Use the following checklist to help improve your B-to-B delivery rates:
1. Configurations: Bad message configurations will lead to deliverability problems. If you suspect configuration problems are harming your sends, use a delivery service provider to audit your system.
2. IP Address: Poor list hygiene or frequent complaints can lead to permanent blocks over time. To identify trouble spots, hire a third party with special expertise — such as an e-mail service provider or delivery service provider — to perform an inexpensive audit of your IP address. If you find an insurmountable problem, change your IP. Don’t make a habit of switching IPs, though. You’ll look like a spammer.
3. Bounce Management: You must be able to accept inbound bounces quickly and take steps to remove bad addresses. Be sure to have an email@example.com address set up to receive feedback from ISPs; monitor it frequently.
4. Mail Regularly: Churn isn’t just for butter. You should mail to everyone on your list at least once every 90 days. If you haven’t mailed a recipient in six months, consider re-soliciting permission.
5. Reduce Complaints: Ask for permission, be relevant and don’t over mail. It’s also wise to be extremely conservative with list rentals. Don’t add rented addresses to your master list until you’ve demonstrated a value proposition to those recipients and received permission to continue communicating.
6. Test Content: Run outbound e-mail through a content-evaluation system like SpamAssassin to ensure your messages won’t be trapped in spam filters.
7. Brand: Use your brand in the “from” line and use the same address consistently. Make sure your brand and logo are viewable in the preview pane.
8. Reputation/Authentication: If you haven’t already, make plans to implement all three e-mail authentication schemes — SPF, SenderID and DomainKeys.
—Elaine O’Gorman, vice president of strategy, Silverpop,
DMA Business-to-Business Marketing Conference
For more: www.silverpop.com