E-mail Marketing:
1 / 79

E-mail Marketing: Beating The Deliverability Crisis Brian S. Klais VP eBusiness Netconcepts Sunday, October 17, 2004 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

E-mail Marketing: Beating The Deliverability Crisis Brian S. Klais VP eBusiness Netconcepts Sunday, October 17, 2004. State of the Inbox. Agenda. State of the Industry Spam thresholds Optimizing Deliverability Network reputation Filter-friendly design Deployment timing

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'E-mail Marketing: Beating The Deliverability Crisis Brian S. Klais VP eBusiness Netconcepts Sunday, October 17, 2004' - ishmael

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

E-mail Marketing:

Beating The Deliverability Crisis

Brian S. Klais

VP eBusiness

NetconceptsSunday, October 17, 2004


  • State of the Industry

    • Spam thresholds

  • Optimizing Deliverability

    • Network reputation

    • Filter-friendly design

    • Deployment timing

  • Name that SPAM game

  • The Road Ahead

    • Sender authentication

    • RSS

Email marketing benefits
Email Marketing Benefits

  • Critical mass

    • Reaches 93% of internet users

  • Response rates

    • 10x greater than direct mail

  • Lower costs

    • 1/10 the cost per communication

  • Still effective and targeted retention vehicle

The resulting deluge
The Resulting Deluge

  • 76% of global email is spam (MessageLabs, 2004)

  • 90% of all US email is spam

  • 12 billion per day 2005 (IDC)

  • Average consumer received 3,920 unwanted emails in 2003 (Jupiter)

  • Spam has made 52% of consumers less trusting of email (Pew)

  • Most marketers plan to increase in 2005!

Legislating regulating
Legislating & Regulating

  • CANSPAM took effect January 1, 2004

    • Places burden on recipients to opt out

    • Allows you to send unsolicited emails if you:

      • Provide valid postal address

      • Clearly indicate advertisement in subject line

      • Provide functional opt out mechanism

    • Fines $200 per email, up to $2MM per incident

    • Remove un-subscribers immediately from master list

  • EU opt-in legislation

Can ning spam
CAN-ning SPAM?

  • 56% of spam originates in US (Commtouch)

  • Forecast >95% of all email is spam in 2006

Filtered but not pure
Filtered But Not Pure

  • 20% of legitimate emails are being blocked as spam (Return Path, 2004)

  • 38% of consumers report wanted emails being blocked by filters (RoperASW, 2003)

The new face of email marketing
The New Face of Email Marketing

  • The consumer is deluged and jaded

    • Reach and attention is made more difficult

    • Relevancy and trustworthiness more important

  • The medium is much more complex

    • Deliverability is uncertain

    • Format control is lost

    • Regulation increases filtration risks

  • How to optimize reach and effectiveness?

The Email Funnel


Blacklists, Whitelists, Filters


Subject, From, Frequency


Design, Content,


Network blacklisting
Network Blacklisting

  • Either your vendor or your own network

  • Major symptoms

    • Bounce rates > 10%

    • Open rates < 30%

  • Blacklist monitoring

    • SpamCop, SpamHaus, MAPS, etc.

    • Check multiple blacklists simultaneously: SenderBase.org

  • Halls of Shame

    • NANAS (news.admin.net-abuse.sightings Usenet newsgroup)

      • http://groups.google.com/groups?q=yourname+group:news.admin.net-abuse.sightings

  • Clean network gets more emails through

    • May cost more, but likely worth it

  • Guilt by association

White listing
White listing

  • Ask customers to add you to their white list:

    • AOL 9.0, Yahoo and Hotmail filter unknown emails to junk folders, but let known senders in.

    • On your site and in emails (for forwards)

    • Email address or domain name - choose carefully!

