Tuesday, October 18, 2016

How to Put an mail on Hold

When you say you are moving for a month and want to wait 14

days before you start the forwarding, wow, that complicates

things even more. Is it because you won't know your new

address until after you get there? If so, in effect, you

only want your mail forwarded for 16 or 17 days. In general,

USPS will not accept a forwarding order for less than a 30

day time period. But you can get around that by doing the

change for 31 days, then later cancelling the change early.

But there will be problems.

The biggest problem will be the forwarding lag. It will take

10 to 14 days from the date the change of address is

effective for your mail to start showing up at your new

address. So if you are moving on, lets call it day 1, then

won't know what your new address will be until after you get

there on day 14, obviously you cannot file the change of

address until day 15 or so. Then 10 to 14 days later your

mail will start showing up at your new address---- just a

few days before you leave again. So you get your mail for a

few days at your new address. Then when you leave on day 30,

there will be 10 to 14 days worth of mail in the pipeline,

so to speak, that has been forwarded from your old address,

but not recieved yet at the new address. Not a very good

situation-- that's why forwards less than 30 days are not

accepted.

Another concern with forwarding is that not all mail gets

forwarded. Sometimes, the mail you want the most is not

forwarded. Instead, it's returned to the sender. You see, as

far as USPS is concerned, the sender owns the mail until it

is delivered. So the sender can mail things conditionally by

endorsing the mail "Return Service Requested" where it is

only delivered if the address is correct. So if you have

done a change of address, the Return Service mail goes back

to the sender. It helps the sender keep track of where you

really are. And it is often the mail you want the most that

is mailed this way. I am talking about things like bank

statements, some checks, and some bills.

Now if you know what your new address will be before you

leave your old address, (and yes, General Delivery can be a

new address) things can work better. Start forwarding from

your old address on day 1. Simultaneously, go online and

begin holding the mail at your new address. Then, when you

arrive on day 14 or so, there should be mail waiting for you

at your new address. But the mail that is sent "Return

Service Requested" will still be returned. Also, when you

leave your new address after the month, there will still be

mail in the pipeline. You could solve the pipeline issue by

going online on day 20 or so and holding your mail at your

original address. Then when you know what your new, new

address will be, do another change of address. But things

are starting to get really complicated, aren't they?

Finally, Premium Forwarding Service may be the best

solution. This is the service mentioned in an earlier

response where USPS accumulates your mail for a set period,

even 14 days, then packages all your mail into a priority

parcel and sends it directly to you at your new address.

Although costly, (with an enrollment fee and per package

forwarded fee), it will get you all your mail on the

schedule you decide. Return Service Requested mail will not

be returned, rather it will be put in the parcel going to

you at your new address. See your post office at your

original address to sign up.

What is Spam Mail

1. Avoid Purchased Lists
Have you ever been tempted to grow your list by a million potential customers in no time? Have you been to forums where thousands of “targeted leads” are sold for a few bucks?

Purchased lists are ticking time bombs, waiting to devastate your reputation as a sender. Riddled with dead emails and spam traps, they quickly inform mailbox providers that you break the rules by sending unsolicited emails.

At best, your messages may end up in junk folders. At worst, you may be branded as a spammer.

If you still buy emails lists, STOP NOW.

2. Watch What You Say
Spam filters analyze your content. There are no magic keywords to enhance deliverability, but limiting the use of risky words—such as free, buy, promo, etc.—reduces the likelihood of your emails landing in the spam folder.

Moreover:

Link only to legitimate sites with reputable domains.
Don’t go crazy with email size (30 kb is just fine.)
Balance the image-to-text ratio.
Host your images at credible services only.
3. Team Up With A Reliable ESP
Email Service Providers (ESP) are evaluated as senders based on the reputation of the Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and domains of their clients.

Careless ESPs with low scores on the IP addresses of their senders are destined for spam folder delivery. Eventually, they will be blocked by the providers like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail.

ESPs that send only solicited emails and ban spammers from their platforms have greater credibility with mailbox providers. Their Customers are more likely to experience undisturbed inbox delivery if they follow the steps outlined in this post.

