Friday, 25 October 2013

Best practices for bulk mail senders and postmasters when sending to Yahoo/gmail

Best practices for bulk mail senders and postmasters when sending to Yahoo/gmail


This article provides general guidelines for postmasters who plan to send email to Yahoo/gmail customers.


The mission of any ESP is to deliver messages that users want to receive, and filter out messages they don't want. The simplest way to ensure that your messages are delivered, then, is to avoid looking like a spammer. Below are a few suggestions on how to do so.
Send email only to those that want it. Spammers write to many people who don't want their mail, so our 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 us identify that the email is legitimately from you and, if you sign all your email, it will help us identify forgeries, too. In addition, using dedicated domains for different mail streams (e.g., transactional messages vs. marketing emails) is also a recommended practice. is a good resource for information about DKIM.
Segregate your mail streams by IP addresses and/or domains since Yahoo! Mail keeps reputation data about each IP address and domain you send from. For example, by segmenting the mail stream that delivers marketing mail from another that sends transactional messages, you make it easier for Yahoo! Mail to determine and assign each mail stream's reputation.
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 our mail servers are returning to you and be sure you're addressing the problem.
  • Don't retry 5xx messages. If we reject a message with a 5xx error, we will not accept it anytime soon. Retrying the message wastes both our resources and makes you appear to have a dirty list.
  • Do retry 4xx messages. If we send a 4xx error, this is a temporary error and we encourage you to 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.
Enroll in our feedback loop. If you are signing your emails with DKIM or DomainKeys, our Complaint Feedback Loop program can help you track your spam complaint rates and keep them in check.

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 us and 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. The Yahoo! Mail client warns users that IP address links are dangerous.
  • Use standard ports. The Yahoo! Mail client warns users that links containing ports are dangerous.
  • Don't include HTML forms in emails. The Yahoo! Mail client warns users that submitting forms in email can be dangerous.
  • Don't include Javascript in emails. The javascript is stripped out and will not run.
  • Don't include embedded objects in emails (like flash or ActiveX). The objects 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, Yahoo! is more likely to downgrade its sending reputation.
Secure your mail servers. Ensure your mail servers 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.

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Email marketing mistakes that lead to unsubscribes

Email marketing mistakes that lead to unsubscribes

Growing a high-quality mailing list can be a expensive, time-consuming effort, but countless companies take the pain for a simple reason: email marketing is one of the most effective ways to grow a business.
Building a mailing list is only half the battle. The other half: keeping subscribers happy!
Unfortunately, it's extremely easy to make mistakes that drive subscribers away. Here are four of the most common such mistakes.
1. Sending too many emails.
There can easily be too much of a good thing when it comes to email and many companies bombard their subscribers with far more emails than those subscribers expected. This can quickly lead to subscriber attrition.
How to Address
Remember that with email, it's possible to do more with less. Instead of worrying about communicating with subscribers more frequently, focus on making sure each communication packs a punch when it comes to value. Content should be insightful, and calls-to-action should be compelling.
2. Not respecting preferences.
If sending too many emails is one of the best ways to lose subscribers, but not respecting their preferences is one of the best ways to drive them away angry. Important preferences that should always be adhered to include list selections, frequency settings and formatting choices.
How to Address
In many cases, preference violations are a result of poorly-implemented subscriber management systems. As such, it's important to thoroughly test your system on a periodic basis to ensure that preferences are being captured properly and that the systems being used to deliver emails are aware of them.
3. Lack of perceived relevance.
Even if you're sending emails to subscribers at the right frequency and you're respecting their preferences, your emails could be falling far short of expectations if subscribers don't see the emails as being relevant. And irrelevance will eventually lead to one thing: unsubscribes.
How to Address
There are a number of ways to increasing the likelihood that you're delivering relevant emails that are more likely to be of interest to subscribers. Several are:
  • Manually soliciting feedback from subscribers to ensure you're in tune with their needs.
  • Collecting more granular explicit preference options that allow better subscriber segmentation.
  • Tracking open rates and using them to determine which subscribers should receive certain emails.
4. Inconsistency.
If your emails lack consistent branding and their source is not immediately apparent, there's a greater probability that some subscribers may not understand why they've received an email, leading to an unsubscribe.
How to Address
At a minimum, use the same sender name and email wherever possible to reduce the likelihood of confusion about the source of your emails. And, if possible, develop email templates that use consistent visual branding.

To read more articles: EMail Marketing Services

Why is my email going to the spam folder?

Why is my email going to the spam folder?
How to improve your email delivery.
With any email service & any set of subscribers you will always have some mail end up in the spam folder.  Every receiving ISP is using different spam filtering techniques and some ISP’s utilize some pretty crazy ideas to combat spam.  So you will undoubtedly have some mail filtered at some point during sending email campaigns.
The good news is that it is not something you should dread or worry about.  By following some pretty simple concepts you can dramatically reduce the chance of email being filtered.
Things you can do to improve your email delivery:
  1. Don’t use your email address for the “from” email address.
    If you send a email that is “from” your email (let’s say and you send it to a subscriber with the email (test@ it will most certainly be marked as spam as the “from” and the “to” is the same.
  2. Pay attention to the spam filter testing before sending.
    This is an option on the summary step of create campaign.  It will let you know if it spots any major issues with your email that could affect delivery.
  3. Don’t send a single graphic/image
    Sending an email that only contains a graphic is a sure-fire way to have delivery issues.  You should take the time to design an email with text and graphics.  Not just a single image.
  4. Don’t use a free email address as your “from” email
    Instead of using your free/personal email address such as or you should use an email address for the company or organization for which you are sending email.
  5. Test different subjects & email contents
    Content does play a major role in filtering email.  Avoid using all caps, spammy sounding content, etc.. By testing different subjects and email contents you can test responses & delivery.
  6. Pay attention to your links in your email
    Spam filters check the URLS that you are linking to. If you link to a domain that has a poor reputation you will be penalized. Additionally you should avoid linking to URL’s that contain folders with 1-2 characters (such as or as some filters will count that as a negative thing.
  7. Don’t include links that use link shortening services
    Your links should be full links to the real URL.  You could experience delivery issues using shortened links from link shortening services.
  8. Take the time to code your HTML correctly
    Improper HTML tags, broken tags, etc.. could reduce your email delivery.
  9. Remove inactive subscribers
    Delete your old & inactive subscribers.  Subscriber engagement plays a big role in email delivery.  By focusing on your active subscribers you can increase your overall delivery.
  10. Send using a consistent “from” email address
    We do not suggest changing your “from” details often.  Keeping it consistent can help build your reputation.
  11. Never include Javascript, form code, or video within your email
    This is an absolute way to get filtered.  If you wish to have video upload to youtube and link.
  12. Avoid copying anything directly from Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc..
    When you paste content directly from these applications additional characters (that you do not want) will be automatically added.
  13. Don’t test using the same phrase as your subject and email contents.   If you send an email with a very similar subject and message body it will likely be filtered as spam.  (example would be having the subject set to “this is a test” with the body set to “this is a test”)
Be sure to keep in mind that your primary focus should be on maintaining a healthy list of subscribers, sending content that they truly want, engaging your subscribers, and encouraging them to interact with your campaign.  If you keep your focus on these items great delivery will follow.

To read more articles you can visit:  NetGains - eMail Marketing Services