Having your marketing email being marked as spam hurts in more ways than one. It means your email isn’t being viewed by its recipient if they do see it, they think it’s unimportant, and it’s more likely for your domain (or your sender’s if you ...

How Spam Filters Work (And How You Can Avoid Them)

Screen detail showing large amount of Spam mail.Having your marketing email being marked as spam hurts in more ways than one. It means your email isn’t being viewed by its recipient if they do see it, they think it’s unimportant, and it’s more likely for your domain (or your sender’s if you use an Email Service Provider) to be blacklisted by the recipient’s email service. Meaning future emails could also go to their spam folder, even when it’s not email marketing. Today we’re going to talk about the factors that cause emails to go to spam: the spam filters. Let’s go over what they are, how they work, and what good practices and procedures you can use to avoid getting dropped into the spam folder.

Unsolicited Bulk Email: What Spam Filters Block

Spam is slang for a problem that has been around for as long as the internet: unsolicited bulk emails. The technical terminology actually does a good job of describing the problem. Unsolicited – recipient didn’t ask to have emails sent to them from this domain; Bulk – these emails are sent out en masse; and emails – this communication is through and regulated by email platforms, those whose filters spell the difference between a received email and one held by spam filters or even hard bounced.

How Email Spam Filters Work

Email spam filters are actually a series of multiple filters that analyze any email as it comes in, looking at the various parts and comparing them to multiple lists and rules. While it differs between the individual emails (Outlook, Gmail, etc.), below are the most common filters.

  • Blacklists: IP addresses and domains that send out a lot of emails that are flagged as spam can become blacklisted with all future emails going to spam or being hard bounced. These affect sender and IP reputation, which in turn can affect email acceptance, a reason we and other Email Service Provider (ESPs) work so hard to reduce spam and hard bounces.
  • Header Filters: The header (the “From” email on the recipient’s side) needs to be a valid email. Email platforms have standards compliance and use authentication to validate the email is genuine.
  • Content Filters: All content, from the subject line to the footer, is weighted and measured. Spam filters look for flagged keywords, phrases, and even things like excessive punctuation (!!!).
  • User and Permission Filters: Individual users can also apply additional filters to their spam, either by flagging emails as spam, setting permission filters, or adding rules.

How to Avoid Spam Filters

The best way to avoid spam filters is to use the golden rule: treat others the way you want to be treated. You want to create emails that are useful and engaging to the user and avoid all the tropes of bad spammy email, from overused and leading subject lines to bloated content loaded down with keywords. Below are the top 5 ways to avoid spam filters:

  1. Have Permission to Send: Respectfully using personal data is important, especially in this post-GDPR email Never buy lists and always explicitly ask your users for permission to send them emails.
  2. Be Kind to Your Subject Line: Avoid using exclamation marks, all caps, and things like emojis in your subject lines.
  3. Avoid Common Spam Phrases: Try and get away from sounding overly salesperson-like in your emails. Claims of “Making Money Online TODAY!” or “Work from home!” are going to land you in hot water. Also avoid comments that sound like phishing, such as “Your Account.”
  4. Have Good Content: Filling your email with a keyword-soup or a lot of images and no content is something spam filters stop back users don’t want to see it. Work on providing better content and think about how you can send better emails using features like RSS-to-Email.
  5. Work with a Good ESP: The reputation of your sending platform is important. Working is an Email Service Provider not only have great sending reputations, but they also have tools to help you avoid sending spam by catching it and helping you correct it.

Check out more information about how ESPs can help in our other post, Let’s Talk about Spam.

Want to avoid spam and take your email marketing to the next level? It’s time to contact FeedBlitz. Send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also use our chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm Eastern.

    
 

Building Better Content for Your Email Marketing

Content marketers creating new content on website and emails.

There’s a saying in marketing: content is king. If you’re a blogger or content creator, you’re already familiar with the maxim. However, when it comes to marketing your businesses and services online, each method of marketing has its own preferred medium for content. Email marketing is one of the most versatile platforms available for delivering your content to consumers and bring them back for more to your website or store. Let’s look at the type of content that is ready-made for your email marketing.

Blogs: Putting Your RSS to Work

For a website, blogs are the workhorse of your content. These posts allow you to create new content that seamlessly integrates with your website while providing the perfect hooks to bring in readers. While content is king, remember that consistency is queen: make sure to make your blogs easy to scan as well as read by using headers, bullet points, and graphics. While you can share this content manually via social media or email, think about taking advantage of an RSS-to-Email feature on email marketing platforms to make content distribution easier.

