The From Line
We are happy to introduce to you our newest whitepaper, in collaboration with Azam Marketing, entitled The Five Variables of Scaling Email Volume. It is free for all to download in our resources section.
In collaboration with Azam, we have uncovered the complex balance of scaling and successfully executing a high volume email campaign and are overjoyed to be able to share that knowledge with you.
This whitepaper addresses the importance of the five key components for success in scaling email volume: Sender reputation, bounces, list management and cleansing, content and engagement, and finally, technology. We believe these components can be mastered if the following key points are kept in mind:
• Managing deliverability for high volume is a joint effort between the ESP and client.
• Reputation success stems from data cleanliness and a good sending strategy.
• Abrupt strategy changes can cause issues and must be planned.
• There is no direct line to the ISPs. Vigilance and responsible sending practices are a must.
• Be prepared for a long scaling process. Extreme volume swings will not be effective.
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Below is another example of how using a custom DNS with your email service provider can help increase trust and deliverability. In this example, TechTarget sent me an email to sign up for their Online ROI Summit. However when clicking on the link my email client warns me that the link could be fraud. Why? Because the link resolves through the email service providers domain instead of TechTarget. This is why custom DNS coupled with a unique IP is the gold standard for deliverability and trust.
Every New Year’s I take the avalanche of information I gather from clients, business partners and hundreds of articles and white papers I have read of the previous year and try to make some bold predictions for email marketers. Like any modern soothsayer, my predictions are a medley of hits and misses, such as my accurate such as the call for more email marketing legislation in 2008, and complete flops such as my 2007 suggestion of wider adoption of RSS by email marketers. More importantly, however, they are the basis for my predictions for the upcoming year (2009 will be posted next week).
2008 Prediction 1: The Death of the ISP White List (Hit and Miss)
While still in use, ISP white lists have been fairly marginalized as reputation-based systems have taken a much larger foothold for managing spam. In fact, Gold Lasso hasn’t noticed a real deliverability difference between clients who follow best practices and do not participate in a formal white listing program, than clients with the same practices and do participate in one. This might explain part of the reason there was a fire sale of Habeas to ReturnPath. The only ISP white list that will continue as is in 2009 and that I know can guarantee 100% deliverability is GoodMail.
2008 Prediction 2: Email Rendering on Mobile Devices Will Be a Continued Issue (Hit)
Even with the advent of the second generation iPhone with improved HTML email rendering, designing for the mobile screen was a big challenge for email marketers in 2008. With click rates in some cases exceeding open rates, mobile devices threw email marketers through the rendering loop forcing many of them to abandon open stats and to better segment their mobile subscribers.
2008 Prediction 3: Authentication Technology Will Become Mandatory (Miss)
Even though email authentication is mandatory for all members of the Direct Marketing Association, it’s still not being used by a large number of senders especially marketers that use in-house email marketing systems. Based on discussions with clients and other industry veterans, I have concluded that many IT professionals still don’t know how to implement email authentication technologies let alone understand what they are for. In addition to the lack of education, email authentication technologies still face an uphill battle as a result of a number of domain registrars preventing their customers from attaching the necessary text files to their DNS entries. Overall, authentication is gaining ground but it still has a long way to go to make a difference in the war against spam.
2008 Prediction 4: More Legislation Might Be Around the Corner (Hit)
In June of 2008, the Federal Trade Commission tightened and clarified some of the language in the CAN SPAM Act to make it easier for consumers to opt-out of commercial email. In addition, the FTC took another step toward making a clear distinction between commercial and transactional email. While all these new clarifications are good, this poorly crafted legislation continues to fall short of its original intention of staving off spam.
2008 Prediction 5: Social Networking Sites Will Become the New Inbox Providers (Miss)
This prediction was bold and premature, yet I believe it will soon come to fruition and I’m sticking to it for 2009. There’s no doubt social networking sites are chipping away at traditional personal email as Millennials, Gen Xers and Yers are adopting the medium as one of their main choices for personal communication. However, if social networking wants to entice older generations, increase visiting times and eventually sell more ad space they will have to open their networks to include traditional email communication. This day is coming and I’m banking on it!
There's been a lot of speculation if GoodMail will survive in 2009, and thankfully much of it has been put to rest today with the announcement of its third round of funding lead by Bessemer Venture Partners. After a lot of research, my feeling is that GoodMail is currently a must for financial services companies. With identity theft on the continual rise, banks, credit unions and brokers need to ensure that they are taking every step possible to secure their customers information and to prevent phishing.