Hitting Send with Confidence, not Concern

Woman confidently sending her email with FeedBlitz

Hitting publish on one of the best pieces of content you’ve ever written—or hitting send on the greatest email ever—feels completely amazing. You step away from the computer feeling strong, accomplished, ready to tackle the next project head-on. Later, though, when you return to your computer to check how your mailing did, you discover that even with your phenomenal content, barely a fraction of your list has opened it, with some subscribers writing to complain that they never even received it.

We don’t need to dive into how disheartening this moment feels, or how utterly infuriated or disappointed this discovery leaves you.

The culprit here can be poor deliverability. If your emails are rejected by your subscriber’s mail servers, they will never be seen as they don’t make it to the mailbox. This is one of the many reasons why we continuously work to ensure the highest deliverability rates possible to all of our publishers. This is our top priority at FeedBlitz, because the last thing you should ever concern yourself with is whether or not your emails were delivered!

What is deliverability?

Deliverability is exactly what you’d imagine it to be: the ability to deliver. In email marketing, it is the ability of your bulk email service provider (ESP) to deliver your emails effectively to the mailboxes of your subscribers. All major ESPs operate on what is called a deliverability rate which shows the amount of emails able to successfully be delivered at any given time. Since our inception, FeedBlitz has consistently operated on a 99.75% or higher deliverability rate for our publishers. We do NOT play around when it comes to this number and guard our systems fiercely to ensure it stays at or above this percentage.

Why does a high deliverability rate matter with your bulk ESP?

The higher deliverability rate of your bulk ESP, the more likely your emails are going to reach your subscriber’s mailboxes. According to Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, 2016 showed the highest rate of SPAM since 2010. A whopping total of 65% of all emails sent in 2016 were spam. 65%! That’s an insane amount of spam being sent out to the world. It’s no wonder Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are cracking down when it comes to who they will accept email from and who they block.

Our mission as your ESP is for your mail to be accepted by ISPs. To do that we continuously show ISPs our sending servers are trusted, reputable senders of high-quality email. As a result, the emails we send on your behalf are delivered to your subscribers’ mailboxes.

Doing this involves many moving parts. These consistently applied policies include requiring dual opt-in for everyone, and how we manage imports. There’s also the technology and operational side of things. We check our ability to send to major ISPs from all servers we use every 180 seconds. We send emails using our own dedicated servers. We use third party monitoring services, track every list from every publisher 24 hours a day to make sure that subscriber interactions follow expected norms, and we establish and maintain our domain and IP reputations. And then you have DKIM and SPF authentication (also known as sending authentication settings, monitoring DMARC, integrating with Feedback Loops (FBLs), and much more. That may seem like a lot of tech talk, but the good news is it’s a lot of tech talk that you don’t have to think about.

FeedBlitz sends millions of emails each day. All this attention to detail and quality behind the scenes is the reason we hold a consistent 99.75% or better deliverability rate on your emails. In two words? Worth it.

Quality Counts

These practices for safeguarding our deliverability rate aren’t something new we’ve recently implemented. Dual opt-in and import validation aren’t simply formalities. We don’t view our excellent deliverability as an added bonus feature, reserved for certain special clients or big lists only. It’s the very heart of what we do for everyone: Continuously protecting and differentiating your emails from the influx of SPAM mailboxes receive, getting your emails to your subscribers.

What’s the point in sending an email if it isn’t even making it to your subscriber’s mailbox? There isn’t one.

Should you have any questions regarding deliverability of your emails, please do not hesitate to send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

Let’s Talk about Spam

What are four letters that can send shivers down the spine of any email marketer?

S-P-A-M

Trust us, we don’t like the sound of it either, so today we’re going to lift the curtain on spam and talk about how and why it happens, along with what you can do to help prevent it from happening.

What is Spam?

Spam, defined by Wikipedia, is unsolicited bulk email, UBE for short.

Seems fairly simple, right?

Unsolicited: Something that is not asked for.
Bulk: Sent in a batch of more than one.
Email: Electronic communications you and I send on a daily basis.

