Do You Make it Difficult to Unsubscribe?

I’m not sure why, but the unsubscribe process has been on my mind a bit lately.

Last week, I shared how Wine Library sends a one-off, post-unsubscribe email. Today, I recorded a short (3 minute, 38 second) screencast detailing how one company makes the unsubscribe process somewhat challenging.

Please watch this screencast, then keep reading below for some more thoughts.


Having trouble seeing the screencast above? View it directly on Screenr.

As discussed in the video, I think the email unsubscribe process is one of those things that doesn’t get enough attention from email marketers. In many instances, it’s slapped on to the bottom of the email without much thought at all. It’s normally dropped in the footer of the email and … that’s it.

Jason Falls and I dedicate a section of our book – The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing – to the unsubscribe link. We encourage marketers to “break the rules” and test moving the unsubscribe up to the top of the email … and even making it glaringly obvious, as Chris Penn does.

However, whether you are breaking the rules or just putting the unsubscribe link at the bottom of your emails, be sure you are aware of what your unsubscribe process looks like. Are you making it difficult for your readers to unsubscribe or are you employing a one-click unsubscribe? Are you sending a one-off, follow up email or are you sending them to a confirmation landing page and that’s it?

I’m curious about your thoughts on the unsubscribe process. Please share in the comments below!

———-

As mentioned above, Jason Falls and I just wrote a new book about breaking the rules of email marketing! In the book, we talk about the unsubscribe process. In The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, we share with you all sorts of email marketing “best practices” individuals and companies are breaking each and every day … and still finding success.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

How To Use SMS to Grow Your Email List

The following is a guest post from Justin Mastrangelo, the Founder of the JA.TXT text message marketing platform. As President of the parent company, JA Interactive, he has worked with businesses, nonprofits, and agencies to cost-effectively reach new audiences through digital marketing and technology. Justin launched the JA.TXT platform to give these same organizations an opportunity to start strategic mobile marketing campaigns using text messaging. Learn more about SMS marketing on the JA.TXT Blog.

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You know something you don’t hear very often in a radio spot? “Send us an email to be entered into a contest to win…”

Have you ever been to a rally where the speaker told everyone to send an email to get involved?

When you’re walking down the street you never see an outdoor advertisement that tells you to send an email to learn more about a product or service.

Why not? Because email isn’t a very good call-to-action in those scenarios.

If you’re focused on email marketing somewhere on your list of goals is probably “increase list size.” The trouble with that goal is there are only so many ways you can grow an email list, and many of those ways depend on web traffic or the dreadful clipboards and pens.

Is there a better way for offline efforts to grow an email list?

Yes, using text messaging. Text messaging is a great call-to-action because it’s simple, easy, and everyone has it on their phone (unlike email). It also helps that you don’t have to come up with a subject line or key-in a long address.

How Does It Work?

using text messaging to capture email address for opt-in marketingIn the scenario of the rally above, a speaker and the printed materials handed out at the event would direct attendees to send a text message to get involved. For example, “Text the word SUPPORT to 12345 to sign up and find out how you can help us!”

After doing this the user would receive an immediate text message back asking them to respond with their email address to join the list. After responding the user would then receive a final text message confirming receipt of the address. If additional information is needed, like a zip code, this can be requested with another text message.

Once the email address is received it can be saved in a database for download later or pushed directly into an email marketing platform so the user has the welcome email waiting for them when they get back to their inbox.

The 3 best opportunities where text messaging can grow an email list

1. Traditional media: Just like in the example above, text messaging is a much easier call-to-action for your TV, radio, print, or outdoor ad. Have your audience text-in to get a coupon for your product or register for an upcoming event via email.

2. Events: Lose the old-fashioned, tacky clipboards and make signing up easier for your attendees. Nobody likes to wait in line for a pen. Have the speaker direct attendees to sign up in seconds by texting-in. Pass out cards with the instructions while people are walking in or out of the event. Tie signing up to an on-the-spot giveaway and drive even more participation. Hint: Call the winner from the stage at the end of the event, everyone will love it.

3. Foot traffic: Give all those people walking through your door or waiting in line an easy way to join your email loyalty club. Have them text-in for an email discount good on their next visit.

I hope this gets you thinking about ways to use text messaging to grow your email list. I’m sure you can come up with some great ideas I haven’t covered here. If you feel like sharing, drop in a comment below. I’d love to hear what you come up with!

