Spamming and you…

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Jackie West

Did you know that every time you mark an email in your email client as junk mail that your service sends a message to the sender’s service provider recording it as ‘abuse’?

Googlemail have a report spam button, and I’m sure others do too – I use Outlook and that certainly has the facility.

From here the provider can then block all email activity from the sender.

From what I’ve learnt even 100% double opt-in lists will get one or two abuse reports per 50,000 recipients. Some people will click on junk mail as they think it’s an easy way to unsubscribe. (I know!)

So that’s good news if you’re receiving spam. You know that sooner or latter the spammer will be blocked.

But what about that list you’re constantly mailing?

Is it legitimate? Hand on heart, have the contacts agreed the receive your emails?

Consider this: ISPs will warn you when they’ve receive too many complaints (and the amount varies with each provider before they contact you), and before they block you’ll get the opportunity to demonstrate that your list has been built legitimately, and that the abuse is just someone too lazy to click on the unsubscribe link in your emails (you have one of those, don’t you?)

Alternatively, you built a list some time ago, but not used it. You had good intentions of pushing out a newsletter, but somehow didn’t have the time, until now. The problem is that people will have forgotten about you and your proposed newsletter, and you will run the risk of being labelled a spammer. Great way to start building a relationship with them, eh?

Instead of pushing out that first newsletter – push out a message asking them to reregister, remind them they signed-up ages ago and you’re now cleaning your database, and you are utilising a double opt-in system, which means they can easily unsubscribe. Tell them you don’t want to send them stuff they don’t want.

Double opt-in is the only way to go, protect yourself and your contact.

Ensure you put the unsubscribe link at the top of your message. Tell them what they are signing up for, even better given them a choice – newsletters, promotions, or both. And, finally, ensure that the subject line tells them exactly what the mail is about. It doesn’t matter that it sounds boring, it’s doesn’t need to be ‘catchy’ or even worse jokey. Straight to the point, make it easy for them, these are busy people.

Ensure your email looks professional – and that means getting someone to proof-read it. Before you send it, send it to yourself…for that last minute double-check, and tweak.

If you’re not sure about html, keep to plain text – don’t play around with fancy cluttered designs – keep it simple. Time for lovely graphics when you’re proficient or when you employ a designer.

If you are a UK company don’t forget your email signature – don’t know what I’m talking about?

You’d better read What you need to put in your email signature

Finally, next time you block a sender in your Junk mail, remember someone could actually be doing that to your newsletter or piece of promotional blurb…

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