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How do you increase email marketing delivery rates?

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The generally accepted average delivery rate for email marketing bulk email transmissions is between 50% and 60%. (Delivery rate being defined as the percentage of emails that reach the recipient’s inbox). For any legitimate email marketing software system, a delivery rate as low as 50% would be considered unacceptable, whereas a blatant spammer would accept that of the many millions of unsolicited emails transmitted, most won’t even get passed the spam filter but the numbers game works in favour, a delivery rate of 10% of 10m transmissions still means that 1m get into the inbox.

For legal, legitimate users of Email Marketing systems, there are ways of ensuring a delivery rate nearer the best in class levels of performance of 80 or 90 percent plus. Email Blaster UK would normally aim to achieve delivery rates above 90% for its customers whose email lists and content are fully compliant with protocols and have been prepared using Email Blaster UK’s list and content improvement features offered within the service –including List Doctor and Spam Ferret.

Key factors in improving delivery rate of Email Marketing

  1. Email List updated.

Delivery failures, as well as wasting time and resource, lowers the IP delivery reputation which in turn increases the likelihood of spam filters  rejecting emails from that source. To retain or improve delivery performance, a list should;

Remove all opt outs and moribund addresses regularly.

Remove all hard and soft bounces regularly.

Email Blaster UK’s List Doctor and general delivery monitoring software automatically removes hard bounces (where server is not recognized), soft bounces (where server does not recognize the prefix address) and opt outs.

  1. Ensure the email list has been cleansed of all duplicates, spam addresses, harvested or manufactured addresses etc. Easier said than done but this is where systems such as Email Blaster UK’s leading List Doctor software scores, with complex algorithms automatically removing a wide range of potentially corrupt addresses that may have unwittingly been included in a list.
  2. IP Reputation Score.

Anti spam organizations monitor IP delivery rates and transmit the details of identified low scoring IP’s to collaborator spam filter system providers. It is up to Email Marketing system providers to take measures to protect the delivery score and reputation of their IP’s and remove an IP in the event that it has become compromised albeit unwittingly. Again, achieving average delivery for an IP of better than 80 or 90 percent will ensure clean deliveries. Market leading email marketing companies fiercely protect the scores of their IP’s by rigorously monitoring and cleaning email lists as a matter of routine.

  1. Spam Ferret.

Spam emails by necessity contain key words and phrases that are common to the nature of content– some common phrases like ‘free offer’ could be present but by itself, may be no great indication of the email being spam. However, spam filters work by, amongst other sophisticated techniques, identifying and scoring an email on the basis of a wide range of recognizable templates, content, words, phrases, pictures and etc. A high score says spam and the email is blocked.  Some email marketing companies include a ‘spam recognition’ scoring system tool that the user can use to assist in ‘de-spamming’ the content of the proposed email. These are usually limited to spotting recognizable words and phrases, whereas the broader nature of a spam message is far more complex. Email Blaster UK’s Spam Ferret tool uses highly sophisticated algorithms and template recognition tools that mirror the workings of email spam filters, to score a proposed email broadcast. These algorithms and template tools are living features that require constant updating and refining as the technology of spam develops and, in the case of Email Blaster UK, are the result of many years of research and development. A high score tells the user the email will probably suffer a low delivery rate unless modified. Spam Ferret suggests changes that will improve the score and the delivery rate. It really does work.

  1. HTML and plain text versions.

Email marketing bulk transmissions will usually be sent in plane text as well as HTML in order to accommodate email readers that will not interpret HTML emails. It is important to ensure that the plane text version is a carbon copy of the HTML master. Again, spam filters will routinely reject emails that do not correctly transpose the plane text version and it is very important to use appropriate tools to produce the twinned email transmission. Email Blaster UK’s transpose tool does correctly produce a plane text and HTML twin that satisfies the requirements of spam filters.

In Summary

To achieve an optimum delivery performance, follow the 5 point procedure above, which will raise an undeliverable email up to acceptable levels in most but the extreme case. Or a better option is to use a market leading email marketing service such as Email Blaster UK in which List Doctor, Spam Ferret and other complex software tools do the job for you.

Find our email marketing services and how we can help today.


Email Blaster UK

24th August 2012

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