There is a lot involved in sending a successful email newsletter in times when people already receive too many emails.
Sending newsletters with success
This article contains several recommendations to ensure that:
- As many people as possible actually open your email.
- As many people as possible will click through to your website.
- As few people as possible unsubscribe from your mailing list.
If you follow the rules, email marketing is a very effective and affordable way of marketing, but there are also a number of risks. Below you can read recommendations to keep these as small as possible.
If you want to send the newsletters yourself instead of outsourcing it to an expert, it is recommended to complete an email marketing training and also study all Acymailing documentation on: acyba.com
It is an impossible task to make your newsletters look perfect on all different devices, operating systems, browsers, email clients, screen settings, etc., although the challenge is of course to achieve optimal results. For maximum results, it is recommended to test each newsletter before sending with an “HTML e-MailTesting service” such as litmus.com or emailonacid.com and an extensive “test mailing list”. If you create a trial account and send me the login details, I will test the template.
Internet service providers, such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc., determine your “IP or domain reputation” and, based on this, filter all emails that originate from your IP address. By sending newsletters you run the risk that your “reputation” will deteriorate and your IP address will end up on various blacklists. Even if you follow all the recommendations below and adhere to the rules, it cannot be completely prevented, for example: recipients (wrongly) submit a spam complaint and/or recipients mark your email address as spam or unwanted email in their email program. As a result, the email address of your newsletter may automatically end up in spam folders or be blocked.
The following is recommended to reduce the risk of your “IP or domain reputation” deteriorating:
- Process the “bounce messages” in the mailboxes of your newsletter (automatically or manually). Subscribers can “unsubscribe” from the mailing list in several ways:
Subscribers click on the “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the newsletter. Subscribers will then be automatically unsubscribed and will remain in the list as “unsubscribed”. You will receive a system message from Acymailing when people register or unsubscribe. You don’t have to do anything with those messages.
Subscribers respond to the newsletter by: a reply with a manually written message asking if you want to remove them from your list. Those email addresses must also be manually set to “unsubscribed” in the list.
Subscribers change/terminate their own email address. In that case you will receive an automatic system message with the subject something like “undelivered mail” or “e-mail cannot be delivered”. It is important that these e-mail addresses are also manually set to “unsubscribed” in the list. Sometimes people also set an “autoreply” message. You should also keep a close eye on this, because it often states that someone has a new email address.
Subscribers click a “this is spam/junk email” button in their email client or report the email as spam. In that case, you will at most receive a message from the ISP or an “anti-spam organization”, often to postmaster@yourdomain or abuse@yourdomain. If this ever happens, it is important that those email addresses are manually set to “unsubscribed” in the list.(Un)justified “spam complaints” must also be responded to to prevent your domain from further reputational damage.
- If you use an external mail server, you can also export bounced email addresses, which will help you clean up your list. Please note: Never remove subscribers who have unsubscribed from the list, but set them to “unsubscribed/unsubscribed” and leave them in the list as such. If a new file with e-mail addresses is imported in the future and those previously unsubscribed e-mail addresses are also included in that new file, they must be prevented from being imported into your mailing list again. This can be done by leaving the unsubscribed addresses in the list as unsubscribed and choosing “do not overwrite existing data” when importing. E-mail addresses can never end up twice in the mailing list.
- Only include email addresses in the mailing list for which permission has been given by the subscriber through the “double-opt-in” sign-up system on your website. Before sending each newsletter, check whether all new registrations have been confirmed by the subscriber clicking on the link in the verification email and contact any registrations that have not yet been confirmed.
- Register a working email address where you can receive spam complaints at abuse.net and take action if a spam complaint comes in.
- Make sure that your domain’s “WHOIS Contact Information” is correct and complete; you can ask your hosting provider to check and correct this.
- Do not use spammy language in your newsletter or subject line.
- Ask subscribers in your newsletter to put the email address of your newsletter on their “whitelist” in their email program.
- Make it very easy and clear for subscribers to unsubscribe. It is much better for subscribers to unsubscribe via the link in your newsletter than for them to click on a “This is spam button”. One (or two) clear unsubscribe buttons or links are therefore recommended.
- Always send the newsletter to a “spam testing service” such as mail-tester.com or the spam testing function built into Acymailing and resolve any problems before sending the mailing to your list.
- Have an “external delivery service” linked to your e-mailing system to send your newsletters, such as ElasticEmail.
Always ensure there are sufficient credits on your ElasticEmail account (the external mail server) for problem-free sending of your newsletters.
- Go to elasticemail.com
- Click on ACCOUNT at the top right
- Click on GET CREDIT in the top menu bar
- Select the amount (20 USD is often sufficient) and the desired payment method.
- Choose to have your credit automatically topped up if it falls below a certain minimum for hassle-free shipping.
- I also recommend enabling 2 factor verification.