5 Marketing. Problems You Don t Know You Have.

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1 5 Marketing Problems You Don t Know You

2 Contents 1. You re on the blacklist 4 2. You re coding for a website 8 3. Your looks awful in Outlook You re getting filtered out Your preheaders aren t meaningful 17

3 So, you know how to send an . You ve ed your colleagues, your parents, your kids teachers, and your friends. How much more complicated could marketing be? When it comes to pushing hundreds or thousands of s past spam filters and fighting for the attention of diverse recipients using multiple clients, there is a lot more to consider. This ebook takes you beyond high-level best practices into the details that really make a difference in the deliverability and rendering of your s.

4 1 You ve been blacklisted Sometimes you think you re doing everything right you ve designed a fabulous emarketing campaign, segmented your audience for maximum open and click rates, included multiple calls to action, and scheduled delivery in the middle of the sweet spot. But, alas, you ve been blacklisted. So, why are s blacklisted? The horribly vague answer is it depends. Blacklists are a collection of IPs, URLs, and addresses flagged as spammers or phishers that may harm computers, networks, or websites. Spammer is a dirty word that you do not want associated with your company because it implies that you send unsolicited and unnecessary messages with irrelevant information. Blacklists are designed to reduce spam. If you ve been blacklisted, then many of your s will not be delivered and you will notice a dramatic decrease in open rates and an increase in bounce back messages. There are a couple different traps your s can get stuck in: 1. Public ISPs 2. Postini spam filters

5 Public ISPs Public ISPs are the IP addresses that your home or business router receives from your internet service provider (ISP). Devices with these public IP addresses can communicate with other public IP address devices, but not directly with private IP addresses (this requires a router). Most major ISPs have their own internal blacklists Outlook and Yahoo maintain theirs inside custom spam filters and do not allow you to query on their lists to check whether or not you re blocked. There are more than 120 blacklists from public ISPs. Make sure you have access to your server s IP address so you can monitor public blacklists. Check the following websites to ensure your IP address hasn t been flagged: Domain Name System Blacklist: DNSStuff: MXToolbox: Solution - The good news is all marketing starts with a clean slate. Let s say you ve just started using marketing automation software and are ready to launch your first campaign. To stop blacklists in their tracks, check that you ve completed the following steps before clicking send:

6 Ease into your new IP address: Don t your entire database right of the bat this sounds the spammer alarms. Start off ing only your most targeted and responsive lists and work your way up. This way, in case you are blacklisted, it will be easier to target the problem through the process of elimination. Allow recipients to opt out: Highlight your opt out link, especially in early correspondence with new addresses. If a recipient chooses to opt out, the s link should take them directly to the unsubscribe page. Also include an opt in link for recipients who would like to receive additional updates and alerts. Go for the double opt in: In this scenario, recipients click the opt in link inside their , complete a form on your website, and are ed to confirm that their address is valid. This verifies their address and that they ve agreed to receive additional communications from your company. Give the purchased lists a break: No matter where you stand in the debate, marketers buy lists. However, make sure that some campaigns contain no purchased addresses. Blasting strange s is, once again, an alarm sounder. If you do buy lists, target your message accordingly (with a clearly displayed opt out). Check yourself before you wreck yourself: Verify that all addresses in your database are valid. Sending to misspelled or nonexistent addresses not only flags you as a spammer, but increases the amount of bounced responses in your inbox. Review new addresses as they re added to your marketing software or CRM.

7 Postini spam filter Postini is an and web security/archiving service. Owned by Google, Postini offers cloud computing services for filtering spam, encrypting messages for security, and archiving web communications. Businesses that use Postini redirect their incoming and outgoing s through Postini instead of their own servers. Messages are scanned for viruses and malware and anything deemed as spam is filtered out. The frustrating thing about Postini is that it not only blocks your message, but it also can t explain why. Solving the mystery often comes down to lots of testing and a healthy dose of trial and error. Solution The system pays close attention to the balance between text and images: If you find yourself blocked, try sizing down images and beefing up your s text (or HTML). Don t continue to invalid or full mailboxes: You may have to adjust your delivery system s settings for hard bounces. Monitor new subscriber lists: Just like blacklists, ease into your new contacts and begin communications with very strict design rules until you ve determined how their clients filter your messages. responsibly to maintain a flawless reputation: Maintain an open line of communication with recipients so they do not report you as a spammer and clearly mark your opt out links.

8 2 You re coding for a website content editors look a lot like website content editors. And code looks a lot like the code on your company website. Don t be fooled there are certain things that work great for your website, but will ruin your s. In this section, we explore several work-arounds you can apply to your s to get a similar effect. Javascript - Many clients block JavaScript to prevent the transmission of viruses, which is good news for everyone s computers. Alternative: Create images for your buttons, forgo any obnoxious pop-ups, and put your forms on a real webpage you link out to (which is also good since you get a cookie). Some css - CSS (cascading style sheets) define the formatting and layout for HTML, but don t work the same way in as they do in websites. Unlike with websites, you can t really link to CSS files or put CSS in between the <HEAD> tags. Browser-based applications will strip this code out in an effort to preserve the code on their own page.

9 Alternative: The solution is to use inline CSS, which is going to be a little bit more work because you may have to define the attributes multiple times throughout your . Here are some examples of how you can use inline CSS to keep your looking like you intended: Body Text: Each set of text needs to be defined. <span style=" font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color: #BBBBBB; >Content goes here</span> Hyperlink Text: Add styles to hyperlinks. <a style="color: #f18605; text-decoration: none;" href=" salesfusion.com"> Big Images - It s great to have pretty images in your , but you need to keep in mind two things: Image-to-text ratio: Image-to-text ratio is an important consideration for spam filters. s that contain more images than text run a high risk for being flagged as spam or sent to the junk folder. preview: Unless your recipient has already opted into always displaying images for you, your images are going to display as boxes. When your entire is a box, there s nothing to pull the recipient in and make them want to read your .

