Tags: opt-in

Yahoo Mail’s New Ad Targeting Software Puts the User in Control

Beyond • June 15, 2011

If you need more proof of how competitors are constantly watching one another, you have it right here. In what a few spectators are calling a move to follow in Google’s footsteps, Yahoo! has given its popular webmail product some significant enhancements. The internet giant recently launched an update that promises to improve the email experience for its users and make it more profitable for its advertising partners. From Email Security to Email Targeting So what’s new? Well for starters, Yahoo! will be utilizing the same keyword scanning technology it uses to identify spam, malware and phishing emails to create targeted advertisements across its ad network and within the mail product. The search company is hoping that the new improved system will increase ad interaction among email users who are viewing advertisements that are more relevant to them. This scan technology will also be employed to scan instant messages and SMS text messages that come through Yahoo’s other messaging clients. To no surprise the mere thought of email scanning and sharing data with third-party partners has brought up talk of privacy concerns. Apparently this is something Yahoo! was prepared for as the updated Mail product will require users to consent to the target advertising by opting-in, allowing them to control the ads they receive via the company’s new Ad Interest Manager. Even more interesting is the addition of an application that provides a way for users to easily opt-out of the newsletters and mailing lists they are subscribed to. Instead of going through the process of clicking a link and traveling out of the inbox, users will be able to unsubscribe to email communications by simply dragging and dropping a message to a folder that automatically handles the opt-out procedure. How Email Marketers Are Affected According to David McDowell, Yahoo Mail Senior Director of Product Management, the new opt-in-based permissions policy applies to all of the company’s communications products, including the updated webmail client, Yahoo Messenger and its mobile applications. McDowell said the decision to put more control in the hands of the user is related to the fact that consumers these days are bogged down with so many email messages. While the policy will certainly help users who want to clear out the clutter, it could make it harder for some email marketers to make an impact in the inbox. With the ability to easily unsubscribe from mailings, senders whose content lacks relevance may not only be tuned out, but lose subscribers in the form of those who decide to use the new drag-and-drop function to opt-out. The new version of Yahoo Mail, which was launched as a beta product to select users last October, will be rolled out to the company’s 280 million plus users around the globe in the coming weeks. While the internet powerhouse is obviously looking for a way to drive up advertising revenue, improving targeting through email scanning clearly could not work without easing the consumer’s privacy fears in the process. As a result of Yahoo’s mission to keep both its advertisers and user base happy, email marketers will have to step up their game and increase the focus on relevance.


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10 Ways to Build an Opt-In Email List

Beyond • November 14, 2009

As an email marketer, your first job is to build an opt-in email list. Without this list there is no way to send out your email newsletters. If you are building an opt-in list for the first time, don’t worry. Take a look at some great tips to help you compile a fantastic opt-in list! 1. Create a website Creating a website is a pretty simple thing to do. It can even be done for free. Once you create your website you can request visitors to register with you and thus get them to sign up. 2. Prominent Opt-ins Place prominent opt-in forms where ever you think potentials may see it. People do not have to time to hunt for your sign in forms. Place these forms in easy to see locations. 3. Write an E-book or E-report An E-book or E-report is a great way to get potential customers to visit your website. In this way they will be motivated to sign up for your newsletter. 4. Guest-write blogs A lot of blogs permit guest writers to place articles on their blogs along with a link leading to their website. This technique is excellent for gaining publicity. 5. Use ezine directories Get yourself listed in ezine directories. The best part is, this option requires no subscribers and is usually a free service! So make the most of it and get listed now! 6. Give out freebies Give out free stuff to your potential clients. Give away free screensavers, games, ebooks and more on your website. Place a sign up box on your website so that people checking out your freebies know they can register for your newsletters. 7. Submit your writing Make use of online magazines that accept your writing and if possible place a link leading to more information. You can also publish an online newsletter. There are lots of services that help you do this. 8. Provide quality information Your newsletters should contain interesting and well written quality content. Good content is the best motivator for getting people to sign up. 9. Provide quick opt-out Provide a simple and quick process for opting out. This encourages people to take a chance on signing up. 10. Find a partner It could be beneficial if you found a partner with similar interests to build an opt-in list with. This could lead to shared expenses, sharing of the list and better profits. Can you think of any more tips to build an opt-in email list? Tell us about them!


