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Best Practices for Sending to an Older List

Let’s say your client approaches you to send a campaign to Old Faithful, their house list that’s slowly grown over the years but hasn’t been contacted in 12 months or so. Hell, 12 months doesn’t sound that long. You put together the creative and start sending. Things start to get ugly The campaign’s sent. 40% of your list hard bounce right from the word go. Another 25% unsubscribe immediately. Old Faithful aint what it used to be. Problem 1: 30% is a big number Here’s a scary fact. Email address churn averages about 30% every year. This means that each year almost a third of your subscriber list will have moved on to a new email address. If you haven’t sent to your subscriber list in a while, you can see how quickly they can become out of date. Problem 2: Permission doesn’t age well Even if an old subscriber hasn’t changed their address, they might not even remember being added to your list. As web designers, we often forget that registering on a web site isn’t always a particularly memorable experience for most people. If you haven’t been in touch with a subscriber for more than 12 months, chances are the permission they once gave is now worthless. The solution – a permission confirmation campaign If your list hasn’t been contacted for at least 12 months, you should consider a permission confirmation campaign. This is a simple email that includes: An explanation of how, when and where they subscribed to your list. A compelling list of the benefits of continuing their subscription and a preview of what you’ll be contacting them about in the future. If you can’t say anything compelling then you shouldn’t be contacting them in the first place. A confirmation link the user must click to confirm their subscription. The best approach is to link to a subscribe form for a brand new list. Make life easier by using personalization to automatically populate the form with their existing details. Any subsequent campaigns should only be sent to the new list. Many will argue that this method will lose you a lot of subscribers. I say that if a recipient can’t be bothered to confirm their subscription, their unlikely to be opening, reading and responding to your campaigns anyway.

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Reports Optimization and Speed Improvements

A number of customers with larger lists might have been experiencing speed issues with some of reports, especially the Recipient Activity Report. We’re constantly making small tweaks to our database to improve performance, but this update was a biggie. Thanks to a complete rethink of some parts of the database, you guys should notice significant speed improvements in the reporting section of Campaign Monitor. We’re rolling out a number of other improvements in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Blog Post

I Have Customers Who Have Subscribed to Multiple Lists, What Happens When I Send a Campaign to All T

Firstly, we remove duplicates for every campaign you send, so if a recipient is subscribed to multiple lists and you send a campaign to all of those lists, they will only ever receive one copy of your email. What about unsubscribes? If you send a campaign to multiple lists, and an individual is subscribed to more than one of those lists, they will be removed from each list if they unsubscribe from the campaign. If you send a campaign to a single list, and an individual is subscribed to multiple lists, they will only be removed from the list you sent to. They will remain in the other subscriber lists until they unsubscribe from a campaign sent to that list. This ensures your subscribers can join different types of lists, unsubscribe from one but still receive from the other. Also, when you upload subscribers into an existing list, all bounced and unsubscribed recipients WILL NOT be added to the list. We remember everyone that ever unsubscribed. The only way an unsubscribed individual can get back into your list is to subscribe again from your web site or if you manually change their status.

Blog Post

Hotmail Delivery Issues

We’re currently experiencing delivery problems to Hotmail recipients. We are currently working on solving this issue. We recommend holding off on sending any campaigns to Hotmail recipients until further notice. We’ll update this alert as soon as you’re good to go. If you’ve got any questions, please let us know. UPDATE 8/9: We’ve been directed to Symantec Brightmail as the source of the issue. We’re currently in contact with Symantec trying to get to the bottom of the problem. More news here shortly… UPDATE 12/9: We’re good to go! You can send your campaigns to any accounts that may have experienced the problem, including Hotmail and other Symantec Brightmail protected accounts. Thank you for your patience while we resolved this issue. However, by working together and ensuring that all campaigns are designed according to best practices, and by making sure our lists contain only recipients who have opted to receive contact from us, we can avoid experiencing this type of problem again. Our apologies again for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Blog Post

Can I Send Attachments with My Email Campaigns?

Nope. Sorry, but Campaign Monitor has been specifically built not to support attachments. We did this for a number of reasons. We ensure that your campaigns are unable to send viruses that propagate through attachments. You’re not forcing an attachment down every recipients throat. Large attachments + slow connection = angry subscriber. If you have a file that you’d like to give to your customers, we recommend that you host the file on your own server and then place a link to the file within your email. This also means you won’t clog your subscribers inbox with attachments they may not even use.

Blog Post

I Got This List From…. Is It OK to Use with Campaign Monitor?

