FAQs - Delivery

Deliverability

1. Avoiding the Spam Filters and Other Email Marketing Tips

One of the major benefits of email marketing is that email is free, but obviously this is the same reason that spam has become so popular and so frustrating. With spam comes spam filters and with spam filters comes the blocking of legitimate email.

In our efforts to help you leverage the power of email marketing to work for your business we have listed some of the best practices that you MUST follow to achieve higher response from your email marketing campaigns.

The right selection of words
Many spam filters work by analyzing the email based on its content and the words used. Avoid words such as free, discount, offer, game, win, casino, save and so forth -- are very heavy spam trigger keywords. Below the campaign editor you get an option to check your campaign for spam keywords.

Pay attention to your formatting
When formatting your email, keep it simple and professional. Make use of small fonts and keep the layout aligned. Do not use image sizes exceed 100 KB (Maximum width 700 pixel x height 800 pixel). Excessive use of images without text content will surely add an email being flagged as spam. Many spam filters consider important email based on its text content.

Try and use a short and simple style sheet rather than using font tags excessively. Most spam filters don't appreciate a multitude of font tags and inline formatting.

Sender address
It is highly recommended to use your valid corporate/business email address for FROM address. No personal email address such as Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail etc.

Email volume
We highly recommend you to send smaller and regular campaigns instead of one large campaign. The volume of email sent at a time should not exceed 100,000 daily. Breakup your contact list to 100,000 each and send campaigns one at a time and give time interval between campaigns. Keep your bounce rate less than 20%.

Give unsubscribe option
Include the unsubscribe link both at top and bottom of emails. Don't give your recipient a chance to click 'Report Spam'

Signature
Always include a signature at the bottom of your emails. Include your personal, company and contact details.

2. How many emails can I send per hour?

By default InstantBulkMailer send 10000 to 12000 emails per hour. However, it varies depend upon your campaign size.

3. Why is my open rate so low? Open tracking is not working!

InstantBulkMailer tracks message opens by inserting an invisible tracking image in to the bottom of every message that it sends. If you find that you have a very low open rate, or if you try opening a message and find that it was not tracked, these are the most common problems:

  • You are sending a text-only format email, instead of an HTML format email, or an HTML/Text (MIME) format email. Text-only messages cannot be tracked, as the tracking relies on an HTML image tag.

  • You had "open tracking" disabled in your campaign settings. Try creating a new campaign on a test list, and making sure the tracking is turned on to test this.

  • Major ISP Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail block images by default. Your subscribers are not clicking "display images" or "download images" in their email clients. Since the tracking relies on an HTML image tag, all images must be "displayed" or "turned on" for a read to be tracked
  • 5. Increase Your Email Open Rate By Improving Your Subject Lines

    Just like a direct sales letter, the subject line of your email is usually the most important part of getting your readers to actually read your email. If you have a compelling subject line the chance of your email improves dramatically.

    According to a recent MarketingSherpa.com survey, 40% of email marketers said testing changes to just their subject line had a high impact on their return on investment (ROI). 45% said subject line changes accounted for a medium ROI and only 15% said that testing changes to their subject line results in a low ROI.

    For every email you send you've got room for about 50 characters in your subject line so use them wisely to improve your open rates. Below are some tips to help improve your subject lines:

  • Test the subject line – Take a look at email campaigns you've sent in the past. Which subject lines worked the best and gave you the highest open and conversion rates? You might find that for a particular topic there's a general trend or subject style that resulted in higher open rates.

  • The subject of importance – Try and put as much important and relevant information into your subject lines as possible. For example, if you're sending out an email about a special offer make sure the product name and details on the offer appear in the subject line in a clear and concise format such as "$40 off ACME Widget Until - Today Only".

  • Personalize the subject line – If you have details about your contacts then you can use them in your subject line to get their attention. A subject line containing the contacts first name can sometimes out-pull one that doesn't.

  • Avoid spam keywords – Most email servers automatically filter out any emails that contain spam keywords in their subject line – Words such as free, stock, ebay, password, mortgage, etc all trigger spam detection software so keep them out of your subject lines at all times.

  • Trigger curiosity – The best way to improve your open rates is to pique the interest of your contacts. A compelling headline that entices them to open and read the contents of your email can do wonders for your conversion rate. Headlines that trigger curiosity can sometimes work well for example: "Hi [First Name] - I have a question for you."

  • Make the offer clear – If you're making a special offer to your contact then be upfront and include it as part of your subject line. People love bargains and special offers so let them know about it before anything else.

