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The Basics: Getting Started With Email Marketing
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By Robert Rodriguez

As an account manager, I’ve had the chance to work with hundreds of companies starting out with email marketing over the year. I’ve seen that those willing to invest some initial time to learn and apply basic best practices tend to enjoy better delivery and more success with their email campaigns. There is always a lot to learn about email marketing, and it should be an ongoing process, but when getting started there are a few basic principles that email marketers should pay attention to for best results.

The following is my “Getting Started Checklist” I share with new email marketers to get their campaigns started correctly. It doesn’t take much time, and if you pay attention to these from the start, you will have fewer problems and enjoy more success with your email marketing campaigns.

SPF Record - An Optional Feature That You Need to Have

A few years ago, SPF records were only somewhat helpful for improving delivery. These days, however, they have been adopted by most of the mainstream Internet Service Providers ( ISPs), making it a vital email marketing component for companies serious about getting through to their subscribers.

The ISPs are able to detect that your messages, while addressed from your domain, are actually coming from your email service provider (ESP). This raises a flag on their end, because this is also a common practice among spammers. The SPF record will separate you from those who send spam. It acts as a confirmation that, even though messages aren’t being sent directly from your mail server, they are still coming from you.

Setting up an SPF record clears up about 90 percent of initial email delivery problems. Your ESP should be able to help you set up your SPF record.

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