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Five Ways to Avoid Email Spam Filters

Beyond • October 21, 2009

Email marketing has a lot of advantages, the biggest benefit being that email is free and convenient. The down side to this is that the ease of email has led to an explosion of spam, and therefore the creation of the spam filter. Most unfortunately, these filters tend to block even legitimate email. So if you find your emails are being blocked, read on. Take a look at five great ways to avoid those email spam filters. 1. Never use spam words in your email There are a lot of words and symbols that are classified as ‘spam’ and these should be avoided at all cost. Words such as ‘viagra’, numerous dollar signs, multiple exclamation marks and even sentences in capital are considered spam. It is very important that you do not use such words in the subject line of your email. 2. Always safeguard your customer list Your customer list should be protected at all times. You must look after your list as per the terms mentioned in your privacy policy. Remember, people have given you their information on the basis of trust. You need to honor this trust. Never disclose or sell your list to anyone unless you have stated that you will do so in your policy. Violating your policy could lead to penalties. 3. Place an unsubscribe link in your email It is important that all your email communication contain an unsubscribe link for the benefit of your recipients. This is usually provided by all the leading Email Service Providers like Benchmark Email, etc. However, you should ensure that your link works properly by testing it yourself. If a recipient clicks on the unsubscribe link you must ensure that the person is removed from your subscription list instantly. 4. Make use of double opt-in forms Although single opt-ins can be used, double opt-in is a much better alternative. In the single opt-in process, a person who wishes to subscribe needs to provide his name and email address and confirm that he wants your emails. When it comes to double opt-in, the person completes the single opt-in process and then clicks on a verification link that is sent to him via email. The verification process used in double opt-in makes it more trustworthy and reduces the chance of your email being called spam. 5. Pay attention to all aspects of your email Your email should maintain a constant ‘From’ field and the ‘To’ field should always be personalized. When it comes to HTML emails, try to avoid using javascript, embedded forms and even hidden text and make sure all your links have the ‘http://’ prefix. Request your readers to add your email address to their ‘whitelist’ or address book.


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Ways to improve your email landing page

Beyond • October 10, 2009

When it comes to the landing pages of email marketing campaigns, it has been found that many of them have the same flaws; they are too cramped, they fail to attract visitors and some of them even confuse the viewer. So before sending out your email take a look at some tips for your email landing page: Test your email messages Always test out your email messages before sending them out. Test your links and make sure they work properly. In order to do this you need to click on and open every link in your email and check that it opens to the right web page in the browser. Provide clear Calls to Action It is important that you provide your visitors with clear and detailed instructions regarding the steps they need to follow once they click on your links. There is nothing more frustrating that clicking on a link and not knowing what to do next. Provide new interesting information Using content from your websites in your email is alright. However you need to ensure that the links in your email take your visitors to pages that provide them with something new and interesting to read. If your visitors find that the page that opens repeats the same information they will lose interest and shut the page. Don\'t confuse your visitors A web page that is created in a way that has nothing in common with the look and tone of your email will confuse your visitors. This can result in them losing interest and shutting the page. Reinforce the call to action The best way to reinforce the call to action that motivated the viewer to click on the link is to place that same offer on the landing page as well. Place an opt-in request on the landing page People make their way to your landing page through numerous routes. Place an opt-in request on your landing page in order to get the email address of first time visitors. Avoid asking too many questions Avoid placing forms with lots of questions on your landing page. Too many questions irritate viewers and cause them to lose interest. If you have any more tips for your landing page do share them with us!


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Strategies to improve your Email Open Rates

Strategies to improve your Email Open Rates

Beyond • July 2, 2009

Email marketing is all about percentages. Emails opened. Links clicked on. Surveys answered. But none of this matters without the most important percentage of all – delivery – as in how many emails show up in the inbox. The good news is, as an email marketer, you have some real tools in your arsenal to boost your chances of making it to the inbox. Not everything is within your control – spam filters are tricky things – but you do have some simple rules you can follow that can increase the chances that your email or newsletter will land in front of your customer\'s eyes and not in their trash file. Here are some ways to make that happen. 1. Use a recognizable \"from\" name Recipients should be able to clearly and quickly identify and recognize your company from your from name. State your organization\'s name simply: ABC Company. 2. Use a clear subject line Never underestimate the importance of a compelling, well-constructed and effective subject line. A good subject line not only tells your recipient what to expect when they open your email, but it also sets your email apart from the hundreds of others in the inbox. 3. Maximize your preview pane potential Keep in mind that an ‘open’ status in your email reports does not necessarily result in a click-through. Your recipients may give your email a cursory glance through the preview pane but unless your message grabs their attention, they will not bother to open and read it. To optimize use of the preview pane, you must include engaging and compelling information. Another great way to attain immediate click-throughs is to place your key call to action in the preview pane area. Additionally, be aware of how your email will render in the preview pane if images are disabled, and design accordingly. 4. Start with confirmed opt-in Confirmed opt-in means not only getting permission to email someone, but verifying that permission through an email with a link. Once that link is clicked on, the customer\'s account is officially active. This procedure cuts back on fraudulent sign ups and spam complaints, which can easily ruin your email delivery. So, keep your nose clean. Use double opt-in every time. 5. Use authentication Yahoo DomainKeys, SPF records and other authentication protocols tell email clients that the email you sent came from you and you alone. They also undercut spammers who forge headers and purport to be you, hoping they can hawk their fake Rolexes and herbal treatments under your good name without getting caught. If the email comes from you and your authentication records show that, you\'ll gain a huge delivery advantage. If you are a Benchmark Email customer, Email Authentication is turned ON by default in your account. 6. Keep your list squeaky clean A list that is not cleaned of your bounces and unsubscribes will bring down your open rates and might even damage your reputation and hurt your delivery rates. Your reputation is responsible for your emails being delivered, bulked or bounced. Remember, your reputation will be adversely affected by repeatedly sending emails to invalid or non-existent email addresses. Using an Email Service Provider (ESP) such as Benchmark Email is a good way to ensure clean lists and safeguard your reputation because it provides you with the easy option of deleting nonexistent email addresses quickly.


