Online marketing expert Ken Magill recently asked Steve Linford of The Spamhaus Project to answer some questions posed by readers of his newsletter. The response was amazing. Ken received over 50 questions from readers which he then passed along to Steve.
One question caught my eye as it was the topic of a recent discussion that I had. The question was:
“How is Spamhaus working with legitimate marketers to improve list hygiene? Do they have a list of ‘best practices’ that they’d ideally like brands to follow that are business friendly (getting that customer email address) as well as good for business (legitimate email address)?”
I really enjoyed reading Steve’s answer - pointing to Spamhaus’ marketing FAQ, but adding in some additional tips:
“Our Marketing FAQs cover the fundamentals of bulk emailing. While it is a rather old FAQ, we’ve updated it several times and it still provides a solid basis for proper address acquisition and list hygiene.
Some additional ideas we like:
1) Include a “this is not me” link in receipts and other transactional email so that victims of spam sent to a ‘typoed’ email address can tell the company that the email address was ‘typoed’ and to stop sending email to it.
2) Send transactional emails and marketing emails from different IPs.
3) Confirm any email address before sending marketing emails to it, or before continuing to send ongoing transactional mail. The receipt can carry the request for a unique opt-in confirmation of, “Would you like to subscribe to our newsletter?”
4) Mail a list frequently enough to retain good customer engagement. Measure that engagement and remove non-engaged customers as appropriate.
5) Be sure to remove and/or suppress addresses which hard-bounce, and correctly manage unsubscribes as well.
6) Once addresses are retired from a list, whether due to unsubscribe, bounce or non-engagement, don’t try to squeeze some unknown value from those addresses by mailing them again.”