Increase E-Mail Delivery Rates for E-Mail Blasts from your CRM

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Before you setup any ESP (Email service provider) for your CRM, you must setup your DKIM and SPF records.  You may be asking, “What in the heck does that mean ?”.  I will very briefly explain it; then, cite some resources.

ESP (E-mail Service Providers) such as Swiftpage (now Act!),  MailChimp or Constant Contact send e-mails using their servers on your behalf.   Your clients’ ISPs and spam filters will detect the ESP’s sending the email.  However, some clients’ filters are setup to reject this because a hacker could use the same technique to spam you as well.

So an industry consortium created the SPF and the DKIM record.  The SPF and DKIM records gets added to your DNS settings so other ISPs know that your ESP is actually legit when sending emails on your behalf.

Here are some links for a couple providers.

Once this is setup, this is another step closer to avoiding the junk box.

If you don’t know what a DNS record is; then, work with your I.T. contractor to set this up.  When we work with our clients, we partner with your I.T. contractor to update this.

Swiftpage E-Marketing To Be Discontinued

Supported or Unsupported

Swiftpage E-Marketing will be discontinued on June 30th, 2018.

Swiftpage E-Marketing for Act! will be retired on June 30th, 2019 and technical support ends on March 31st, 2019.  Act! E-Marketing will be supported, and Swiftpage will build upon the Act! Marketing Automation platform.

Re-engage Inactive Clients and Prospects Using CRM & Email

I found a good article on re-connecting with inactive clients and prospects, and it resonates with me because it’s a common request among my clients to use their CRM and tie it to an ESP (E-Mail Service Provider) to reactivate dormant prospects and customers.  By the way, it costs 7 times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing client and the lifetime value is 10 times greater.

We’d like to believe one email blast with the same message to all contacts solves the problem; however, the author believes a win-back campaign requires precise messaging per market segment.  Also, it should be rolled out incrementally so if you do get a high bounce rate, it’s easier to clean up for subsequent mailings.  Acceptable hard bounce rates are less than 5% per campaign before ESPs take notice.

How are you engaging your inactive prospects and clients ?

The first thing we’d do is determine if your bounces and opt outs are in separate spreadsheets, and consolidate that in the CRM.  Then filter the CRM’s to ensure they no longer get emails.  In our practice, we hired a client retention specialist to call clients in addition to email.  To help her out, I created a one click report that finds our clients sorted by account size. It takes her about 1 minute to find out who needs to be called.

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Some Tips on Avoiding the Junk Box for E-Mail Campaigns

One question we get is, "How do I avoid a spam trap ?". I will answer this from a business process and content creation standpoint. Nothing is full-proof, but these are factors you can control.

From a business process standpoint:

  • Do not buy a list of e-mails and solicit them. Will you answer a cold-blasted-email, no matter how good the offer is ? Not likely
  • Ask them to add your e-mail to their safe sender list, and here is a list of systems' instructions
  • Re-Purpose Blog Commentary like this
  • Create some sort of relationship beforehand by direct mail, on-site visit or by telemarketing.

From a content-creation standpoint, these factors raise spam scores

  • Using an excessive number of consecutive exclamation points
  • Using excessive CAPS to write your message
  • Using Microsoft Word as your .html editor. Microsoft Word's .html export tool contains sloppy code, which the spam filters will flag and not deliver
  • Using an excessive amount of graphics instead of text. If you send an e-mail with just an image, it may look good for you. However, the spam-bot will flag it.

You can submit your email to some SPAM checker sites as well

Some of my drip marketing campaigns are plain-text in order to increase delivery rates, but I trade off branding and imagery to convey the message.

Lookup Multiple E-Mail Addresses at Once in Act!

emaillookupIf you are using Swiftpage E-Marketing, Constant Contact, MailChimp or some other outside service to send broadcast e-mail based on Act! contacts, then you need a place to look them up.  Let's say you get a spreadsheet of 20 bounces, and you want to update Act! with that result. Rather than looking up each contact one at at time, this free tool will lookup multiple e-mail addresses at once.

It works with the primary e-mail address field of Act! versions 2010+