  • Earn white-list status with ISPs

    • Manage directly if deploying email in-house

    • Only outsource to a vendors white listed with AOL, Yahoo, MSN, Hotmail

Request white-listing BEFORE sending the email

Achieving aol whitelist status
Achieving AOL Whitelist Status

  • AOL Criteria

    • Submit IP for monitoring

    • Setup feedback looks to monitor spam complaints

    • Dynamically blocks if 10% bounce

      • Remove repeat bounces immediately and automatically

    • Or if 1/10 of 1% complain

      • Can suspend white list status

      • You receive the complaint but NOT the complainer

        • Embed tracking codes to simplify auto removal

  • http://postmaster.info.aol.com

    • AOL policies, guidelines and bounce thresholds

Yahoo whitelist status
Yahoo Whitelist Status

  • Yahoo Process

    • Thresholds not as clearly defined as AOL

    • Must complete application process

      • Describe list source/ownership

      • Describe permission verification

      • Bounce/unsubscribe handling policies

    • IP activity is monitored for 3-5 weeks

  • Contact: [email protected]

Other forms of whitelisting
Other Forms of Whitelisting

  • 3rd party white listing services

    • Bonded Sender: Post a financial bond. Every spam complaint costs you $$

  • Throttle your sending

    • Hashcash: CPU-intensive to calculate a single-use, recipient-specific “postage stamp”. 2 emails per second

Spam filters
Spam Filters

  • Lots of spam filters & email firewalls

    • SpamAssassin

    • MailWasher

    • Yahoo! SpamGuard

    • BrightMail


  • One of the most popular spam filters for ISPs

  • Open source

  • Predicts whether a message is spam using:

    • Scoring content based filters (rules-based)

    • Bayesian filtering (adaptive message content analysis)

    • Sender Policy Framework (for sender authentication)

    • Hashcash (for proof of message intent)

Bayesian filtering
Bayesian Filtering

  • Analyzes your legit email and your spam (e.g. that you’ve already separated) to calculate the probability of various characteristics appearing in spam vs. in legit email

  • Learns to differentiate spam from legit email

  • Gets better over time

Got high bounce rates
Got High Bounce Rates?

  • Best rates

OUCH! “Negotiate The Best Rates on Local Advertising Media”

Test deliverability
Test Deliverability

  • Seed list with 100 – 200 hotmail & yahoo addresses. Check for delivery on each of those accounts.

  • Check your ‘spam score’ before sending

    • Free version available at: www.gravitymail.com/spamscore.php

    • Aim for < 5 SpamAssassin points

    • Note: This tool is only indicative. Not everyone’s using SpamAssassin to filter spam. Other filters will interpret your campaign differently.

Name that spam
Name that SPAM!

  • The Prize:

    • A Crunchie bar… from New Zealand!

  • The Rules:

    • Point out things in the email campaign that caused it to be unceremoniously junked by SpamAssassin

    • Must be something that’s displayed on the slide

    • The thing must be worth at least 0.4 points

    • Be the first one to find it, then raise your hand (no yelling out before I call on you!)

    • One bar per person

7.3 / 5.0

4 things

7.3 / 5.0

2 things

6.2 / 5.0

2 things

6.2 / 5.0

Work from Home

2 things

7.4 / 5.0

Link: mailto:[email protected]?subject=REMOVE

4 things

5.8 / 5.0

2 things

5.2 / 5.0

1 thing

MS Internet Explorer adds this tag when you “Save As”

(Peeking under the hood at the HTML of this campaign…)

5.2 / 5.0

1 thing

9.9 / 5.0

3 things

13.2 / 5.0

2 things

13.2 / 5.0

3 things

A thick HTML table border

2 things

5.0 / 5.0

5.2 / 5.0

3 things

2 things

9.0 / 5.0

5.0 / 5.0

1 thing

5.9 / 5.0

3 things

6.4 / 5.0

1 thing

base-64 encoding

6.4 / 5.0

1 thing

3 things

7.9 / 5.0

5.5 / 5.0

2 things

Best practices
Best Practices

  • Custom content

  • Timing matters

  • From line

  • To line

  • Subject line

  • Other headers

  • Body copy

  • HTML code

  • Words to avoid

Customizing content
Customizing Content

  • Generic = greater blockage

  • Custom = greater penetration

  • Integrate email and website into one channel

    • Website should personalize around email click history

    • Email offers personalized around purchase/click history

      • HP email offers enhancements to desktop you purchased

      • Click-through increased 32%; email sales increased 30%

    • Abandoned-cart reminder emails

      • Petco reminder emails with cross sell promotions

      • 850% click-thru rate; Conversion 171%

Early birds get through
Early Birds Get Through

  • Early week (Mon – Tues) and early morning (2 am – 6 am) yield better deliverability

