Behind the Closed Doors of Email Marketing

Posted by Clifton Beyer on Fri, Jun 14, 2013 @ 01:06 PM

Your email marketing plans are ready and now it’s time to think about how emails will be sent. Without proper planning, there is a risk that your company’s domain name could be put on blacklists or blocked by ISP’s preventing ALL emails from your domain from being sent. It would be disappointing to have your domain flagged as SPAM or put on blacklists due to poor planning. I don’t mean to scare you, but it’s good to be aware of worst case scenarios and the importance of proper planning. I hope to provide useful information in this blog about email routing and delivery to help you determine the best plan for your business needs.

Email Marketing
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Earlier this week Erika gave some great tips to keep in mind for email marketing. Whether you choose to do send emails on your own or use a service, following these tips will lead to successful emails in present and future email marketing campaigns. One tip in particular that I would like to expand on is keeping your email lists clean. If email recipients start marking your domain as spam this could eventually lead to your domain being put on a blacklist. If the email address is invalid and creates a bounceback to the server, this email should be removed or fixed. A little bit of maintenance and upkeep with your email list will go a long way to ensure a good standing with ISP’s.

Configuring this infrastructure can be a complicated and daunting task, it can also become quite time consuming and costly. Like any technology, the job is never over- protocols and standards are evolving all the time to keep up with usage and demands. Email delivery is a fascinating topic for anyone to learn, albeit occasionally overwhelming. Whether or not you decide to handle email marketing on your own or with another vendor, it is good to know some keywords.

Here are 10 keywords to read up on:

  • Blacklist – Sounds like jail, well it is! (for your domain name)
  • ISP (Internet Service Provider) – gatekeepers to the internet. Allow your business/home access to the internet.
  • SPAM – great on toast, not so great in my inbox.  Electronic junk mail.
  • Reverse DNS – reverse lookup of DNS to IP address for verification.
  • SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) – finally something simple! A set of rules to allow software to send email from one server to another.
  • Authentication – SPF, Google, DKIM, and more. Different forms of verification that your domain and email is legitimate and not SPAM. Becoming more important with the large amount of SPAM and techniques that are used in sending SPAM.
  • MTA (Mail/Message Transfer Agent) – a friendly assistant for delivery of messages in the form of a service from another provider or commercial software tool.
  • Bounce – email message returned for a reason such as invalid email address, mailbox is full, etc… Bounce handling can assist to maintain the email list. Can be handled by commercial software.
  • Email Header – attached to the front of message with information of sender, message, and other details.
  • Exchange – the heart of our office’s email. Runs on our server to handle all email user accounts, group accounts, messages, email domains, and all messages to and fro.

These are ten keywords I have found valuable to know when discussing email deliverability. There is so much information on the web, it can be a bit intimidating. Some resources I use are MailChimp, CakeMail, and Spiceworks. Unless you have your own email professionals, it might be easier to put the risk with a company whose primary service is dealing with these issues. Our own email is constantly evolving as well and we are learning by experience the importance of maintaining healthy email standards to deliver great service for our staff and customers.

For our email marketing we have partnered with email professionals to ensure high quality availability. We have this service seamlessly integrated into our loyalty and marketing tool Simpli. This makes it easy for small businesses to create custom email promotions without hours and large amounts of resources.  Simpli enables you to send bulk email to hundreds or thousands of customers, track the receive & open rates and run a customer rewards program to help target your marketing efforts.  No muss, no fuss. Maybe a little fuss, but with a little planning and the right tools with Simpli can create a good path for successful email marketing campaigns.

Tags: Loyalty Marketing, Business/Branding