Archive | Email Marketing

Sending out bulk email

May 17th, 2014Comments Off on Sending out bulk email
Below are a few suggestions on how to best ensure your messages are delivered and your IP does not get blacklisted.
Send email only to those that want it. Spammers write to many people who don’t want their mail and anti-spam filters are designed to identify that behavior. To avoid being perceived as a spammer, use an opt-in method of subscription for your mailing list. Better yet, utilize a confirmed opt-in process where subscribers actively verify their intent to receive your mailings by clicking on a confirmation email before being added to your list.

Use email authentication such as DKIM. This will help identify that the email is legitimately from you and, if you sign all your email, it will help identify forgeries, too. In addition, using dedicated domains for different mail streams (e.g., transactional messages vs. marketing emails) is also a recommended practice. DKIM.org is a good resource for information about DKIM.

Consistently manage your lists by paying attention to hard and soft bounces as well as inactive recipients. Persistent emails to these addresses are a surefire way to get your connections deferred. If your messages are being blocked, look closely at any SMTP Reply Codes the mail servers are returning to you and be sure you’re addressing the problem.

  • Don’t retry 5xx messages. If a mailserver rejects a message with a 5xx error, they will not accept it anytime soon. Retrying the message wastes both resources and makes you appear to have a dirty list.
  • Do retry 4xx messages. If a mailserver sends a 4xx error, this is a temporary error and you shuold try sending the message at a later time.
  • Do refresh your list periodically. Consider removing or sending a reconfirmation email to inactive subscribers, i.e., users who have not opened or clicked on your emails for a period of time. Sending your mail to users who are not reading them, or who may even mark them as “spam,” will almost certainly hurt your delivery metrics and reputation.
Respect the user’s mailbox
  • If a customer entrusts an email address to you during a transaction or for a particular newsletter, they do not expect to receive unrelated messages, such as extraneous marketing emails, in the process. Adding email addresses to other lists without their explicit opt-in is a guaranteed way to lose a customer’s trust.
  • Honor the frequency of the list’s intent. If customers believe they are signing up for a monthly newsletter but they start receiving messages on a weekly basis, such a practice will likely prompt users to label your messages as spam.
Use a consistent “From:” header address. Your domain name is an important element of your brand. Using it consistently helps your recipients to distinguish your email from spam. Additionally, using a static From: address helps users who have set up filters to route messages to a specific folder.

Pay attention to your email’s content

  • Test your email’s look and feel with image placeholders. Many users won’t see images in your email by default.
  • Link to domains, not IP addresses. Many mail clients warn users that IP address links are dangerous.
  • Use standard ports. Many main clients  warn users that links containing ports are dangerous.
  • Don’t include HTML forms in emails. Many main clients warn users that submitting forms in email can be dangerous.
  • Don’t include Javascript in emails. Usually javascript is stripped out and will not run.
  • Don’t include embedded objects in emails (like flash or ActiveX). The objects usually are stripped and will not run.
Honor unsubscribe requests as fast as you honor subscribe requests. When a user unsubscribes, they don’t want to receive that mail anymore. Promptly removing them from the list should help prevent users from marking your messages as spam in the future.

Be CAN-SPAM compliant. Regardless of where in the world you’re sending your mail, make sure that you adhere to the requirements stipulated by the CAN-SPAM Act.

Publish reverse DNS (PTR) records for your sending IPs. If there is no reverse DNS entry for your IP address, or if it looks like a dynamically-assigned IP instead of a static mail server, spam filters are more likely to downgrade its sending reputation. you can setup a reverse DNS in the control panel. This is automatically done for shared hosting clients.

Secure your mail servers. If you are running your own mailserver ensure they are not open to abuse. If your servers act as “open proxies” or “relays,” spammers may attempt to send their own mail from your systems. Keep your software up to date with the latest security patches, and always filter user-generated content before sending it out, to help prevent spammers from using your resources and tarnishing your reputation.

Use common-sense settings. While we have not published guidelines for numbers of connections you can concurrently use, we ask that you treat our resources with respect. The more you take, the fewer there are for others, which may force us to defer your connections.

SMTP Headers

May 17th, 2014Comments Off on SMTP Headers

An electronic mail message consists of two components, the message header, and the message body, which is the email’s content. The message header contains control information, including, minimally, an originator’s email address and one or more recipient addresses. Usually additional information is added, such as a subject header field. Following are some common SMTP headers.

