Friday, November 10, 2006

Getting your email delivered (part 1)

One of the most important stats for any long term email marketing programme is the bounce rate. Deliverability is now the hot issue in email marketing, with much of the teeth-gnashing focused on spam filters and how to 'get around them' (a phrase I'm not wild about - I'll explain why in the next eTips.) However, there are other reasons why your email may not arrive. It's worth tackling them before sweating the big stuff. Here are three for starters:

  1. Check your data entry for accuracy. A number of my clients gather email signups in house, for example, a restaurant invites customers to fill in a signup slip when they pay their bill. Trouble is, they have to be entered onto a spreadsheet for upload. Interpreting people's handwriting and then typing addresses accurately means recognising, for example, that anything without an @ isn't a valid address, nor is file:///D:/Robin or

  2. Have a double entry system on a webpage signup. Yes, I know it's a pain to type one's address twice (or even cut and paste it) but if you're able to do this then it's worth considering. If nothing else it does mean the registrant takes longer over the email address and may be more likely to pick up on a typo. If the email service or software you are using makes it possible to validate email addresses at the point of signup, even better

  3. Provide a choice of ways for people to update their address. Some people will happily click on a customised link which says 'change your preferences' or 'update your details' whereas others will prefer to send an email. Processing the latter may seem like hard work but think of it as an opportunity to engage one-to-one with your subscribers! (Just make sure you can fulfil this before offering it)

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