Online Exclusive: E-Mail Marketing Pitfalls: Your Business Reputation Is at Great PerilYour reputation is critical in the business world. You protect your brand as closely as you protect anything else you own. Business managers would prefer their car get robbed from the parking lot than have their brand in jeopardy. Your reputation is all you have and, yet, when it comes to e-mail many business managers are unintentionally allowing third parties, or worse, themselves, to damage their online reputation every day and in many cases, irreversibly.
It isn't your IT staff's fault! Traditional e-mail servers were programmed to send no more than a few e-mails at any given time, thus they were not coded to check the numerous parameters involved with sending hundreds, let alone millions, of e-mails in a short period of time. Your IT staff is trying to conduct business processes with tools that were not coded to handle the job. Lastly, attempting to re-code these enterprise level systems would be synonymous with the IT staff re-coding and supporting a Windows or LINUX-like operating system. It just isn't reasonable to expect them to produce or support this higher-level system in-house. Although many IT personnel gave it their best effort, it is just isn't possible.
Recent case studies have eluded to the fact that outsourced e-mail services have far more problems than business managers are aware. They stress that a key factor to successful e-mail campaigns is that you are aware of the speed at which the provider sends e-mail. They fail to mention that you also should be aware of what the provider's e-mail server is doing during the send process while attaining that particular speed. A few e-mail service providers can brag that they send e-mails quickly, but they will not tell you they attain that speed because they fail to monitor delivery, check with recipient e-mail servers, such as Yahoo, to ensure that your reputation is being safe-guarded.
Most of the speed from existing e-mail systems is attained while the server completely ignores warning signs from e-mail recipient servers that the recipient needs the sending computer to slow down or create fewer simultaneous connections. Recipient servers often give signals that you need to back off. Unfortunately, most sending e-mail servers ignore these signals. This places your reputation at great peril.
Whether sending invoices, newsletters, or any business e-mail, you need very tightly controlled and automated safeguards for your "e-mail reputation."
How is our reputation getting damaged?
· IP addresses will be flagged as a spammer and blocked.
· E-mails will be blocked based on content, URL's, etc.
· E-mails will be blocked based on company name, products and brand names!
· Multiple e-mail messages with similar content will be blocked automatically or manually by recipient e-mail readers.
· Attempts to resend undeliverable e-mails will cause campaign's to be blocked mid-send.
· Too many simultaneous connections to recipient e-mail servers will block the campaign mid-send.
· All campaigns stopped mid-send lose tracking metrics forever.
· Sending too many e-mails per connection will block campaigns mid-send.
Bonded sender and numerous other systems can help you ensure delivery and avoid reputation problems. However, as long as the e-mail systems used are not programmed to play by the rules of the recipient servers, your reputation continues to be at risk.