24 May 2012
Getting your email or video email delivered to your recipient’s inbox is our top priority. If your message doesn’t get delivered, it can’t get opened. If it can’t get opened, your message is lost on that potential recipient.
No company can guarantee 100% delivery of your email or video email; it’s simply not possible. Still, deliverability is a big deal to BombBomb. This is partly our responsibility and partly yours, so we must work together to avoid spam traps and filters.
In this post, we’ll review some of the factors involved in successful delivery of email and consistent avoidance of spam folders and blocks. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it provides a good overview.
Because it’s so critical to our success and yours, BombBomb monitors our delivery process closely and daily. We actively manage our reputation with Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, Comcast, Verizon, and all the other gateways to your recipients’ inboxes. We also monitor our customers’ abuse complaints, because just one bad sender threatens our ability to deliver email on behalf of everyone else. The result is a delivery rate that’s consistently in the high 90s (96-98%).
Here are some of the things we’re doing to insure that your video email gets delivered:
- Our IP addresses and sending domain are registered with all major ISPs through our whitelisting program
- We support the latest sender identification protocols (SPF, DKIM, etc)
- We daily use reputation monitoring tools to catch any delivery problems, along with delivery redundancy in case problems occur
- We send hundreds of seed emails to all major ISPs daily to make sure of inbox delivery and monitoring
- We implement feedback loops with all major ISPs and remove any email addresses that receive a complaint from anyone on an email list
- We allow only permission-based email lists to be used in our system and terminate the accounts of any abusers
- We personally verify the intent and history of large volume senders prior to allowing access to use our system
- We test our HTML code and templates to work properly in the top 30 email clients (+90% of the market)
- We remove invalid (hard bounced) and opt-out email addresses from your lists
- using the embed code to place your video on websites and blogs
Again, we actively manage this process on a daily basis because it’s so important to your success and ours.
Some of the responsibility for delivery rates, though, is yours to manage. If you send bad emails that hard bounce, soft bounce, or result in spam complaints, it inhibits our ability to send email on behalf of all our other customers. In other words, bad customer behavior is a threat to our entire business. It’s our job, then, to help, educate, and monitor our customers.
You should only be sending relevant and timely emails and video emails to people who have a reasonable expectation of hearing from you (see a related exercise here and see our permission philosophy here). In other words, don’t send spam, defined as unsolicited and bulk sending (sending to a list of people who’ve not asked to receive email from you). We terminate – with NO refund – accounts that violate our 1 abuse complaint per 1,000 emails threshold (0.1%).
It can get tricky for you, though. An otherwise well-intentioned email may look like spam to the tools that read and evaluate it. Here are some factors involved:
- Subject lines – don’t use spammy language (a moving target, but we all know it when we see it), odd characters, excessive punctuation (!!!), or ALL-CAPs
- Email content – don’t use spammy language, don’t use large images and minimal words (maintain a high text-to-image ratio)
- Your email address – try to be on your recipients’ contact lists and/or safe sender lists, try not to use a free email address (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, etc), try not to use a generic email address (info@, noreply@, etc)
- Your email list – keep it clean and current, don’t send to people with whom you’ve not successfully sent email in the past 6 months (stale addresses), don’t purchase lists from third parties, honor all unsubscribe requests that don’t come through the automated system (as a reply or a phone call)
Local Filters and Firewalls
One factor beyond your direct control and ours is the use of intense filters and firewalls by a local network. Both you and BombBomb can do all the right things, but still come up against an office or entire organization that has nuclear-level protection against inbound emails and outbound links. In these cases, you can reach out to your contact inside that organization to be added to the safe sender list. You may also share these IP addresses from which we send your email with your contact or an IT person for white listing and safe sending at the local level.
Again, this is just a basic overview. If you’ve got specific questions or a specific challenge, please reach out to us.
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