———-

Did you know … Jason Falls and I just wrote a new book about breaking the rules of email marketing! In the book, we have an entire section dedicated to growing your email list. In The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, we share with you all sorts of email marketing “best practices” individuals and companies are breaking each and every day … and still finding success.

PRE-ORDER IT NOW! (please)

Waldow Social Elevator Pitch Contest: VOTE!

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post titled, Waldow Social Elevator Pitch Contest: Win $200in which I offered 2 benjamins ($200) to the person who helped create the new Waldow Social elevator pitch.

I received over 50 entries.

From those 50+, I trimmed the list down to the 12 that were most aligned with the direction I’m hoping to take Waldow Social in the near future (aka, the ones I liked the best). I’ve removed the names of the entrants (thanks Ed!) and randomized the order to keep it a bit more fair.

If you are reading this now, you have the chance to vote on your favorite – the one you think is the best fit for (the new) Waldow Social.

As mentioned before … since this is my contest (and my company), I reserve the right to pick whichever elevator pitch I want, regardless of which receives the most votes. I realize that’s not entirely fair, but hey, it is what it is!

VOTE NOW

One final note: The elevator pitch will be placed directly below the “Email means business” tagline shown in the image below. Hat tip to Jason Keath for coming up with that tagline (yes, he’ll be compensated).

Email means business

Ready?

VOTE NOW

———-

Did you know … Jason Falls and I just wrote a new book about breaking the rules of email marketing!

In The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, we share with you all sorts of email marketing “best practices” individuals and companies are breaking each and every day … and still finding success.

PRE-ORDER IT NOW! (please)

Sending a Post-Unsubscribe Email

One of the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 is that marketers must “honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days.”

But what if, shortly after you unsubscribed from an email list, an individual from that company sent you a personal, one-off email?

Many of the email marketing purists out there would cringe at this “rule breaker.”

However, that’s exactly what happened to me a few weeks ago. While I was doing some research for the new book Jason Falls & I wrote, I opted in to a ton of different email lists. One such list was Wine Library (see opt-in page here). For those not aware, Wine Library is the company where Gary Vaynerchuk began his career. More on Gary in a bit.

After the book research was done, I decided to unsubscribe from the Wine Library emails. I was receiving them daily and 9 times out of 10, deleting without reading. Nothing against Wine Library, but if you know me I’m more of a beer guy. The unsubscribe process was quite simple. A few clicks and I was out … or so I thought.

The very next day, I received an email from Brian S., a “Thank You Department Representative” at Wine Library. See email below.

Before this email landed in my inbox, I’d never heard of Brian S. However, thanks to the subject line – Wine Library Email List – I immediately knew what it was in reference to. As you can see from the email above, Brian did not waste any time identifying himself and explaining why he was emailing me.

To be clear, I’m not an attorney, however, I don’t see anything inherently illegal about that approach. If you are an email deliverability person, please weigh in below in the comments if I’m mistaken. In many ways, I appreciated this personal, “Sorry to see you go. How can we help?” email. I only had two suggestions to improve the messaging:

  1. Get rid of the “how are you?” – Unless I know you, that question seems a bit disingenuous. I understand it’s there to set a more informal tone, but it’s not necessary. Get right to the point.
  2. Instead of just mentioning the “weekly email” alternative, provide an “opt-down” link or at least point folks to the manage preferences page (here). This does a few things – first, it makes it easy for someone to change their email preferences and re-opt in if that’s what they choose. Also, it gives Wine Library some data/metrics to see the number of people who are clicking on that link and re-subscribing. Great data to have, right?

Back to Vaynerchuck. I’ve had the honor of hearing him speak live about a half dozen times. He’s one of the most passionate, engaging speakers I’ve ever heard. On more than one occasion, Vaynerchuck has mentioned that he has a team at Wine Library whose only job is to pick up the phone and call folks who unsubscribe from its email list. Talk about breaking the rules! Vaynerchuck shared that, anecdotally, 30-40% of those people they personally call end up re-subscribing. Wow, right? Wow. (To be fair to Gary, the 30-40% number is what I remember him saying. I’m not certain those are the stats he provided, but I recall them being quite high).

I’m not sure if these types of emails have replaced the phone calls – or maybe they are doing both – but either way, I’m intrigued by this tactic and have yet to hear another company employing it. If you are (or know someone who is), please share in the comments below.