4. Get Certified!
If you are on a dedicated IP space, you should definitely look at the certification provided by a company called Return Path. Once they audit your mailing practices, you can get a Sender Score Certified status which will guarantee that you inbox at most of the major ISPs out there. This service is not free, but it definitely deserves a closer look. The money spent on the fees should be easily returned by the increased conversions.

5. Avoid Dirty Tricks
What may have been effective in 1997 no longer works today. Remember, being caught red-handed in any of these practices may cause permanent damage to your deliverability ratios:

Hashbusting: Inserting random characters in the subject line or content to fool spam filters, e.g. “F.ree. p.r!z.e”
Deceptive Subject Lines: Starting the subject line with “Re:” or “Fwd:” to suggest an ongoing communication with the sender.
Misleading Claims: Subject line stating that the recipient has won a prize, while the copy lists conditions that have to be met in order to claim it.
Image Text: Concealing a text message in an image to fool spam filters.
6. Whitelist Me, Please!
Your Email Marketing Service (EMS) asks mailbox providers, such as Gmail and Yahoo Mail, to whitelist your domain or Internet Protocol (IP) address. That is why it’s important to send marketing emails through a reputable EMS, rather then sending emails from your own email server or email account.

When confirming your new subscribers (e.g. via a welcome email), ask them to add your “From” address to their address books. It is a foolproof way to release all future emails from the constraints of the spam filters. This is so easy, yet practiced so rarely.

7. It Matters Where You’re “From”
Mailbox providers evaluate more than just the sender’s IP, domain and content. Yahoo! Mail, in particular, pays close attention to your From field addresses.

Our internal analysts have even noticed variations in deliverability results from using the address support@yourdomain.com versus newsletter@yourdomain.com.

Avoid frequent changes of From field names
Avoid obscure From field names, such as: “1338sdsd8@domain.com”, “noreply@domain.com”
Use clear, trustworthy From field names, such as: “contact@”, “newsletter@”, “support@”, feedback@”
Stick to a limited number of verified, recognizable From field names. Build a good reputation for those addresses by sending only engaging, solicited emails, and you’ll notice the difference.

8. No Risk, No Problem
Your email campaigns may contain risky elements that are detrimental to the deliverability of your messages. Here’s a brief checklist to go through before you hit the “Send” button:

Be careful with words associated with the language of sales. If overused, they may trigger spam filters and route your emails to junk folders. Risky words include: “prize”, “free”, “bonus”, “buy, “purchase”, “order” etc.
Common sense will tell you that one exclamation mark per sentence is enough. Never shout at your subscribers, (e.g. “Buy my e-book now!!!”). Exclamation marks are especially risky in email subject lines.
Never overdo the use of “ALL CAPS.” When emphasis is needed, use a maximum of one word per sentence in all capitals, never a whole sentence.
9. Monitor Your Deliverability
Want an easy way to monitor deliverability that costs you nothing? Add a “seeded” list of email addresses using ISPs that your customers use most often, such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, and Hotmail.

Set up approximately 5 mailboxes at each provider then include the seed email addresses in your mailing list. After each newsletter is deployed, log in to each seed account and verify whether the email was delivered successfully by that provider. Pronto!

If you notice a deliverability problem, check your adherence to the other 9 points listed in this post. If you still experience problems, consult with your Email Marketing Service about how to resolve the problem.

10. Stay In Touch!
Sending emails once every two or three months can be more detrimental than sending multiple emails daily. Why? Your Customers might forget all about you.

If subscribers fail to recognize the From field, they may delete your message, hurting your “open” ratio. Even worse, they may forget signing up for your list and generate negative feedback by marking messages as spam.

There are lots of good reasons for maintaining a steady flow of communication, rather than relying on infrequent, massive “blasts.”

Summary
There are two golden rules in the world of email deliverability:

No ESP can solve your deliverability issues if you decide to purchase email lists.
Even the most beautiful email template can’t generate conversions if it lands in the spam folder.
Try out the tips mentioned in this post while reviewing your email program. Each of these steps can significantly increase your inbox placement rate and lead to more email conversions!