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DMA Offers Advice for Successful Delivery of E-Mail Marketing Communications
“The e-mail marketing channel offers fantastic opportunities for reaching customers efficiently,” said Louis Mastria, DMA’s newly appointed vice president for interactive and emerging media. “However, legitimate marketers must continue to monitor the evolving delivery landscape, especially emerging technologies that are helping to distinguish legitimate email communications from fraudulent efforts.”
E-mail Delivery Best Practices for Marketers and List Owners provides a series of tactical recommendations for marketers on topics ranging from authentication practices to list hygiene to content development – the many elements that combine to enable the successful delivery of
e-mail marketing campaigns. The best practices will be available at DMA•05, the world’s largest annual gathering of marketing professionals, and can also be found online at http://www.the-dma.org/antispam/.
“Above and beyond complying with legal requirements such as the CAN-SPAM Act, we want to remind and update marketers on the simple and cost efficient steps they can take to help assure and optimize the delivery of their e-mail communications in an evolving marketplace” said Michael Della Penna, CMO of Epsilon and chairman of DMA’s Council for Responsible E-mail, which developed the best practices document. . We believe the CRE e-mail delivery best practices document provides helpful guidance to all marketers of all sizes and fulfills on our charter to help educate and guide marketers on critical issues in the interactive space.”
The best practices are intended to improve the likelihood of permission-based e-mail being delivered to the inbox and read by the intended recipient. Some of the broad recommendations from the e-mail best practices include suggestions that e-mail marketers:
· Encourage customers and prospects to add the marketer’s legitimate sending address to their personal “approved list/address book” and provide up-front instructions on how to do so in registration pages. Benefits vary by mailbox provider, but may include special icon designation and full image content/link rendering. Being an “approved” sender yields higher response rates and generates fewer complaints and blocking issues.
· Carefully consider the content and presentation of marketing messages, as recipients are increasingly labeling any e-mail communication that is not relevant or looks suspicious as spam. In addition, marketers are encouraged to create messages that strike a balance between images and system text, as many mailbox providers now routinely “hide” images in default settings.
· Follow established protocols such as authentication and whitelisting criteria to ensure that e-mail messages “pass muster” with mailbox providers. In addition, marketers should register for all mailbox provider feedback loops. In general, marketers should aim to keep complaint rates (total complaints divided by total delivered e-mail) below 0.1 percent to avoid temporary or long-term blocks.
· Adopt good list-hygiene and monitoring practices that help facilitate message delivery. Monitoring campaign delivery, open and click-through rates is essential, as a low open rate or high bounce rate may indicate a delivery issue.
· Educate consumers and other stakeholders about anti-spam tools, technologies, laws, and industry programs developed to separate legitimate communications from fraudulent messaging.
According to a DMA-commissioned consumer survey conducted in February 2005, more than 45 million adults in the