Working with Audience Segmentation

Not all emails are created equally, and not all emails are created to be sent to everyone. Working with Audience Segmentation in your Newsflash mailings allows you to hand-select those who will and will not receive particular emails.

To begin, create your Newsflash. From the text editor, you can select the Audience Inclusion tab or the Audience Suppression tab as shown below:

No matter which mailing list started the Newsflash, these tabs allow you to include and exclude subscribers from all of your lists, as well as working with Segments (such as those who have not opened for a certain period of time, for example) or any groups you may have in place.

Bonus tip: Using Groups to segment your list can help you further shape your audience should you have Custom Field-Specific Groups in place.

If you have any questions, simply send our Support Team an email at support@feedblitz.com, or you can chat or give us a call 1.877.692.5489 Monday – Friday, 9 am to 5 pm EST. We also have plenty of great support available 24/7 in our online Help Forum and YouTube channel!

What is a Hard Bounce?

Happening to even the best of email marketers, hard bounces can be extremely frustrating.

What is a bounce?

Mailing servers, both outgoing (FeedBlitz) and incoming (your subscribers) talk to each other with short messages before and during the exchange of an email. If servers were people, it’d could look like:

Hi!

Hello.

Is Bob there? I’ve got a message for him.

Sure!

That’s when everything works as it should. Sometimes though, Bob is not going to get the email.

Hi!

Hello.

Is Bob there? I’ve got a message for him.

Hmm, Bob’s mailbox is full, try again later.

This indicates the problem is temporary.

Or

Hi!

Hello.

Is Bob there? I’ve got a message for him.

Sorry, Bob doesn’t exist.

This would happen if the problem were permanent.

A hard bounce occurs if:

  • FeedBlitz attempts to send an email and receives a permanent failure message from the subscriber’s internet service provider in return

  • FeedBlitz email servers received a temporary failure message repeatedly from  subscriber’s inbox after an established, standard set of contact attempts.

When an email returns as undeliverable, we will continue mailing the email address for a period of two weeks or three subsequent mailings, whichever time frame is longer. Once these contact attempts have been exhausted, the email address will be classified as a hard bounce and removed from your list of subscribers.

Why remove the email address if it bounces?

Email addresses returned as hard bounces are removed to protect the sending reputation of all FeedBlitz publishers. When an email service provider continues to send to an email address that has returned as bad or invalid, it will cause a series of red flags, eventually blacklisting the sender. FeedBlitz closely monitors both hard and soft bounces, removing emails when necessary, to prevent possible blacklisting.

In other words, we do it all for the sake of your reputation! (Ok, we do it for ours, too.)

What’s the difference in a soft and a hard bounce?

When an email address is temporarily unavailable, or the mailbox is full, resulting in a mailing not being delivered, it is referred to as a soft bounce. A soft bounce turns into a hard bounce once the contact threshold of two weeks or three subsequent mailings has been passed, with zero successful attempts in reaching the email address.

Why do emails bounce?

Hard bounces (and soft bounces) can be the result of a variety of factors such as:

  • Email address no longer exists

  • Stricter spam filtering

  • Invalid domains or typos

  • Blocking of FeedBlitz mail servers *We constantly monitor all major email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc) and address these rare issues immediately.

Can I prevent hard bounces from happening?

While hard bounces are often unavoidable, there are a few steps you as the publisher can take to ensure the greatest likelihood of your emails being received.

  1. Encourage your subscribers to have the email address feedblitz@mail.feedblitz.com added to their whitelist of approved senders. (Note: We recommend they do this in the activation email received after subscribing to your site!) If a large number, 10+, belonging to the same, personalized, domain are returned as hard bounces, the subscribers will need to contact their IT department have the domain holders whitelist our FeedBlitz servers. This can happen in cases such as business-related email addresses.

  1. Have a personalized @sitedomain email address as your sending email. Using @aol, @yahoo or even @gmail can prevent emails from reaching inboxes properly. While FeedBlitz takes great measures and precautions to avoid this from occurring, you can greater ensure proper delivery by editing your sending email address.

Want More Information? You may remember a previous post regarding recent DMARC changes in Gmail. As we did similarly with AOL and Yahoo, our development team put safety precautions in place well before these changes went into effect. You can read more about that here.

At FeedBlitz we use multiple email servers to deliver your emails at any given mailing. Should we notice an ISP having trouble sending from a server, all mailings will be rerouted through another server while the issue is addressed. This all takes place behind the scenes, with zero to little disruption in email distribution.

What do I do after a hard bounce?

FeedBlitz publishers are able to receive summary emails regarding subscription and unsubscription information for their lists, these automated notifications show any potential hard or soft bounces experienced during mailings.

Should you notice a hard bounce has occurred on a valid email address, you are welcome to contact that address to encourage adding feedblitz@mail.feedblitz.com to their whitelist of approved senders. This typically resolves the issue.

