BTB Crowd Hears Tips to Improve E-Mail Delivery
"Deliverability is causing some of the decline we're seeing in click-through rates," she said. "Nearly 20 percent of e-mail does not reach ISP inboxes."
Brady offered attendees several ideas to improve deliverability.
"Make sure you clean up your bounces," she said. "If you have a hard bounce, change that right away. Look at your soft bounces and retire them after three to four campaigns."
Marketers' e-mails are less likely to be blocked when sent in smaller groups. Instead of sending a blast to an entire customer list of 500,000, send it in smaller batches of 35 packets.
Another tip was to avoid practices that land a company on ISPs' blacklists. When ISPs blacklist senders, they look at the volume of e-mail sent from that address and how many e-mails get bounced from that company. ISPs also have private blacklists of companies that garner a high number of user complaints. America Online, for example, has a complaint threshold of only 0.2 percent.
Marketers also should watch words that may be picked up by content filters in the subject lines of their e-mails. Though words that lead to blocking vary by filters, using "free" several times or several exclamation marks could get the e-mail bounced back.
To see whether an e-mail will get through, Brady suggested testing the e-mail first at a variety of Web sites that offer the service, including SpamAssassin's Web site and www.lyris.com/contentchecker.
Since ISPs also block e-mails not sent from the domain name they purport to be sent from, Brady suggested that marketers register their IP address at http://spf.pobox.com.
Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters