50k Email List - Help!

14 replies
Hey Guys,

I'm a new users here and I was hoping I could get a bit of help. I currently have a 50,000 person email list for a daily deals site, which has been successfully generating revenue and I've been growing over the last 8 months. This list is on GetResponse.

Today I finally realized that over the last few months my open rates from yahoo (and hotmail) have been slowly (but steadily) declining (Gmail has been great). And about a week ago, my open rates from yahoo dropped significantly - I checked and about this time my emails started going to Yahoo spam folders.

I talked to the GetResponse rep and he confirmed that my emails are hitting the spam boxes for Yahoo and Hotmail users. He didn't offer much advice at all on how to fix this.

Being a daily deals site - my email subjects frequently use the words Free, Deals, etc. So this could be part of the cause. Also, I've been aggressively adding users over the last 6 weeks via Facebook ads (offering giveaways and freebies) so this could also be a reason for my emails hitting the spam boxes (users complain or opt-out after they being receiving the daily emails). I noticed one big spike in complaints one day (109 complaints out of 50k emails), but most days it's low, and my spam score has been great on GetResponse. All the users are acquired via a single opt-in as well.

My list is comprised of older users (over 35) so Yahoo is the most heavily used email service. This is a big problem for me, since many users aren't opening my emails and I'm losing out on revenue.

I provide an awesome service for my clients (sellers) & my users (buyers) and I had plans to grow this business significantly.

Does anyone have any idea on what I should do to get this rectified? Should I file a Bulk Sender report with Yahoo? Should I try switching email marketing solutions? Unfortunately I don't know the exact reason my emails have gone to spam boxes.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

#50k #email #list #spam
  • Profile picture of the author souleclipse
    I am a getresponse user... they had some issue with one of the mail server, i notice my open rate dropped during the may - june period. Hence it not any issue with your title ... more towards Getrepsonse... sadly... the only solution is to move.
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  • Profile picture of the author Edwin Torres
    I use Getresponse aswell and am experiencing lower open rates also. Hopefully its just a fluke :/
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  • Profile picture of the author PhilArmonik
    Hi Frank - without knowing much more than what you've said here (and there are a lot of other factors to consider when flying into spam folders) the glaring problem I see is that you're using the words "free" and "deals" in your subject lines.

    Big no-no.

    You have to be sure to write subject lines that are, in fact, eyeball grabbing headlines. Of course you don't have the character count to play with so your SLs need to be short and offer a benefit that your readers cannot ignore.

    In few words, you need to show them a solution to their problem.

    A little vague - I know. But I hope it helps you.
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  • Profile picture of the author alzack
    Gosh... 50K is huge. That could be a massive income lost if your problem cannot be solved. I the problem persist, I think the best way is to migrate.

    z.y.z.m.j.i.f.m.s.a.h.z.a. : http://cyza.us

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  • Profile picture of the author Goldbar
    Hello Frank,

    Let me preface this by saying I run an Email Service and I have for many years and I have a lot of experience in this industry.

    While your content MAY have something to do with the drop at yahoo, its actually less likely. Here is why, if your content were the issue then your rates would be low (or your email in the spam folder) at EVERY receiving major email service (gmail, hotmail/outlook,aol and yahoo).

    They all use fairly similar metrics when determining filtering due to spam content. Where they differ is reputation and inbox ratio.

    So, since your mail goes out over GRs shared IPs (which most everyones does unless you use their dedicated service GR360) then most likely content sent on their IPs is either being filtered aggressively @ yahoo (my suspicion) or they encountered a tough patch with some bad clients and they are suffering just temporary filtering.

    A good Email Service Provider would be aware and would be working on fixing the issues. They may very well be (not that they would communicate that with you and not that it would be resolved overnight either).

    The way to test if my theory is correct: create a test list in Getresponse with what is known in the industry as a "seed" account. A seed would be an account you control @ a domain:

    e.g. myseed@yahoo.com (dont call it seed )

    Then send emails to it.

    Send a clean email without links, without free, or any of the words in your newsletter.

    Does it inbox?

    If not - GR is having reputation issues delivering to yahoo.

    If it does, then you test your exact newsletter template and remove words until you find out what is causing the issue.

    If you are having rep issues and yahoo is the bulk of your base, you need to find a provider who is really good at hitting yahoo inbox.

    Hope that helps,

    Marc Goldman
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    • Profile picture of the author brandnewguy
      Thanks for the great responses here!

      Marc - thanks for the detailed advice. Based on what I've seen I definitely think it's yahoo aggressively filtering GetResponse's shared IP. I have a few seed accounts - sometimes the emails go to spam and sometimes they don't. However, I performed a test email, like you described, and even this was sent to spam for one of my seed accounts.

      I'm switching over to AWeber - keeping my fingers crossed this solves the problem!
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  • Profile picture of the author newbieleoling
    I use GetResponse too. There is a spam check for your newsletter. I always do a spam check before I send out or publish. Maybe you can try that before send out your email?
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  • Profile picture of the author Gavin Stephenson
    Change your from email address to a new domain.

    Meaning buy a new domain and make a new email

    Example: yourname@yourdomain.com

    See what happens.

    - Import your list to Imnica mail and see if you can get better rates :-)
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    • Profile picture of the author Richelo Killian
      I have to say, I see a LOT of misinformation here, and no-one offering real possible solutions.

      Let me clear up a few things ...
      • Using the word free in the subject line is not going to get you dumped in spam. That is OLD regurgitated advice which just is not true anymore. Using all caps and excessive punctuation on the other hand will.
      • On June 10 or 11, Gmail changed their spam algorithms, and it's causing a LOT more legitimate emails going to spam. I'm even getting Google Apps for business emails going to my spam folder! This is from Gmail themselves!
      • Around the same time, Yahoo and AOL changed their DMARC settings to deny, which basically means you can NOT use an AOL or Yahoo account as your FROM address on ANY ESP.

      I don't know if GR is having reputation issues, but, just assuming before doing some real testing is just dangerous.

      Let me give you some tips on best practices for inboxing, regardless of the ESP you're using ...
      • NEVER use a free FROM address like Gmail, Yahoo, etc

        You may be tempted to use a free FROM address like @gmail.com, thinking that you would do better with delivery to said free email service.

        This could not be further from the truth. The BIG email ISP's like Gmail and Yahoo will penalize you for using a free from address.

        This alone will not necessarily cause your email to land in the spam folder, but, if anything else is wrong with your message, this could be the tipping point.

        Always use your own domain as the from address.
      • ALWAYS check the domain(s) in your email to ensure they are not black listed. Use this tool: MultiRBL.valli.org - Blacklist, Whitelist and FCrDNS check tool

        If the domain you use in your email, regardless of what AutoResponder service your use, is black listed in any of the tons of blacklisting sites out there, your email will at best go to the spam folder, and at worst, be completely rejected by the receiving domain, which could put your AutoResponder account in jeopardy.

        The tool listed above is 100% free, and can be used to quickly check your domain against all known black lists.
      • Only send relevant emails

        There is nothing worse than signing up for an email newsletter on a specific topic, just to be bombarded with messages about something which has nothing to do with the original subject you were expecting.

        I have personally signed up for a marketing list, and then suddenly receive messages about health and fitness, self-help, and even dating!

        This is the QUICKEST way to get a ton of spam complaints!

        Always keep on topic, and make sure it's relevant.
      • Stick to a sending schedule

        People learn to expect messages from you at a specific time. What this time is, and how often you send is up to you, but, "teach" your subscribers when to expect messages from you. Provided your offer great content and value, your subscribes will be WAITING for your email!
      • To improve deliverability, ask your subscribers to add to their address book

        It is your AutoResponder's responsibility to make sure that their sending infrastructure has a good sending reputation, as well as to work with the receiving ISP's to ensure best deliverability.

        BUT ... Even the best AutoResponder service cannot guarantee 100% deliverability.

        The reason is that the receiving ISP's are looking at a lot more than just IP and domain reputation. They look at things like the from address, engagement, links in the email, etc.

        So many different things in your email could trigger it going to spam. Although all of these can be addressed, the most sure fire way of always landing in your subscriber's inbox, is to ask them to add the sending address to their address book.

        Many big shot mailers has the call to add their address to the address book in every single email they send out. This is a GREAT practice!

        ALSO ask on your thank you page!
      • Keep the from name real, consistent and recognizable

        As part of the engagement tracking that receiving ISP's are doing, they track the from addresses, and reputation is added to the from address and from name as well.

        It is in your best interest to always use the SAME from name and from email address on all your emails to any specific list.

        Not only will it build reputation, but, your subscribers will learn to watch for your name and email address.

        Also makes it easier to only ask once per list to add an address to their address book! ;-)
      • Always include plain text along with HTML messages for the 5% who can only view text

        Even though 95% of email clients are capable of displaying HTML, there is still that 5% who just cannot see your message at all.
      • Don't use all caps or multiple !!!'s in subject or body

        All caps in subject or body of the message, and/or, excessive use of punctuation is a surefire way to land in the spam folder!
      • ALWAYS Provide VALUE

        As long as value is provided, consumers will be willing to be exposed to a few advertisements

        Providing content on a topic a recipient is interested in or a discount off a product related to one purchased previously subscribers will allow you to continue to contact them
      • From Names

        Majority of email received is junk. People scan FROM name 1st when deciding to read. They HAVE to recognize the from name, or, it won't even look at subject line!

        Use from name which is either your organization's name or well know person within your organization

        NEVER use a deceiving from name. Not only will you lose subscribers, but, it's ILLEGAL!
      • Subject Lines

        What works well is keeping 1 part consistent and 1 part variable - Easy to recognize and expect

        Examples of bad subject lines

        * Garden Tips
        * Atlantic Yachting - Save $10 Today Only Buy Now!!!!

        Revised, better subject lines

        * [fname]'s Entrepreneurs' Chronicle For May
        * Garden Tips Monthly - Are Year Round Orchids Possible?
        * Atlantic Yachting Special: 15% Off
      • HTML, Plain Text or Both

        Almost ALL email clients can display HTML

        Still, around 5% can't, or, have it turned off

        Always send both HTML and plain text version. Also known as Multi-Part MIME

        Use image alt tags as calls to action for those with images turned off
      • Deliverability & YOU

        You are ALSO responsible for good deliverability

        ALWAYS ask recipient to add to address book.

        To ensure receipt of our emails, please add something@yourcompany.com to your Address Book. Thank you!

        To ensure delivery of this newsletter, please add newsletters@yourcompany.com to your email address book.
      • Some final tips ...

        * Use Incentives to Increase Open Rates: When you include an incentive in your subject line, you can increase open rates by as much as 50%. "Free shipping when you spend $25 or more" and "Receive a free iPod with demo" are examples of good, incentive-focused subject lines.

        * Stick to Fewer Than 3 Typefaces: The less clutter you have in your email, the more conversions you'll experience. Don't junk up your email with more than 2, or at maximum, 3 typefaces.

        * Keep the Main Message and Call-to-Action Above the Fold: If your main call-to-action falls below the fold, then as many as 70% of recipients won't see it. Also, any call-to-action should be repeated at least 3 times throughout the email.

        * Keep Your Email 500-650 Pixels Wide: If you go wider than 650 pixels, then you're asking users to scroll horizontally to read your entire message. That's a no-no.

        Put Your Logo in the Upper Left-Hand Side of the Email: Eye tracking studies have found that people instinctively look for logos in the upper left-hand side of emails. Put your logo in the upper left-hand side to ensure it gets the most visibility.

        * Use Auto-Responders for Opt-Ins: Be prepared for your readers to forget they opted in. Set up an auto-responder that reminds people they opted in to your email database. The auto-responder should be sent out 1 day, 5 days, and 10 days after the person registers. Each auto-responder email should include additional content or bonus material to reward the reader for opting in.

        * Closely Tie Emails to Landing Pages: Your landing page should match the email in terms of headline, copy, and content. The look and feel of your landing page should also match the email. And make sure you're utilizing tracking tools to see which emails and landing pages performed the best.

        * Conduct a 5-Second Test: Send a copy of the email to a friend or business associate. Can they quickly tell what your call-to-action is? If so, you're golden. If not, keep working.
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  • Profile picture of the author Richelo Killian
    I mean no disrespect, but, why on earth was my post deleted? I wrote a book in here with QUALITY information, no negativity, and not bashing anyone. No promotion either. WHAT ON EARTH?!
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  • Profile picture of the author chaotic squid
    I wonder if the fact that your using single opt-in is causing your problem. If you'd like to increase your open rates, decrease complaints, and increase the responsiveness of the list then I'd go double opt-in.
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  • Profile picture of the author TraderAgency
    Great advice Richello. I'm glad they put your thread back because I learned a few things by it. I'm actually copying it and saving it for later. Great tips!
    Build your business and earn an income! Robust marketing platform + 2x11 matrix-- 3 payplans in 1 - Contact me for info..Wholesale leads, build any business while making money!
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