In one of my recent conversations with an email marketer, she confessed that her company doesn’t monitor replies from the email campaigns it sends out. Big mistake. It’s crucial to monitor these replies, either in a separate mailbox or by having them forwarded to your main mailbox. Not only will this help you answer your subscribers’ questions and keep you up to date with unsubscribe and change-of-email-address requests, but it could also give you “safelisting privileges” at many ISPs.
This special status will result in the automatic enabling of the images and links that you’ve carefully selected to increase customer engagement. Here are three tactics for getting safelisted with your subscribers:
1) Monitor your replies and respond accordingly. In addition to the benefits listed above, this will enable you to reap safelisting rewards from several providers:
- Gmail: If the subscriber and the company/email marketer reply to each other two or more times, Gmail will automatically enable images and links in future communications. (Read more in this blog entry.)
- AOL: If a user replies/clicks‐through to a sender, moves a sender’s message to a personal folder, or clicks “not spam” on a sender’s message that was found in the spam folder, the sender will be added to the address book and receive address book benefits. (Read more in this Pivotal Verocity white paper.)
2) Send a welcome email encouraging recipients to add you to their address book. It’s an excellent idea to immediately engage subscribers with a welcome email program, and one of the elements you should include in this message is a request that recipients add you to their address book. Clarify the benefits of doing so—namely, that this guarantees they’ll receive your valuable content moving forward.
3) Include an “Add to Address Book” statement at the top of all subsequent emails. Including a prominent reminder will help you catch recipients that didn’t add you when you sent your welcome email(s), and it will also remind them to do so if their email address changes at a later date. Also, if your company transitions to a new “From” email address, you should consider letting subscribers know about this before making the change. This way, they can update their address book with the new “From” address and continue to have images and links enabled.
With many recipients automatically disabling images and links, your messages run the risk of not being viewed as you intended. By taking the time to follow the steps above, you can help ensure that your emails show up with their content fully rendered and can better stand out from the clutter filling up your recipients’ inboxes.