Spamville – our not-so-affectionate term for ending up in subscribers' spam folders – is every email marketer's worst nightmare. If we were professional athletes, Spamville would be a career-ending knee injury. Engagement rates, ROI, and – indirectly – sales, all depend on your readers actually seeing your content. When your message gets routed to spam folders, your content, however fantastic, becomes invisible. Think of the age-old question about the tree dropping in the forest with no one around to hear it.
That's your email's fate once the spam filter has its way. So we can all agree that Spamville is the pits, but how do you get there in the first place? And, more importantly, how do you avoid that desolate town populated by dismal campaign metrics?
A Bad Email List: Your One-Way Ticket to the Spam Folder
Using a bad email list is typically how messages fall prey to dreaded spam filters. When a list contains email addresses that aren't verified and authenticated, you expose your campaign to a drastically higher number of hard and soft bounces. Get enough of those and Internet service providers (ISPs) might block you altogether for months or even permanently.
How do you tell if your list cries, "All aboard for Spamville!"? We've covered most of the red flags of an unauthenticated list in a previous post, but here are a few other signs to look for:
- Your list hasn’t been updated in 24 hours. If your list is more than 24 hours old, the odds are good that it's outdated and unauthenticated. Authenticated lists receive daily updates.
- Your list is based on a single source. No source of opt-in emails covers the healthcare environment to the extent that healthcare companies require it. No single organization – no matter how respected – can provide all the information you need. You must integrate multiple primary sources.
- You don't know your hard and soft bounce rates. You can only remove the email addresses you know are broken. If you're not keeping track of metrics like your bounce rates, you may have no idea there's a problem. Bounce-rate metrics can identify other emails that are getting diverted to the junk mail folder.
- You rely on rep-provided email addresses without verifying them. You have no way of knowing where exactly a rep-provided healthcare professional's (HCP's) email address originally came from. The address may be a generic one for the HCP's practice or the address for the office administrator or manager. Unless every address you have has been verified, your list isn't authenticated.
- Your list is pulled from secondary sources such as directories, phone books, hospital websites. News flash! All of these sources were (a) obsolete before they were published (b) never verified that the HCP actually uses the address and (c) does not satisfy the requirement for an opt-in address.
Bypass Spamville with Email List Authentication
DMD authenticates every email address on its list. Each of those addresses are obtained from multiple sources. Even once we've verified an email address, we won't send to it until we've completed multiple testing steps. Since addresses go dark every day, we remove them that day to keep our list up-to-the-moment current.
Spamville is a dead-end town. Once you arrive there, you'll see your metrics plummet and your campaign derail. Fortunately, there's a route that allows you to bypass Spamville entirely – Authenication Highway.