Archive for the ‘Email Deliverability’ Category

Hurting/Helping Your Brand With Unsubscribe Process

Hurting/Helping Your Brand With Unsubscribe Process

Do you immediately honor unsubscribe requests or do you have such an arduous process to remove people that it involves many manual steps and takes weeks?

I get it. Many of you do have a nightmare scenario and you’re not alone. There are countless companies that have multiple sources to pull from and multiple databases to update but that’s still no excuse for damaging your brand’s reputation and your email reputation.

Quickly fulfilling on leads and sales generated by email campaigns is important. Prospects and customers keep the lights on. Quickly responding to unsubscribe requests can also contribute to the bottom line. You literally save on distribution costs but that’s not what I’m talking about.

If someone wants off your list, get ‘em off! It means they didn’t click the spam button to stop receiving your emails as many others do. They actually followed your unsubscribe call to action. Honor it. If you don’t, some will get upset and publicly trash your brand.

Another reason is ISPs get more sophisticated every day. If you continue sending to an unsubscriber and they ignore your emails, the ISP will eventually pick up on your continued sending to someone who doesn’t care about your emails. The ISP doesn’t know that they requested to be unsubscribed but they do know you aren’t keeping a clean list because you keep sending to a bunch of inactive subscribers.

Don’t risk tarnishing your brand and affecting your deliverability.

Below is a random collection of tweets from people upset about their unsubscribe experience. Many are referencing brands. Do you think others will subscribe after hearing this? Do you think they will buy from these brands? Do you think more will unsubscribe after hearing this?

The old school thought that hiding or rephrasing the unsubscribe link will prevent list attrition is not the kind of list attrition you want to prevent! Protect your brand and email reputation by making it easy to unsubscribe from your emails and/or change the kinds of emails they receive.

Tweets over a period of about 6 hours:

Wanted to change my subscriptions but the only option was to unsubscribe. So I did.

So if you randomly receive a marketing email from Carlsberg and you want to unsubscribe, you HAVE to provide lots of personal data to do so.

@Fulcrum_CR haha. I swear i have clicked unsubscribe AT LEAST 3 times on this sodding newsletter and every couple weeks I get another :@

RT @seanprice: how many times do I have to click UNSUBSCRIBE before you get the point?? > Once more please Sean :>

how many times do I have to click UNSUBSCRIBE before you get the point??

Annoying: Unsubscribe buttons that don’t work. Result: Disinterest in the subject becomes resent toward the sender.

Today = Unsubscribe day … Too many worthless newsletters in my inbox. Time for spring cleaning! #Unsubscribe

@tagetik the unsubscribe link does not offer me a unsubscribe possibility

I hate it when I have to type in my email to unsubscribe. You emailed me, you SHOULD have it. 1-click should be plenty.

I’ve been going on an unsubscribe rampage today. If your company emails me, you better have a bloody unsubscribe link!

Do you waste time deleting unwanted items in your inbox each day? UNSUBSCRIBE from newsletters and mailing lists that no longer interest you

It is easy to subscribe for things on the net that send you emails… SO DAMN HARD TO UNSUBSCRIBE!!! ARGH >_< #AshysInbox

Dear Myer, why does it take 5 working days to unsubscribe me from your mailing list?

how many times do i need to unsubscribe my email from the gd KABOODLE email list that i never signed up for??!!

the inability to unsubscribe from TechDay is driving me mental

not happy with @delloutlet USA,click unsubscribe in email,then 2nd time,then again,then check boxes,then finally submit..arghhhhhh

Is it strange that, whenever people unsubscribe, i actually feel relieved because that usually means a hater/negative subscriber has left?

RT @KISSmetrics: Unsubscribe links at the TOP of your emails can lead to higher conversions #measure

Don’t disguise your unsubscribe link. Use the word Unsubscribe. Show them which email address the email was sent to so they know which email address to type in if you don’t pass it to the unsubscribe page. Reduce the number of subscribers who actually unsubscribe by creating multiple subscription options on the subscription preferences page to give them more control over what they receive e.g. create separate subscriptions for offers, news and updates, newsletters, etc.

