Whenever I'm on the phone with a subscription or membership site publisher these days, one of the questions I invariably ask them is, “What email service provider are you using?” I can instantly tell from their answer how well run their email program is — especially whether their email is actually getting delivered. (The latter is the primary, but by no means the only, reason most publishers should be using a good ESP rather than in-house systems.)Even with Twitter, RSS Feeds, online groups, mobile, etc., broadcast email is still pretty darn central to our businesses. You are probably largely dependent on your email programs (broadcasts, autoresponders, triggered messages & transactionals) for a fat chunk of your repeat visitor traffic. And repeats mean more conversions, not to mention longer account lifetimes.So, you can see how I'm continually shocked at the lousy answers I get from many publishers on the email vendor question. Some don't know the name of their vendor. (Can you imagine not knowing the name of a vendor that central to your bottom line? I can't.) Others tell me they're using an ESP that allows new clients to upload lists and start sending with nothing more than a credit card – no re-opt-ins, no double opt-ins, just upload and send — a way to guarantee you'll be sharing a grey-listed IP address with spammers.And some tell me they use an email program that “came with” some other software they're using, perhaps their cart, a CMS system, a circulation management program, whatever. Again, a guaranteed way to have lame delivery because companies that don't focus solely on email don't tend to do a good enough job of providing the service you really need.Rant over. (I could go on and on…)The fact is, unless you're working with a top-of-the-line email service provider (or you're such a huge company that you have a fulltime technical email staff in-house), your mail is probably not getting delivered as well as you think it is. Getting past filters ain't easy. Especially if you're B2B and you have to get past corporate filters and then probably personal Outlook filters to boot.Deliverability is a moving target. What was true five years ago is no longer always correct. I'm delighted to have discovered this lovely blog which does a nice job of myth-busting and educating.. Tell your email team about it – enjoy!
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