Brand-killing E-mail Mistakes
4. "From"/"reply to" addresses can make a difference.
Believe it or not, many companies send e-mail messages, as part of one-time campaigns or ongoing programs, that involve problems associated with the "from" and "reply to" e-mail addresses.
The from/reply to addresses should be relevant to the recipient and, of course, should be valid. This seems obvious, but not everyone adheres to this standard, since some companies use fake addresses or aliases that have not been formally set up. Inevitably, some people will respond to both, so make sure these addresses are working. Also, assign at least two people—a primary and a backup—to the e-mail address, ensuring that someone always is monitoring replies.
5. Bad lists equal hot water.
If you are looking to build your permission-based database through external lists, you need to be extremely wary of the lists you use for prospecting. Not only are consumer and business users more sensitive to unsolicited e-mail, the media increasingly is focused on spam and definitely will zero in on companies that—knowingly or unknowingly—disregard opt-in best practices. So, choosing the wrong types of lists can get your company and its image in hot water.
Do not bother with lists that offer cheap promises—costing pennies per thousand and containing millions of addresses. These typically are called spam lists, which include databases of names harvested without the recipients' consent. It takes time and money to develop good third-party opt-in lists. Be willing to pay reputable list brokers, managers, owners and networks a little higher price for higher quality lists. Use only lists where the list manager or broker can prove opt-in.
6. Blacklisting—the hidden scourge.
Even with your best intentions, bad lists and poor e-mail communications practices can get you blacklisted through ISPs or services like Spamcop.net.
E-mail users have a few options to combat what they perceive as spam. They can use filters to catch the most blatant abusers. They can complain directly to their ISPs, which may facilitate their issues through in-house abuse departments. Or, they can employ anti-spam services that "blacklist" your e-mail messages from getting to desired recipients. These spam watchers don't bother to tell you when you've been blacklisted. In fact, many companies and even e-mail service firms have no idea when their outbound messages are being denied.