There are many tools to help you evaluate your own emails for their likelihood of ending up in the junk folder before ever being opened or read.
Most free email accounts nowadays have relatively accurate content filters, which rarely result in ‘false positives’ – [legitimate emails identified and filed as junk email.]
However, a very important thing to understand is that different ISPs may have additional content filters that trigger messages to their subscribers to be placed in the spam folder. For example, ISPs are always testing different algorithms to continue to outsmart the spammers. They also look at complaint rate, interaction rate, etc.
There are a few ways that you can check this on your own such as creating your own “throwaway” email addresses at Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc. If the email gets sent to the junk folder in YOUR inbox, there’s a chance that it will also get sent to the spam folders of your subscribers’, this will give you an indicator at the very least.
The other benefit is that you can see how your email appears in different email clients and accounts. For instance, messages look different in Yahoo versus AOL versus Outlook on your computer.
There are 3rd party applications that you can use to test your messages before sending. These will give you a breakdown of scores for different categories. A popular open source version of such software is “Spam Assassin”.
These applications are often more accurate due to the fact that they evaluate the entire contents of your message, not just the copy your subscribers see.
There’s a lot of hidden data inside an email message which plays a critical role in whether your message will be delivered, and if so, whether it will make it to the inbox or simply wind up in the junk folder.
In addition, if you’re using HTML in your emails, then it’s important to use the entire source code when checking your messages for “spam rating”. If you’re not testing these elements, then there’s a good chance that you’re not getting accurate data. It’s not enough to just type in your subject line and the plain text of the message if you want any level of accuracy.
That brings us to the obvious question:
“How do you find the email headers?”
Every email client is going to be somewhat different, so I’m going to go through the process as it is with Gmail. All email clients will have a similar way to find the actual information.
Send a test email to yourself using the same email client you’re using to send to your subscribers (i.e. Aweber, GetResponse, etc.).
Go to your email client and open the email message as if you were simply opening a message to read it.
Click the little arrow next to the button that says “Reply”.
Choose “Show Original”.
Copy and paste that data into a tool that uses Spam Assassin.
There are also a number of free tools online that you can use. The key thing to remember is that you need to make sure the tool that you’re using looks at the full headers of the email message.
What can you do if your message is considered spam?
If your message generates a score that indicates that it is spam, then you’ll want to look at rewriting the copy and look at the header information to make sure that your message is properly formatted according to best practices and contains all the necessary header information.
Aweber has direct links to Spam Assassin which gives a fairly accurate account of what may be the trouble. Just keep tweaking until the spam detector is happy with your mailing.
Does this guarantee your email will get delivered? No. But it gives it a fighting chance.
Oh crap! Should NOT be what you think when you see a list member unsubscribe. A leap of joy should be more appropriate. In fact you could run around your home screaming yes! Yes! Yes!
If you don’t know why you should have this reaction. Here are some reasons why:
For starters, it shows you that your list is actually in use. If no one has unsubscribed from your list, ever, your list is probably not in use. Having someone unsubscribe means you have a functioning list, that’s a good thing.
You’ve got people actually checking the email. Think about it, the heading was good enough to attract them into checking it out, that is a good job on your part. It is a very nice way to know that the header was attractive, assuming you did not use headlines with false promises, of course. Catching people’s interest is very important, so when people unsubscribe you know your headline was still catchy enough to get people’s attention.
That leads us to how it helps with the email itself. People who unsubscribe maybe don’t like what you have to say, or the style you write it with, although obviously there are any number of reasons why they unsubscribed. This is not all bad news because it weeds out your list leaving the rest on the list who actually want to buy your products. This is wonderful and exciting news because now you know who your customers are and get rid of those who aren’t.
Hopefully by now you have no reason to have a heart attack when people unsubscribe from your list. Now you can learn to see it as a good thing which will benefit you in the long run.
I know there is so much debate out there about Single opt-in Vs. Double opt-in.
Which is better? What should I use? Does it matter?
I get these questions all the time.
So, I wanted to lay my thoughts down, here and now.
In my option, there is a right answer and I will share my personal view on the matter.
But first, let’s review some facts about single and double opt-in.
This process requires someone to send a subscription request before the prospect is added to the email list. Supporters strongly believe that it’s the quickest way to build a large list.