Optimizing your envelope
Optimizing Your Envelope

  • In the “from” line:

    • Include a real name, not just an e-mail address

    • Include lower-case characters

    • Don't end it with a number

  • In the “to” line:

    • Make sure the recipient's e-mail address is listed

    • Never use “CC” or “BCC”

  • In the “subject” line, do not:

    • include the recipient's e-mail user name

    • include “Now Only” or “Hello” or “Free” or “Buy”

    • use all caps. (Retailers are notorious for this)

    • pad it with extra “gappy” white space — anywhere

    • include a unique ID or exclamation marks

  • If it's a regularly scheduled newsletter, include the date or month of the issue (e.g. Oct 2004) and “newsletter,” “news,” or frequency (“daily,” “monthly”)

The envelope cont d
The Envelope (cont’d)

  • Regarding attachments:

    • no attachments!

  • The spam filter or firewall may consider your e-mail personal communication with:

    • An “In Reply To” line in the e-mail header

    • A long signature in the message body

    • An attribution in the message body (e.g. “On Tues Jan 1, 2003 John Smith wrote:”)

    • “Quoted” e-mail text (e.g. with a “>” in front of certain lines)

Copy practices to avoid
Copy Practices to Avoid

  • Greeting recipient with a “Dear” salutation

  • Claiming that:

    • the recipient was on a list

    • the recipient registered at your site

    • your message is not spam

    • you obtained the recipient's address legitimately

    • the recipient gave you permission or opted in

    • the recipient was registered with one of your marketing partners

    • you respect all removal requests

    • you comply with various regulations/House bills/Senate bills

  • Explaining why the recipient is receiving your offer

  • Suggesting the recipient might have received the e-mail by mistake.

  • Using “click here” links

  • Linking “remove me” to an e-mail address

  • Linking your opt-out to a page that contains the word “remove” in the URL

  • Including “spammy” words and phrases

Spammy words to avoid
Spammy Words to Avoid

100% * amazing * best rates * big savings * breakthrough * call now * checks * completely free * consolidate (bills) * coupons * credit card * discounts * for free * forward to a friend * free consultation / free access * freedom * full refund * great offer * guarantee / guaranteed * income * increase * incredible * Investment * limited-time only * marketing solutions * mobile phones * money back * money order * no cost * now only * one-time mailing * opportunity * opt in * please forward * quote (no obligation) * refund * remove / removed / removal * risk free satisfaction * save up to * special promotion * this is not spam * urgent * win * your own * etc etc etc

Html best practices
HTML Best Practices

  • Don't use Frontpage to create the message HTML

  • Make sure the title tag doesn't contain the word “Untitled”

  • Don't use thick table borders

  • Don't include a form that sends an e-mail (a “mailto form”)

  • Don't define the content type as “TEXT/HTML” in all caps

  • Don't have a low ratio of text to image area. Especially don't have image-only e-mails – the #1 tactic spammers use to bypass filters

  • Pay careful attention to the percentage of HTML contained in the message. The assumption is that HTML = spam

  • Never use scripts of any kind (Javascripts etc.)

