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Email communication is a very powerful tool if leveraged and executed the right way, especially, in the marketing realm. It drives acquistion, engagement and retention but improper execution can cost you severly in money, deliverability and resources.

The Data

  • 88.5% of All Americans use the internet and 68% do so by smart phone.
  • 40% of the entire world has an internet connection which equates to roughly 3.5 Billion users.

All of those users use email to communicate or receive information directly addressed to them.

The Science

Spam - the nemesis to any email marketer and company.

The internet has become a very complex eco-system of data and applications and to maintain a safe and/or secure environment various layers of protection, methods, and applications have been developed to better combat those attacks and vulnerabilities.

Spam, Viruses, Malware & Trojans as we know it operates like a parasite. It tries to infiltrate your infrastructure and leverage your network to grow and find victims.

 

The What & The Why

Spam can be defined as any unsolicited or unwanted email, however, the deeper meaning really are the emails that try to bait & deceive you in either providing your information, downloading trojans and/or viruses, so that the culprit can do the following things:

  • Use your personal information for Fraud such as hacking into your personal accounts anywhere from emails to banking.
  • Infiltrate your network to mask their operations and to broaden their exploitation
  • Use your resources to keep sending spam without being detected.

All email has an originating ID such as an IP address that can be traced to some ownership. In order for spammers to be effective they "mask" themselves as a sender that you are familiar with such as a company or even friend or family member.

These emails will either asked you to go to a website and ask for personal information, solicit an offer that will bait you into some action, or provide access to your hosting accounts or network infrastructures.

The Prevention

The reality is that spam has become unavoidable simply because it thrives off people's naive, gullible and ignorant behaviors towards these scams. However, many ISP's (Google, AOL, Yahoo, etc.) have implemented highly sophisticated layers of applications, systems and requirements to combat those nuisances but of course these come with implications that are passed back to email senders which affect email deliverability.

Deliverability - Is the process that an email actually arrives at its intended destination.

The issue with Deliverability is that you have to actually monitor it very closely. It is not something that you will be alerted with. ISP's can black list you without warning and you could continue sending emails without them ever getting to their intended recipient.

For example:

Should you be black listed by Google and/or Comcast, that means depending on the adverse action these ISP's have taken against you that your email never even reaches the inbox, if they simply flagged you as bulk/spam then most likely you wind up in their junk folder which is also not very good.

These spam filters with the ISP's are always tweaked and evolving, it is an ongoing process, you could be fine for several months and then someone reports you or something supsicious may happen and your are blocked.

The filters operate off complex alogrithms that use data from several sources to assess your mailing. There are several black list data bases that update consistently, there many "best practices" on how to develop your email, sender reputation and countless other processes.

Below are a few applications by ISP's to determine your deliverability:

  • SPF Records: ISP's check for the signature in your DNS
  • DKIM: A special implementation of a security key that is passed within  your send and checked against your DNS records
  • Sender Reputation: Your History of sending email on a specific IP address
  • Email coding: There are best practices on how to code emails that ISP's deem to be "professional"
  • Trigger Keywords and Copy: ISP's check for keywords that they may deem spammy.
  • Feedback Loops: Headers that are implemented to interact with the ISP's

There are quite many more but these are some of the key implementations to properly send email.

It requires a set of well trained professionals to manage large scale deployments and to assess how to ensure the best deliverability.

Digital Media Concepts & Solutions can help you in managing your campaigns in many different ways from:

  • Fully managed: We will handle your entire campaigns from start to finish
  • Consultation: We can assess your work flow and make recommendations
  • A la Carte: We can provide services such as template development, data segmentation, campaign managment, and more.

We are fully experienced to work with ESP's such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud (ExactTarget), Epsilon, Mailchimp, Yesmail, Silver Pop, Maro Post, Active Campaign.