This process requires two requests before the prospect is added to the email list – the initial subscription request plus a confirmation of that request. Supporters strongly believe that this is the best way to a ‘quality’ list and avoid potential spam problems.
Here’s the pros and cons of both.
Pros of single opt-in
Can certainly lead to bigger list. The prospect enters their email address, clicks submit, and are immediately added to the list.
Cons of single opt-in
Lack of verification may impact list integrity. Without verification there could be spammers or invalid addresses that are not going to open or read your emails.
Some subscribers may not realize they are on a ‘list’. Prospects may opt-in for a teleseminar thinking it’s a one-time opt-in for an event, and not realize they’ve been added to the main marketing email list. Result? They will most likely opt-out.
With invalid or faulty email addresses, it’s hard to analyze email metrics such as open rates and readability.
Pros of double opt-in
Reduces the likelihood of SPAM complaints with Internet Service Providers. It’s unlikely someone who has confirmed their subscription to your list will report you as SPAM. They would either contact you directly or simply opt-out.
The double opt-in process ensures people are entering their information correctly. Prospect opted-in with a bad email address? They won’t receive the confirmation email and won’t be added.
As the list is of higher quality, based on the double opt-in process, the readers are more likely to want to click and open your emails – improving your readability and open rates.
Cons of double opt-in
May lose subscribers due to user confusion and requiring extra steps in the process. Prospects may not know they need to confirm their subscription. They might not see the notice on the thank you page or see the email asking them to confirm their subscription. As a result, you’re potentially losing out on new leads to your list. Also, some people are just lazy.
The verdict? Do both!
Why not add everyone who opts in to ‘list 1′. Then send them a link to confirm their opt-in and give you permission to send them further emails. Any who then double opt-in get added to ‘list 2′ and removed from ‘list 1′. Aweber can do this for you automatically.
You then have two lists. A single opt-in list which may be bigger but less responsive, and a double opt-in list which will probably be smaller but of higher quality.
You can then choose which offers to send to each list, catered to the type of subscriber on each list.
What is MyMail?
It is a WordPress plugin that allows you to create and manage your email marketing campaigns and subscribers in WordPress.
Here are the features and benefits of using the MyMail plugin…
- Analytics to track email open rates, clicks, unsubscribes and bounces.
- Create autoresponders.
- Schedule email campaigns to run at any time.
- Use dynamic and custom tags (placeholders). So you just enter the shortcode to place elements in your email i.e. a button to share your newsletter on Facebook.
- Webversion for each Newsletter so you can view it online too.
- Embed your email forms with shortcodes. So it’s easy to place forms anywhere on your blog.
- Option to share email messages with all the top social networking websites.
- Option to share email messages via email with friends.
- Create unlimited subscription forms.
- Options for single or double opt-ins.
- WYSIWYG editor with HTML code view.
- Unlimited color variations for emails.
- Background image support.
- Quick email previews.
- Option to test each email before sending it out with IsNotSpam.com support.
- Free updates.
- Multi language support.
- SMTP support.
- Gmail support.
- Domain Keys Identified mail support.
- Import and export option for subscribers.
- Retina (vendor) support.
In the MyMail plugin main menu, you will find the following options under the “Newsletter” menu. These are: all campaigns, new campaign, autoresponder, lists, subscribers and templates.
Lets talk about each one in more detail…
With the MyMail plugin, you can view your campaigns by options: all, draft, paused, active, queued, finished and the total number of autoresponders. For each campaign, you can view the name, status (how many emails in the sequence have been sent so far), total emails to be sent, email open rate, clicks, unsubscribes, number of bounces and the date the campaign was last modified.
You can send your email as a one off, or on a specific date. Or create an autoresponder to send the email at a certain time after a user subscribes to your list or unsubscribes from it. You can also specify a number of conditions to be met before the email is sent out.
Another neat feature is that you have the option to send a test email to IsNotSpam.com. This service will check that your email won’t get rejected as spam for any reason, so there is more chance that it will get delivered and won’t bounce.
You can fully customize the background, images and colors for each email to your liking. You can also toggle between HTML and the text view editor.
With the MyMail plugin, you can view and preview each autoresponder message you’ve created. The information displayed for each autoresponder campaign is exactly the same as in the “all campaigns” section. You can also view autoresponder campaigns by these options: all, draft, paused, active, queued, finished and the total number of autoresponders.
