Tag Archives: email deliverability

INFOGRAPHIC: Email Security & Usage Around the World

What are some of the main email sending habits around the globe? What notorious mistakes do people make when reading and sending emails and how does it affect email delivery? What things may induce email recipients hit the “Spam” button and what can email marketers do to increase their email deliverability rates? What are the pitfalls of designing marketing emails without mobile email usage in mind?

You will find the answers to these and many other questions related to email as a means of communication in the Email Security & Usage Around the World infographic created by the SampleEmails Team.

 

Email Security Usage Around the World INFOGRAPHIC

This infographic is shared by Sample Emails. Designed by Infographics.

How To Reach Your Targeted Audience When They Are Mobile

email on mobile device

Today 16% of all email messages are opened on mobile devices like smartphones or tablets.  Successful email marketers should follow not only these 20 tips for successful email newsletter delivery, but adapt to the new reading environments. All modern email newsletters should be optimized for mobile email clients.

People who read their email on mobile devices usually do this early in the morning, while they are at lunch or in the evening. This knowledge is important for you as an email marketer because you need to understand how and when you will be reaching your target audience. For example, if you send text emails that should be read carefully, it is better to send them when your recipients are more likely to be using their desktops. If you send lighter content that can be scanned and acted on quickly or that otherwise takes advantage of mobile features, aim for those times when users are out and about.

Remember that, when using their mobile devices, your subscribers will behave differently than when they use their desktops. It may be hard to purchase something from the smartphone. The aim of your email messages may be to call the readers to add your product to a wish list, to save and use a promo-code or to get more information about your company. It may also make sense to engage mobile-specific capabilities. For example, you might offer a 10 percent off coupon for checking in on Foursquare or to Facebook Place… something that can be easily done via a mobile phone.

It’s very important to test how the content of your landing pages renders on mobile devices. Remember that Adobe Flash video is absolutely OK for Android-based smartphones, but will not work with iOS. The success of your email marketing campaigns depends on the possibility for your readers to immediately follow your call to action.

Low download speeds and the rather small screens of mobile devices make mobile email readers impatient. Keep this in mind and give your users the most interesting and engaging content. Not having an email preview in the mobile email clients decreases the chances of your emails being read. Your best way to cause the recipient to read your message is to intrigue him or her with a great subject line and the “From” field, explaining who is the author of the email.

You should also remember that most of your recipients will use their mobile email clients to perform “triage” to decide what emails to delete and what to save for further reading on the desktops. Your email newsletter will have just one chance to impress, so use all possible tactics to make your recipients read it and take the desired action, either now or, at least, later on their desktops.

Consider asking your subscribers to install EmailTray – a smart email client for Windows and Android smartphones – to be sure they always receive your emails. The EmailTray email client saves all good messages that might otherwise get trapped in the Spam folder by mistake and it specifically notifies users about important emails as opposed to “Low Priority” and “No Priority” emails.

20 Tips for Successful Email Newsletter Delivery

successful email delivery

 

Email is definitely not dead as a means of communication and a marketing channel, as web surfers keep on subscribing to newsletters, reading them and buying from them.

Why are email newsletters still so popular? The answer is simple: they sound personal and cause emotional attachment. According to the Email Newsletter Usability Report issued by the Nielsen Norman Group, users have more emotional reactions to the email newsletters rather than to website content. As stated in the report, newsletters feel personal because they arrive in users’ inboxes and users have an ongoing relationship with them. Sixty-nine percent of users said that they look forward to receiving at least one newsletter and most users said a newsletter had become part of their routine.

 

Reasons for Poor Email Delivery

An email message normally makes a lengthy trip before it reaches its final destination – the recipient’s Inbox.

After the “Send” button is hit in the sender’s email client or after an automatic script starts sending bulk mail, the message is routed to the sender’s mail server. This mail server might block the email due to a lengthy email attachment (e.g. most Webmail providers have a restriction of no more than 25 MB per message), or because a sender has reached a daily limit of sending emails (e.g. some email providers would limit you to no more than 100 emails sent per day).