News and Digests: Community and Curation

Local. Active. Topical. Bring in users by sending them information about what’s going on in your community and industry. Generally, this comes in two categories: the news in your community – with an emphasis on your own involvement – and curating your own and industry content for your users.

News and Community Involvement

Your involvement in your local community (and even your industry as a whole) is a great tool for marketing, especially on social media. Harness that power in your email marketing by expanding upon it and even including your social media in your email automatically. Remember that part of this requires you to be active in your community, so look for ways to make a difference from speaking events to volunteering and donating.

Curating Third-Party Content for Digest Emails

While it might seem to be counter-intuitive, providing digest emails where you link not only to your own content but also by peers in your industry (under headers such as “What We’re Reading”) will make your emails even more useful to users while still highlighting your content. By citing your sources and acknowledging other content creators, you build trust in your fairness and knowledge in your industry.

Long-Form Writing: Creating Monetized Content

Online content is often a tool to bring users to your website to engage with your advertising or buy your services and products, but it can be a source of revenue in and of itself. Providing content in the form of “digital products” available for purchase can help you generate another income stream for your business, which can be marketed via email to your subscribers. Some examples of digital products:

  • Guides and Whitepapers: As an expert in your field, what kind of content can you produce that your audience will pay for? Look at producing guides and whitepapers that drill down into your most successful topics.
  • Ebooks: Look at creating eBooks and printables that tell interesting or informative stories. If you’ve got multiple shorter eBooks, look at bundling them (see below).
  • Courses and Webinars: Look at providing instruction in the form of online courses or webinars, both live and as pre-recorded sessions.
  • Bundles: Look at bundling your content, especially in the case of many smaller pieces of content. By bundling and selling the combined content at a slightly reduced price, you provide higher perceived value to your clients.

For more information on monetized content, check out our blog, Monetizing Your Mailings by Selling Digital Content.

Still hitting a wall when it comes to creating new content? Check out our tips for creating a content calendar, as well as our blog, How Not to Get Stuck Creating New Content. Ready to get started on an email marketing platform that can help you get this better content to your subscribers easier and faster than ever? It’s time to contact FeedBlitz. Send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also use our chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

    
 

Faster, Easier and Better: Introducing the New FeedBlitz Experience

FeedBlitz has been serving the email marketing community for nearly 15 years. We’ve been around the block a time or two, and have made our fair share of adjustments to the app along the way. But there was one thing that kept coming up time and time again.

The number one complaint was the app’s interface. Our users, while they loved the deliverability, support, and dependability of emailing with us, weren’t satisfied with their experience, especially as we added more features, capabilities, and benefits.

Two years ago, we set out on a mission, diving head first into research and development to address the barriers and frustrations our users were experiencing. And today we’re proud to say:

Welcome to the brand new FeedBlitz experience!

FeedBlitz user logging into the new user interface.

Shaped by the people who use it day in and day out, for the people who use it day in and day out.

Image of the new FeedBlitz user interface.

Take a full tour of the FeedBlitz interface.

More than a simple facelift, we’ve redesigned the entire interface, and here’s why:

Our team’s challenges were to deliver a complex, feature-rich service in a user-friendly, accessible, low-friction user experience. The solutions came from completely rethinking the way we looked at email marketing.

Over many months of working with early adopters and beta testers, our design, development and customer service teams at HQ analyzed every angle of the user’s experience. From little details like colors, fonts, and lines, to the core concepts including quicker navigation, clearer menu options, and easier access to common tasks — nothing was off limits when it came to this interface overhaul.

And thanks to the feedback we received throughout the design and testing process, our teams were able to fine-tune workflows, utilizing user reviews and adjusting features along the way. The new UI allows you to create and maintain effective, sustainable email marketing practices, no matter the size of your list.

A full redesign, with a multitude of features and capabilities added.

You’re not just getting a new look and simpler navigation, you’re getting a host of new tools added to your email marketing toolkit.

Many of the features and capabilities mentioned below have been waiting patiently in the wings, ready to be released with this update. We’ll go over a few highlighted additions now available in your FeedBlitz account.

Campaigns

Animated gif showing the new campaign dashboard.

It wouldn’t be email marketing without email. Whether you’re sending RSS-powered automated mailings, single mailings or creating a funnel, the added benefits released in our new interface allow you to:

  • Resend a campaign to an individual subscriber, a group of, or an entire list of subscribers.
  • Easily see what step you’re on when creating or working in a new campaign.
  • Quickly copy a sent or scheduled campaign.
  • Add an action, including tagging a subscriber or adding them to a group, to tracked links.

Email Automation and Funnels

Animated gif showing a funnel sequence dashboard.

