You have a squeaky-clean opt-in list of subscribers who love the content you send—including highly relevant offers from your partners. But if you're using third-party content and templates (their HTML code for that content) for these campaigns, be aware that another company's bad behavior can have a negative impact on your reputation.

Here's how it happens. "If that partner works with a whole bunch of people sending email," explains Al Iverson in a post at the Spam Resource blog, "[and] if that template is out all over town, then there's a pretty good chance that somebody has sent emails using that template to poorly permissioned lists, causing spamtrap hits, spam complaints, and so forth."

Spam filters that use content fingerprinting, meanwhile, see the same message coming from your company and lump you in with the abusive senders. "Your reputation can now be impacted by two groups entirely out of your control," Iverson continues, "the partner, and anybody else that partner is working with or recently worked with."

The easiest way to avoid this situation, he notes, is to avoid third-party content. If that isn't an option for you, Iverson recommends reconstructing the message with original language and style; that way, the only "fingerprint" seen by spam filters will be your own.

The Po!nt: Be a snob. Sometimes email marketing is just like high school; if people see you hanging out with the ne'er-do-wells, they'll assume you're one of them.

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