The next pit-stop is the recipient’s mail server, which might bounce an email because of a lengthy email attachment, because the sender IP or domain is blacklisted or viruses and spam-like content are found in a message.

Even if the message goes through the sender’s mail server and the recipient’s mail server without any problem, it might be blocked on the last step of its trip to the recipient – the recipient’s email client. Most email clients have built-in spam filters, and these filters may block email because of viruses and spam-like content found, or use any other filtering methods.

 

Tips to Retain Subscribers and Improve Your Email Delivery Rates

Take care of the contents of each message and your writing style

1. Address to the recipient personally
At the beginning of a message, use a proper salutation and address the recipient with their real name, not a generic noun. People love to read and hear their name – this makes them feel comfortable. At the end of the message, make sure to use your real first and last name, not just a company title or a fancy nickname.

2. Make your newsletter interesting and exciting
Step aside and think if you would ever subscribe to your newsletter if you were interested in your topic. Would you have benefited from this newsletter much? Be sure to add value and meet the expectations of your subscribers; do not use email for a sales pitch only.

3. Make it emotionally appealing
People are reached through their emotions. In newsletters, this rule works especially well, so do not pass by the opportunity to appeal to your newsletter subscribers.

4. Build a relationship
Do not think of email as a one-time blast campaign. Do think of it as if you were in a long-term relationship with your customer. Retain your customer, send follow-ups, remind them who you are and why they are subscribed, ask for feedback and communicate. In other words, maintain your relationship.

5. Send newsletters on a regular basis
Sending a newsletter 1-2 times per month is perfect. You may set your own newsletter frequency – from a weekly to a daily newsletter. Everything depends on the industry and the way you position your newsletter: hot news, useful tips, product updates, etc. Also, let your subscribers know what the frequency of your emails will be.

 

“Dress up” your email well

6. Use quality design
Avoid using third-party templates or email template generating software. Hire a good web designer or outsource this work to have it done for you decently. Do not copy-cat someone’s email templates even if you find them pretty. Make your newsletter look and feel professional and credible.

7. Avoid complex HTML-elements and too much graphics
Some HTML elements and excessive graphics might trigger email spam filters, so you’d better keep away from complicated designs for the sake of successful email delivery. A simpler email is definitely better than undelivered email, right? Avoid using too many closed tags, tables, colorful backgrounds, JavaScript and web forms.

8. Test before you send
Before sending your message, make sure to test it under different circumstances. See how it looks in different email clients and the most popular Webmail interfaces. Make sure all links work OK and that all images render. Test the unsubscribe links and, to be sure, check your spelling.

9. Use an email address with the domain of your website
Do not use your “@yahoo” or “@aol” personal email address. You have a website, so you should already have email accounts set up under that domain. Do use these email addresses to sound credible.

10. Make it easy to unsubscribe
At first glance, this piece of advice sounds contradictory… Of course your aim is to increase your subscription rate, not increase your unsubscribe rate, right? However people get most irritated with those newsletters that are: non-legitimate, boring and… hard to unsubscribe from.

 

Take care of the technical details

11. Configure reverse DNS entries
Many email servers are configured to reject incoming emails from any IP address which does not have reverse DNS. If you host multiple domains on one email server, just setup reverse DNS to point to whichever domain name you consider primary.

12. Create a proper SPF record in your DNS
SPF allows the owner of an Internet domain to specify which computers are authorized to send mail with sender addresses in that domain. If you publish an SPF record for your domain, spammers and phishers will be less likely to forge emails pretending to be from your domain.

13. Sign your mail with DKIM
Digital signatures ensure your emails’ authenticity. Make sure to sign your mail with DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) to take responsibility for the messages you send.

14. Review feedback loop emails on a regular basis
Feedback loops are one of the ways for reporting spam. Feedback loop emails will let you know if there are unhappy users who hit the “This is spam” button and resolve the issues.

15. Monitor blacklists and request removal if you’ve been listed
You can set up alerts on blacklist updates to track if you’ve been listed. Don’t panic if you do get listed one day. If you haven’t abused the rules, it normally takes a few emails to the ISP abuse address to get the things resolved.

