How Not To Be An Accidental Spammer

Posted By : Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on March 1, 2018

Question

I’m trying to send regular email to my customers from Outlook using a Cox connection and have to break them up into many groups. Can you suggest a more efficient way to do this?

Answer

This question was answered on March 1, 2018. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Sending a single message to a large number of people can be problematic because of the anti-spam tools and rules that your ISP or mail service has in place.

They’re constantly trying to determine if a mass email message is legitimate or the work of a hacker who has compromised your email account.

Since they aren’t using humans to review each mass email message, they create internal rules – often unpublished to their users – that will automatically decide whether a message can be sent or not.

The Cox website posts: To combat spam, Cox places various limits on email, including limiting the maximum number of recipients per message and maximum number of messages per server connection. Specific limits are not published because they vary from time to time depending on a variety of factors…

CAN-SPAM Act
In addition to your ISP’s rules, you want to make sure to steer clear of violating the laws governing spam messages (https://goo.gl/7daiWb), as doing so could result in a fine of $11,000 for each violation – that’s potentially $11,000 for each email address on your list!

If you’re sending promotional or sales related email messages of any kind, you need to be aware of the fundamental mistakes that could get you into trouble:

  • Not providing a clear way for recipients to opt-out of future mailings
  • Not including a valid physical postal address in the message
  • Using deceptive subject lines
  • Using deceptive “From”, “To”, and “Reply-To” names or addresses or deceptive headers

Testing For Spam Scores
How you construct your messages could be raising red flags with spam filters as well.  You can test your marketing messages at:  https://goo.gl/xcCkNF

Email Marketing Services
For a variety of reasons, it’s best to find an email marketing platform that keeps you safe from violations and avoids the limits your ISP has in place because the messages will no longer be sent via your Cox account.

These services allow you to import your existing list of email addresses and then easily manage your subscribers; some will provide you with your ‘spam score’ as you’re constructing your message, so you can learn what you’re doing to create red flags before you send out the message.

Most of the popular options also provide templates for creating professional looking campaigns and they’ll  tell you how many people actually opened the message, clicked on any links included in your message or unsubscribed.

Another advantage of using these services is that you are no longer beholden to your computer that has Outlook installed on it, because all you need is a web browser.  This gives you the flexibility to communicate with your customers from any computer, anywhere.

Comparison Chart
PC Magazine recently published their ‘10 best email marketing tools’ (https://goo.gl/tDtzM3) that should cover everything from the very basic needs (@$5 a month) to incredibly sophisticated systems that provide automated follow-up and full CRM (Customer Relationship Management) capabilities to elevate your marketing efforts.

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Posted by Ken Colburn of Data Doctors on March 1, 2018

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