In the ever changing world of email marketing one has to be on their toes to keep up with all the requirements and standards that are introduced by ISPs and AntiSpam organizations as they battle to eliminate spam, phishing and other kind of unwanted emails from regular Joe’s mailboxes.
As a result some senders are caught in the crossfire of the everlasting arms race that spammers and non-spammers are at. Right? This is why we’re starting part one of our series with an important question – What is deliverability all about and what is an ESP for?
What is this series for?
This will be a cycle of articles that will point out one by one the most crucial aspects of email marketing that are in your, as in the senders, hands. Our goal is to teach you enough for you to be able to keep the highest deliverability you can get by identifying issues with your content or your list, long before they can become serious enough to make an actual impact.
We will be covering the most important parts of list generation and maintenance, the influence your content has on the delivery, and what you as a sender can also do outside of it all to make sure that you will leave a good impression with both, your subscribers and ISPs.
I would also like to add here that this series is not your typical marketing point of view cycle that’s supposed to skyrocket your opens. It’s written from the Deliverability and Compliance point of view, so we will be focusing much more on what kind of behaviors can get you in trouble and which of them will help you get better inbox rates (improving your open and click rates by simply delivering every single message).
Let me send my email!
Senders often turn to ESPs to avoid the hustle of all the technical setup and upkeep of a mailing structure. They are often lured in by promises of high deliverability without lifting a finger but, and I speak as an ESP employee, don’t let them fool you. The times when ESP’s could take up all deliverability issues on their shoulders, and resolve them regardless of actions on their customer side, are long gone.
The truth is that even the best ESP with the cleanest channels will not be able to deliver a spammer anymore and if they somehow do, I can promise you, they will not do it for long. ISPs are putting more and more responsibility on the actual sender, to the degree that we already are experiencing a scenario in which for 2 simultaneous sends from the same IP one is accepted and the other one is blocked.
So with that in mind you can ask yourself: “Why do I even need an ESP then?”. The answer is simple, we cannot do everything for you but we do help you a lot 🙂 So allow me to brag a bit about what we do:
SPF, DKIM, DMARC, and all that technical mumbo-jumbo
As I mentioned before, the technical aspect of email is changing fast due to the arms race. You, however, do not have to worry about that. It is our job to be up to date with all the technical requirements, whether it’s global authentication methods like SPF, DKIM, or DMARK, or a technology so far used by a single ISP, like Yahoo’s Require-Recipient-Valid-Since, we got that covered for you.
Bounces, Feedback Loops, and Unsubscribes
Each list can contain some bad email addresses, weather your subscriber made a typo and gave you a wrong email address, someone forgot they subscribed, or they are simply not interested in your emails anymore. If you keep those addresses on your list they can become and issue and lower your results, or even get your account terminated. That’s why it is so important to remove those addresses as soon as you get this kind of information. Lucky for you ( 😉 ) GetResponse does that automatically and in a jiffy.
You can be sure that every time we find a bad email address (invalid email bounce) or someone decides to leave your list (whether it will be with an unsubscribe link in your message or through a built-in unsubscribe function in Gmail that we are also integrated with), they will be removed from your list in a matter of seconds.
Thanks to multiple established Feedback Loops we also get notifications when someone marks your message as spam, and so we instantly remove this subscriber as well.
Good relations with ISPs
Whenever there is an issue it’s much easier to solve it if you know who you are solving it with. After over 17 years in the business GetResponse already has a build up and recognizable brand, which we use to represent you and to mitigate issues as soon as they appear.
We also participate in numerous initiatives like M3AAWG, EEC, and ESPC, where we can exchange knowledge with all other companies from the industry and make sure that nothing will pass you (as our customer) by.
State of the art tools
We make sure that your emails are sent through using the possible best solutions that are currently on the market. These include world-class Message System’s, Mail Transfer Agents capable of sending out millions of emails in record time.
We also use a top notch monitoring tool provided by Return Path, that helps us keep better track of what is going within our channels. This includes inbox placement solutions that tell us which campaigns land in target inboxes and which end up in junk folders, they also help diagnose any related problems.
Permission-based email marketing only!
This would be the most important part, that all of the points I made above lead to. We believe that permission is key, and since we want to award all good senders with the best possible delivery, we put the same effort in keeping all the bad apples away. With a world class, anti abuse system called Hydra (that we developed in-house) we are able to analyze huge amounts of data in three shakes of a lamb’s tail, or simply put – quickly.
With the best experts in our Compliance Department and the power of automated Hydra analytics we are able to a prevent spammer (or careless marketers) from using our platform before they even have the chance to send out their message, keeping our reputation high and delivery rates even higher.
Now getting back to you. Next week we will start with one of the most fundamental parts of Email Marketing which is the list generation process. We will help you get an better understanding of what you can, should, and should not do while trying to get new subscribers on your list. So till then may your opens be high and complaint rate low!
And as always, if you have questions or some advice of your own please let us know in the comments below! We’d love to know what you think.
Edit: Now that the series has ended, you can read all the other parts here:
- Part One: Achieving the Best Deliverability Possible
- Part Two: Lists, Dos and Don’ts of the List Generation Process
- Part Three: Taking Care of Your List Over Time
- Part Four: Maintaining A Good Relationship With Your List
- Part Five: Don’t Be Mistaken For A Spammer
- Part Six: What Do ISPs Really Look For In Content
- Part Seven: Words And Phrases That Can Get You In Trouble
- Part Eight: The Most Recognizable Part of Your Email
Email Deliverability From A To Z
Download our free guide and learn how to make sure that your deliverability is pitch-perfect with tips from a deliverability manager at GetResponse. Nurture relationships, learn how to tackle list building, and make sure that the content you send doesn't raise up any flags.