There are tons of written materials online claiming that a purchased email contacts list is your one-way ticket to the spam folder. Of course, this is simply pure nonsense. The truth is any email contacts list can be a source of inbox placement issues. It’s how you use your list that ultimately determines the fate of your email messages.
What causes your messages to be blocked? A recent study published by Return Path provides an outline of common culprits – and, sure enough, the origin of your email contacts list isn’t one of them. These findings show that about 77% of blocked emails are due to poor sender reputation which is, in turn, influenced by a number of factors that you can and should address.
Try the following tips to ensure your email messages really make it to your recipients inboxes, particularly when you’re using a list purchased from a reliable email contact database vendor:
1. Choose your words as if your life hinges on them.
Among other things, specific words or phrases in your email copy, content, subject line, etc. have a significant effect on where your messages eventually end up. The list of dangerous words varies with time and ISP but, in general, you need to avoid using terms that make your messages sound aggressive, deceptive, or irrelevant.
2. Engage on a consistent basis.
Regularly staying in touch is one way to build a solid reputation. When working with a database acquired from an mailing list provider, the need to engage regularly becomes even more important. Make sure that you properly introduce yourself and establish a connection the first time you communicate with your contacts. Provide genuine reasons for them to continue looking forward to future emails.
3. Manage recipients’ expectations upfront.
On initial contact, you have to see to it that your recipients become aware of the nature of your email communications going forward. In some cases, it’s more preferable to let your contacts choose which types of emails they’d like to receive and how often. In this way, they’ll know exactly what they’re getting and when.
4. Become accredited.
The Return Path Sender Score Certified Status is the digital ID that allows you to reach your recipients’ inboxes as a trusted sender for most major ISPs. In order to acquire this status, you need to pass the standards and requirements set by Return Path for email campaign practices. So, get your email house in order and get accredited.
5. Have the guts to ask.
Another easy but usually-overlooked tactic on getting past spam filters is to ask your recipients to have your From address added to their address book. Although most email clients automatically add contacts based on user actions, it’s still a better idea to ask the recipients themselves. After all, we’re in a permission-based email campaign.
6. Scrub your list regularly.
List hygiene has subtle yet direct effects on sender reputation. Lists with invalid addresses, spam traps, and inactive contacts can inflate bounce rates and spam abuse reports. That’s why regular list cleaning is highly recommended. Choose a list company that offers quality email databases as well as data scrubbing services.
7. Don’t do it yourself (DDIY).
Oftentimes, the complicated tasks involved in running an effective email campaign are best outsourced to an email service provider (ESP). An ESP can help you not only maximize deliverability and inbox placements but with every nook and cranny of the modern email marketing campaign as well.
Whether you’re relying on a bought emailing list or an organically-developed one, your emails’ likelihood of reaching their intended destination really depends on your action as the sender. Your actions greatly impact your reputation which ultimately determines where your messages end up.
What other tactics do you use to avoid recipients’ spam folders?