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Don't Let Your Online Email Marketing Make You Look Like a Spammer

By:Manas Kumar

Let's face it, being accused of sending spam can crush your online email marketing efforts. Mass email campaigns can really pay off when done right, but make a mistake here or there and you go from marketing hero to outcast virtually overnight.

Some estimates show that up to 90 percent of all email messages are spam. To keep this junk mail out of people's inboxes, spam filters have employed tighter controls. For those who practice legitimate online email marketing, this could be troublesome because many of these filters draw a fine line between bulk email marketing online and spam.

How Being Listed as a Spammer Hurts Business:
Being mistakenly identified as a spammer can have a negative effect on your company's brand and reputation. Both existing and potential customers will lose trust in you and you will lose business. Fortunately, most people will never know if a company has been listed as a spammer whether the accusation is warranted or not. The real problems arise from the fact that having your mass email campaigns identified as spam will hurt sales as the messages sent in your online email marketing messages wind up in your recipients' junk mail boxes or blocked altogether. Imagine all the time you spent collecting and verifying email addresses, writing marketing copy, and sending out mailings only to learn that your messages never reached their targets because they were thought to be spam.

How Email Campaigns Are Targeted:
Online email marketing can be accused of being spam because of two reasons, how a spam filter perceives the message or by complaints from the message recipients.

Spam filters use two methods to determine if a message is spam or not. The first method is to check the sender's IP address against one or more DNS blacklists. If the address in the header of the message matches up, the message is refused. These blacklists often receive their information from individuals who flag messages as spam. When a certain number of mailings are identified, the IP address is added to the list. The second way spam is identified is through filtering the messages as they come through. Filters look for specific words and styles that are common to spammers such as subject lines that are in all capital letters, statements such as "This is not SPAM," or certain words. The filter then mathematically processes the message and if it scores high enough, the message is blocked from the inbox. Smarter filters will learn what is spam and what is not by allowing the user to identify malicious messages from good messages.

Ways to Prevent Your Online Email Marketing from Being Blocked:
The problem legitimate marketers face is that both methods are susceptible to false positives. This can be a nightmare for enterprise email marketing. The following techniques can be used to help prevent your messages from being stopped before they make it to your recipients' inboxes:

* Only send messages to recipients who opt-in and can be verified. This helps prevent your IP address from being blacklisted.
* Avoid writing messages that look like spam to help them pass through filters.
* Monitor the different DNS blacklists for any of your IP addresses.
* Use enterprise email marketing software that distributes your messages over a period of time.
* Run a spell check and a grammar check on your bulk emails. Then have them examined by actual people for odd wording or mistakes.
* Read spam messages to see what they look like and make notes of what to avoid.
* Always include an opt-out link in your emails along with a real contact email address and phone number. Respect requests that opt people out of your mailing lists.

Most importantly, save all of your documentation. Good bulk email tools will help you with this. In the event you are mistakenly labeled as an evil spammer, you can appeal with the information that shows your legitimacy.

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Article keywords: Good Bulk Email Marketing Tools, Avoiding being labeled as a Spammer

Article Source:

Manas Kumar is CEO of Genesis Interactive, the creators of Maxmail HQ, an email marketing software , Dimension CRM, a powerful CRM solution as well as FILO HQ - a simple search engine optimization

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