Improving Email Deliverability for In-Store Sign Ups
By Chris Kolbenschlag @Bronto 1/7/13
Recently, a popular anti-spam blacklist named Spamhaus began to blacklist marketers who are sending marketing emails to email addresses that are incorrect (those including a typo error). If you’re collecting addresses in-store at the point of sale this is a must-read post. Let’s take a look at this issue, how it impacts senders and what you can do to remedy the issue.
In-Store Sign Up
Some retailers are now offering an option to email receipts to customers when they check out at the point-of-sale. If the customer gives permission to receive an e-receipt, the sales clerk will ask the customer for their email address and enter it into the system to send the e-receipt email. While typically this is a great process, there is potential for trouble. If the sales clerk types in a wrong address, the e-receipt is sent to an incorrect email address. Spamhaus says this one-off email e-receipt isn’t really a problem, but the issue is that the incorrect email address (which in some cases happens to be an inbox monitored by Spamhaus) starts to receive marketing emails. Such was the case recently with a huge retail store where Spamhaus flagged them for this exact situation. Common input errors are when an address is entered with a domain name that is incorrect, but seems closely related to a legitimate domain, ex: AOLL.com or Hoymail.com. This situation also applies to retailers who are collecting email addresses for marketing newsletters, coupons, etc at the point-of-sale. Spamhaus says it’s okay to collect email addresses for both the purpose of marketing emails and e-receipts, BUT these addresses need to be verified via a confirmed opt-in collection method. For e-receipts addresses, send only the e-receipt. It’s crucial that you don’t send anything in addition to an e-receipt if that’s all the customer has given you permission for.
If you want to send marketing messages to this address, you will need to collect clear permissions by asking the recipient to confirm via the email that they indeed want to be added to marketing messages. In your e-receipt, add in a clear way to opt in to future marketing messages, this gives customers a way to indicate their future interest. Since they have just purchased they have a high likelihood of subscribing and now is your time to ask them.
At the end of the day, you want to confirm that there is a human (as the recipient) indicating interest. Spam trap addresses will never complete an action. In the event that you’re sending to a spam trap address – you won’t see any activity within the email and the relationship stops there. If you pursue an opt out method, you will continue to send to a spam trap address along with sending to users who don’t want to receive your messages – and who will ultimately mark your message as spam. The longer you send to spam trap addresses, the longer Spamhaus will mark you as an offender.
If you find yourself listed on Spamhaus’ blacklist for this ‘typotrap’ scenario, there are 4 options to avoid this problem. (continue @Bronto)