Getting your permission-based email marketing emails into the inbox and ensuring that your email design is just right are closely related. Here is some useful information on the nexus between the two as well as on doing both well.
If you are just getting back into email marketing after a break, are new to it, or are sending to an old list, make sure to first ramp up. That means you should send to certain segments of your list first, perhaps based on demographic criteria—or first send to the people who signed up most recently and are therefore more likely to remember you.
Keeping a clean list is very important. Too many hard bounces (email addresses that do not exist any more) can hurt your reputation with the ISPs.
Pay close attention to keeping a list clean and purge as many bad addresses from the list as you can before you use a new email service provider (ESP)—because you want to get off on the right foot with good delivery. The good news is that most ESPs will automatically mark any hard bounce as inactive.
Keep in mind that the worst thing you can do to build your email list is to harvest emails from Web sites; moreover, doing so is a flagrant violation of the CAN-SPAM act.
In addition, do not buy a list from anyone on the Internet who promises you the subscribers are all opted-in. They may have opted in to hear from someone... but not from you. For you, they are likely to hit the spam complaint button, as they will in the case of the many others to whom the list was sold. Sending to this sort of list will hurt your ability to reach your best customers and prospects.
Whichever ESP you choose will assign you an IP address—-either shared or private. This IP address, not your email address, is the "Caller ID" of every email that goes out, whether a personal message or email marketing. Make sure that you set up a Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record that matches the IP address that your ESP assigned to you with the sending domain (yourcompany.com). Your ESP should have a knowledge base with easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up an SPF record in your Domain Name Service (DNS) settings.