With all the talk about the numerous sender authentication protocols, it’s easy to overlook some basic actions that can help improve your e-mail deliverability. A new white paper from e-mail services provider Silverpop, “Deliverability: What the Pros Already Know,” calls attention to some of these basics:
• If an address has produced a soft bounce three times in a row during the course of 21 days or more, remove it from your mailing list. (A soft bounce is a valid e-mail address that has been rendered temporarily undeliverable due to something like an overloaded inbox.)
• E-mail everyone on your list at least once every 90 days. This will help you keep a better handle on address churn and keep your bounce rate to the optimal 4%-5%. If your list produces too many hard bounces—say, 20%–an ISP may consider you a spammer and block all your messages.
• Be sure to put your brand in the “from” and/or “message” line.
• Don’t neglect to set up a mailbox (firstname.lastname@example.org) so that ISPs can contact you regarding bounce codes and other problems. This is another way to demonstrate that your company is not a spammer.