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5 Email Delivery Statements That Make Me Cringe

(The following was originally posted on Deliverability.com, our friends that power great thought in the world of email delivery.)

Here are some cringeworthy statements that I frequently hear from those deciding on whether to move their email delivery services. When I hear them, I either already know what type of sender they are (9th party) or know they have unrealistic expectations for what an Email Service Provider (ESP) can do for them.

Education is huge in our space to help defeat what you are about to read here. If you’ve been in the business for any length of time, I’m sure you have run across some of these when talking to prospects…or may have said them yourself at some dark point.Deliverability

“I use several ESPs because I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket.”

In other words, they want to snowshoe email across multiple providers in an attempt to stay under the radar. Most importantly, when one of those providers removes them from their network for violations, they have others to fall back on. To me, it’s easy. Send email to people that have opted in and do so in a way that provides value and makes them want to open each time they see something new from you.

“Though we send large volumes of mail, we tend to do better in a shared IP pool.”

In other words, they need to mix their unwanted email in with other senders that are keeping the IP reputation up far better than they ever could. Large volume senders should be able to maintain the reputation of a pool of IPs because when done right, the reputation of the IPs and sending domain will flourish.

“Our last provider couldn’t get us the opens we need.”

This probably had nothing to do with the content (payday loans, life insurance, how to get rich in 24 hours) or spam-filled subject lines, would it? Even if they are sending opt-in mail to an engaged audience, if the ESP has a properly configured network and mail is landing in the inbox, your ESP can’t actually make people open the mail. Stop oversending and make your subject line and content appealing enough for someone to use their ever dwindling, valuable time to choose to read your email (and take action!) amongst the other 50 sitting in their inbox.

“We bought the list from a legitimate list broker. They all opted in to receive emails.”

Did they opt in to receive mail from you? No! Even if this practice is not in direct violation of the Can-Spam Act, it is in violation of the spirit of the act, in addition to a violation of common sense. These people that are unfortunate enough to be on the list do not know your brand. They have no loyalty. Prepare for complaints and low engagement rates.

“I don’t know how (blacklists, spam traps, poor Sender Score) happened!”

If your business is relying on email to drive revenue, how can they not know? Chances are they know what is going on behind the scenes, but chanced it in hopes of beating the deliverability system. How bad can a purchased list hurt anyway? Well, after their sending reputation crumbles and they can’t get email to its destination (causing headaches for everyone), you suddenly have the answer.

Any other common threads that you hear? Email me or drop me a tweet.


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Whois: Stephen Wheeler

Stephen Wheeler is the Director of Deliverability for Dyn, the world leader in Internet Performance Solutions that delivers traffic management, message management, and performance assurance. Follow on Twitter: @InboxExpert and @Dyn.