When putting together the design for a client’s email newsletter, the last thing we usually think about is importing their list into Campaign Monitor. What we fail to realize, is that the quality of our client’s list is going to have as much impact on the success of the campaign (and the perceived quality of our creative) as the design itself. As we’ve stated before, a smaller permission based list is ALWAYS going to out perform a larger unsolicited list. If you or your client has an existing list you’d like to import, make sure you review the following scenarios to ensure your list is permission-based and OK to use with Campaign Monitor.

Blog Post

Quick Tip: Track Which Page Your Recipients Subscribe From

If you’ve got a subscribe form on more than one page on your site, Campaign Monitor provides a really simple way of tracking which pages or forms your subscribers are signing up from. Here are the steps: Add a custom field to your subscriber list called “source” (or something similar). Head into Create a subscribe form and make sure you select the new “source” custom field to be included. Save your changes and copy the supplied code for your subscribe form. Add the subscribe code to your site, but change the text for the source field from <input type="text" to <input type="hidden". Place this code on each of the pages on your site, and give the hidden field a value. For example, the front page could use value="frontpage" and the contact page could be value="contactpage". Every time someone completes these subscribe forms, they’ll be added to your list and the hidden form value will passed into the “source” field. This gives you an easy way to find out which pages on your site are converting the most subscribers.

Blog Post

Optimizing CSS Presentation in HTML Emails

This article is a sequel to one that appeared on A List Apart shortly after…

Blog Post

AOL Delivery Issues

We’re currently experiencing delivery problems to AOL recipients. We’ve been assured by AOL that this is only a temporary problem and will be fixed within the next 24 hours or so. We recommend holding off on sending any campaigns to AOL recipients today. We’ll update this alert as soon as you’re good to go. If you’ve got any questions, please let us know. UPDATE 20/7: We’re still working with AOL to resolve this problem for you guys. In anticipation of this delay, we’ve taken a number of steps to ensure that if they take another 24 hours, we’ve got other options. Right now, we’re sitting tight and waiting for news. If another day passes, we’ll flick the switch on our alternate option and you guys can start sending to your AOL recipients. More news here shortly… UPDATE 21/7: We’re back! You can now send any campaigns to your AOL recipients without fearing any bounces. In fact, this incident has only reinforced our AOL whitelisting status. Thanks so much for your patience. We’ve learnt a lot from this experience and have put a lot of new measures in place to help combat any similar situations in the future. Finally, a big thanks to Robert at AOL for his dedication to getting to the bottom of the problem at their end.

Blog Post

Our Position on Permission

What’s OK, what’s not OK and what’s just plain illegal? As web designers, we often face this dilemma. Your client approaches you about designing their next email newsletter and sends you their list of 2,000 email addresses, explaining: “We got this list from a partner of ours but it’s 100% opt-in and we’re in the same industry.” You design the newsletter, import the list and send away. But guess what, you just breached our Terms of Use and probably just broke the law. We all hate spammers, and the last thing you want to do is become one. Permission doesn’t need to be a gray area, so weíve put together a checklist you can go through each time you import subscribers into your account. As part of our terms, make sure you’ve got the following covered EVERY time you import a list: My list is 100% permission based. Every individual on my list has explicitly asked to receive email from me or I have a proven relationship with the recipient. I did not purchase this list from any source. My list does not contain email address that have been automatically captured or scraped by surfing the Internet or using an email scraping tool. We’ve gone so far as to build this checklist right into the software, so from today youíll need to tick each box every time you import a list into Campaign Monitor. It’s your responsibility to make these points very clear to whoever supplies you with a list. It goes without saying (but Iíll say it anyway) that any violation of these rules will result in the immediate termination of your account. Did I mention we hate spammers? At the end of the day, a smaller permission based list is ALWAYS going to out perform a larger unsolicited list. It’s just common sense.

Blog Post

Quick Tip: Getting Additional Information from Your Subscribers

For a lot of our customers, placing your subscribe form on the front page of your site (or on every page for that matter) is an important method for encouraging as many people as possible to sign up. The only problem is, you don’t want to overload these pages with a bulky form, so you end up only asking for a name and email address. For a lot of you guys, this is enough. But if your interested in a quick and easy way to capture additional info and still keep a small form on your main pages, then read on. If you want to capture the extra details for every new subscriber, then you should change the subscribe form on the front page to submit to a second page on your site. This will then pass the subscribers name and email address in to the real subscribe form where you can capture all details. To make this work, you would pass the subscribers name and email address into hidden fields on the second subscribe page. This page would then use the supplied Campaign Monitor subscribe code (just change the name and email fields to <input type="hidden") and capture all the extra details for your subscribers. Once submitted, the user would then be redirected to your own custom confirmation page. It’s important to remember that unless the subscribers completes the second form, they won’t be added to your list.

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