I forwarded this email to my colleagues at Only Influencers (the “Best Network For Digital Marketers”) to see what they thought. He is what a few of them said.

Steve Denner, Owner/Director at Adestra Ltd:

My initial instinct is to say I don’t love it. However, I think if he were to alter the text a touch to re-affirm that, as it stands, “you’re off the list but here’s the route to re-subscribe and here’s some alternative newsletters” I might be warmer to the idea.

Carter Nicholas, CEO at eDataSource:

Agree that it would be better without the “How are you?”.  They have a fairly small list size and if the rest of their customer service is as personal and friendly as their email, then the approach seems appropriate.  Wouldn’t work if they were, say, a cable provider.

Janet Roberts, Owner of Content by Janet Roberts

I don’t hate it, but I am with DJ on the opt-down link. It’s kind of pointless to tell people about your alternatives if you don’t point them in the direction to go. Am I supposed to call him? Email him? Tweet him? Or root through my own email inventory to find an old message with a link to my account? And I would toss the “how are you?” line. The message reads fine without it.

So I ask you … what are your thoughts on this approach? How would you react if you received an email similar to the one I got from Brian S.? Would you re-subscribe? Opt-down? Delete it? Mark it as spam?

Have you (or a client of yours) tested this approach? If so, how successful has it been?

Are you breaking any of the so-called email marketing rules?

The comments are yours!

———-

Speaking of breaking the rules, Jason Falls and I just wrote a new book on that very topic!

In The Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing: Grow Your List, Break the Rules, and Win, we share with you all sorts of email marketing “best practices” individuals and companies are breaking each and every day … and still finding success.

PRE-ORDER IT NOW! (please)

5 Email Marketing Secrets in 22 Minutes [Webinar]

My good friend and co-author, Jason Falls and I hosted a 22-minute (well, 24 min, 45 sec) webinar last week. In the webinar, we shared 4 secrets to effective email marketing as well as a “special surprise”:

  1. Grow Your List
  2. Remails!
  3. Send Timely, Targeted, Valuable Content
  4. Break the Rules!

Below is the recorded webinar – slides + audio. You can also view (and download) the slides here.

Having trouble seeing the video? Watch it on Vimeo.

The 5th “secret” was also a surprise. In case you missed the announcement last week, we wrote a book: The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing. We’d be honored if you tell the world about it … and pre-order your copy, of course.

Cheers
DJ Waldow

The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing

I could not be more excited and proud to share the following news with you.

My good friend and colleague, Jason Falls and I have written a book.

Yes. It’s true, The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing (pictured to the right) is now available for pre-order on Amazon. It’s set to be on the shelves sometime later this summer or early fall.

Why Did We Write This Book?

To become rich and famous, of course. Actually, if you are hoping that a business book will net a boatload of cash, you’re likely kidding yourself – as Jason pointed out last week.

Okay. Seriously, we wrote the book because we saw a lot of advice being doled out that was old, out-of-date, and – frankly – not so great. Neither Jason nor I live in a world of extremes – always do this or never do that. Email marketing – and marketing in general – is about what works best for your audience. Sometimes it’s necessary to break the rules and test some of the “best practices.” The Rebel’s Guide does just that. We turn some of these “best practices” on their heads providing case studies of individuals and companies who break the rules and still win.

Who Is This Book For?

The Rebel’s Guide was written for you – the person whose job involves marketing in any way shape or form (that *should* apply to most of us in the business world). You could be the CMO, VP of Marketing, Director of (Online) Marketing, Marketing Manager, or Email Marketing Manager. You may work at an email service provider giving advice to clients (if you are an account manager) or prospects (if you are in sales). You may be at a large organization or be a solopreneur. You may be just dipping your toes into email marketing or be a seasoned veteran. Yes – even if you’ve been in the email marketing industry for years, this book is for you. Sometimes we get a bit set in our ways. The Rebel’s Guide forces you to step out of your comfort zone a bit.

What Can Business Expect To Get Out Of This Book?

Similar to No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing (Jason’s first book), individuals and businesses get a straightforward approach to effective email marketing. Instead of telling you what most people do (the “best practices”) we share what the Rebel’s would do. We challenge preconceived notions of how email “should” be done. We provide actionable steps to grow your email list and to break some of the rules – all with the intent of using email marketing to grow your business.

