email abuse prevention

What’s stopping you? 12 Reasons Your Emails Aren’t Making It to the Inbox

Let’s say you have 100,000 names on your subscriber list and an email deliverability rate of 50%. What’s the value of all those many names on your list? Exactly. Half what is could be.

You’ll probably never achieve a 100% inbox penetration, but given the low cost an upside potential of emails, you should get your deliverability rate as high as can be and keep it that way.

1) You bought an email list.

Seriously? It’s 2017 and that’s not cool and thanks to services like BlackBox, your ESP will find out.

2) You didn’t ramp up your IP address slowly and carefully.

Or maybe you didn’t ramp up your new IP address at all? If you’ve switched ESPs or for some other reason you migrated to a new IP address, you should have taken steps to slowly, carefully and methodically start emailing your list, building a reputation as you go. If you didn’t, that’s going to work against your email deliverability for a long while.

3) You’re sending to people who didn’t opt in.

I mean, these people or your customers but they didn’t ask to receive your promotional email. This has always been a sticky subject. Now it’s a big deal because of the Canadian anti-spam law (CASL), which is much more strict in defining opt in compared to the CAN Spam law passed by the U.S. Read the rules. Follow them. And only send to people who really want to hear from you.

4) You’re acting like a spammer.

Sure, you might not think you’re acting like a spammer but someone somewhere does. There are all kinds of ways to act like a spammer. If you’re using all capital letters, dirty HTML, or words and phrases that trigger spam filters, you’re acting like a spammer. And spammers get blocked.

5) Your sender reputation sucks.

As with real life, your reputation precedes you. And the ISPs will use your reputation to keep your email out of their customers’ inboxes if they believe you to be a spammer or unwanted sender. You can find out your sender reputation here and then take steps to fix it.

6) You have a dusty email list.

As tedious as it might sound, list hygiene is an important part of your email deliverability so scrub your undeliverable emails. There are lots of companies that offer list verification, some good, some not so good. That’s why we created this simple email verification recommendation service to help you find the best companies with the best rates.

7) You’re in a shared IP pool with some bad company.

This is one of those email deliverability issues you can’t tackle alone. If you’re in a shared IP pool with email marketers who don’t follow best practices, their reputation mars yours. Talk to your ESP about this.

8) You’re boring.

Ho hum yaaaaawwwn…. Oh, sorry! Did you say something? If your email messages fail to excite, compel or engage, your subscribers are probably not bothering to open your emails—and that tells the ISPs that you’re spam, since you’re being ignored. Be so good they can’t ignore you. Services like Phrasee can help ensure your emails get opened.

9) You send too many emails too often.

Spam is in the eyes of the beholder, and you don’t get to say whether you’re spam or not. They do. Who’s they? The people on your email list. Most spam reports aren’t due to emails promoting land in Costa Rica or Nigerian princes in need. No, most spam reports are generated by people who just don’t want your email any longer. Period. When you send too many emails too often, you’re annoying, and people will report those emails as spam in order to stop getting them. Send better email or slow your roll.

10) You’re not listening to the ISPs.

Do you have an abuse@yourdomain.com email address? If not, set one up, so ISPs can easily contact you about issues. If you’re messing up, they’re not going to mess around trying to contact you. Make it easy for them to be proactive on your behalf.

11) You’re not authentic.

What kinds of authentication are you using to prove to the world that you are who you say you are? Commonly used types of authentication are SPF, DKIM and DMARC. If you’re not using any of these, it’s time to start. Authentication protects your sender reputation, publishes the mail servers that can send on your behalf, and offers a way to identify your email as really being from you.

12) You ignore your email reporting.

If you don’t know something’s broke, how are you supposed to fix it? Keep a constant eye on your email reporting, and you’ll spot the downward trend that tells you a problem is brewing. Or maybe there’s no trend, only trouble, and you suddenly can’t email anyone with a certain address because you’re now blocked by an ISP. Wouldn’t you rather know in real time when there’s a problem you need to fix? Then pay attention to your email reporting—on a regular basis.

OK, be honest now: Out of these 12 things, which ones are you guilty of? And when are you going to stop doing them? Because the sooner you stop, the sooner your emails will get into more inboxes. And that, my friend, gives every one of those names a lot more value…and potential for ROI.

Introducing BlackBox, An Email Marketing Abuse Prevention Service

BlackBoxToday we announced the launch of BlackBox, a service to help email service providers (ESPs) and direct marketers prevent abuse and fraud.

Bad Data with a Heart of Gold

In essence what we are providing access to a very large volume of purchased data that is actively circulating around data aggregators so that those who are responsible for email deliverability, marketing compliance or data acquisition can perform their own analysis, in-house, in order to prevent malicious clients or partners from abusing their platforms or budgets.

How to Prevent Abuse and Fraud

Prior to BlackBox our clients never really knew what you were going to get until they pulled the trigger. Is that list old, purchased, or a ticking time-bomb? Is their customer or supplier a good guy or something else? With BlackBox they know, before the damage is done.

ESPs are not only using BlackBox to vet new customers but also to predict bad behaviors. So, depending on the sophistication of the Email Service Provider, they are leveraging the BlackBox data in different ways. For example, some ESPs already have their own in-house process they use to prevent abuse, which is typically comprised of problem data that has already pass through their platform. They in turn are using the BlackBox as a preemptive layer which helps them to be more proactive as opposed to reactive. And for those who have not yet built their own anti-abuse tool, they are using BlackBox to jumpstart their efforts.

Likewise direct marketers, specifically those who are responsible for list acquisition, are using BlackBox to successfully vet prospective data partners and conduct periodic reputation audits of their data contributions. Say, for example, a list matches against BlackBox at X% or better, this is a very strong indicator of abuse or fraud. It is at least a very good reason to investigate their client,s or data contributor’s practices more closely.

BlackBox In a Nutshell

Indiemark is acting as bridge between the underbelly and the uppercrust of the email marketing industry. We want to see this bad data being used for a good purpose, like helping our clients to protect their investments, their reputation and their organization. Learn more.