Email automation has never been easier in a FeedBlitz interface. Building a funnel sequence can get complicated, and the ultimate goal was to make the process as clear and straightforward as possible. Working with FeedBlitz, you can now:

  • Quickly start your funnels with one of five recipes.
  • Clearly see what happens in each step of your sequence.
  • Track a link when a subscriber takes action on it.
  • View and export analytics right from the funnel dashboard.

Managing Subscribers

Image of the new FeedBlitz dashboard showing the subscribers menu.

Your audience is your top priority. You can now easily work with your audience behind the scenes. Quickly search, sort, categorize and tag your subscribers to allow for more effective email campaigns, higher open rates, and greater engagement. Added feature highlights for subscriber management include:

  • Streamlined tagging and custom field workflows.
  • Export, tag or add a subscriber to a group from any subscriber-related dashboard or list.
  • Merge and move mailing lists with greater ease.

Subscriber Groups

Animated gif showing the groups pop up editor.

A subset of subscriber management, groups are a static list of email addresses used to shape and organize your mailings. Since releasing this feature in 2017, our users have found many new and exciting ways to work with groups in their email marketing. With this, we’ve expanded group capabilities to include:

  • Automatically add subscribers to or remove them from groups based on list triggers.
  • Shape mailings by including or excluding groups.
  • Eliminate back and forth hassle by working with groups via pop-up modules.

Templates and Subscription Forms

Growing your list and emailing them with ease are two foundations of effective email marketing campaigns. With greater flexibility and control over items such as your email templates and subscription forms, you can now:

  • View all of your templates and forms in their own dashboards.
  • Use a previous campaign as a template to create a new campaign.
  • Adjust your subscription form metrics timeframe.

Analytics

Animated gif showing the new analytics reports available.

Accessing real-time data on your mailings has never been easier or quicker in a FeedBlitz interface. Select your list, choose your report and off you go with unlimited, usable data right at your fingertips. Take your data wherever you’d like with exportable, sortable, searchable and PDF-printable tables throughout the UI.

Integrations

Animated gif showing the new FeedBlitz UI integratitons tab.

Easily connect your email marketing to over 1,000 different apps and plugins including OptinMonster, Survey Monkey, and more through the use of parsers, Zapier, and your API Key.

This is a small selection of the added features and benefits of the new FeedBlitz interface. Our teams are working together to bring additional capabilities to you each week as we move forward.

Created for today’s email marketer.

When it came to reworking the navigation, the goal was simple: reduce as much friction as possible for you, the user. Less friction = more productivity.

You’re on the go, and you need an email marketing service that goes with you, without restricting your capabilities or functionalities. The entire interface was reworked with mobile use in mind, from subscriber management to modernized charting, catering to the wide array of your mobile devices.

Explore the new FeedBlitz email marketing experience.

As you can see, it’s been busy here at FeedBlitz HQ, and we’re only getting started. The release of the new interface creates an entirely new experience for FeedBlitz users. It opens the door to take your email marketing to a whole new level.

This new UI may have been created for today’s email marketer, but it’s designed to take you into tomorrow and beyond. If you’re curious about all the new things we’ve added, and are ready to see what email marketing can do for you, give us a try for 30 days, absolutely free.

You get access to all the features, bells, and whistles — everything covered in this post and more — with your fully-supported, no obligations 30-day trial. With our guided onboarding process and welcome videos, you can be up and running in a matter of minutes.

Questions about the new UI or best email marketing practices? Send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also use our chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

    
 

Integrating FeedBlitz with Everything with Zapier

FeedBlitz and Zapier logos with plus sign.

One of the best ways to get the most out of any email marketing automation solution is to integrate it with your other systems and services. Customer checked out of your online store? Add them to the customers group in your email app. Did they request a white paper? Add them to the follow-up funnel. You want everything to work like clockwork so you can focus on building your business. So the benefits of increased integration and automation are clear; you save time and improve your business. The question is, how?

Enter Zapier, our solution of choice for integrating your FeedBlitz email marketing solution with, well, pretty much anything and everything.

So, What is Zapier?

In their own words, Zapier is the glue that connects more than 1,000 web apps. Once a web app – in our case, the FeedBlitz email platform – is set up to work with Zapier, it can be used in conjunction with any other web app they have integrated. The core use is the Zap, a connection between two of Zapier’s integrations that contains both a trigger and one or more actions. When the trigger is tripped on the first integration, the actions occur on the second one. While Zapier allows full customization and the ability to make them from scratch, it also provides popular options available right out of the box.