10 Alternative: Tables are your absolute best friend in creation. When trying to cut down on images, look for images that contain mostly text anyway and just rewrite the message in a table. Choose a font, assign a background color and bam! Well-styled, immediately digestible text that will help your both on its journey to the inbox and to your readers eyeballs.

11 3 Your looks awful in Outlook Are your s rendering correctly in Outlook 2013? What about Outlook 2003? Yeah, are you sure? Aside from ios, Outlook is the most popular client used by B2B buyers, and happens to be one of the trickiest to work with. In this section, we have outlined the most common issues marketers face in Outlook and solutions for resolving them. Hyperlink Borders What it should look like What it really looks like Buttons and images have ugly borders Where does this happen? Microsoft Outlook

12 Why does this happen? Prior to 2007, Outlook clients were powered by IE. You might notice that any client will display images with borders by default when opened in IE, unless specified in the HTML. How can I fix it? Check the code on your images. If you don t see anything specifying a border, or if your border says anything but 0, replace it with: <span style=" font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; color: #BBBBBB; >Content goes here</span> Image Enlargement What it should look like Image reverts to original size What it really looks like

13 Where does this happen? Outlook Why does this happen? In 2007, Outlook switched to a rendering engine based on MS Word and stopped being good at reading and displaying HTML. How can I fix it? 1. Recode - Again, check your code. Outlook won t read your image styles, so if you don t see img width= 100px height= 50 > you need to add it either in addition to your image style or instead of your image style. <img src="/uploads/ Images/plate.png" alt= plate" style="width: 200px; height: 198px;" /> <img width= 200 height= 198 src="/uploads/images/pl ate.png" alt= plate" style="width: 200px; height: 198px;" /> 2. Resize - If recording doesn t work, resize your original image using photo editing software and then upload it again into your content manager.

14 Font Changes What it should look like What it really looks like Register Now Register Now Where does this happen? Outlook Why does this happen? If there is one rule you need to remember for Outlook, it s BE specific. Just because you defined your font someplace else in the and it looks great in your content editor, in Gmail, and on your mobile doesn t mean it will render the same in Outlook. How can I fix it? Make sure you re-define the font-family and font-size for each table cell or new set of text to avoid the dreaded Times New Roman. <td align="center" style="height: 52px; font-family: Tahoma; font-size: 18px;">

15 4 You re getting filtered out We usually love our spam filter for protecting us from all sorts of poorly targeted solicitations. Then we watch it transform into a six-headed monster when it s time to send a marketing campaign that we know is more relevant to our recipients than diet drugs and personal data requests. To help you play nice with increasingly sticky spam filters, we put together a list of best practices to follow during your marketing efforts: Include plain text in your . s that are entirely HTML or that include just images and links are flagged for spam. Personal s contain plain text, so including this text will tell spam filters that you are a real person not a spammer. Know your target audience. Which clients do they most commonly use? Which browser do they prefer? Knowing these things will allow you to design your with the audience in mind. How do you get this information? Send a simple survey out and ask. Avoid using attachments. One of the dangers of spam is they can contain virulent attachments. Uploading and hosting images and creating links instead of attachments will not only avoid spam rules, it will also help your s to load faster.

16 Avoid using phrases than can trigger spam filters. Many spam filters function by text alone and a high density of risky keywords means that your mail will be caught and flagged as spam. Keep in mind that using a few words frequently associated with spam filters will not necessarily condemn your , but using a large combination of keywords puts your campaign at risk. Avoid red text in your s. Since red text is commonly used in formatting spammy s, spam filters will pick upon it and grab your s away from inboxes.

17 5 Your preheaders aren t meaningful You focus so much energy on creating the perfect subject line, but what about the text from your that gets pulled in right after the subject ends? We re talking about this: Preheader text is usually pulled from the content at the top of the . marketers often place content-irrelevant hyperlinks such as display in browser or forward to friend in that space, not realizing this text is pulled into the preheader. Text is also pulled from image alt tags, like the last in the example above. Mobile devices render even more preview text, making it glaringly obvious when you haven t given that space much consideration.

18 Preheader content can impact opens, clicks, and even spam complaints, so it s something marketers need to pay attention to. Solution - Think about what you want your recipient to read immediately after the subject line. Do you want it to be the beginning of your message to them? Your company name? An attention-grabbing phrase? Whatever it is, "Display problems?" and "Company Logo" probably didn't come to mind. Consider the following solutions when designing your templates: Use Image Alt Tags: Place an image, such as your logo, in the top left corner of your template and use the alt tag for your preheader text. Keep in mind that this text will also be displayed in an empty box in your recipients' preview pane if they have not opted to display your images. This is a great way to control preheader text without changing the body text of your . Use Image Alt Tags: Who said your display in browser hyperlink had to be the first text on your page? Design your template so that header or subheader text precede any content-irrelevant hyperlinks. This ensures preheader text will populate something relevant to your message.

19 Conclusion If you re new to marketing, this might seem like an overwhelming amount of information to remember. Get help from a designer to create templates that have passed these tests to reduce room for error. Take advantage of tools that enable you to score s potential for being filtered as spam. Preview your s in as many clients as possible on as many devices as you can. And as always test, test, test. Salesfusion helps companies deliver more revenue. With Salesfusion s smart marketing automation platform, marketing and sales teams are delivering more lead-to-revenue results by nurturing and surfacing the right leads into the CRM at the right time. Salesfusion s platform also enables customer care teams to increase client satisfaction and growth through customer-centric nurture programs. By identifying lead, journey, and buyer profiles, Salesfusion is helping companies deliver more revenue than ever before.

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