How to Stay Off E-Mail Marketing Blacklists - dummies

How to Stay Off E-Mail Marketing Blacklists

By John Arnold

Getting added to an e-mail blacklist can really wreck your e-mail marketing strategy. Having your business’s IP address reported as a possible spammer is not the way to build your client mailing list.

To keep your server off of blacklists, you need keep the number of spam complaints you receive to less than 1 in 1,000 e-mails. To help do that, follow these practices:

  • Use confirmed opt-in and opt-out features. In every initial message to a new recipient, add an opt-in feature to make sure that the recipient actually wants to get mail from you. Equally important is including an easy — preferably one-click — way to let recipients unsubscribe from your mailings.

    Don’t abuse the permissions you get. If you solicit e-mail addresses for product updates, don’t send marketing e-mails to that list.

  • Don’t buy e-mail lists. If you’re buying a list of e-mail addresses, you can be fairly confident that the addressees haven’t heard of your company, much less given their consent to receiving e-mails from you. Purchased addresses usually buy you a free ride to a blacklist.

    You may be able to find lists of addresses belonging to people who have expressed interest in getting information on products or services similar to yours, but check the reputation and track record of the list broker before you buy.

  • Keep your technical standards high:

    • Check out how often a potential ISP or web-hosting service was blacklisted in the past year, and know that if you share an IP with a spammer, you may get blacklisted by association.

    • Set standards and IP checks to regulate how articles are e-mailed from your domain.

    • Keep your e-mail server functioning efficiently. A recipient’s infected device can make you responsible for spreading a virus.

    • Make sure that comments to a blog post about one of your articles doesn’t reflect back to your server.

    • Be alert to the range of Internet-connected devices that can be infiltrated by spambots. PCs aren’t the only virus-spreaders — phones, printers, and other connected devices can pass along poisoned messages that may come to haunt you.