Do you ever get reports from your customers that “this email” or “that email” was never received? Chances are, your answer is an emphatic “Yes”, but rest assured – you’re not alone. In fact, the open “secret” of email communications is that nearly 20% of legitimate email is never delivered to the intended inbox. Overall, more than half of all email sent is considered to be abusive or illegitimate. So, what do these unfortunate statistics have to do with your business?
With the overwhelming amount of crummy email floating about the interwebs, ISPs spend most of their time trying to identify the “good” email from the billions of spam messages that hit their networks each day. It truly is a search for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Here are some things you may be doing (knowingly or not) that make your mail more like the hay and less like that elusive needle.
• A poorly configured infrastructure is making you appear to be shady character! Maybe you’ve got an open proxy or relay, or some other security issue is detected within your mail server configuration.
• Your sender identity is not authenticated, stranger! In the absence of authentication of all your emails, it is very difficult for an ISP to confirm that you are in fact a legitimate sender. Learn more about authentication here.
• You’ve failed to maintain a clean list, ya dirty scoundrel! Diligent and prudent list management is the foundation of any effective email program. This means you’ve got up-to-date contact information for your subscribers, you rapidly remove people upon request, you properly process hard and soft bounces, etc.
• You went and earned yourself a bad reputation, partner! ‘Reputation,’ in the wild world of email, is a set of metrics ISPs look at to determine the quality of the sender. Sending to spam traps, subscribers reporting your messages as spam or appearing on blacklists are factors that can tank your reputation.
Don’t assume that ISPs are going to automatically know you for the legitimate business you are; or that they’ll view your emails as the expected communications your customers want and have requested. If you’ve noticed some odd blips in your email activity metrics, such as precipitous declines in open rates, it could mean that your email is getting blocked.
(SendGrid, where I work, recently had webinar on 7 Tips to Improve Your Sender Reputation which you can listen to for free. It is full of lots of tips on how to really take charge of your email today. Once you’ve mastered that, you might as well sign up for our upcoming webinar, Tips and Tricks to Stay Out of the SPAM Folder)