 

General after-sending tips

16. Track your sender score
Most popular ISP providers and spam filter developers calculate a sender score for each volume email sender. In case any violations are detected, they decrease the score. To have no problems with email delivery, do all you can do to improve your sender score.

17. Ask readers to add your email address to whitelists
To keep your sender score and delivery rate at a high level, kindly ask your readers to add your email address to their whitelists. Explain to them why it’s important and let them know how easy it is to do.

18. Cleanup your subscriber list on a regular basis
One of the quickest ways to get on blacklists is to keep sending email to dead addresses. So it makes sense to look at the bounced emails you get, and remove them from your list ASAP.

19. Track your email delivery
Watch newsletter bounce activity and delivery receipts. Analyze the reasons why some emails haven’t been delivered. Work with the ISPs to get yourself off blacklists.

20. Never purchase email lists
Untargeted. Unsolicited. Uninterested. Do you really like these attributes? With purchased email lists, these attributes may end up describing your email campaigns. Earn new subscribers using effective and time-proven methods – share content, build a community and gain each reader’s interest.

 

To ensure that your recipients do not get your mail mistakenly trapped by spam filters, recommend that they install EmailTray – a smart email client for Windows and Android smartphones. EmailTray tracks mail from all accounts and sorts messages using a smart proprietary algorithm. Even if a legitimate message gets trapped by mistake EmailTray will rescue it from the Spam folder and notify a user about it.

Beware: Attachments May Ruin Your Email Delivery Expectations

email-attachment-size-restrictions

According to the Global Email Deliverability Benchmark report issued by Return Path in March 2012, worldwide inbox placement rates declined sharply in the second half of 2011 to a record low of 76.5% globally, compared to 81% in the first half of 2011. This means a lot more email has been heading to the spam box.

Nowadays it’s not enough to create a marketing message, embed pictures and blast this to a large email list. Email deliverability is the issue that bothers marketers a lot. ISPs and Webmail providers, both on the sender side and the recipient side, may block your message for many reasons; and one of them is email attachment size and format.

 

Email Attachment Size Restrictions

In a race to get the most devoted users, four major Webmail providers (Gmail, Windows Live Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail and AOL Mail) currently have the same restriction regarding the total size of a sent or received message. You can send or receive messages of up to 25 MB each for free.

Some Webmail providers and commercial Email Service Providers will allow you to send larger email messages. However there is no guarantee that the recipient who uses a different Email Service Provider will be able to receive your lengthy message. The attachment size limit of the person receiving the file does matter; if your file is over their limit for receiving, the email will be rejected.

Gmail
With Gmail, you can send and receive messages up to 25 MB in size. However it’s not a good idea to send larger attachments to people who might be using the other email services with smaller attachment limits. The good news is that Google offers Google Drive cloud storage service, which adds an extra 5MB of storage to your Gmail account.

Windows Live Hotmail
Windows Live Hotmail has a restriction of 25 MB per email message as well. There is a workaround however. You can take advantage of the Microsoft’s SkyDrive service, an online cloud storage service that is available to everyone with a Windows Live Account. You can upload large files (up to 7 GB for free) to SkyDrive and share them with your contacts.

Yahoo! Mail
With your Yahoo! Mail account, you can send and receive emails up to 25 MB.

AOL Mail
AOL Mail restricts messages to no larger than 25 MB.

Mail.com
With the emailing service offered by Mail.com, you can send attachments of up to 50 MB.

GMX.com
With GMX Mail, you can send attachments of up to 50 MB as well. Besides, GMX File Storage offers you another 2 GB of space for your documents, images and media to share with your friends and family.

As for the Commercial Email Service Providers, the limits that the recipient’s server has on attachment size may vary from email service provider to email service provider.

Note: The total email size includes the message text, headers, embedded images and attachments. That means that you must take into consideration the total size of the message, not the attachments only. If, for example, you are including a high number of embedded images with your email message, then your attachment size is going to be restricted by the size of the message including the embedded images.