From: The eMail address, and optionally the name of the author(s). In many eMail clients not changeable except through changing account settings.
To: The eMail address(es), and optionally name(s) of the message’s recipient(s). Indicates primary recipients (multiple allowed), for secondary recipients see Cc: and Bcc: below.
Subject: A brief summary of the topic of the message. Certain abbreviations are commonly used in the subject, including “RE:” and “FW:”.
Date: The local time and date when the message was written. Like the From: field, many email clients fill this in automatically when sending. The recipient’s client may then display the time in the format and time zone local to him/her.
Message-ID: Also an automatically generated field; used to prevent multiple delivery and for reference in In-Reply-To: (see below).
Bcc: Blind Carbon Copy; addresses added to the SMTP delivery list but not (usually) listed in the message data, remaining invisible to other recipients.
Cc: Carbon copy; Many eMail clients will mark eMail in your inbox differently depending on whether you are in the To: or Cc: list.
Content-Type: Information about how the message is to be displayed, usually a MIME type.
In-Reply-To: Message-ID of the message that this is a reply to. Used to link related messages together.
Precedence: Commonly with values “bulk”, “junk”, or “list”; used to indicate that automated “vacation” or “out of office” responses should not be returned for this mail, e.g. to prevent vacation notices from being sent to all other subscribers of a mailinglist.
Received: Tracking information generated by mail servers that have previously handled a message, in reverse order (last handler first).
References: Message-ID of the message that this is a reply to, and the message-id of the message the previous was reply a reply to, etc.
Reply-To: Address that should be used to reply to the message.
Sender: Address of the actual sender acting on behalf of the author listed in the From: field (secretary, list manager, etc.).
Return-Path: When the delivery SMTP server makes the “final delivery” of a message, it inserts a return-path line at the beginning of the mail data. Thisuse of return-path is required; mail systems MUST support it. The return-path line preserves the information in the from the MAIL command.
Error-To: Indicates where error messages should be sent. In the absence of this line, they go to the Sender:, and absent that, the From: address.
X-* No standard header field will ever begin with the characters “X-“, so application developers are free to use them for their own purposes.

Check Spam Rate

May 17th, 2014Comments Off on Check Spam Rate

It’s important to know your message’s spam rate before sending.

Email servers imply sophisticated technologies and spam filters to eliminate spam attacks. Very often absolutely legal emails are marked as spam. Your message may be regarded as spam, if it doesn’t correspond to email servers’ rules.

This tool analyzes the email’s source code and shows what types of corrections should you bring about to lessen the spam rate, and correspondingly to increase deliverability.

How to check emails:

  1. Go to Edit or Create Campaign in web based mailing software.
  2. Click “Check Spam Rate” button.

Improve email delivery

May 17th, 2014Comments Off on Improve email delivery

Message

HTML Source Code

Remember, that technically incorrect emails are often identified as spam. HTML source code is another important moment. Never use applications that create awful HTML code. If your message has too complicated structure, or contains empty or invalid tags, email servers may regard such emails as spam. Try not to overload your message with illegible fonts, bright backgrounds, or other elements that will distract the readers’ attention.

Layout

Make the layout of your email as simple as possible. Keep in mind that your newsletters should be informative. The information you share has more value than the outlook of your message. The outlook should be simple and function. So, try to avoid complex formatting.

Pictures

You will considerably increase the deliverability, if about 80% of your message is text.  Try to substitute picture buttons with HTML. Don’t include large images. The same goes about active components such as JavaScript and ActiveX. The less graphic you employ the better will be the results.

Message Personalization

It’s a good tone to personalize your messages. Avoid generic salutation such as “Dear User” or “Dear Customer”. With Bulk Mailer email personalization becomes an automated process. With Bulk Mailer email personalization becomes an automated process which allows sending unique messages to every recipient. If your mailing list contains various data, such as first name, last name, company name, tile, country, etc, you can add all these fields into your message.

Subject line

Never mislead your recipients by writing deceptive subject lines. The subject line should reflect the content of the message. It’s a bad idea to include a note that your message is not spam.

Message content

It is advisable to use normal conversational language. There’s no need to use redundant spacing, capitalization, or uncommon spelling or characters.

HTML vs Plain text

There’s no need to give preference either to messages created in HTML-editors or plain text. Instead, it is advisable to include a plain text version in addition to your HTML email. Plain text version is necessary mainly for anti-spam filters rather than for your recipients. It will give you a guarantee that your messages won’t be regarded as spam. Bulk Mailer creates plain text version by default, no matter whether you’ve created the message in Bulk Mailer’s editor or imported the template from the file.

Sending Process

Disable Scanning of Outgoing Emails

To improve Bulk Mailer’s performance the first thing to do is to disable checking outgoing emails for viruses. In fact, you should scan the message for viruses only once. If you scan every outgoing message, it will not only slow down the process, but also prevent the majority of your messages from being delivered.

Sending Mode

Bulk Mailer works via direct and relay sending modes.

Direct sending mode is the default mode. It works as a built-in SMTP server. It is of utmost importance to have access to 25 port. If it is blocked by your ISP, you won’t be able to send messages via direct sending mode, only via relay mode.

Relay sending mode uses your ISP’s SMTP (or any other you specify). Every ISP has its own limits on the number of messages sent. Please, contact your ISP to find out if there is such limit. If the limit is 200 messages per day, the program will fail to send 5000 messages via relay sending mode.