Tag: phishing emails

Guide to a Better HTML Email Design – Part 20

19. Five common flaws that you can avoid in Email Marketing Campaigns


Messages stopped as spam:

Kenscio identifies this as the key error in email marketing and the easiest to fix. Subject line headings such as “WIN A GREAT PRIZE” will not get past spam filters.

All image, but no text:

Companies often send mails that are purely image-based but contain no text, Kenscio says. Many ISPs don’t automatically download images so recipients are left with blank boxes. This makes it hard to track response rates. The company recommends this is considered in the email design and that marketers use a tool that demonstrates different ISPs or send a test email first.

Missing information:

Some campaign emails go out with fundamental information missing, such as a name. “There is nothing worse than Dear____ because the first name field is not completed. Even writing ‘Dear customer’ is preferable. Getting basics like this right is a must and a simple fix to avoid looking unprofessional,” Kenscio advises.


Invalid Sender Address:

ISPs validate the Sender Address in the email message and see if it has been sent from a valid inbox. Spammers and phishing mails don’t provide a valid sender address or a reply address. If you are a genuine email sender, there should be no hesitation to provide a valid sender address which the recipient can recognize and respond to.

Right to reply:

Provide a convenient reply to email address for your recipients to send feedback on the mails receive. ISPs now have a greater emphasis on replies and show such messages in priority inbox or regular inbox of the recipients.  Hence soliciting replies and acknowledging them is a greater benefit for the marketers.

Trying too hard:

Designing an email as if it was a website is the fifth most common error in email marketing, Kenscio says. “Heavy use of flash or java script often doesn’t render properly in the finished email and can be complicated to design. It’s better to keep it clean and simple, allowing the reader to click through to a website,” the company recommends.

“In today’s economy, return on investment has never been more important as marketing spend is now analysed and questioned by senior stakeholders, Companies can’t afford to be making such simple mistakes and missing potential sales.

The fundamental aims of any campaign should be high deliverability, targeted mailing, maximum click-through rates and basic personalisation – don’t let the email be the reason customers go elsewhere.”

Read earlier blogs on the subject “Guide to a Better HTML Email Design” on Kenscio Blog.


Guide to a Better HTML Email Design – Part 15

14. Phishing and HTML Links


Many email clients are being updated to detect phishing attempts. “Phishing” is the industry nickname for the effort to collect sensitive personal and financial information by sending forged emails that look as if they come from an authorized agency, such as a bank, financial service, ecommerce provider or government agency.
Both Mozilla Thunderbird and AOL 9.0 feature phishing scam detection that will affect how your email is treated. To determine whether an email could be a phishing scam, the client looks for a link in your HTML campaign where the display text is a URL.

If the displayed link is different from the actual URL, the client alerts the user.

Most email service providers encode your URLs for tracking, and change the URL within the <HREF> tag.

<a href=”http://www.yoursite.com”>http://www.yoursite.com</a>

The change might look like this:

<a href=”http://ESP.com/c.html?rtr=on&s=3d2,l8xr,pt,37e5,6bav”>http://www.yoursite.com</a>

To avoid having your emails erroneously tagged as phishing attempts, don’t use a URL as the display text for a link in any HTML emails. Instead, use a word or phrase which describes the link itself.

<a href=”http://www.yoursite.com”>Visit us here</a>

Most of the email clients also mark the mails with Phishing tag, if the email message contains any hardcoded IP addresses in links, instead of domain name.

Hence it is advised to use only domain names in all links.

Now a days more and more ISPs are recommending the email senders to implement DKIM for authentication of the sending domains that actually send the mails, to restrict senders to use the sender address to the email sending domain or DKIM to be setup for each sender address. ISPs give higher preference for such senders for inbox deliverability and provide spam complaint feedback loops.

Hence Marketers are advised to get the DKIM setup for their email infrastructure through their service providers.

Read earlier blogs on the subject “Guide to a Better HTML Email Design” on Kenscio Blog.



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