So basically as long as I don’t send a whole lot of emails to people who don’t even want them in the first place, I’m in the clear, right? That would make the most sense, yet that’s not always the case.

How does an email get flagged as Spam?

There are the obvious phishing scams from our deceased second great auntie’s housekeeper in some far off land asking for our bank information to claim the $2 million inheritance waiting for us, OR the emails with blinking, animated emojis in the subject lines, which are both clearly spam. And then there are the more subtle forms of spam such as the instant deals we need to take advantage of right away, faux census surveys asking for personal information, make money online fast deals and more.

So what exactly classifies an email as spam and another as not? Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer. Internet and email service providers diligently update security settings and increase protection to reduce the amount of spam which makes it’s way into inboxes across the world.

While there is not a clear guide to avoiding spam, things such as phishy content (i.e. something that reads of a scam or fraud), a poor sending reputation of your email address or email service provider, and even a clickbait headline are a few ways an email can be relegated to the  spam folder or bounced completely.

A Closer Look at Content: Words and Phrases to use Wisely

There are many resources available that list  spam triggers (words and phrases to avoid in email communication for fear of being labeled spam). After scouring page after page and reading about 99.9% of these lists, we highly recommend this guide from our friends at HupSpot. Divided into categories, it is an incredibly comprehensive list of words and phrases that when used repeatedly, or mixed too freely together, can trigger spam filters.

Print it out and highlight the ones you find yourself most commonly using throughout your content. This is also a great reference should any of your emails be categorized as spam. Scan through to see what content could have triggered this reaction and adjust your concept moving forward.

Is there anything I can do to prevent my emails from being marked as Spam?

As a publisher, being well informed of how spam filters work and what words and phrasing are possible triggers will help you tremendously.

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Lots of unnecessary exclamation!!!!!!! points!!!!!

Emojis in subject lines :) :P :D

Are you repetitive with keywords and phrases? Is there another way you could state something as opposed to repeating it multiple times? This is where writing creatively can come into play as a publisher. Adjust your content as necessary to deliver your message while still staying in line with best email practices. Remember that SEO guidelines evolve and you no longer need to repeat your keywords like a machine to rank high in Google. This technique is now seen as keyword stuffing with concise readability being the clear winner.

What is FeedBlitz doing to prevent my emails from being categorized as Spam?

We work very, very hard to protect our sending reputation! Remember how we talked about that during the hard bounces post? These vital steps work to prevent your emails from landing in a subscriber’s Spam folder. Major ISPs like FeedBlitz, and we intend to keep it that way.

Another precaution we take is to have  our own spam filters and traps in place. If an email you craft pings a spam trap, it isn’t sent. You’ll be notified via email should this happen and can contact our Support Desk for assistance. Usually it’s a matter of simply rewording a phrase or two, however, in some cases a complete rewrite is necessary.

What do I do if someone marks one of my emails as Spam?

Ah, yes, hitting the spam button on an email. Maybe you’ve even hit spam on an email, intentionally or not, a time or two. FeedBlitz likes to consider what we call the “people factor” when it comes to a subscriber hitting spam on an email. Not all subscribers are aware of what selecting spam means and can select this if they simply are not interested in the content or wish to unsubscribe to your email updates. One or two occasional subscribers hitting spam on your emails falls into this “people factor” category and will not cause your account to be suspended.

An influx of Spam notices, however, will cause us to take a closer look at your account. Unless a large change has occurred (i.e. re-branding or increased advertising), this should cause you to reconsider your content as well. If your account is determined to be primarily focused on Phishing and Spamming your subscribers, it will be revoked. Why? Well, we have the sending reputation of all of our publishers to consider, and unfortunately, too many bad apples can ruin the bunch when it comes to email marketing. For more information, please read through our Terms of Service here.

Have you landed in a spam folder before but still aren’t sure why? Send us the email to support@feedblitz.com and we’ll take a look and offer insight for you. And as always you can chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

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