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By Neil Anuskiewicz

January 28, 2009 — Tips for getting your permission-based marketing emails into the inbox and the actual design of the email are closely linked. Here you will find useful information on getting into the inbox, email design tips, and the nexus between the two.

If you are just getting back into email marketing after a break, are new to it, or are sending to an old list, make sure to ramp up your sending. This does not take long. If you have a large list, do not send to your whole list all at once but ramp up incrementally to maximize email marketing deliverability.

It is very important to keep a clean list. Too many hard bounces (email addresses that do not exist any more) can hurt your reputation with the ISPs. Pay close attention to keeping a clean list and purge as many bad addresses off the list as you can before you even send through a new Email Service Provider (ESP). You want to get off on the right foot with good delivery.

Keep in mind that the worst thing you can do to build your email list is to harvest emails off of Web sites, as this a flagrant violation of the CAN-SPAM act.

In addition, do not buy a list from some guy on the Internet who promises you the subscribers have all opted-in. They may have opted-in to hear from someone, but not from you. For you, they are likely to hit the spam complaint button along with the many others to whom this guy has sold the list. Sending to this sort of list will hurt your ability to reach your best customers or prospects.

No matter which ESP you choose, they will assign you an IP address – either shared or private. This IP address, not your email address, is the “Caller ID” of every email that goes out, whether a personal message or email marketing. Make sure you setup a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record that matches the IP your ESP assigned you with the sending domain (yourcompany.com). If you do this, you will be in the elite of email marketers who are following this optimal practice and will have an advantage. If you need help, ask your ESP. If you are a techie or know one, setting up an SPF record in your Domain Name Service (DNS) records does not take long. With many ESPs, you can determine the IP (shared or private) by looking in the settings of the account; with some ESPs you may have to ask them what IP address your emails are coming from.

Here are some additional tips on getting your emails through the spam filters.

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Neil Anuskiewicz is the Director of Business Development for EZ Publishing.
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