Even with the meteoric rise of social media and its widespread adoption by businesses to engage customers , email marketing remains one of the most popular methods to contact customers. Email marketing can be very effective with a well planned campaign and likewise can be seen as Spam with a poorly implemented stream of “email blasts”. An excellent email marketing program will drive traffic to your website, build fans on your social media properties, engage and keep your customers informed. A poorly done stream of emails will irritate your clients and can even result in your domain being Blacklisted as a Spammer (see below).
Esotech can create a professional and engaging email marketing campaign with email designs that match your branding and an implementation plan that will deliver valuable content your clients will look forward to reading.
Get Started with a 30 Day Free Trial on Constant Contact
Constant Contact is our preferred email marketing and mass email platform at Esotech and we are a Constant Contact Partner. As a partner we can help you set up email campaign templates and integrate Constant Contact into your website with subscription and response forms.
Do I need to use a Mass email or email Marketing Service-Platform
If you want an effective mass email marketing program using on of the mass email platforms such as Constant Contact, icontact, mailchimp, or Vertical Response is an absolute must. All offer a free trial period of typically 30 days and the pricing for all is about the same where for $30 per month you can have an excellent email marketing program for up to 2,500 recipients and $50 for up to 5,000 subscribers. Mailchimp has a very generous free program for a limited number of emails per month, while Constant Contact has some additional features such as a autoresponder/drip program that works well for timed email marketing campaigns.
All of the platforms have great templates and allow you to customize your email template for your brand style, logo and colors. Esotech can create custom templates for your email marketing campaign to match your branding and style and help you set up a email marketing campaign that will deliver exceptional results.
If you are still wondering if there is a way around the system and you don’t need to use a mass email service provider for your email marketing campaign take a look at some of the facts we have outlined below…
Do I really have to have people “Opt-in”
In short, yes. All major mass email platforms such as Constant Contact, i-Contact, Mail Chimp, and Vertical Response require your mail list to be exclusively from users that have Opted In to your list and confirmed they want to receive your email marketing material or newsletter. This includes current customers, past clients, friends, even family; ALL recipients on your list must have opted in to the list by subscribing on your website or accepting an invitation and confirming their subscription.
This begs the question, what if I just add them to the list, who is going to know? Yes you can manually add people to your list and check a few boxes verifying that you have permission to mail to them and you have a relationship with this person and send mail to the list you uploaded. The problem is that if more that a fraction of 1% mark your email as Spam you will get a warning about your list and may have to call the provider to explain the source of your list. If it happens again they may permanently ban you from their platform. All of the mass email marketing providers have a ZERO tolerance for Spam. This is done to protect their own domain reputation because the email you send has a direct impact on their domain reputation and if enough people are marked as Spam the overall deliverability of email from their domain will be affected and this could cripple their business.
Why Can’t I Just Send a Bunch of emails One at a Time or a Few at a Time
Seems like a great idea! It’s not “Spam” if I send them one at a time from your own email or another email account, right? Wrong! If you send a large quantity of emails with the same or similar subject and content, even one at a time, it may get flagged as spam the ISP (Internet Service Provider) Spam filters. If you do this often enough the Spam filters will flag your domain as a Spammer and your domain will be Blacklisted, which means that emails from your domain are marked as coming from a suspected Spammer and they are rejected by the ISP server.
While you can use a gmail, hotmail or yahoo account to send marketing emails so you don’t endanger the reputation of your own domain, consider this… do you really want your clients getting marketing emails from your company via a free gmail account? What does this say about your brand and your company? Will they even open the email or just delete it since it looks like Spam. And once that email gets flagged as a Spammer you will have to set up another free account until it gets busted.
What happens if my Domain is Blacklisted?
The result of being Blacklisted is that emails you send to subscribers of the ISP that has Blacklisted you such as ATT, Comcast, AOL, etc may not receive your emails and they will not even be in their Spam filter as they never even entered the network, they we blocked at the server. Once your domain is Blacklisted, ALL email from your domain is marked as suspected Spam. Each ISP has slightly different Spam thresholds and thus you could be Blacklisted at Comcast and not ATT. This also depends upon how many offending emails you sent through each ISP.
One of most popular ISP Spam filters is Barracuda Networks and they provide a Domain-IP Reputation look up where you can check the reputation of your domain to see if you have been Blacklisted or if your domain has been flagged for problems.
If your domain has been Blacklisted the reputation can be restored, however it is a time consuming and somewhat complicated process that can take several weeks or months. Esotech offers consulting services where we will restore the reputation of your domain and set up a compliant and effective mass email marketing campaign for your organization.