Here you can create new lists, view existing lists and the total number of subscribers for each list. You can edit existing lists here too.
You can view all your subscribers and unsubscribes here in the MyMail plugin. You can view each one by name, email address, number of emails sent, the list name they’re on, status (subscribed or unsubscribed) and the date the entry was last modified. You can also filter subscribers by date and list name.
You can import subscribers from an external file or just paste them into the interface. In the MyMail plugin, you also have the option to view pending subscribers, export and delete them.
You can choose from the default templates or add more from the MyMail plugin vendor site. The HTML of these templates can also be edited in the WordPress admin area.
Multi language support
You can view the MyMail plugin interface in German, Italian, French and Croation as well as English.
Unlimited customization options
You have a ton of options to customize the MyMail plugin settings, too many to list here. They fall under the categories: general, front end, subscribers, forms, texts, tags, delivery, cron, capabilities (admin rights), bouncing options, authentication for email messages and purchase code to allow for software updates.
The MyMail plugin makes it easy to create and manage your lists. You can schedule each campaign to send email at any time. You have all the options you need and more to configure each email and campaign. You can easily place opt-in forms anywhere on your website. Managing subscribers is made easy too. The information and stats available for campaigns and subscribers is very useful. It utilizes the WordPress admin area very well to make creating and managing your email lists, subscribers and campaigns very user friendly.
So would I use it over Aweber? No. Hence no affiliate links
Why not? Deliverability. All the emails are sent from your web server which may have monthly limits on bulk emails. Often certain domains such as hotmail are bounced by the server and never reach their target. Hassle.
A service like Aweber or GetResponse, although more expensive, gives you a much better chance of getting your message across without getting the spam complaints.
What is better – having to pay for every single click you get or getting your traffic for the price of a monthly auto responder charge?
Your greatest aim is to build as big a list as possibly, because the amount of money you can make is directly proportional to the amount of subscribers on your list. In fact it is generally accepted amongst email marketers that for every subscriber on your list, you will make $1/£1 each month from them. So if you have a list with 100,000 subscribers on it then you could reasonably expect to make $/£100,000 per month. I am not saying you will be guaranteed to make this much money but you could reasonably expect to.
So what do you need?
1. A ‘squeeze page’ is a web page that exists solely to capture the names and email addresses of your visitors, although you could also use some kind of opt-in form or pop-up on your blog. The best way to use a squeeze page is to offer some kind of free report/eBook in order to entice your visitor to enter their name and email address.
2. You will also need an autoresponder such as ‘AWeber’. This is a service that will send an automated message to the email addresses that were entered into your squeeze page simply asking them to confirm their subscription. This is called a ‘double op-tin’ and helps to protect you from spam complaints.
Now all you need is…
3. Traffic. So how do you get traffic to your squeeze page? My top tip – Solo ads! They are the quickest method of getting opt-in traffic. In case you are wondering what a solo ad is, it is just when you pay someone to send an email to their list. No-one can guarantee opt-ins but solo ads are generally regarded as a high quality traffic source.
The final task is hook up your autoresponder to your squeeze page using the code that you get from AWeber after you have set up your account. The purpose of this code is to direct the person who subscribed to your ‘thank you’ page where you tell him or her how much you appreciate them taking the time to subscribe and also give them the link to get the free report or eBook you offered them.
You can see an example of a thank you page as well as get a better understanding of this process by sending for my FREE REPORT!
My final tip.
Keep in touch. Don’t just build a list and forget about it until you have an offer for them. Keep in touch with regular, non-salesy emails. Try to connect with your list and chat with them. This will hopefully build trust and make them more inclined to listen if and when you do promote a product to them.
List building is an activity that ALL successful internet marketers do every day.
Adding people to your list results in all sorts of good things happening; prospects for your affiliate program, customers, sales and repeat sales, if you build it the right way.
Are there shortcuts to building a great list to market to? No, but there are tried and true methods for adding people to your lists.
The one method I favour is the ‘piggyback’ list building method.
You can take other people’s lists, borrow them and use them to build your own. Most people use this as a supplemental way to add people to their lists but it can also be used as a primary means of email marketing. One of the most commonly used lists that people borrow to build opt-in lists is ‘safelists’.
