If you're reading this article it's probably because you want to improve your email marketing practices, or you might have received a warning or account suspension for receiving excessively low open rates and / or high bounce, unsubscribe or complaint rates.
This article contains some general compliance tips to help you improve your open rates and reduce your bounces, unsubscribes and complaints.
If you only do one thing, implementing a double opt-in process is the most effective way to improve your email marketing results.
Setting up a double opt-in process is beneficial for several reasons:
- Subscribers confirm their email address is valid, which rules out typo's when subscribing as well as people signing up others (who might not want to receive your emails)
- When subscribers confirm their subscription, they are actively confirming that they want to receive your emails
- Improves open rates
- Decrease in unsubscribes
- Decrease in complaints
- Decrease in bounces
Always include an unsubscribe link in your emails. The system includes this by default on all emails.
Unsubscribe links make it really quick and easy for people to opt-out of your emails, which is preferable to them clicking the spam button (which shows as a complaint in your report) because they can't find how to unsubscribe.
If you haven’t emailed your subscribers in more than 6 months, or you collected their details more than 6 months ago, the contact list may be stale.
People regularly change their email addresses, whether that be because of a job change or because they abandon an address due to receiving high volumes of spam. So it's important that your list management reflects this.
Sending to stale contact lists will decrease your open rate, and increase the bounces, and potentially the unsubscribes and complaint rates (if people don't remember subscribing).
You might like to consider running a search on your database and removing anyone who hasn’t opened your emails in the past 2 months.
Purchased, harvested or third party lists
If you have purchased your list, harvested the contacts from online or phone book directories (or similar), or received your list from a third party, you should immediately remove the contacts from your account and cease sending to them.
The email marketing program is strictly permission-based - only subscribers who have provided their consent to receive emails from you should be sent marketing communications from your account.
Relevant & familiar content
Ensure that your content is relevant and the email design is consistent with your brand. People may mark your email as spam if they don’t recognise you or your company, or the content is not relevant or what they expected to receive from you when they signed up.
You should also include text at the bottom or top of your email informing people exactly why they are receiving the email (e.g. You are receiving this email because you are or were a customer of COMPANY NAME. If you no longer wish to hear from us, please use the unsubscribe link below).