 

Restricted Attachment File Extensions

Sending the following file types is OK with most of the Webmail providers: word processor or spreadsheet documents, audio files, image files (.bmp, .jpg, .gif, etc.), and web pages saved as HTML files.

It is definitely not a good idea to attach executable files to your email messages, as they might be blocked by email providers or the antivirus software installed on your recipients’ computer.

Gmail will not let you send or receive executable files (such as files ending in .exe). In addition, Gmail does not allow you to send or receive files that are corrupted. Gmail won’t accept these types of files even if they are sent in a zipped (.zip, .tar, .tgz, .taz, .z, .gz, .rar) format. If this type of message is sent to your Gmail address, it will be bounced back to the sender automatically.

With Yahoo! Mail, you can send all types of files as attachments, including word processor or spreadsheet documents, audio files, image files (such as .bmp, .jpg, .gif), and more. There is no restriction openly stated by Yahoo!, however they kindly ask you to be particularly cautious about executable files, which end with these extensions: .exe, .com, .vbs, .lnk, .pif, .scr, .bat.

Just like with the Gmail Webmail service provider, Windows Live Hotmail will block any email message including executable files.

AOL Mail is quite liberal with its users as far as it concerns email attachment extensions. If the attachments are of the file types .exe, .scr, .com, .msi, .bat, .pif , .vbs, .cpl, or .cmd, AOL Help advises you to compress them before sending. To do this, you can use a third-party compression program such as WinZip.

 

Email Etiquette for Attachment Sending

  • Delete attachments from forwarded messages when you only want to share the text. Forwarding attachments for no reason is not polite.
  • Ask before sending. It is not OK to include a spreadsheet, a document or a presentation file without the recipient’s consent, especially if this is the first email message you ever send to a person. You can only send attachments without preliminary asking when a sender knows you well enough or expects attachments from you.
  • Do not send files larger than 25 MB. If the file that you’re trying to transfer exceeds 25 MB, you’ll need to either compress the file or split it into smaller parts. Another option is to share this file using a cloud storage service, e.g. Google Drive, SkyDrive, Dropbox, etc.
  • Scan the file you are going to send for viruses. Sending an infected message to a customer or business partner may ruin your relationship once and for all. Always have your Anti-Virus software running, and make it a rule to scan outgoing messages for viruses.
  • Do not send attachments after business hours. The chances are that the recipient will be checking mail via a smart phone. Downloading and viewing this attachment might be a pain.

For more tips on safe email sending etiquette, read our post about business email etiquette rules.

The EmailTray Email Client Changes Your Email Deliverability Statistics

 

Approximately a quarter of all emails doesn’t reach the recipients’ inboxes, – reports IBM Email Deliverability Research.

They are buried forever in the Spam folder just because your spam filter was not smart enough. And what if there were really important ones? That is bad from both angles: to be a sender whose email left without an answer forever and to be a receiver who missed an important message because of a spam-filter’s mistake.

When you use the EmailTray email client there is much, much less danger of having valuable emails killed like spam. That is because the EmailTray email client uses an approach absolutely different from the usual anti-spam filters.

The EmailTray email client uses its smart algorithm to analyze your inbox and pick out the important emails which are then placed in the Top and Low Priority folders. Besides sorting your inbox according to each sender’s priority, EmailTray analyzes your Spam folder and rescues good emails that were trapped there by a spam-filter’s mistake. You simultaneously solve email overload without overdoing it.

So using the EmailTray email client you may forget the statistics from IBM and be absolutely sure that all necessary emails are in your Inbox carefully sorted by importance.

Mobile email usage is growing. 27% of all emails were opened on mobile devices during the second half of 2011, up from 20% during the first half of 2011, – says Mobile Email Opens Report.

Understanding that mobile devices are getting more and more popular for checking email, our developer team does everything possible to make emailing on your Android-based devices as pleasant as on your PC.

The EmailTray email app for Android-based devices should be used with the same EmailTray account as the one on your PC.

