Tag: ISP

Gmail Tab and Email Open Rates

Recent changes in the gmail inbox and how it may affect your email marketing open rates (courtesy Litmus.com).

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Get your Email Service Provider (ESP) implement DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) for your bulk mail server!

DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is a possibility to make an email sender more easily identifiable for the email service providers (ESPs) who receive and filter email. The message is identified by the domain it is sent from, that is, the part of the address after the @.

If the delivery address differs from that that has been registered with the DNS server (Domain Name Server), there is an increased likelihood that the email will be classified as Spam by the email service provider.

Why it is needed?

It is because ISPs like yahoo, gmail, hotmail dictate it!  Look at their bulk mailing guidelines, which must be followed by all email marketers and their email marketing solution providers.

https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81126#authentication

http://mail.live.com/mail/policies.aspx

http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?page=content&y=PROD_MAIL_ML&locale=en_US&id=SLN3435&impressions=true

If your bulk or mass email marketing solution provider doesn’t provide it, it is time for you to ask for it. If they are unable to do it, look for other email service providers who can provide it.

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Why Add-to-Address book instruction is very important in your email communication?

You might have seen in the email newsletters you receive that there is a message at the top asking you  “please add our sender address info@xyz.com to your address book”. Do you know the importance of this message?

It is known that ISPs like yahoo, gmail, hotmail, and etc. have spam filters which will filter mails from reaching your inbox.  These junk or spam filters as often called run a variety of algorithms to check if the mail is needed by you and hence should be put in inbox. If not, they should be placed in junk or spam folder thereby saving your time and botheration.

These spam or junk filters work on message content, sender’s reputation, and your own actions on such messages in the past based on who sent it, subject line of the message, or whether the sender id of the message is in your address book etc.These filters sometime give higher priority to your actions than their generic rules.

Moreover some ISPs like Yahoo and AOL display images in the messages automatically if the sender address is in your address book. Spam email killer Services like Boxbee which works with several ISPs automatically deliver emails to inbox, if the message sender address is in your address book, else the mail will end up either in junk or spam folder.

Gmail spam filter work on how do you interact with the sender message in the past from opening, clicking, responding to the message and seeing the sender address in your address book or contact list to prioritize the message delivery to inbox vis-a-vis to junk or spam folder.

Understanding these issues, most of the smart marketers today have a strong call to action to advice their customers to add their sender address to their address books, so that their messages will be seen more in inbox.  The customers can then take subsequent actions of opening and clicking.

However there is a bigger challenge in educating the customers on how to add the sender address to their address books or contact lists. Each of the ISPs has their own ways to adding the sender address to the address book or contact list.

Kenscio Digital has come with an exhaustive guide to assist customers to add the sender address to the address book or contact list.  Click the link below to find the detailed instructions.  Marketers can insert this link in the message to advice their customers on how to add their sender address to their address book or contact list.

http://www.kenscio.com/whitelist-safe-sender-instructions.php

Also, if you find email from senderaddress@senderdomain.com in your spam or junk folder, please take that opportunity to tell your mail program that it is not spam by hitting the “not spam”, “not junk” or similar button, as that will train your program to whitelist it.

Happy inboxing!

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Do your email marketing campaigns surprise you?

Surprises are over rated, more often than not they back fire. Getting a surprise birthday party or winning the lottery can be fun, but they happen rarely.

When it comes to your business, the less the surprises, the better. It’s quite like driving a race car. You’d want to be sure that: you know the track, the tires are correctly inflated, the engine won’t explode if you rev it on the red line, the breaks work, etc.

Similarly, when you execute an email marketing campaign, you ensure that the content is relevant, it has a strong value proposition and your subscribers know why they have received the email. The last thing you would want is that your email campaign did not perform as you had expected.

Although, the success of an email marketing campaign depends on a lot of factors, content surely plays a very important role. As strange as it may sound, relevance is not all that you need to worry about when it comes to content.

Email marketers operate in the realms of ISPs who scrutinize email content not just in terms of relevance but also in terms of quality.

What is quality? Quality here is the degree or the grade that helps differentiate a genuine email from spam.

Who defines this quality? ISPs do. They guard the interest of their users and have complex set of rules that automatically filter incoming emails.

What can you do about quality? To begin with, you should follow the best practices defined by ISPs. These are standard set of guidelines that establish a broad framework for genuine email marketers. Can anything else be done?

Kenscio Labs has been secretly working on a powerful tool that will analyse and score the quality of email content. Our geeks are working hard because like you, they dislike nasty surprises. They know what its like to see a well planned and executed campaign crumble, simply because it couldn’t meet the stringent quality standards defined by the ISPs.

In simple words, this secret tool will let you test the quality of your email campaign, before you execute it.

More Control, less surprises, smarter strategies, better performance.

Stay tuned on Kenscio blog!

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ISPs doesn’t care about your SenderScore Certification, if they find your bulk mails doesn’t conform to their standards

I have subscribed to Groupon mailers.  They are using one of the top tier Email Service Providers in USA, and got Sender Score certification from Return Path.  According to Return Path, the IPs are having an excellent sender score and Acceptance.

Even though Groupon use double opt-in policies, why is gmail putting some of their mailers in spam folder?  A little more investigation provides some suspected issues within their mailing policies.

There are a large number of spam complaints in gmail for Groupon mailers. This makes Gmail to know that Groupon is either not sending relevant mailers to their subscribers or their unsubscriptions are not being honored promptly. Groupon is also not collecting the frequency of mailers that their subscribers want to receive or their subscribers don’t care to fill it up. This will result in list fatigue and their subscribers instead of unsubscribing, they are finding easier to complain spam!

A large of unknown users also indicate that Groupon is sending mail to subscribers without knowing their email behavior, whether the subscriber is active or inactive. This also explains the reason why Groupon is hitting spam traps with ISPs.

ISPs are using better and smarter algorithms now a days to classify bulk emails based on their own proprietary techniques.  They are relying lesser and lesser on third party certifications like Return Path and others.

Hence ESPs and bulk email marketers have to better adhere to ISPs guidelines and ever changing policies. ESPs are to be better knowledgeable about the ISPs regulations and provide their clients with best practices and guidelines from time to time to better their ROI.

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