5 Ways You Can Help, Assuming You’d Like To

Whether you are a friend, family member, colleague, email marketing evangelist, or just someone who is reading this sentence right now — you can help! Here are five ways.

  1. Pre-order the book now.
  2. If you’d like us to contribute to your blog, email newsletter, or some other content piece, please let us know here. We’d be happy to do interviews, guest posts, etc.
  3. If you’d like us to talk to your organization or company about email marketing, we can arrange a virtual session – interviews, webinars, Q&A sessions, etc. Please fill out our contact form and let us know the details.
  4. If you’d like us to speak live at your event, company or the like, we’d love to! In exchange for our time, we ask that your organization or its sponsors purchase a minimum of 100 books and cover our travel expenses. Again, please drop details in our contact form and we’ll do our best to accommodate. If you know Jason or me, you know that we love getting on the road and speaking to folks face to face.
  5. Pre-order the book now.

We. Are. PUMPED.

To say that we are pumped is actually an understatement. We’ve been dying to share this news with you ever since the kind folks at Pearson asked us to write the book. The book writing process is long and, at times, tedious — but we did it! We cannot wait for you to read The Rebel’s Guide and start breaking the rules.

Thanks so much for believing in and supporting us as we continue on this journey.

We put together this short (2 min 42 sec), unscripted video for you … so you can see our excitement. Enjoy!

YouTube Preview Image

Can’t see the video? Try viewing directly on YouTube.

In case you missed all of the links above, we encourage you one last time: Pre-order The Rebel’s Guide To Email Marketing now!

Cheers.
DJ Waldow

The Waldow Social Weekly: New Friday Email

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years in the business world, it’s that you need to stop every so often to reflect & reevaluate. During this process, it’s important to stop doing what’s not working and build upon what is. Sometimes it’s about refocusing.

Refocus is exactly what I’m doing with my company, Waldow Social, repositioning it to be more email marketing focused.

It started last month when I began the site redesign process. It continued a few weeks ago with the Waldow Social Elevator Pitch Contest.

This week, I’ve decided that it’s time to mix up my email newsletter. As it turns out, I am not the first to do this. Two good friends, colleagues and mentors of mine – Jay Baer and Chris Penn recently changed up their email updates. Jay and his team at Convince and Convert relaunched its email to be daily, One Social Thing (details in this blog post). Chris Penn overhauled his weekly email newsletter as well. He published a blog post called “Iterate to success” which outlines his process. Even better, Chris asked his readers to publicly post their feedback on a Facebook thread he started.

As I said, I have a ton of respect for both Jay and Chris. While their respective email newsletters could not be more opposite, they are delivering content that their subscribers want. I’d encourage you to sign up for them both right now – Convince and Convert’s One Social Thing and Chris Penn’s Almost Timely Newsletter.

My personal redesign process broke down into two steps.

Step #1: Surveying My Subscribers

One of the main reasons for the change to my email newsletter is that I wasn’t really enjoying writing the “semi-regular” email. It became a chore. I avoided it. If I am not excited how can I expect my subscribers to be? The quality of the email content was suffering and the number of emails delivered per month was decreasing. I was not fulfilling on my promise to my subscribers. Bad form.

I decided to practice what I preach – to do what I tell my clients to do.  - I sent out a multiple choice email survey to my subscribers with the following 3 questions:

  1. FORMAT: How do you prefer to see the emails displayed?
  2. CONTENT: What type of content would you like to see in the Waldow Social Email Updates?
  3. FREQUENCY: How often would you like me to send email updates?

Note: I use Infusionsoft to send my email marketing messages. They are a client as well.

The first email went out to my entire list on a Monday with a subject line of “Waldow Social: 2 Minutes of Your Time – (Pretty) Please.” That email generated a 37% open rate. Of those who opened, 48% completed the survey. 18% of the total delivered completed the survey. Not bad, but I knew that some folks ignored or outright deleted the email. Actually, one person opted out!

Two days later, I sent a second email (remail) with the same survey to those who didn’t click on the survey link the first time around. I changed the subject line to “Waldow Social: 3 Questions.” The content of this email was the same as the first; however, I added a paragraph in red at the top explaining why some folks may be seeing this email twice (they had opened and not clicked the link OR opened without enabling images).