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How to Reduce Spam Complaints?

How to Reduce Spam Complaints?

Beyond • June 16, 2009

One of the keys to success in e-mail marketing is to reduce the number of spam complaints that you receive. Spam complaints can hurt your standing with your ISP or hosting provider, and even prevent your messages from being delivered to millions of users of popular web e-mail providers such as Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo mail. In spite of these potentially very significant consequences, many businesses that rely on e-mail marketing as a major part of their advertising efforts fail to understand the steps that you can take to prevent spam complaints from being submitted. The following tips will help you reduce your spam complaints: Confirmed opt-in: The best way to ensure that your subscribers want to receive mailings from you is by using a confirmed opt-in process. It requires your subscribers to confirm their subscription by replying to an e-mail before they can be added to your e-mail list. Your list only: It is no longer acceptable to purchase e-mail lists or use third-party lists. You should remove any e-mail addresses obtained from third party sources. Practice good list hygiene: Don’t get in love with your list. The quantity of email addresses in your list means little; it is the quality that counts. As a general rule, the older your list (or addresses in your list) the greater the chance that they may not be any longer interested in receiving mails from you. That said, there are no specific rules as all businesses are different. Some businesses will know that some of their best customers are their oldest customers, so the culling of all e-mail addresses obtained before a specific date may not be suitable for those businesses. Include the Unsubscribe Link: The first and most important step you can take is to include an unsubscribe link in every message. Beyond this, the unsubscribe link should be two things: obvious and painless. Customers who want your emails will ignore the link, and those who don\'t will find it easy to unsubscribe from your list, rather than hastily clicking the email as spam. Evaluate your Subject Line: Ensure that - especially when starting out - your company name is included in the subject line. You may be thinking that is not necessary, since your company name will more than likely show in the \"from\" field, however, this helps to convey professionalism. Be sure that the message in your subject line is actually conveyed in the email. No one likes to be duped, and doing so raises the chances of your e-mail being marked as spam. Familiar layout: Using a consistent e-mail template with the same colors, fonts and layout will help your subscribers to recognize your e-mail campaigns. Over time your subscribers will recognize your layout and with that familiarity they will be reminded that they have subscribed to your list. Familiar and consistent company name: Confusion and complaints can originate from subscribers being unfamiliar with your company or brand name. Consistent from address: Using a consistent ‘from’ e-mail address serves two purposes. First, using the same ‘from’ address over time is another way to ensure that your subscribers recognise your e-mails. It is best to use a from e-mail address that includes your brand or the company name that they subscribed to. Second, if different ‘from’ addresses are used it increases the chances that the subscriber’s local e-mail filter programs (spam filters) will block your e-mails. It is a good idea to ask your subscribers to add your e-mail address to their address book to ensure that your messages will get past any local filters. Frequency: A common complaint trigger is businesses sending too many e-mails to the same group of people. While a subscriber may like your products and your business, there becomes a point when your mailings become annoying when sent too often, particularly if you are sending essentially the same message over and over again. The frequency of mail-outs will depend on your business and the type of information you provide to your subscribers. By outlining the anticipated frequency in your sign-up subscription terms, your subscribers will know how often to expect your mailings. Few other tips: - do not write long email copy - go for “short and crisp”, then point to your website for more information; - don’t repeat your website URL over and over again — you are more likely to get more complaints than more sales; once or twice is usually enough; - run a spam-check on your messages before you send them out and fix any problems that it detects.


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