View Full Version : Email Marketing is becoming a cluster ...
08-28-2004, 06:21 PM
I've just got to vent here and maybe some of you can relate ... the last couple of months have just been a cluster trying to get our newsletter out. We switched hosting and when we tried to send out our normal once a month newsletter ... the hosting company has a system in place that won't let us send bulk email ... ok so we resort to a 3rd party opt-in manager well that turned out to be a cluster as well because now all our subscribers are being asked to confirm a subscritption that has already been confirmed and too boot until they confirm the newsletter is put on hold so I can't even get sign ups the newsletter they signed up for until they confirm again. Oh and the other lovely thing, this particular provider does not have the option of sending individual emails or a selected group so every time I send out some emails, I have to go back in and delete the ones I've already sent it to so they don't get a million copies of our news publication ... I mean I know it's an awesome news publication but even I don't want to see it that many times :-)
Ok, maybe a little bit my fault for not thoroughly reading the third party provider requirements but if you already had an existing list, and your hosting provider won't let you send bulk email and a third party provider has their requirements ... how do you get around this with the expection of some spamless system that is probably illegal and should sending a simple monthly newsletter be this difficult?
I suppose we will have to resort to building an opt-in manager within our site ... yet another task on the mile long to do list ... did this spam act really target the right people ... I know I still recieve a bunch of junk emails and you know something they've almost convienced me that I need to increase my manhood ... not! :-) (sarcasm)
Ok, I'm done.
08-29-2004, 01:49 AM
I suspect you haven't looked carefully enough into the reliable 3rd party e-mail companies, but they've all been mentioned in earlier WPW threads. Constant Contact is one of them ( http://www.constantcontact.com/home.jsp ). Vertical Response is another ( http://www.verticalresponse.com/ ).
You could do yourself no harm, however, if you asked the IntelliContactPro people ( http://www.intellicontact.com/index.pl ) for help with your problems. I use them and am very satisfied with what they do and how readily they'll answer whatever questions occur to me. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .
08-29-2004, 02:27 AM
but in fact, I am an affiliate for both programs you mentioned ... haven't heard of intellicontact though ... do they have an affiliate program? LOL
The third party provider I used is very reputable.
I appreciate your advice, I guess I was just wondering if anybody else is having as much fun with this new email spam law stuff as I am or is it just Murphy visiting again!?!?!
08-29-2004, 07:45 PM
MM, intellicontact has an affiliate program that pays 25% recurring commission and 5% second tier commission. I signed up for their affiliate program about a month and half ago and I am already approaching $50 in commissions :) Here is a direct link to their affiliate info page:http://www.intellicontact.com/affiliates.pl
08-29-2004, 08:37 PM
In going through your post, a number of comments:
* Unconfirmed (single) opt-in versus verified (double) opt-in.
It is true many providers are saying to be in compliance with the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 (http://www.learnsteps4profit.com/antispamus.html) you need to have verified (double) opt-in mailing lists.
(I find it interesting that quite a number of providers, while making these comments also allow clients to run unconfirmed (single) opt-in mailing lists using their service.)
* Moving the list from your web host to a third party provider and the need for re-verifying your list.
Here the issue for the email service provider is not the CAN SPAM Act of 2003 (http://www.learnsteps4profit.com/antispamus) but rather their relationship with the various ISPs.
The underlying issue? Spiralling volumes of unwanted bulk email and how ISPs are dealing with the problem.
Many ISPs have set up Network or gateway filters. Also, the big web based mail box providers like MSN, Hotmail, AOL and Yahoo! allow users to set individual preferences at the mail box level.
For a third party email service provider it is crucial to have good relations with the big ISPs so that client email can get through the network or gateway filters and be delivered to the recipient's mail box.
Allowing clients' to upload mailing lists without verification of being opt-in will not help an email service providers relationship with the big mail box providers, should it turn out their are problems with the list.
This is why the email service providers with better deliver rates usually require client's to re-verify a list before allowing the client to start sending email to their list.
Some providers will work with a customer, if the customer can satisfy the provider the imported list is verified (double) opt-in.
After getting through the network or gateway filter, whether the message ends up in the recipient's inbox, junk mail folder, bulk mail folder, trash or delete folder will depend on the preferences and filters set by each individual recipient on your list.
This is why, even if the provider is working with an accreditation service, you still want to have your subscribers' safe list or white list the from email address you use when sending out messages.
(For more on this point, also visit Ken Evoy's Deliver My Mail (http://deliver-my-mail.sitesell.com/dsales.html) pages for some useful ideas.)
Also, next time you send out a test message from the email service provider you are using take a look at the headers and see whose domain is in the return path.
The better email service providers will deal with bounces. This means you will want to see whose email address is in the return path address.
If the service does insert the from email address you select as the return path address, to enhance delivery and open rates (through message branding):
* Use a from email address with your own domain.
Don't use a from email address with a web based mail box domain like MSN, Hotmail or Yahoo!
Why? Many of the big ISPs filter bulk mail sent with a web based mail box domain, such as MSN, Hotmail, Yahoo! or the like showing up in the return path.
The reason? Spammers typically set up the return path email address to a throw away email address (often using someone elses domain) to avoid having to deal with all the bounces.
* Make sure your web host directs your domain to a unique static IP address (because of problems with infected networks and zombies, bulk mail sent from a dynamic IP address on a broadband network is taken as another sign of spamming) and the static IP address allows for a reverse DNS look up of your domain. (Many ISPs are running reverse DNS look up as another check against spammers.)
* Publish an email policy record in accordance with SPF (http://www.spf.pobox.com) and such other sender authentication protocols as required.
Within the near term, the email service provider you are using will need to provide the return path email address using one with its domain and be working with an accreditation service.
* Having the option of sending a personalized message to each individual on your list.
Most providers do allow for a personalized message in the sense of sending the same message to each person on your list, but with the message being addressed to each list member on your list.
* Sending different messages to different portions of your list.
Whether you can do this will depend on the feature set offered by the specific email service provider.
If you are not looking for sequential auto-responders and want a list management service, another service people will want to look at is http://www.Bighip.com
Bighip is a new entry to the SOHO market place. The service feature offering is good.
Bighip only allows clients to run verified (double) opt-in mailing lists. Bighip is working with an accreditation service and has taken other steps to enhance delivery rates for customer messages.
(In the interests of disclosure, the owners have provided me with an account to review the service and make ongoing recommendations.)
If you want sequential auto responders, along with list management capabilities, the service I recommend is Aweber (http://glube.aweber).
(Yes that is an affiliate link.)
Aweber is more restrictive in its list importing requirements than some of the other service providers with similar capabilities.
Of course, this it also has excellent delivery rates.
Trusting these comments are of assistance.
08-31-2004, 01:21 PM
Wow! That is awesome information and very helpful :-) I'll check into the references you gave me as now I'm interested in understanding this topic much better ... hum I feel an article coming on hehehe
and thank you too jimgr for the affiliate info ... I'll look into that too :-) ... always a marketingmama
Hope all is well in your worlds!