With email marketing being such a cost effective method of marketing, many business owners have abandoned traditional print marketing and moved 100% to email marketing.  What many business owners don’t know is that email marketing done incorrectly can get your domain name black listed from the Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) which deliver your emails to the inbox.  ISP’s have many methods for keeping spammers from getting through to the inbox and it only takes one small email marketing error to find yourself blacklisted, your emails considered spam and them all being blocked from delivery.

Imagine if your emails were no longer welcome anywhere on the Internet? How would it impact your business if every email you sent bounced back “undeliverable to recipient”?  It’s nothing short of a nightmare and it’s not easy to fix, trust me, I’ve experienced it first hand.

Having experienced the above mentioned nightmare, I wanted share email marketing tips along with some of what can go wrong with email marketing and how to avoid it.

1. Use an email service provider. Sending email blasts from your personal email account or from a home office will likely result in your Internet service provider blocking you from sending all emails. There are limits to the number of emails you can send a day from a personal email account or a home internet account (i.e. @comcast, @aol, @cox). I one time did an email blast to 250 people through my Comcast account and was blocked so I could no longer send emails at all.   I should mention that I was was emailing from my business (@printerbees) account, not my @comcast account!!! It didn’t matter that I personally knew every person on the list, they considered it spam, because it was a personal Internet service account. It was nothing short of a disaster, and they are didn’t care how it impacted me or my business. It took weeks to fix.

2. Don’t spam! Spamming will result in your domain name being blacklisted. I want to stress that it is your domain name, not just your email address. Getting blacklisted on the Internet can result in having to start over with a new domain name, new email addresses and of course a new website. When a domain name is blacklisted on the Internet, it’s kind of like having a scarlet letter… The Internet will shun your site, Google will stop sending you traffic and they will remove your site from their index.  Spam just makes people mad anyway, so what’s the point?  Focus on emailing the people who actually want to hear from you, it’s much more successful marketing.

3. Use a “throw away domain” for email marketing to protect your main domain name from being black listed. A throwaway domain name is a domain name similar to your actual domain used exclusively for email marketing purposes. It keeps your main website clear of danger from being blacklisted. Even when using throw away domain, don’t spam! Spamming doesn’t leave a good first impression of your business and the programs out there in cyberspace keep getting more and more advanced at “picking off” spammers. Don’t spam! it doesn’t work, it makes people mad and organic email marketing lists are so much more effective.

4. Keep your email list clean and up to date. Routine blasts to old lists result in a lot of bounces and emails sent to dead email accounts. Email lists that are old and out and date are a sure sign of spam to the ISP’s.  Most people who email market are unaware of this, it’s a newer method of catching/blocking spammers.  One of the greatest benefits of using an email marketing service provider is their ability to keep track of the bad/dead email addresses so you don’t email to them repeatedly. They help keep your list clean in this regard.

5. Provide valuable information in your email marketing. When every email received from a company is selling something, those emails are eventually tuned out and seen as spam. When a person perceives they are being spammed, they tend to hit the spam button on their email. If too many people click the spam button on their emails from you, you will get blacklisted.  Providing your email list with information which adds value will result in your emails being read. When people read your emails frequently, they will remember you when they have a need for the products or services you offer. It’s definitely okay and I encourage you to do email promotions, send promotions mixed in with good and valuable information, it’s a great recipe for improving email deliverability and open rates.

When you spam people, you’re just making them mad, leaving them with a bad first impression of your business. No one likes Spam! Build an email list of people who wish to hear from you by offering information of value in your email communication. Building an email list isn’t easy, but the payout is big when you have a large list of subscribers you look forward to reading your email.

Happy email blasting and please let me know if you have any questions about how to avoid these simple mistakes that can be so costly to your business.

Read more: The Benefits of Owning Your Own Domain and Personalized Email