False-positive Filtering Rates Fall
False-positive filtering of permission-based e-mail was down in the second quarter of this year, according to the Lyris Technologies Q2 2005 ISP Deliverability Report Card. The report, published four times a year by the Berkeley, Calif.-based provider of e-mail marketing solutions, reveals that, on average, 1.4 percent of permission-based e-mails were improperly marked as spam by ISPs, down from 3.3 percent in the first quarter of the year. The report card also identified the top five domains to watch out for, i.e. those with the highest levels of incorrect filterings.
But even with false-positive filtering trending downward, there still are steps you should be taking to help ensure your messages are getting through, explains Shannon Coulter, senior marketing manager for Lyris.
- Publish Sender Policy Framework (SPF) records for your e-mail marketing servers as part of your organization's DNS listing. "One common mistake organizations make is that they are careful to put the IP address of their e-mail server in their DNS record, but not the IP address of their e-mail marketing server, which is not usually the same server," explains Coulter. "It's how ISPs verify [your IP address], so any server you use to send marketing communications should be listed in your DNS entry."
- If you're using a hosted service for e-mail marketing, make sure you have a dedicated IP address. "A lot of companies that offer hosted services do what's called 'IP address roundrobbining,' so they have a bank of IP addresses and all the organizations share them," explains Coulter. "It used to be more expensive to get a dedicated server, but now it's not. … And the more fixed and permanent you can make your identity, the more public you can make it, the more likely your e-mails are going to go through."
- Process unsubscribes immediately and automatically. If you keep old or dead addresses on your lists, it will hurt your deliverability because ISPs will see them and start blocking all your messages.