The perils and promise of email marketing: Some challenges, some tips

senderscore 31
Ugh -- My company's email reputation score took a nosedive overnight. The challenge is finding the cause and correcting the problem

This morning, I woke up to an email problem that could be described in a mixed metaphor as a “bad hair day”.  My IP/domain’s reputation had dropped overnight from 95 (near perfect) to 31 (associated with nasty spam), and I know from recent experience that can bode really poorly for deliverability — as several ISPS and resources take this data seriously and start blocking access to IPs associated with sites with poor reputation.

The problem: We’re following best practices with email sending processes; including using a controlled SMTP third-party server (which carefully manages its accounts to prevent spammers from gaining access).  Disturbingly, the sender score associates with some domains in Finland and the Netherlands.

I don’t know the cause yet. A first review from my Internet Service Provider suggests a possibility of a malicious script infecting our dedicated server.  I expect we’ll eventually get to the source of the problem.

Now, to the tips:

There are many elements in managing your email sending and communications practices, but the most important ones are the obvious: Send relevant, useful, and consistent emails and avoid spammy actions and behavior. In much of the world (especially Canada and Europe) government regulations really restrict you from sending promotional emails without permission. The rules in the US are much less severe, but you’ll quickly run into problems with deliverability if there are indications of spam (as you can see from the first part of this post.)

There is plenty of research however on effective techniques, and this infographic sent to me from Josh Wardini could be helpful.ᐧ

However, I must admit that this morning I have a fire to put out — and the least of my worries is the effectiveness of my email headlines.

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