The open rate on the 2nd email was 29%. Of those who opened, 28% completed the survey. 10% of the total delivered completed the survey. Assuming my math is correct, my overall open rate was 62%. Yes, some of the folks who opened the first email (but did not click) may have opened the second email making this open rate a bit of an overestimate. However, most importantly, my overall survey completion percentage was 24%. Considering it was 18% after the first email. The remail increased total survey responses by 33%.

Nearly 33% completed the survey. Not bad.

Below are the results:

Step #2: Relaunch Based on Survey Results

As you can see from the survey results, a few things stand out.

  • FORMAT: My subscribers don’t want to see a ton of images in my emails, nor do they want a mostly-text email. Instead, they want something in the middle – HTML-light.
  • CONTENT: There was a clear winner here. Nearly 70% of those who responded said “articles & blog posts related to email marketing that DJ thinks are share-worthy.”
  • FREQUENCY: Not surprisingly, nobody wanted me to send them email every single day. Ha! However, “twice a month” and “once a week” tied.

My subscribers spoke. I listened. Thanks to their feedback, as of today, I’m relaunching my email updates as The Waldow Social Weekly. As it says on the opt-in form, The Waldow Social Weekly is a weekly recap of the best of best email marketing content, delivered on Friday, directly to your inbox. Below is a mocked up screenshot of what you can expect to see on a weekly basis (the top half of the email):

So, what do you think? Does the new format, content, and frequency match what my subscribers asked for? I’d love to hear your feedback. Feel free to drop a comment below or send me a tweet.

I’ve also redesigned my welcome email. In order to see that, you’ll have to subscribe now.

And more more time … SUBSCRIBE TO THE WALDOW SOCIAL WEEKLY NOW!

Cheers
DJ Waldow

The Starbucks Free Drink Postcard

Coffee is one of my three favorite things. See my Twitter bio for the other two.

I own my own company and work from home. In order to avoid going stir-crazy, I often take the 1/4 mile trek down to my local Starbucks. Suffice to say, I drink quite a bit of coffee on a weekly basis. So much so that it only takes me a few weeks to earn my free drink (15 purchases).

Instead of using a credit card or cash (or a plastic gift card), I use the Starbucks iPhone app (check it out). I love this app as it allows me to easily manage my account and pay with a few swipes and a quick scan. Easy and simple is good, in this case.

However, one thing that continues to bug me is this: When I reach the magical “Sweet 15″ … the number of starts necessary for a free drink, my iPhone lights up with this image:

Any guesses what I find somewhat annoying (and old school)? It’s 2012 and Starbucks is still sending free drink POSTCARDS … through postal mail! Postal mail = snail mail = $$. I realize it’s likely not a ton of money, but in digital age, there are surely more efficient, more cost-effective ways to deliver this free drink, right? Also, check out the fine print: Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery. What? How about 4-6 seconds? It’s 2012!

A few things come to mind:

  1. The simplest – and most logical – is to update my account with that free drink. After all, if I’m paying with my iPhone app – which Starbucks should already know – why not just drop that free drink into my account? No need for a postcard. It’s just … there.
  2. Email! You knew I could not write an entire blog post and not include a mention of email, right? Seriously though. Why not automatically trigger an email marketing message once a customer hits 15 stars and earns that free drink?

3 Reasons Why Starbucks Should Deliver The Free Drink Postcard Via Email

Why email marketing? Besides the cost savings of using email instead of postal mail, below are three other reasons why Starbucks should consider using email marketing to deliver its “free drink” postcard.

  1. List Growth: One of the most critical steps to an effective email marketing program is email list growth. If you don’t have an email list, it becomes quite challenging to “do” email marketing. By sending the free drink postcard through email, Starbucks has a good excuse to collect customer’s email addresses.
  2. Tracking: While I’m sure there is some type of tracking code included on the physical postcard, if Starbucks used email to deliver the reward, it would have much richer data – if and when the email was opened and clicked, if and when the coupon was redeemed, etc. They could then use this data to send reminders (remails) to those customers who did not redeem, send a thank you email after redemption, etc. Lots of options.
  3. Up and cross-sell opportunities: In its free drink email, Starbucks could include other calls to action. If they really wanted to personalize the email, they could use data they already know about me (remember: I use the iPhone app) and upsell me on, say, a pound of coffee beans. They could use the email to alert me about Frappuccino Happy Hour. The opportunities are endless!

