Are you leveraging the power of Feedback Loops?

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marketing_small.jpgADOTAS — If you are new to email marketing, one of the keys to success is the ability to gather as much useful information as possible.

One of the most common mistakes made by someone new to the business is blindly making email drops with no real game plan on how to use each drop as a learning tool. They simply make a drop and cross their fingers, never understanding that there are resources available, and that a simple analysis of this information can significantly improve their marketing efforts.

What if there was a way to tell what percentage of an email drop was miscategorized, tagged as spam, found to have a virus, etc? Well there is, and it’s called a Feedback Loop. An Email Feedback Loop (FBL) is a service that many ISP’s will offer to companies who send bulk mailings.

For an ISP, feedback loops are beneficial because they provide a way to identify big time mailers, and also gives them the opportunity to reduce the amount of spam sent to their users. For the email marketer, it offers a way to monitor your drops and make the necessary adjustments to improve your mailing stats. It is also a way to identify which users are marking your email as spam, and gives you the chance to remove those users from future mailings and at the same time improve your sender reputation score.

Another aspect of email marketing that’s important to understand is that each domain (hotmail, yahoo, aol, etc,) has very different criteria for hitting the inbox. So even though you’ve had success with one domain, doesn’t necessarily mean your success will translate over to your other domains as you begin to expand your business.

Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of a FBL, chances are you want to sign up for one. By doing a simple Google search you will come across a variety of sites that will allow you to sign up for a Feedback Loop via hotmail, yahoo, aol, etc. Once you get to these sites, make sure you have all the basic information ready to go. Here’s what you’ll need to have ready when signing up for a feedback loop:

– IP addresses that you want to receive feedback loops for.
– The list of domains you want to subscribe to.
– A valid abuse@ and/or postmaster@ email address on the domains you want to subscribe to.
– Your contact information: name, email and phone number.
– The email address the feedback loop will be sent to.
– Quantity of email messages sent daily (weekly, monthly) to the domain of the feedback loop.
– Type of email content you send.
– The URL of the page that contains your opt-in form.
– Single or double opt-in subscription process.

Once you’ve had the chance to complete this process, you will start to receive a FBL report identifying a number of characteristics of your sent email:

Abuse – spam or some other kind of email abuse
DKIM – a DKIM signature verification error
Fraud – indicates some kind of fraud or phishing activity
Miscategorized – indicates that the content categorization applied in connection with a certification or reputation system was incorrect
Not-Spam – indicates that a message that was tagged or categorized as spam (such as by an ISP) is not spam;
Opt-out – a request to opt out from mailings from this provider;
Virus – report of a virus found in the originating message;
Other – any other feedback that doesn’t fit into other types.

Signing up for a Feedback Loop is extremely important for any serious mailer. For one, It allows you to identify the number of users who complained to the ISP that your email was spam. Knowing this type of information will help you formulate a better way to communicate with your list so it does not continue to happen. Not only that, it will also improve your sender reputation score which is priceless.

Without this tool you’re completely in the dark; with it you have the chance to analyze your work and make adjustments along the way. So if your serious about succeeding in the email marketing industry, now is the time to sign up.

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