In one of my recent articles I talked about the 4 main elements that are present in all effective emails. In that post I went into detail on the things you should consider in writing an email that generates action.
However, having a good email is not always enough especially if it doesn’t reach its destination and get delivered. So, in this post I wanted to point out 5 reasons you should consider using a third party professional email service to handle the delivery and management of your email campaigns.
No matter how good an email is it doesn’t have a chance if it doesn’t get delivered. If you are using your own email server and are not using a professional service like Constant Contact, Aweber, iContact, etc… you’re likely missing out on higher delivery rates.
Professional services such as these mentioned above (and there are more) have relationships with various ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and also provide strict guidelines for those who use their service to avoid being labeled as a server that delivers spam. As such, they work hard to keep their servers on Internet white lists.
You can check to see if your mail server is on an Internet blacklist by using one of these handy resources:
When using any of the above black list checks be sure you enter the IP Address of your MAIL server (or website if it is the same as is with most shared hosting services). Do not just click “enter” for the default IP Address that shows because this is your computer IP address (the one you are reading this on now) and not the email server that is actually sending your email.
If you find your email server is on any blacklists, you likely are seeing lower delivery rates than could be if you switched to a professional delivery service.
2) CAN SPAM Laws
Professional email services help you abide by any CAN SPAM laws by providing you with the right information required to meet guidelines. Things like “unsubscribe links”, “do not mail” lists, etc… Trying to do this on your own could be very time consuming, and if done wrong, could land you in legal trouble.
3) Bounce Management
Professional email services often provide automatic bounce management and even disclose the reason (segmenting the bounces into various groups) why an email bounced. Some even keep your list clean by enabling the automatic removal of addresses that bounce more than a certain number of times.
If you’re trying to manage bounces on your own this can be extremely difficult.
The reporting you get from professional email services is outstanding and gets better all the time. From open rates, to the exact email addresses who opened, to what they did after opening, to how many sales were generated from the email, to hourly opens, and more. You can’t beat the reporting that a professional service provides.
Reporting is a key ingredient to running a successful campaign. Without it you have little chance at true success.
5) List Segmentation and Automation
Many professional email services enable you to setup automation rules and segment lists into various groups. These automation rules may be something like “move an email address to list 2 from list 1 if the person clicks a link in the email”. This is very important because you can setup various list groups that fill with targeted users using automatic rules. You can then further and more precisely send targeted emails to those in the individual groups based on their exact wants and needs.
List segmentation and automation is something that can’t be matched in most non-professional email services.
These are just 5 reasons why you should consider using a professional service and third party email server rather than relying on your own personal system. I’ve tried both routes and given the choice between using a professional service and my own mail server I would choose the professional route every time.
Have you come across any other email services that are nice? Let me know about them by posting a comment below.
Thanks for mentioning our blacklist tool. This is a great post! We try to hit most of these points when talking to clients, especially when they are trying to do any type of bulk mailing. Now we can just direct this to this article.
Not sure if this is a legitimate concern or not, but having your host’s server handle your email at least allows some control over the process. Once you turn it over to Google or another company all that control would be lost.
Eric Leuenberger says
Keep in mind we are not talking about standard email addresses here. Yes, that should be setup naturally on your server.
What we are talking about here are programs that handle bulk mailings and follow-up responders (such as the case with newsletters, auto responders, etc…) If your list is any decent size, most “in-house” email programs won’t handle the send correctly … and if you host limits the number of emails that can be sent in a given time period, you’re stuck there as well. The other thing to consider is that if you are on a shared server, and others on that same server have been flagged as “spammers” then YOUR email server is also considered on the blacklist (because you all share the same server.)
Due to this fact, the deliverability of your emails goes way down (not good.)
If you get a reputable email provider such as Constant Contact, MailChip, Aweber etc… then you have all the control you need (and more) to develop and run profitable email campaigns. Plus many of those provide bounce management, automation rules, and very nice reporting.