Download this as a presentation.

For more ideas on preventing list attrition, read my recent post “Content Dethroned as King?”

To monitor and repair your email reputation, read my post “How to Manage Your Email Reputation”

Posted: June 16th, 2010
at 10:15am by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , ,

Categories: Email Deliverability,Email Marketing

Comments: 1 comment

Email Bounces: Are Yours Automatically Removed? Maybe Not!

Not all ESPs are the same. Your ESP may or may not be unsubscribing your bounced subscribers after three or four or whatever consecutive bounces.

So a quick post here to start a conversation. I really want to hear from you on this. I’m curious as to what your ESP’s settings are and whether or not you can change them.

Here’s the issue. If your send frequency is only one or two per month and your ESP doesn’t unsubscribe bounces until an address bounces 3 or 4 times in a 30- or 45-day time frame, the bounces will never be unsubscribed. You’ll continue to see your bounce rate increase and your email reputation will eventually suffer.

Do you know what your default setting is? Can you change it? Have you? And after you read this, do you know what to do?

Comment below and let me know what your settings are.

Case Study: Avoiding Spam Filters. Simple Fixes for Your Emails

This post demonstrates a real-world example of getting caught in the spam filters and how to get out of them.

I recently signed up for Twimailer. Some of their notices are coming in marked as spam and some are not so I thought I’d help them out by figuring out why and sending them an email. (I can’t get in touch with them so someone let them know if you know the guys.)

Here’s the issue about email and spam. Emails accumulate a +/- score depending if you do things right or wrong. If you include a copyright and use clean html code, you get + marks. Use bad code or break one of a million rules that a sys admin dreamed up and you get – marks.

It’s not easy to dot all your I’s and cross all your T’s. This short example is great example of why you should do everything you can to fix the elements within your control and put the odds in your favor. That way the impact of the elements out of your control don’t affect you as badly.

The first thing I did was review the body of the emails. They include previous tweets. Great idea but some of the tweets are from the distant past and the email got dinged for having an old date in it.

Next I looked at the email headers. In Outlook, open an email and click on View then Options in the menu. This is what you get (mouseover for full size):

This is a screen shot of two email headers. The one on the left is marked as spam and the other one isn’t.

This all seems techy but let me break it down for you so you can understand it yourself. And I don’t make a career out of studying spam engine speak so I’m interpreting these based on my years of experience. I’m not looking these up…

BTW – My mail server uses SpamAssassin. These codes are SpamAssassin’s terminology. Yours are probably different.

Here’s the SpamAssassin Wiki if you want to learn more:

Determined to be SPAM:
X-Mail-Filter-Gateway-SpamDetectionEngine: SPAM,

Spam score (bad thing):
MailFilterGateway Engine (Score=4.451, Score Required 3,

Not listed as a spammer (good thing):
autolearn=disabled, CTASD_SPAM_UNKNOWN -1.00,

Dated in the past (bad thing):
DATE_IN_PAST_12_24 1.77,

HTML message (not bad or good):

Did not use proper html code <html> missing (bad thing):

Content type issue – not sure (bad thing):

Only sent html email vs. mutli-part MIME format (html and plain text) (bad thing):

Domain authentication not setup properly? (bad thing):

Ultimately got a 4 star rating:
X-Mail-Filter-Gateway-SpamScore: ****

What are the biggest offenders? The basics…

Bad HTML coding i.e. invalid HTML

They didn’t include a plain text version (multi-part MIME format)

A pretty big ding for including a date in the past (just include recent tweets vs. mixing in old ones…)

In this screen shot to the left you’ll see there are no <HTML> <body> or <meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” > tags. They only included <div> tags.

The developer who created the email probably didn’t know about these rules and it’s costing the sender its email reputation.

See my recent post about How to Manage Your Email Reputation.

Here are the Top 10 Tips to Improve Email Deliverability and Response.

Posted: March 17th, 2010
at 10:22am by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , ,

Categories: Email Critiques,Email Deliverability,Email Optimization

Comments: No comments

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