With EmailTray for Android, you get an email app that makes sure you are always notified about important emails and never miss anything important. The second thing about EmailTray is that the app checks your Spam folder and rescues all valuable emails. Also the EmailTray for Android email client app is great for sharing photos, ringtones, links and other content by email with one click. Of course, there are more great features you will get with the EmailTray for Android. Try it to make sure that the EmailTray for Android is, for you, the best email app available for the Android-based devices.

Using the EmailTray email client for Windows and the EmailTray for Android app you will create new emailing statistics – the statistics of those who enjoy emailing most of the time.

5 Ways to Make Email Work For You: Tips for Email SENDERS

send email

1. Use EMAIL only when it works better than any other communication channel

Email is a great time-saver when it comes to contacting a person who is located far away from you. You can always fit emailing into your work schedule, as you can send and read emails whenever you have some spare time. Email is good to share links and business information, but it is not good enough to build partnerships, especially at the last stage before signing agreements – a personal meeting or video phone call is necessary for this. Ask yourself simple questions to understand whether email will fit your needs in your situation.

Want to get acquainted with your future partner, and plan to discuss important things, face to face? –> Arrange a meeting.
Need to share urgent news or resolve an urgent matter? –> Use a phone call.
Need technical support on the software issue? –> Use email.
Plan on discussing an upcoming event with your friends? –> Use a chat room.
Benchmarking the steps taken on a large project with your colleagues? –> Use wiki.
Want to set and track tasks on a large project? –> Use a task management system.

 

2. Follow business email etiquette rules when composing a new message

Do you use short and precise email subject lines – to focus the reader attention on what’s important? Do you provide an email signature with your contact details? Do you use the “CC” and the “Reply to All” option with caution?

These and other rules were created to increase email productivity for you and your email recipients. Using business email etiquette rules is a matter of politeness and a sign of respect towards an email recipient, so make sure to follow these rules.

 

3. Comply with the CAN-SPAM rules if you send bulk mail

To protect the privacy of email recipients, the US Federal Trade Commission issued the CAN-SPAM Act which covers numerous examples of fraudulent or inappropriate use of email as a means of communication.

The following principles are outlined in this act:

  • Don’t use false or misleading header information.
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
  • Identify the message as an ad.
  • Tell recipients where you’re located.
  • Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you.
  • Honor opt-out requests promptly.
  • Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.

The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business
http://business.ftc.gov/documents/bus61-can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business

 

4. Follow the email sender guidelines posted by the most popular Webmail providers

If you are an authorized email sender, Gmail, Hotmail and other Webmail providers make it easier for you to reach your customers Inbox by providing you with email sender guidelines. The most obvious things for senders to follow are offering an opt-in feature and easy unsubscribe, using sender authentication and managing the reputation of your outbound IPs. Use the links below to refer to the email sender guidelines of the popular Webmail providers:

Email sending policies, practices, and guidelines from Microsoft
http://mail.live.com/mail/policies.aspx

Improving E-mail Deliverability into Windows Live Hotmail, PDF
http://download.microsoft.com/download/e/3/3/e3397e7c-17a6-497d-9693-78f80be272fb/enhance_deliver.pdf

Best practices for bulk mail senders and postmasters when sending to Yahoo! Mail
http://help.yahoo.com/kb/index?locale=en_US&y=PROD_MAIL&page=content&id=SLN3435

Bulk Senders Guidelines from Gmail
https://support.google.com/mail/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81126

Bulk Sender Best Practices from AOL
http://postmaster.aol.com/Postmaster.Guidelines.php

Technical and Policy Requirements for Sending Email to AOL
http://postmaster.aol.com/Postmaster.Tech.php

 

5. Ensure that your email address is on the whitelists of your recipients

If you don’t want your messages to get blocked by spam filters and the email service providers of your recipients, have your most important sending email addresses whitelisted. You can also publish information on your site asking your subscribers to add your email address to their list of trusted contacts.

Hope these pieces of advice and reference links help you build your email campaigns efficiently and avoid email deliverability issues. Email CAN be a great helper unless you misuse it :)