Michael Weisel serves as Chief Technology Officer and is the architect of Gold Lasso’s systems and product development. He is responsible for all technology related decisions and specializes in email delivery and systems management.

Lower Your Bounce Rate: 12 Quick Tips to Help

An active email-marketer knows that managing your bounce rate is critical. Reducing your bounces decreases your delivery costs and increases conversions – ultimately increasing the ROI of your email campaigns.

There are two types of bounces that are important to understand in the delivery process.

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient’s mail server, but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the recipient. Soft bounces can occur for the following reasons; recipient’s mailbox is full, the message is too large, the recipient’s server is down, or the recipient has abandoned the mailbox. Most providers will try to deliver the email regularly for a few days. If it is still not successful, it becomes a hard bounce.

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned the sender and marked undeliverable. Hard bounce causes include invalid email addresses, invalid domains, or the recipient’s server has blocked your server.

Here are 12 “Quick Tips” to help manage and reduce your bounces:

  1. Clean Your Lists: Whether manually or via a list-hygiene service, check for incorrectly formatted addresses, invalid domains and typos.
  2. Consider Using An Email Change of Address (ECOA) Service: With many companies experiencing email address churn of 2.5% a month, an ECOA service could pay huge dividends.
  3. Confirm Email Addresses: Send an auto-reply confirmation when a user subscribes, registers or makes a purchase. If that message bounces, you can attempt to correct it right from the start. Additionally, you may want to consider requiring a second email address line (in your online forms) that confirms the correct address was entered.
  4. Include Subscription/Account Management Links in Your Emails: Make it easy for your customers and subscribers to update their email addresses by including a link in your emails to your Web site account/subscription management page.
  5. Prompt Customers to Update Information: When a customer is completing a transaction, prompt them to verify and update information – particularly their email address.
  6. Use Mail or Phone to Update Information: If you have postal addresses or phone numbers for customers/subscribers with bad email addresses, consider contacting them via mail (such as a postcard) or telephone.
  7. Understand and Monitor Spam Filters: Get to know the more common things that most spam filters block.
  8. Remove "Spam Flag" Addresses: These are often added maliciously. Examples include: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  9. Pretest Your Emails: Prior to distributing your email to your entire list, send a test to yourself and others (make sure you include all the major email services used by members of your list).
  10. Understand How Your Email Provider Processes Bounces: Gain a thorough understanding of how your email provider classifies and handles soft and hard bounces – and manage accordingly.
  11. Monitor Changes Among ISPs: After mergers, financial troubles and other announcements, many users of a particular ISP may decide to switch to a different account or ISP for their email. Consider sending an email to members of your list with the domain name in question, asking them if they would like to update their email address and other information.

When All Else Fails, Suppress or Delete Recurring Bounces: Determine an appropriate bounce suppression/deletion strategy for your email program. For example, if you distribute a monthly email or newsletter, you may want to suppress/delete accounts after three consecutive bounces.

Michael Weisel is Chief Technology Officer at Gold Lasso,Inc. He can be reached by telephone at 301-990-9857 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit Gold Lasso at http://www.goldlasso.com.

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Spam Filters - Don't Be the Catch of the Day

For those of us who receive way too many solicitations for Viagra and pornography, Spam filters are a blessing. Switch to the legitimate marketers’ side and Spam filters can become the enemy. These days, it is very important to differentiate your email campaigns – containing valuable and relevant content – from dreaded ‘Spam.’

Before you can keep your opt-in email out of the Spam filter's reach, you have to learn a little about the kinds of Spam filters available. Currently, options range from those installed by an ISP, to those that run with another program, like Microsoft's Outlook. Some filters use a point system to determine whether or not a piece of email is Spam. Points are based on pre-determined definitions of Spam. The more points a particular email collects, the more likely it is to be Spam. Others not only filter based on key words, but also allow users to submit Spam to then be blocked for other users.

The other component you'll need to be aware of is the ‘blacklist.’ Most Spam filters use some sort of blacklist of known Spammers to block emails. Blacklists are primarily compiled by volunteers. In other words, you mail them the Spam you receive in your inbox, they take a look at it and then decide whether or not to add the sender to their list.

Because Spam filters have both a computer component (such as the points system), and a human component (such as the blacklists), you'll need to make sure your email communication doesn't raise flags in either group.

Gold Lasso has some simple guidelines to alleviate the possibility of being labeled as spammers – or even worse – losing interested prospects.

From Line:
Always use a legitimate contact or organization name.

Subject Lines:
Do not use quotation marks, numbers, symbols or exclamation points.
Keep it simple and relevant to content.
Do not use all CAPS.
ALWAYS have a subject line!
Do not use FREE, WIN, MORTGAGE, NOW – ‘sales’ words like this will almost ALWAYS be blocked.
Do not use “G.a.p.p.y T.e.x.t” or whitespace between words.

Email Body Copy:
Be straightforward – short and sweet gets the best results.
Do not use “Click Here” excessively.
Do not use the word “Free.”

Opt-Out:
ALWAYS have an opt-out link
Make it clear, concise and simple.
Unfortunately, in the quest to clobber the abundance of Spam, legitimate email marketing gets caught in these filters.

Take the time to follow the guidelines above. You'll have much better success in reaching your target audience and continuing effective communication.

Michael Weisel is Chief Technology Officer at Gold Lasso,Inc. He can be reached by telephone at 301-990-9857 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit Gold Lasso at http://www.goldlasso.com.

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The Email Monetization Playbook
Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!

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Email Monetization Playbook
69 Must Scan Pages For Publishers!