“Oh boy! Best Practices! That’s awesome and totally fun to read about!” said no one, ever.
If “best practices” in any industry were fun and easy, then we wouldn’t have to talk about them. Instead, you get to trudge through blog posts like this, imagining an old teacher* wagging her finger while you roll your eyes.
So why should marketers care about email delivery best practices? Because in order to hit inboxes, your email campaigns are judged by automated filters, not people. It doesn’t matter if you are a malicious spammer or an innocent dummy: if you act like a spammer, you are spammer.
Remember the 90s?
I might be aging myself here, but remember when spam actually hit your inbox rather than your junk folder? It wasn’t really that long ago when Viagra offers or Nigerian princes were seen more often in New Messages than Spam/Junk.
But both ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and free email providers (Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook.com, etc.) have become much more savvy at keeping unwanted emails out of your way.
Why the venomous hatred of spammers?
Massive spam campaigns are the bane of any techie’s existence. You and I don’t see it, but your IT team is busy trying to keep out roughly 85% of email sent worldwide, among other things. Gulp. And ISPs deal with this on a massive scale, utilizing automated filters to decide who’s naughty and who’s nice.
Algorithms don’t care if you’re a nice person.
Is it a good idea to blast out emails to whomever you want? Nope, and here’s why: the aforementioned spam filters aren’t judging whether you are a malicious spammer or not. Malicious in this context means illegal pharmaceutical offers, unsolicited adult content, phishing attacks, aka the really bad stuff. If no one engages with your email (by opening or clicking), then ISPs assume that people just don’t want your mail.
That’s why we have (wait for it) best practices: filters are looking for the behavior of your email marketing campaigns, not what a nice person you are. Like your IT team, email and Internet providers don’t want to waste resources warding off millions of unwanted emails.
OK, but what do I do?
How can YOU avoid being lumped in with the baddies? The bottom line is always to send content your recipients want and are expecting.
*The title of this blog borrows from my senior year high school English teacher who was really harsh, super nice, got me into samurai movies, and loved to say “I don’t give a rat’s posterior…” So don’t roll your eyes!
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