned for sending spam emails.  However, if you don’t have a policy to clean bad/inactive emails from your lists, over time valid email addresses initially added to your list can become spamtraps even if the contacts initially opted-in to the list.  Some suggestions for removing these emails follow.

Proper List Acquisition Procedures

In the first place, make sure you don’t add emails to your list that have bad domains or haven’t gone through the double opt-in procedure.  Also, be cautious when purchasing lists unless you know exactly how the leads on the list were acquired.  Utilize email hygiene software when possible to help with the process of verifying your list and scrubbing it of bad addresses.

List segmentation

To remove those spamtraps that have made it through your lead acquisition process, first segment your list by activity.  For instance, note the leads which have opted-in or clicked on a link recently, say in the past month or so, and put them in one segment.  Then make another segment of those leads on your list that have been active in the past 3 to 6 months or so.  Once you get past a certain threshold, usually anywhere from 3 to 9 months, make another list and categorize the contacts on the list as inactive. 

The inactive and less active leads can then be targeted by a re-engagement campaign, with the inactives who fail to respond being removed from your list.  Performing this type of list cleaning routine will remove any spamtraps you might have acquired along the way, without the necessity of positively identifying them as spamtraps.

Spamtrap Testing

You can also split your list into portions, say ½ or 1/3, and then send emails to each list separately and check your bounce rates and blacklist results to see in which portion of your list the spamtrap fell, and then focus your cleaning efforts on the contacts on that portion of the list.  If a positive result is achieved in more than one portion you can split those portions in turn and perform the same procedure again until your list is clean.  Email list scrubbing services can be helpful in this process by searching pre-existing lists of bad email addresses as well as checking for domain misspellings and other such errors.

How Email Marketers Can Cope With Gmail’s New Changes

How Email Marketers Can Cope With Gmail’s New Changes

Gmail has rapidly become one of the most popular email platforms around, outstripping its competitors in numbers of users and constantly looking for ways to improve the efficacy of its service.  Given the prominence of the service, Gmail’s recent rollout of the tabbed inbox concept is something that savvy email marketers should pay attention to and plan around, especially when it comes to email verification (avoiding being characterized as a spammer and having your emails blocked is more important than ever in the wake of these changes).

How has Gmail Changed?

Gmail’s tabbed inbox feature now lets Gmail subscribers who use the feature segment the emails they receive into the following sections: 

1)      Inbox:  Mainly personal messages.

2)      Promotions:  Messages focused on marketing items or services.

3)      Social:  This includes messages from social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.

4)      Updates:  Generally speaking, this will include messages related to various transactions.

5)      Forums:  Notifications of message board activity.

How Have These Changes Impacted Email Marketing?

It’s too soon to say exactly how the changes to Gmail will affect email marketing campaigns, however, early results do not appear to show any drastic drop-off in open rates thus far.  It’s unclear whether this is due to consumers choosing not to use the new tabbed inbox feature or whether some other factors are in play.  One possibility could be that since the effectiveness of email marketing arises largely from its appeal to consumers, those consumers are checking their promotional emails on a regular basis, thereby keeping open rates steady.  In any case, be sure that you clean up bad emails on a regular basis to keep your open rates as informative as possible.

Monitoring and Reacting to Open Rate Metrics

If you find that your open rates are suffering as a result of the changes to Gmail, one action to take is to request that your email contacts add you to their friends list, thereby moving your emails into their inbox tab.  This whitelisting approach also has the benefit of allowing you to identify your most valuable and motivated contacts.  As a result, you can segment your list into those who have whitelisted you and those who haven’t, and use the former group for some of your most exclusive email campaigns, given the added level of engagement with your products or services that these contacts have demonstrated.

In the wake of the changes to Gmail, keep a close eye on the relevant metrics, and use an email address checker when you add contacts to your list to make sure that it isn’t weighed down by bad addresses that can skew your open rates.

How to Make Big Money for a Small Email List

Make Big Money for a Small Email List

Every business owner knows that they must build an email list in order to make money, but did you know that even a small list can pull in big profits?  If your list is a bunch of subscribers who are engaged with you and plugged into your content they will want to receive your emails which means that you are more than halfway to profit already.  An important part of building a valuable list is to keep it clean with regular email hygiene

What is email hygiene?  Simply put, it is the process of cleaning an email list so that every email address that remains on your subscriber list is valid and responsive.  There will be many types of email addresses on your list that should not be there, and you may not even be aware of these until you take a good look at your subscriber list.  Here are some examples of email addresses that need to be removed:

1.       Fake email addresses – addresses that do not exist – sometimes people try to sign up with these because they think they can grab your freebie by fooling you.  The truth is that your auto responder will flush them out and they will get nothing, but you get a fake address to plug up your list.

2.       Unconfirmed subscribers – these should be deleted because these are probably people who were hoping to get a freebie without having to sign up to another list.

3.       Distribution email addresses – addresses where the email you send goes to more than one person – a whole department of people.  This is a spam complaint waiting to happen.

If your list is fairly small, you won’t have an issue cleaning it yourself, but as it grows you may find that you need some help with email list scrubbing services.  Don’t try to do it all yourself, it is far too much work and you have better things to do with your valuable time, like writing great content for your subscribers!

When you send out emails to your list, send them good and useful information that they cannot find anywhere else.  Let them in on your own little “secrets” and information that can help them to succeed or do whatever it is that you are promoting in your niche.  Your subscribers will grow to trust you and this is what you want – building a successful relationship with them.  Once you have the trust of your subscribers then you can suggest products to them or sell to them.  Keeping your list clean with a good email hygiene solution should be an important part of your business

How to Save Money on Your Email Marketing

How to Save Money-on Your Email Marketing

Building your email list is not enough these days, you need to maintain it too.  Email hygiene is an important task for every list owner to undertake on a regular basis, especially if your list is continually growing. One of the most important aspects of list maintenance for every small business owner is finding ways to save money when it comes to email marketing.  Here are a few ways that you can accomplish that…

1.       Regularly review your analytics after each email you send during a campaign.  How many emails were delivered, how many were opened, how many were “undeliverable”?  It can be expensive to use email services, especially when they base their prices on numbers.  An example would be that you pay $19 a month for a list of subscribers up to 450 large, but you are paying $29 for a list of 523.  When you review your analytics, you can see that of the 523 emails that you send, 83 emails are undeliverable.  By removing those “dead subscribers”, you will save yourself $10 a month because you are now back down to the basic service.

2.       Send the prescribed amount of allowed emails through your email service each month, no more and no less.  By sending more emails than the allowable amount, you may have to pay more for your email service.

3.       Remove subscribers that never open your emails.  They are basically taking up a spot on your list but they have either forgotten that they signed up to your list or that they want to be on your list.

4.       Sometimes people use fake email addresses to sign up for your email list.  By using the double opt-in method for email address verification you can ensure that these addresses are easily recognizable and quickly removed.

It is definitely more desirable to have a responsive list of subscribers that does not contain undeliverable addresses, unconfirmed subscribers, email addresses with typographical errors and fake email addresses.  Large lists can be extremely expensive and they do not always contain email addresses that are valid.

When you keep your email marketing list clean using an email scrubbing service, you can be certain that your list is 100% real, populated with people who want to be on your list and will actually open and read your emails when you send them out.