1 Get and confirm permission
Capturing an opt-in and confirming it with a follow-up email is best practice. SpinnakerPro not only captures and saves all opt-ins and opt-outs in its database, it also sends out a confirmation email when a contact subscribes. Don't keep sending to bounced emails either, that damages your reputation. SpinnakerPro handles this automatically.
2 Send relevant emails and don't send too often
The age of email blasting is over. Use our preference centre to ask your subscribers exactly what content they want to receive and when. A recent study by DoubleClick shows that 65% of men and 56% of women define spam as email from a company that I have done business with -that comes too often. So using category codes in SpinnakerPro ensures you send based on the subscriber preference
3 Use a recognizable from address
Your contact must recognize who is sending them the email. The ‘from address’ is the first thing they will look at and if they don’t recognize it, they will delete your email. The from address has a text part and an email part. It is the text part that shows in the inbox. So use something that identifies your brand right away.
4 Email account testing
Set up a test accounts in AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc and build a segment to broadcast to these email accounts first before sending to your entire list. If they bounce, land in a bulk folder or are blocked completely, you can investigate and sort out any issues. Also check out http://postmaster.aol.com/Postmaster.Guidelines.php for AOL email guidelines. This a more accurate means of testing than using simulators ie You yourself will know if the email is being delivered or not.
5 Reverse DNS, DKIM, Domain Keys and SPF
ISP's will check if the sending domain eg yourcompany.com matches the IP address of that domain. They will also check if the domain is allowed to send email from the IP address of the sending platform, which may be different to the IP address of your domain. If either of these rules fail, it will go to the Junk folder. Adding Domain Keys and DKIM will also "sign" your email making it easier for the ISP distinguish between good and bad emails. SpinnakerPro supports all of these for you and also codes correctly for GMAIL and HOTMAIL unsubscribe processing. Have your IT guy follow these steps to make sure your email gets delivered. It should take about 10 minutes at most to setup. We have howto videos for domains setup with Godaddy and H-Sphere here -Contact us if you need help.
You can help ISPs verify your identity by making sure that your DNS entry is complete and correct. To make sure your domain has all the correct entries, you can use a web site like www.dnsreport.com. If you have any questions about the entries there, call your IT department and ask them to look into it.
6 Deal with Unsubscribes immediately
SpinnakerPro deals with unsubscribes immediately and automatically, so no worries here. We also unsubscribe when the "Report Spam" button is pressed in GMAIL or Hotmail. We also report on these events in your campaign metrics.
7 Ask to be placed in the address book of your contact.
Ask contacts to place you in their address book and safe sender lists. Once in there, your emails will reach the inbox every time.
Some words or phrases that might appear in your email have such a high probability for spam that they will cause your email to get blocked by many spam filters. Avoid words like Free, Bonus, Winner, Prizes and currency symbols (use USD50 or EUR50 instead).
9 Ask IT for help.
If you are sending emails to a company where you know you have subscribed contacts and your emails are not getting through. Call their IT department and explain.
10 And lastly, send your email to us
Include this email address with your test or seed list. It will create a spam score for you but also tell us about the reputation of the sending platform. Don't forward or send the email using your desktop email program. It must come from an email platform! Then contact for your results.