The number one thing a marketer can do to ensure maximum email deliverability is maintain a good reputation. The vast majority of ISPs decide which mail to accept based on the reputation of your sending IP address. If you are sending mail to names outside of permission; if those recipients don’t expect to hear from you; if you’re continually mailing the same, tired old list for years; these and many other factors can drag down the email reputation of your IP address, increasing the chances of your mail going to the bulk folder (or being blocked outright).
What you’ll find new on this front in 2008 is that ISPs are clamping down more than they’ve ever done before. They’re automating their spam filtering and becoming faster on the trigger. They’re now blocking more quickly, and declining to unblock more often. They’re outsourcing more of their mail delivery choices to third parties. For example, comcast is working with Return Path. And Yahoo now uses the Spamhaus blocklists.
That’s why it’s becoming more important than ever to proactively ensure maximum deliverability through adherence to permission. If you don’t, you could easily find yourself trapped in a deliverability quagmire that you can’t easily resolve – even though it’s a practice that you received no negative feedback about previously!
ExactTarget has excellent technical tools to help you maximize your deliverability. Our automated feedback loop processing, bounce mail management, and mail server fine-tuning all work together to get as much as your mail to the inbox as possible. Our dedicated deliverability services staff stands ready and waiting to reach out to ISPs as needed to help resolve issues. But, even with all of those steps, reputation and permission remain the true, primary governors of email deliverability success.