Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Avoiding email blacklists

If you regularly communicate with your customers using email, it is vital that your message is clear, accurate, targeted and timely. But there is one absolute fundamental element to getting your message read – ensuring your email gets to the recipient in the first place.

If your email bounces back it doesn’t matter what amazing deal you have to offer customers, they will never read about it through this channel. It will result in lost sales and new customers, wasted time and money in sending out emails that will be rejected, and disappointing marketing results.

Before using email as an effective communications tool it is therefore important to make sure your email list is up-to-date and has been verified, by using a service such as that offered by, and is targeted for your product or service.

An email list that is even a few months old can result in emails being bounced back which can play havoc with your email marketing strategy and land you on an email blacklist. If you think that getting blacklisted was something only spammers had to deal with, think again. To keep you off blacklists you need to ensure the number of spam complaints is no more than one in every 1,000 emails sent, which for many companies with an active email marketing campaign is not very much at all.

There are some easy practices to follow to avoid being blacklisted:

  • When you first make contact with a new recipient give them the option to receive further email communication from you, let them opt-in. If they don’t want to hear from you again let them easily opt-out and equally if they click ‘opt-in’ but later change their mind give them an easy ‘unsubscribe’ way to stop receiving your mailings.
  • Avoid buying email lists as the chances are the people or companies on the list will not of heard of you and, therefore, will not have given their consent to receiving emails from you. There are some companies that sell email lists compiled from people who have expressed an interest in receiving more information on products or services similar to yours. Before you make a purchase, however, check the reputation of the company selling the list.
  • If you have an email list compiled from recipients who have requested product updates, don’t use the same list to send marketing emails to as it is abusing the permission that has been given.

An email list that is not current, has not been cleansed or does not have the correct permissions for use will increase your likelihood of being blacklisted and your email marketing campaign failing. It can also affect your credibility with email delivery services, such as MailChimp which has an inbox acceptance rate range of 96 per cent to 99 per cent meaning that there is, at most, only a four per cent error margin on your email list.

So key to a successful email campaign is make sure you have permission from all the recipients to email them about the subject matter, validate your email database before sending out an email and set technical checks and standards to regulate and monitor your IP address and internet service provider (ISP).

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