Email Education Center


Permission Based Email Marketing Q & A

Q. What is Permission Based Email Marketing?

A. With permission based email marketing you will obtain permission from your email recipients before advancing to the next step in the purchasing process. For example, you will ask permission to send email newsletters to prospective customers. It is mostly used by online marketers, notably email marketers and search marketers, as well as certain direct marketers who send a catalog in response to a request.

This form of marketing requires that the prospective customer has either given explicit permission for the marketer to send their promotional message (like an email or catalog request) or implicit permission (like querying a search engine). This can be either via an online email opt-in form or by using search engines, which implies a request for information which can include that of a commercial nature.

Once they give you permission, they are considered "Opted-in".

Marketers feel that this is a more efficient use of their resources because the offers are sent to people only if actually interested in the product or service. Not to mention they need to get prior permission to comply with spam laws.

Permission marketing is now a large-scale activity on the Internet. A leading Internet business periodical noted that "permission marketing was once a niche business. Now, everybody is doing it.


Q. How does this work in AllClients?

A. In AllClients, email addresses must be opted-in before you can send emails to that address. That means you must get the recipient's prior permission before you can send them emails.

How do I do that?
  1. If they have already given you permission, you can manually opt them in and start emailing to them immediately.
  2. If they find you on the web using an AllClients Landing Page, they will be opted-in automatically.
  3. If you think you have their permission, but are not sure, you can send them an opt-in invitation and once they respond to it, they will be opted-in and you will be able to send them email.

Q. Can I send emails without opting in my email addresses?

A. No, that would be technically considered spam, and AllClients is a certified spam compliant system.

Number of Emails You Can Send

Average Emailer (1000 – 3000 emails/mo)

You are an Average Emailer it you send less than 1000 emails a month on the Silver package and less than 3000 a month on the Gold package.

Once in a while you might need to send a big email blast where you will exceed these limits. In this case you can buy extra email credits from AllClients for 1 cent per credit. You can buy these extra email credits right from your Home page.

High-Volume Emailer (3000+ emails/mo)

If you send more than 1000 (Silver) or 3000 (Gold) emails on a monthly basis, you are a High-Volume Emailer.

Our High-Volume Emailers use SendGrid to facilitate their email requirements.

SendGrid is a top tier email deliverability provider who can handle email volumes over 700,000 emails a month. You can learn more about SendGrid here: SendGrid.com.

Here is how to get everything set up:

1. Sign up for an account with SendGrid. They have several options to choose from including a pay-as-you-go option, a $9.95/mo option, and a $79.95/mo option where you will get your own dedicated IP address.


2. Configure your AllClients Account to work with SendGrid.
Go to Settings -> SendGrid Integration
Once you follow these simple steps, you will still use AllClients to create and manage your emails. However, once the emails leave AllClients, the powerful SendGrid email engine will take over all the email delivery and reporting tasks.

Notes:

Once you have linked your AllClients and SendGrid accounts, you will no longer be using the AllClients emails included in your monthly package.

The AllClients Email Analytics will not be accessible if you are using SendGrid's low-end offerings. Be sure to sign up for their Silver, Gold or Platinum products if this detail is important to you.

Anti-Spam Policy

We have a zero tolerance spam policy. We actively monitor all emails sent from our system. Any customer found to be using the system for spam, whether intentional or not, will not be allowed to send email from the system.

Spam Defined: Spam falls into two major categories: Unsolicited Emails and Emails Marked as Spam

1. Unsolicited Emails

The main definition of spam is unsolicited email also known as UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email). By sending email to only to those who have given you their consent, you are following accepted permission-based email guidelines. You can also send emails to customers with a preexisting business relationship.

What constitutes consent?

The recipient of your email has been clearly and fully notified of the collection and use of his email address and has consented prior to such collection and use. This is often called informed consent.

What constitutes a Preexisting business relationship?

The recipient of your email has made a purchase, requested information, responded to a questionnaire or a survey, or had offline contact with you recently.


2. Emails Marked as Spam

Even if you follow all the unsolicited spam rules and are only sending emails to those who have given you prior permission, the recipients can still mark your emails as spam. While they should use the "Unsubscribe Link", they will sometimes click the buttons "Mark as Spam" or "This is Spam".

This action gets reported to the ISP's and to us. Unfortunately, this spam is viewed exactly the same as the spam from someone sending unsolicited emails.

Email Delivery FAQs

Q. How can I control the fact that my recipients are marking my emails as spam? Especially when they specifically gave me permission to send them emails! This is frustrating!

A. We feel your pain. Sometimes people make a mistake and hit the wrong button, and sometimes they want to "opt-out" and they think hitting "Spam" is the same thing. But many times there are things you can be doing better, to minimize spam reports.