Safelists are great but do have their limitations: Some are small and not great quality. But with the huge number out there, you can often shop around and get great deals on solo ads that cover a huge number of safelist members you can get to in one email campaign.
Ezines are another commonly used method of piggybacking. Many ezines are targeted to a specific group and offer a great opportunity to build your optin list from people who are looking for what you have to offer. The problem with these is it can be expensive to run a solo ad, although you may find some that offer cheaper ad options.
Listbuilders are a fantastic method for piggybacking and have a proven success rate. A few notables include ViralUrl, ListJoe, and ListBandit although there are others. Listbuilders often run specials on their memberships and offer great value in their advertising. If you use them on a regular basis, you will notice that you will get a steady response rate which can be useful in planning an ad campaign particularly for affiliate marketing programs.
The trick with piggybacking is to use email marketing mailings to mail to someone else’s list, get a decent response rate and continue to add subscribers to your own list, then to keep growing it at a steady pace.
Once you start getting subscribers this way, you should nurture your relationship with them and give them something of value to keep them on your list. Smart internet marketers know the money is in the list, so make the commitment to grow yours and maintain it.
If you too want to build an email subscriber list of at least 1000 people, you’ll need to create an optin page, promote it and make it easy for others to recommend it.
What’s great about building your own subscriber list is that you now have traffic on demand. If you’ve ever wanted to get more people to see your blog post, buy your product or join your membership site, you can at the click of a button.
First, subscribe to an autoresponder system such as Aweber or GetResponse so that you can collect email addresses and store them in a double opt-in database, that you can contact whenever you like. It’s easy to signup and most charge less than 20 dollars per month.
Login, create a new “subscriber list” and then generate a “web optin form.” Take that form and place it on your webpage with a headline and a few bullet points. Give away some quick freebie such as a short report or video. For example, if you wanted to build a list of people interested in pat care, offer a free report giving them 5 quick tips on how to care for your pet better.
Next, take advantage of sites that already have massive traffic. Think about it, sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter will allow you to link back to your site for free. These sites organize people based on their interests, they have groups and viral components to get your message out there. Join these sites, network, build a following and post a link back to your page.
Finally, if you really want to ramp up sales of your product, you’ll want to create an affiliate program for it by signing up to a service such as Clickbank. With an affiliate program, others can recommend you to THEIR subscribers, social media followers, and so on. Just send that traffic to your optin page, and then on to your sales letter where you sell the product. All is explained on the ClickBank website.
There’s no time to wait. Start your sales system or funnel today by creating a simple optin page to collect leads. Then use social media to send those first few leads to your website, and eventually move on to create an affiliate program to reward others for sending you traffic over time.
Once the ball starts to roll, there’s no stopping it. Click here for more information and great ways to start building your list.
Internet Marketing, Multi-Tasking and The Next Shiny Object
One of the hardest things I’ve come across to do with Internet Marketing is the idea of focusing on one thing.
It’s a well known problem that’s been nicknamed ‘shiny object syndrome’. We are like magpies always looking for the next shiny object and being distracted away from the task at hand.
But here’s the thing.
There you are busily dealing with your pet project, wondering if it will be the one that makes you that fortune you’ve been dreaming about, when all of a sudden you get an email telling you to stop wasting your time.
The email sends you to a sales video which makes this new system look so simple, even an idiot could make it work. It looks great and doesn’t cost much to get started.
Hmm. You think. If I did this I could make a little extra cash to fund my other project. That would take some pressure off, wouldn’t it?
Trouble is, this new system is not that simple and takes quite a bit of time and effort to get your head around. But you keep on with it because you’ve committed yourself now, right?
Then you get an email. Something new, something easy, something with quick profit. So I’ll just give this a try, you think, maybe this will give me the extra cash flow to relax and go back to my other project.
Which project was I working on? Was it this one or that one? What was I doing to start with? I can’t remember!
Then you get an email…
This is the part where you’d normally hear… I know, I’ve been there. But what I found was… blah, blah, blah.
Well not me. You see I’m still there. I still try out new methods if I think they can help. But that’s the key. If I think they can help.
If a new super-duper method of lead generation, or automation, or website creation, or whatever comes along, I’ll take a look and see if I can USE it to further my own project.
Right now I’m actually trying out THREE different methods described in emails I’ve received.
- I’m testing out Re-Marketing with Google Adwords.
