3 Words You Should NEVER Say To Your Email Service Provider

Got an email the other day from a fairly well known Internet Marketer (who will remain nameless) and wanted to share.  I thought it had some a good lessons about email delivery.

Take a look.  Here’s the email…

Hey Jay,

I just sent the following support ticket. I wanted to make sure you heard about it because this is a BIG deal. Without great delivery no amount of automation makes your system worth using.

Please look into this asap and help me understand why I should keep using you?

Start support ticket:

I finally sent my first broadcast email to my entire list and a HUGE percentage went straight to the spam folder.

Come on guys. This system isn’t worth crap if your delivery sucks.

Yes these are all legitimate contact lists that I’ve built over several years so they are real.

I moved from iContact because of promises made by your system.

Delivery like this will cost me 100’s of thousands a year if it continues.

Please look into it asap and get back to me.

I agree.  Delivery is super important, but tell me, how many people wouldn’t say anything?  That’s lesson #1.  Ask!  If you think you should be getting better inbox delivery out of your email service provider, ask.  That’s what you are paying for.  They know more about the industry than you probably do.  (But please don’t tell them “your delivery sucks” unless you know it’s true.)

Once you ask, and if you still think they are blowing smoke up ye’ol kester, ask me.   I’ll be happy to set the record straight.

Here’s what we discovered and replied back with…

Hey “Your Delivery Sucks” awesome client,

Thanks for writing in about your delivery concerns!

I’m a bit confused by your statement “your delivery sucks”.   As an ESP we provide a platform with a solid sending reputation (our senderscore has been above 90 out of 100 for over a year now), delivery consultations,  solid confirmed infrastructure, and Email verification.   So, we create a clearing for success in the delivery world however the things that vary from customer to customer are content, list make up, mailing frequency, list age, customer expectations, etc.

If any ESP tells you that they can get you 100% delivery without fully taking control of your marketing plan they either don’t know what they are talking about or are lying.  That being said, all of our customers have the potential to reach 100% inbox delivery (in fact, many do on a regular basis).

One of the issues I can see with your message right off the bat is the use of Bit.ly links.  Bit.ly is a great URL shortening service however it is abused by thousands of spammers daily to hide and mask their bogus, spammy links.  Because of this Bit.ly has gotten a very poor reputation in the Email community, when ESPs see a bit.ly link in the email they assume it’s spam and send it to the spam box.

There are many other things you may do to help reach your full delivery potential and I’d be glad to have a call with you to see what we can do to get you where you’d like to be delivery wise. Please let me know if you have any additional questions in the meantime, I’d be glad to help.

Also, you said a huge percentage of your messages went to spam, what service are you using to monitor your delivery?

Let’s schedule a time to talk for tomorrow if you’re available, I’ll be in the office from 8:30AM PST until 3:30 PM PST.

Talk soon.

Brendan Dubbels
Email Delivery Lead

Lesson #2 – Test everything and don’t automatically assume it’s the email service provider’s fault.

Sometimes it is.  Most of the time it’s not.  If you want to know how to stay out of the SPAM box, just do the opposite of what a spammer would do.

Listen, getting your email delivered sucks.  There I said it.  It’s hard work.  I won’t going into all the details (that I know of), but at least understand this one thing….ISPs don’t like crap filling up their customer’s inbox.  So if you’re messages look like same crap junking up the inbox, generating complaints and pissing off their customers, you’ll get blocked.  Plain and simple.

So the biggest take-away I can give you is the concept of engagement.   Email is a communication tool for building a relationship.  Use it that way.  Sales letters are for selling.   Test and find out what works best.   Use common sense.  You can never go wrong providing value with strong content so someone engages (opens and reads) your email and then “oh, by the way…” inviting them to check out your offer.   That’s just one strategy I recommend for improving click-thru rates.

Lesson #3 – Use SenderScore.org.

Anybody can use http://www.Senderscore.org to determine the deliverability/reputation of an email service provider by looking up the sending IP.  Like a credit score, a Sender Score is an indication of the trustworthiness of an email source.  Sender Score aggregates data from 60 million mailboxes at a variety of ISPs, spam filtering and security companies.  The higher the SenderScore, the better chance your message is getting delivered.  Plain and simple.

That’s all for now.  Oh…if you need a better email delivery, check out Ontraport.

Stay thirsty my friends!

~jm

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