  • Don't include any Javascript statements that open new windows

  • Avoid incorporating tracking ID numbers as much as possible

  • Do specify a character set

  • Use a white background, not a colored background

  • Do not use “invisible” text

  • Avoid red or blue textual colors — spammers' colors of choice

  • Don’t disguise key words, like spacing out the letters or placing punctuation in odd places in the words

Designed filter friendly
Designed Filter Friendly

  • Case study makeovers

    • Redesigned the look-and-feel, layout

    • Lowered file size

    • Lowered spam score

  • A Wisconsin industry association

  • A New Zealand bank

Case study wisconsin manuf association
Case Study:Wisconsin Manuf. Association

  • Poor usability

  • Broken hyperlinks or image links

  • Graphic/design appears amateur

  • Poor font selections

  • Difficult to read

  • Horizontal scrolling

  • HTML breaks in Lotus notes

  • Text vs HTML

Size decrease: 50%

Clicker increase: 37%

Case study new zealand bank
Case Study:New Zealand Bank

  • Poor use of screen real estate

    • Too much white space

    • Too much administrivia above the main content

    • Main content “below the fold”

  • Horizontal scrolling

Size decrease: 50%

Spam score: 0

Unique opens increase: 200%

Looking ahead
Looking Ahead

  • Other forms of filters

  • Closing the spam loop

  • Writing for machines

  • RSS feeds

Other forms of filters
Other Forms of Filters

  • Disposable emails

    • Mailinator

      • Make up email address on the spot. Retrieve via web. No password required. Deleted after 3 hrs.

      • The first message will probably get to the intended recipient, but probably not subsequent ones.

    • Yahoo! AddressGuard

      • 500 free disposable addresses per yahoo.com email account

      • Used to obfuscate your real yahoo.com email address and to see if you are sharing addresses w/ 3rd parties

  • Challenge-response

    • Major barrier to bulk permission emailers

    • Unrecognized senders have to answer an autoresponder before mail gets delivered

      • MailBlocks (just bought by AOL)

      • SpamArrest

Closing the spam loop
Closing the Spam Loop

  • Verification solutions provide missing link

    • DomainKeys and Sender Policy Framework

    • Addresses SMTP “spoofing” vulnerability

    • Mail server can authenticate domain

    • Eliminate spammer anonymity

    • Enable law enforcement

    • Being submitted to Internet standards committees and backed by AOL, Yahoo, MSN, etc

    • AOL is near requiring SPF to remain whitelisted

Writing for machines
Writing for “Machines”

  • When email copy will be published on the web (e.g. archive of e-newsletters), write it for search engines too

  • When web page copy will be repurposed for email campaigns (e.g. online catalog copy for promotional emails), write for spam filters too

  • Google factor: desktop/inbox search – new campaign life

  • Writing for Search Engines encompasses:

    • Keyword research

    • Making pages “sing” for particular keyword themes

    • Keyword-rich title tags, H1 tags, hyperlink text

    • Keywords placed high up in the HTML

    • Penalties for search engine spamming

Rss feeds
RSS Feeds

  • Really Simple Syndication

    • Syndicate to someone’s PC or to someone’s website

    • Late-breaking news/articles/blog posts in an XML file at a web URL

  • May turn email marketing on its head

  • Spammers can’t infiltrate peoples’ RSS readers

  • RSS readers

    • Standalone software (e.g. FeedReader)

    • Web-based ASP (e.g. My.Yahoo.com)

    • Integrated into your web browser (e.g. Sage plug-in for Firefox)

    • Integrated into your email client (e.g. NewsGator for Outlook)


  • Are you ready for RSS? Start today!

  • Make RSS feeds out of your…

    • E-newsletter

    • New arrivals

    • Best sellers

    • Close-outs

    • Sale items

    • Special offers, discounts, coupons

Beating the game
Beating the Game

  • Spam and blacklist/filter reliance is increasing

  • Opportunities still exist for email marketing

    • More relationship development then selling

  • Optimize your deliverability:

    • Properly time deployment

    • Test and adapt to filter algorithms

    • Secure network reputation (blacklist/whitelist)

  • Prepare for change

    • Experiment with RSS as a hedge

    • Apply SEO to email campaigns


For a copy of this presentation

request on back of your card

or email [email protected]

or call (608) 285-6600

netconcepts: integrated web design and e-marketing

specialists in natural search engine optimization &

e-mail marketing for 400 clients around the globe