Corporate Email Addresses: If a large number of addresses (20+) all associated with the same domain name are returned as hard bounces, an individual of that domain will need to contact their IT department to have FeedBlitz added as an approved sender.

Mainstream ISP providers such as Yahoo, Gmail or Apple mail, FeedBlitz Support are monitored and FeedBlitz will investigate issues associated with abnormally high bounce rates.

All other issues are evaluated on a case by case basis, once a publisher has exhausted all initial contact and whitelisting attempts.

If you have further questions on hard bounces, send our Support Team an email at support@feedblitz.com, 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.

-•-

Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!

Growing Your List: Customize the Full Experience

Last week we explored how using SmartForms can help grow your list, (need a reminder? Check our parts one and two! ) this week we’re taking you through why and how to customize what happens after a person hits Subscribe.

Congratulations! They hit Subscribe! Now what happens?

Once a reader presses the magical button to send their email address to your list, you might think the process is finished, however that’s not the case. There’s a few more steps in the subscription process before they have officially joined your list.

  1. Reader enters his or her information and hits Subscribe.
  2. Reader is notified to check their email to complete the subscription.
  3. An email arrives in the reader’s inbox with a link to activate their subscription.
  4. The new subscriber is redirected to a welcome page.

When you begin a mailing list in FeedBlitz, this process is automatically generated with default information. While the default information is great, think about the goldmine of branding possibilities in these small, but very important, steps.

What are the benefits of customizing the subscription process?

Publishers can have many reasons for wanting to customize the subscription process, however these are our top three benefits we’ve identified throughout our clients:

  1. Consistent branding of your site. One of the oldest marketing concepts (The Rule of 7) stands behind the principle of a person needing to be touched by a message 7 times before it begins to resonate. These touches can be through any medium, which includes the placement of  your logo or branding through all steps of the subscription process.

  2. Showing your personality. Editing the text to show your site’s personality, be it professional, conversational, strategic or familiar, gives the reader an additional sense of who you are as a publisher or company. These small details can have a great impact in increasing an individual’s know, like and trust factor.

  3. Guide your reader exactly where you want. Walk your readers through the subscription process to increase the likelihood of clicking the activation link, as well as sticking around on your site once the process is completed.

How do I customize the full subscription process?

To begin editing these steps, log into your FeedBlitz account and you will find this under your mailing list settings as shown below:

Mailing List – I want to… – Change – Settings – Third Tab: Subscriber Interaction, Activation and Notification

Let’s take a look a closer look at each step and how we can customize it:

  • Default activation reminder page: This directs the reader to check their email to complete the activation process. To customize, simply add a new page to your website (check out this example here) which offers this information. Back in your mailing list settings, select the highlighted text “the FeedBlitz default activation reminder page” and entering the URL for your new page in the top blank:

  • Default activation email: This is the email sent to your reader with the activation link. Simple tips to customize include adding your logo to the top, editing the text to mimic the voice of your blog, and replacing “Thank you, The FeedBlitz Team” with your closing and name. There’s a lot of possibilities here to customize, test a few and see what works.

Pro Tip: Less is more with this email! The primary focus is for the reader to click the activation link and confirm their subscription. Too much clutter can distract from the main purpose of the email.

  • Default landing page: If you only customize one of the steps, let it be this one! When the activation link is clicked, this will be the page your new subscriber sees. You can redirect them to your homepage, create a new “Thank you for subscribing!” page, or even list your most popular blog posts. It’s much easier to keep a reader on your site then it is for them to return to your site on their own. Redirect this page  by clicking on the highlighted text “the FeedBlitz default landing page” and entering the desired URL in the second blank:

*Note: We will be covering how to customize the Opt-Out Completion page in a future post!

Now that you know how to customize your subscription path, take a look below at an example of a blog which is set to at the default and another that has customized each step of the process:

Default

Customized

Pretty big difference, wouldn’t you agree? Both sets accomplish the same task, but which do you prefer visually? Which set would you want your reader to see?

Time to Take Action:

  • Pick at least one of the three steps and decide how to customize it.
  • Log into your FeedBlitz account and customize the step you chose.

You can knock out all three, of course, but if that seems a bit much, pick one and go from there.  Remember you will only need to edit this once and then you’re set.

Next week in our list growing email series, it’s Template Design 101 time. We’ll be showing you how to take your email template up a notch to keep readers visually engaged and send emails they’ll want to pass along to friends.

Do you have questions on the subscription process discussed above or any of our FeedBlitz features? Send us an email at support@feedblitz.com, 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.

-•-

Easy enough for a blogger to set up in seconds, powerful enough for sophisticated corporate email campaigns, FeedBlitz is an RSS, Email and Social Automation Tool to take your email marketing to the next level. Visit us online to learn more or start your 30 Day Free Trial!