- I’m testing out a straight affiliate promotion for a company with a ‘self-propelling’ affiliate network.
- I’m testing out a ‘sniper site’ to promote another affiliate product.
- I’ve even managed to find time to update one of my old self built HTML websites to WordPress, just to see if Google really does ‘love WordPress’. If it does, then I should see my ranking improve, shouldn’t I?
So although I see all these shiny objects, glittering in my inbox, I only take a closer look if I think I can integrate the technology or method into my business. I’m not suddenly going down the MLM route or branching out into postcard marketing or mobile site design or local business marketing or web design or Forex trading….
I decided on affiliate marketing a while ago because I don’t have to come up with the product or the main bulk of the sales material. It’s just easy.
But if I can find a nice, simple way of marketing that affiliate offer, I’m all for it.
When I find the way that works best… I’ll let you know.
If you’ve already found one… Just let me know.
Hey, Phill here with an important and time-sensitive announcement.
How many times have you seen a product launch go mental? Hundreds of marketers scrambling to get their affiliate links out there. But because you’re hearing about it after the event, you miss the big wave.
Well not this time, because…
This company is about to go viral!
They are pre-enrolling right now for the biggest twist in 100% commissions ever released, called Accelerated Leverage.
This will be an industry game-changer when they roll out the exclusive ‘Free Lead System’ on launch day.
The moment you pre-enroll, a unique link will be generated just for you.
Start sharing your link immediately and lock-in your leads.
On launch day, your sign-up link will automatically be sent to everyone who has pre-enrolled from your URL.
Go now, get your personal link, and send this e-mail out to all your contacts ASAP!
To your success,
P.S. What’s the rush?
“Their exclusive ‘Free Lead System’ feature will soon go viral with the potential of hundreds of thousands of distributors, instantly passing it to their downlines!”
Honestly. You try to build up your business, you try to add new products and services, you try to get other local businesses involved…
AND WHAT DO YOU GET?
Well I got this email from one of my fellow driving instructors this week… It’s like hitting your head against a brick wall!
As Driving Instructors or as some people now call us Driver Trainers, it is our job to train learners on how to drive and control a car safely. Also how to negotiate roundabouts and difficult junctions etc etc. What to do and what to look out for, what the road markings mean and tell us, what the road signs are for and what they tell us, and how to stay safe to ourselves and to keep the safety of others in mind at all times.
Once a student has Passed their driving test they then maybe lucky enough to have a car they can use immediately or even have one of their own, either way it means that as of ten minutes or less after passing their test they are legally allowed to drive off down the road or even motorway to somewhere they have never driven before, deal with roundabouts and lane markings and road signs they have not seen before.
In the past 12 months I have had at least 10 if not more people come to me and ask me to show them how to use the coventry ring road, how to use the roundabouts affiliated to the ring road and what lanes go where, not only those areas but also as a general thing how to use other junctions and roundabouts as they had never been shown before.
I will add that these people who have come to me have had friends who have learnt to drive with me and have no issue what so ever in using roundabouts and how to read lane markings and road signs etc etc etc.
I know who they have learnt with, and it is not just one but numerous instructors who do not seem to have graspped the basics of how to teach correctly.
Phill, I am not saying that you are one of these, however I DO NOT beleive that using cd’s or dvd’s for students to watch is the way forward. I think this to be a dangerous way forward.
These only show them for test route roundabouts and therefore only how to pass a test, not how to interpret signs and markings for general use any where in the UK or even abroad.
I beleive the way forward with people who have trouble with these roundabouts etc is more practise and more patience from us as instructors.
Would you be so kind as to take me off your listing / database and not send me any more example cd’s ,letters or communications.
Now apart from some obvious spelling and grammar mistakes, just one of my pet hates, I really can’t understand why he sent me this email, or what more I could have done to make HIS business a little more profitable. You see, I offered him a 60% affiliate commission on the monthly fees for my new membership site called “How To Pass Your Driving Test In Coventry”, 60%. But he clearly threw it back in my face.
So what to do?
IGNORE HIM and carry on doing business with the people who ARE interested.
DO NOT let the opinions of ignorant people ruin your day, and certainly don’t let them put you off trying to make a better business and a better life for yourself.
Please do leave a comment or drop me an email if you prefer, and if you have any similar stories to share I’ll be happy to post them for you.
All the best.