  • Emphasize the benefits – We use this technique for our newsletters. We always use the format of "Newsletter – [Benefit]". In our case, benefit is always the title of an article contained in the newsletter, such as "Company Newsletter – 10 Tips for Better Subject Lines". It works every time ;)

  • Easy identification – Make sure your contacts know the email is coming from you. Deceptive subject lines can confuse people so always try and including your company name in the subject line. Also, make sure you set the "From" attribute of your email to include your name and your companies name, such as "From: John Smith ".

  • Exclaim nothing – Avoid using excessive punctuation at the end of your subject lines. Google bans punctuation from AdWords ad's for a reason – too much hype can annoy and confuse people.

    6. I send an email campaign, but some contacts have not received it

    There could be a number of reasons for this.

    1. The contacts are subscribed as Text but you are sending a HTML email campaign. Check that the email type you are sending matches the contacts preference.
    2. A spam filter is picking up the email and blocking it from getting to their inbox. Your email campaign may have had link tracking or open tracking on, which some picky spam filters will use to detect a possible spam email and block it. If unsure, test your next campaign by turning off link and / or open tracking.
    3. The email being sent is being bounced back for a particular reason. Check your bounce account for any bounce emails and see if any match the particular email address that is not getting delivered to.

    7. What’s the difference between hard and soft bounces?

    InstantBulkMailer categorizes your campaign's bounces into 2 types:

    1) Soft Bounce: Soft bounces basically mean the email was sent to the server, processed, but for some reason was returned to us. Common reasons include: "user over quota," and "server temporarily unavailable."
    2) Hard Bounce: A hard bounce basically means we sent your email, and the recipient's server outright rejected it. Common reasons include: "Invalid Address", "Account does not exist," and "domain does not exist."
    InstantBulkMailer process bounce contacts automatically
    We'll process bounce backs from your list automatically and update the status of the contacts as Bounced. You won't have to do a thing. Please note by default your future campaign will not send to Hard Bounce addresses. If a soft bounce is noted for a single campaign we have attempted to send the email at regular intervals for up to 3 days. (We do what we can to help it try to get through, but we don't want you to look like an automated spambot either, so this helps keep a healthy balance.) If we get a soft bounce reported we will record that as 1 bounce. After 3 of these soft bounce reports we will update as Hard bounce.

    8. When I send a test email to myself the custom fields do not get replaced with the correct data.

    When you send a preview email to yourself you will simply see the custom field place holders. This is because at this stage there is no contact list associated with the email at this point in time. The place holders simply show you where data will be located.

    If you would like to see the data instead of the place holders you will need to add yourself to the contact list and send an email to yourself as a test.

    9. What is the difference between a normal sent email and the preview emails?

    InstantBulkMailer puts together the emails in the same way but links aren't tracked, open image isn't added, unsubscribe link isn't converted and the custom fields are not converted.

    10. If I schedule an email to go out next week, will it go out even if my computer is not on/connected to the internet?

    Yes. InstantBulkMailer is hosted on a server. This means that it is not running off your computer. Your scheduled emails and autoresponders will continue to go even though you are not logged in.

    11. I am not receiving my test campaign.

    There are a few reasons you might not receive test campaigns. Below are some common issues with test emails and tips on how to troubleshoot them.

    More Time is Needed
    Email client such as Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail can delay delivery of bulk mail to your inbox by as much as 24 hours. If you have not received your test or preview email, be sure you have allowed enough time for your webmail program to deliver it.

    Your Email was Marked as Spam
    There are several reason why your emails might deliver to spam folder

    Corporate Spam Filters and Firewalls
    Corporate spam firewalls can be especially strict when it comes to test messages. When you send a test email to multiple recipients at a company, it can look like a spam attack. Corporate emails clients also tend to flag mail that has the same "To" and "From" email address. We recommend you send test emails to personal or free email accounts, such as Yahoo/ Gmail.

    Test Content and Spam Filters
    It might seem logical to include words like “test” or “testing” in your test email subject lines but these can actually trigger spam filters.

    Sender Email Address
    Try changing 'FROM Email Address' Delivery may hamper if your sender domain address is listed in RBL.

    General Test Email Tips
    We recommend that you always send test campaigns to as many common email servers as possible, such as Yahoo or Gmail, in addition to your personal or corporate account to determine if it's a problem with just one email server.

    12. Warm Up Your IP Address

    If you are sending emails from a new or “cold” IP address, abrupt spikes in email sending volumes can harm your IP’s reputation. To prevent this, you need to warm your IP address up gradually over time to establish your IP address as a legitimate email sender among Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Properly warming up your IP address is a crucial step in building your email sending reputation and improving delivery performance.