How It Integrates with FeedBlitz

Like with other web services linked into Zapier, FeedBlitz has a series of supported triggers (things Zapier can watch for to start an action). So you can use Zapier to notify other apps when someone joins a list, for example, or when they unsubscribe (so you don’t run afoul of FTC or privacy regulations, like GDPR [link]. Zapier also can tell FeedBlitz to do things when something happens in another app, so you can (for example) start funnels, tag website visitors, and move email addresses into groups by hooking FeedBlitz into  any of Zapier’s supported services (you can see a full listing on the Zapier website)

Email Funnels from Online Store Purchases

Let’s say you’ve got an online store that uses the Shopify app (or any other of the online stores and store plugins supported by Zapier). You can have a Zap on Shopify to add the client’s email to a post-sales email funnel (learn about funnels here) to thank them for their purchase and follow up later to have them rate or review the product.

Following Up on Sales CRM Leads

Do you use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools like Salesforce, Hubspot, or Insightly? You can use Zaps to help keep track of leads, like after a user subscribes to your emails adding them to a potential lead sheet directly in the CRM.

Event Management with Notification Emails

Do you use Eventbrite or another supported event management tool? You can use it in conjunction with FeedBlitz to manage emails to attendees, including adding them to email group to receive updates, sending follow up emails after the event, or removing them if they later change their RSVP.

These are a few examples to fire up your imagination (we also have some pre-prepared “recipes” here).

Want to learn more about how FeedBlitz and Zapier can work together to make your business run smoother? Check out our Knowledge Base article and setup FAQ on the subject, as well as Zapier’s featured article on us, Use FeedBlitz to Supercharge Your Content Distribution. Ready to get started zapping? It’s time to reach out to us here at FeedBlitz. Send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also use our chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

    
 

Can I Still Reach My Customers with Email Marketing?

Email with question mark symbol.

Many forms of communication vie for the attention of people of all ages, with commercial marketing using everything from social media to messaging to gain the attention and engagement of their users. This can sometimes make it feel as if email marketing should take a back seat to other forms of inbound or outbound marketing. This couldn’t be further from the truth: learn how email marketing is thriving in among social media and messaging, and how you can better tap into this market.

Email and Email Marketing is Alive and Well

Even in these modern times where internet and smartphone users are spoiled with so many choices of communication, email is still growing. Taking a look at the Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018 (PDF here), we can see several trends:

  • Always Ever-Growing: In 4 years, we’ve seen an increase of 1.1 billion email accounts, bringing the total in 2018 to more than 5.2 billion by the end of 2018.
  • Email is Eternal: While social media and messaging apps grow, die, and compete, email remains untouched by competition as a communication medium. There is no direct email competitor.
  • A Higher Competition: Email use has grown the most in the business sector, increasing in the last 4 years by 28%, meaning you have higher competition in email marketing.

Casual Convenience vs. Official Communication

Everyone has an email address, with many having multiple accounts cover work, home, and other personal niches in their lives. An email acts as an address and passport for many websites, acting as the gatekeeper to websites, social media platforms, and even smartphone apps. While casual and even some B2C communication takes place on messaging apps, especially with new chat-bots, email is still the go-to option for official communication. Beyond this, reviewing emails is still more intuitive then reviewing message history, making it the “file cabinet” for useful and important communications like content, promo codes, and important information.

New Ways of Subscribing to Your Email List

Email marketing is only as effective as your email lists. Make sure you’ve got the systems and policies in place to organically grab emails, as well as marketing that promotes email signups (especially for the holidays).

Better Website Email Forms

A great website needs great forms to bring in users for your services and into your email marketing. If you’re having trouble building your subscriber lists, using new types and styles of forms is the first logical step. Just make sure to avoid common mistakes.

Collecting Emails During Checkout

During your interactions with a customer, both online and in-store, look at ways of integrating your email collection into your procedures. This can include options during checkout at your POS (Point-Of-Sale) systems or during your online billing process.

Email Options on the Phone

Again, according to the Radicati’s report, in the last 4 years, mobile email users have doubled from 1.1 to 2.2 billion. With this increase of mobile email users, think about investing in mobile-friendly options, from making sure your website is responsive, to advanced subscription features like subscribe by text.

Something important to note about subscribe by text is that while soliciting emails by text is great due to its immediacy, you should avoid overusing it. Capitalize on its immediate nature by using it at events or during checkout, where you have already engaged the customer. Remember that it all comes back to email and its ability to make people buy.

Are you struggling to connect with your customers when it comes to email marketing? At FeedBlitz, we’re here to help. From powerful custom forms to help your users sign up, to reporting and analytics to track your progress, it’s time to reach out to us. Send our team an email at support@feedblitz.com. You can also connect with us on chat, check out our Help Forum, or give us a call at 1.877.692.5489. Our Support and Sales Desk is available Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.