Now, it’s possible Starbucks has a very valid reason why they are using postal mail to deliver the free drink awards. If that’s the case, I’d love to hear the justification. However, why not make it easy and add it to customers’ account automatically or use email marketing to send electronically? What am I missing?

P.S. Did you know I’m running the Waldow Social Elevator Pitch Contest through Sunday, May 13th? It’s your chance to win $200!

Cheers
DJ Waldow

Waldow Social Elevator Pitch Contest: Win $200

I’m in the process of repositioning my company, Waldow Social, to be more email marketing focused – something I’ve been helping clients with for nearly 7 years and what I know best.

As part of the process, I’m doing a complete overhaul of the website. Thanks to Google Analytics, I can see that 25% of my pageviews are on WaldowSocial.com. However, if you go to my homepage right now, it’s not entirely clear what my services are – how I help clients. Instead, you see the most recent blog post.

The goal of the new website is to make it crystal clear how Waldow Social can help you become a better email marketer.

My former boss and current friend/colleague, Chris Penn, always preaches that you should be able to look at a website from across the room and immediately know that that company does. That’s my goal.

This is why I’ve created the “Waldow Social Elevator Pitch Contest.” You, yes YOU, are going to help me come up with my 140 character (or less) elevator pitch describing what Waldow Social does and how we can help you become a better email marketer. To sweeten the deal, if your entry is selected, you will win $200 – cash. That’s right. $200. Cash.

In “W” we trust?

Elevator Pitch Guidelines

In order to provide a bit of guidance as you begin thinking about the winning elevator pitch for Waldow Social, I figured it made sense to provide 2 simple guidelines.

All entries must:

  1. Be 140 characters or fewer.
  2. Include the phrase email marketing.

*There is no limit on the number of entries you can submit.*

Wait. What’s an elevator pitch look like on a website? Where does it go? Here is an example of where an elevator pitch would go on WaldowSocial.com (note: this is not the final design – just an example).

How To Enter

There are two “stages” to the Waldow Social Elevator Pitch Contest. The first is to submit your entry. Once all entries have been submitted, I’ll create a poll where anyone (not just those who entered) can cast their vote. From there, I’ll pick the winning entry. Since this is my contest (and my company), I reserve the right to pick whichever elevator pitch I want, regardless of which received the most votes. I realize that’s not entirely fair, but hey, it is what it is!

Stage 1: Submit your entry

There are 5 ways to submit your elevator pitch entry:

  1. Fill out this google form
  2. Tweet it using the hashtag #wspitch
  3. Email it to me – djwaldow at waldow social dot com
  4. Post it on my Facebook wall (assuming we are FB friends)
  5. Leave it as a comment below

I will be accepting entries through Sunday, May 13th at midnight MT.

Stage 2: Vote for your favorite entry

I will have more details on this after the first stage of the contest.

Who is ready to win $200? May the best elevator pitch win!

Cheers
DJ Waldow

Why Gmail Spam May Be Hurting Your Email Marketing Program

A few weeks ago I asked how often you checked your spam folder. I was surprised by the responses. In my very unscientific “study,” the far majority indicated they rarely checked their spam folders.

As the average consumer, this is probably not a huge deal. You’ll likely miss out on some emails that are falsely marked as spam; however, most email clients do a pretty good job telling you what is spam and what is not.

That being said, if you are an email marketer, it’s important to understand which of your emails are landing in the spam folder. Do you know? Are you checking this regularly? Are you doing your own testing by sending a copy of your email to various email accounts? Are you using a third party delivery service like Return Path? Or, are you just crossing your fingers and hoping all is well?

I’m here to tell you today why Gmail spam may be hurting your email marketing program.

On March 19, 2012, Gmail announced what seemingly was a small change to how they deal with spam. In that blog post, they told users how they now show a brief explanation at the top of each of your spam messages as to why each message landed in your spam folder. I cannot confirm this 100%, but by looking at my own inbox over the past 6 weeks, I think Gmail may have also changed a few other things. I have noticed more legitimate email in my spam folder than ever before.

I put together a short, 5-minute screencast to show you what I mean and why it’s critical to ensure your email marketing messages are not landing in Gmail spam.

Can’t see screencast? View here.

Are you seeing the same thing I am? If you are in charge of email marketing at your organization, are you checking to see if your emails are landing in Gmail’s spam folder?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Cheers
DJ Waldow