How to maintain email hygiene?
E-mail as all are aware is the most used platform for written communication for the last decade and going forward, would most likely continue.
The reasons are rather obvious. Ease of use for both, the sender and recipient, its wide usage and acceptance by a large number of people, economics of its usage, its ability to handle conflicting technologies on an even keel, etc., are some of its USPs.
Its range and reach has made it an ideal platform for marketing used not just by the genuine but also by fraudsters of every description. To stop the latter, elaborate filtering systems have been put in place which by design or default end-up targeting the novice instead.
To avoid getting stuck with either the fraudster or the filters, one has to put in place systems which can maintain email hygiene which may include, amongst others, the following points, namely
- Maintain own lists from our sources to the extent possible. Where one has to go for outside sources, go only to those who have a confirmed reputation in data integrity. Additionally, these name should also be in a position to honour any discrepancies that may occur in the information provided.
- Where your lists contain common IDs shared by a department or organization with accessed to more than one individual, there is every likelihood that a email from your end without a specific name may end-up in the delete/ SPAM folder. Obviate this by mentioning a proper name and designation, the latter where possible.
- Where your lists result in bounce backs, it may be due to any or all of the reasons mentioned below which, to the extent possible should be treated likewise.
- E-mail IDs with typo errors- Where you have other contact details, use the same to correct the error.
- E-mail addresses which are fake- These sometimes come into the list courtesy folks who are not interested in continuing the relation. Have the same removed ASAP.
- E-mail IDs which have requested to be unsubscribed but yet continue on the list: A very, very grave mistake which can land one in trouble big time! This means your unsubscribe function does not work! Get it rectified ASAP.
- E-mail IDs which have gone cold- Segregate these and send personalized messages which help elicit a response. If they still persist being cold, go ahead and remove them permanently.
- E-mail IDs itself containing trigger words or characters- If you have other contact details like telephone numbers and addresses, use them to get the former rectified.
- Another very important component of e-mail hygiene is the e-mail itself. Being subjected to SPAM filters ever so often, it makes sense to do the following:
- In the “From:” part of the message, clearly mention a proper name
- In the subject line, do not use SPAM trigger words or character (exclamation marks !!!, words like increase, sex, size, free etc)
- In the subject line, mention the name of the sender, recipient and purpose clearly
- In the mail itself, keep the message crisp, clear and addressed to the recipient.
- In the mail, do not use trigger words, pictures without some explanatory text, too many pictures, bright colors etc.
- Where keeping the message simple is an issue, include a link in the mail itself asking the recipient to take it to a browser and see its contents or better still, ask the recipient who is a double-opted, registered subscriber to log-on to the website and see an important message.