New Email Whitelist Instructions Generator and why I disagree with top email delivery authority Stefan Pollard
Being the most prolific email authority on email delivery (I have to be #2), Stefan Pollard of Email on Click Z is followed avidly by many, especially myself.
Marketing Sherpa went into very in depth detail in suggesting that we all use user email whitelist instructions on our sites. You can view Marketing Sherpa’a email whitelist instructions.
In fact this article goes into how Email Management is Lacking and not taking advantage of landing pages throughout the subscription process.
Here is his response and mine is below it, so read on!
Thanks for the kind words, and I did take a look at your script. It seems to be very thorough, but I wonder if the personalization attempt at the beginning is really necessary? There are only a small handful of sites I have seen that publish directions for the different email clients to add to the address book (or whitelist in your case) and some studies done by Jupiter show a surprising sophistication by email users. Of the sites who do publish, general directions seem to be quite clear.
Marketers often times believe that the general user doesn’t know how to do simple things with their email client (like whitelisting) when the opposite is true, they know how but chose not to. The only time I have seen users use the whitelisting features in their email clients is during the reply function (when half or more clients ask you to) or when email of value consistently lands in the junk folder. The second part is quite rare.
What would be an interesting posting would be a complete list of FBL sources, links and directions on how to apply. Using FBL’s for list hygiene is much more valuable to a marketer than address book whitelisting directions. Professionals know how many sources exist and how to set them up, the average marketer is not aware of all the sources and often thinks the only ones are AOL/Hotmail.
Thanks for reading,
Thanks for the reply here Stefan but I do have to disagree with you on the point that our subscribers are more advanced than I believe.
The one thing I have learned is that you must construct your instructions for anything to include the lowest common denominator in any type of instructions. Look at the questions that come in from someone that tries to download a report to their own machine. Most Internet users cannot even download a file to their own file structure, manage to find it and open the PDF file afterwards. You have to provide explicit instructions on how to do this so you are not constantly having to answer support emails.
When it comes to email it can be even worse. Your email can easily end up in the spam folder until a new subscriber finds it there, opens it and then whitelists you to enable HTML and clickable links. I reported on this a year ago when Hotmail was the first to disable clickable links and HTML. AOL, Gmail and Yahoo have followed suit.
After reading your email Stefan, I decided to go back and add a line stating that “Due to the overzealous filtering by ISPs you may have to look in your spam folder and recover my email.”
Do you have any suggestions on how I could word this better? It should portray that it is not there because I am spammer, it is there because the ISPs filters get carried away. Also what other suggestions do you have for my readers that could help us get over the hump of a new subscriber trusting us and whitelisting our email addresses?
Also as far as FBLs go I totally agree! I have a complete list of 10 ISPs, their FBL links and how to use them, but I have to save something for the email delivery book!
Of course I invite all your comments below. – Chris Lang