While it is impossible to control your recipient's behavior, here are a few reasons your recipients may be marking your emails as spam:
  1. They never gave you permission to send them emails in the first place
  2. They forgot they gave you permission to send them emails
  3. You have permission but are sending too many emails and/or too often for their liking
  4. The subject of your emails sound spammy
  5. The content of your emails sound spammy

Q. How can I minimize the number of instances where my recipient marks my emails as spam?

A. There are lots of resources on the web to help you write emails that will not get marked as spam. Here is a good place to start: Email Best Practices

Q. Is there a law against sending Spam?

A. The federal anti-spam law went into effect on January 1st, 2004 and preempts all state laws. While this new law will not stop spam, it does make most spam illegal and ultimately less attractive to spammers. The law is specific about requirements to send commercial email and empowers the federal government to enforce the law. The penalties can include a fine and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years.

Q. What happens if I get spam complaints?
A. Please see the section on Email Reputation.

Q. What about my emails that bounce - do I need to worry about that?

A. Well, that depends. A normal bounce rate is less than 1% of emails sent. If you are near that range, you are probably OK.

If far more than 1%, you have a problem. This is an indication that your list is bad. People with bad email addresses don't give you permission to send them emails!

A high bounce rate is a good indication that you are sending spam. It usually means that your list is old, rented, or purchased, and you can't use our system to send to these recipients.

Q. How does AllClients help protect you from sending spam?
A. AllClients is a permission-based email marketing tool that follows the strictest permission-based philosophies:

  • Communication - By accepting our license agreement you have agreed to use only permission-based lists and never to buy outside lists or to sell or rent your lists. Furthermore, we provide a real-time email reputation score on your home page.
  • Unsubscribe - Every email generated from the system contains an unsubscribe link at the bottom of the email which allows your contacts to opt-out of future emails and automatically updates your contact lists to avoid the chance of sending unwanted emails to visitors who have unsubscribed. To further reduce accidental spam marking, you can put an additional unsubscribe link at the top of your emails.
  • Identification - Your email header information is correct because it is pre-set for you by the system. Your email's "From" address is verified and already accurately identifies you as the sender.
  • Contact Information - all of your emails are pre-filled with your contact information including your physical address.


Your Email Reputation

If you are a High-Volume Emailer, your email reputation will be monitored, managed and reported by SendGrid.

If you are an Average Emailer your emails will be sent using the AllClients Email Servers. This means you will be sharing an IP address for sending your emails with other AllClients customers.

It is absolutely critical that we monitor and police the integrity of our IP addresses to ensure high deliverability for all of our customers. If just one sender is getting multiple spam complaints, that sender will hurt the deliverability of all of our customers using that same IP address.

In order to keep our overall sending reputation pristinely clean, we will warn our senders when their recipients mark their emails as spam.

Number of Spam Complaints

0 – 1 Complaints

0 - 1 spam complaints in 45 days is in the "Good" zone and is where you want to be. While it is never good to get any spam complaints, it is not uncommon to see an occasional spam complaint here and there, even when you are following all the rules.

2 – 3 Complaints

2 - 3 spam complaints in 45 days is in the "Caution" zone and you should review and adjust your email practices immediately. This is in indication that you are missing the boat in the area of spam, and are in jeopardy of losing some or all of your email privileges. Please review this entire document as well as other web resources to improve your reputation.

4+ Complaints

If you have 4 or more spam complaints in a 45 day period, your account will automatically be restricted as follows: You will no longer be able to send blast emails from AllClients. This restriction will automatically be lifted once you fall below 4 spam reports in 45 days. At this level we strongly suggest you consider using a third party provider for your emails.

Repeated Complaints and Other Email Violations

Especially when you have more than 4 spam complaints on a regular basis, but at ANY time if we fell your email practices are hurting the overall reputation of our sending community, we reserve the right to restrict all of your email sending from AllClients and require that you to use a third party email provider.

Email Best Practices

So you have followed the rules and you are only sending emails to people who have given you permission to do so. Great – Now you're half way there!

Next, you need to make sure your emails are not considered to be spam. Even if you have permission from the recipient, the ISP, the email client, spam filters and the email recipient themselves, can still mark your emails as spam. This will hurt your email sending reputation, not to mention defeat the purpose of you sending emails in the first place.

There are countless factors to consider when sending emails. Below you will find a few web resources to help you navigate this process.

Please note: These links are provided as a courtesy to you to help you in the area of email best practices. We have not verified all the content, nor can we certify that everything suggested herein will keep you out of spam trouble.

http://www.mequoda.com/wp-content/uploads/ui/spam-trigger-list.pdf [PDF]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spam_(electronic)

http://www.wilsonweb.com/wmt8/spamfilter_phrases.htm

http://www.mailchimp.com/articles/how_spam_filters_think/

http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/most-common-spam-filter-triggers/

http://spamassassin.apache.org/tests_3_3_x.html

http://www.wordbiz.com/archive/avoidspamfilters.shtml

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/6806.imc

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