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CAN-SPAM and Permission: Boosting Deliverability

July 29, 2008  

Last week, we discussed some of the common CAN-SPAM pitfalls detailed in an ExactTarget whitepaper. Now, we're switching our focus from meeting minimum requirements to actually raising the deliverability bar. Here are a few of ExactTarget's suggestions:

Play by the ISP rules. According to ExactTarget, "Senders who deploy high quantities of email promotions, send to dirty lists or generate many complaints (who 'look like spammers' to ISPs) are blocked." Keep in mind that conforming to best practices doesn't always leave you entirely in the clear—with imperfect ISP filtering systems, you might encounter "false positive" flagging. Stay alert.

ISPs like permission marketing. Make sure everyone on your list has chosen to receive your messages. "An organization focused on list growth can…[capture] opt-ins at each customer/prospect touch point—at point-of-sale, on a sign-up form, kiosk, website, or during a phone call," they say. One way to demonstrate your commitment to permission: if you trigger a "false positive" block, use a double opt-in process; this sends a confirmation email to new subscribers, and only adds them to your list when they click on the opt-in link.

"The requirements of the [CAN-SPAM] Act will have significant impact on unwary organizations or those that fail to adjust internal procedures appropriately," concludes ExactTarget. "However, organizations that take the proper steps to overcome challenges and risks will reap the rewards of subscriber loyalty in the long run."

The Po!nt: Play fair to play it safe. Employing sound permission-based email practices will help ensure you meet CAN-SPAM standards, and keep your deliverability rates up.

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