How to Avoid Being Seen as a Spammer and Build Your Deliverability Reputation over Time

No Spam Barrier Blockade Barricade E-Mail FilterGetting an email into your subscribers’ inboxes shouldn’t be a challenge. After all, these are people who have asked to hear from you, so they want your email messages.

But thanks — or rather, no thanks — to spammers, email clients like Gmail, Yahoo!, AOL, and Outlook.com are on their guard nowadays, and are doing what they can to preserve the user experience, tightening and refining their spam filters to keep out the unwanted messages.

The good news is that there are things you can do to get on the email clients’ good side and ensure that your emails will be considered legitimate messages and not spam. Even better: They’re not hard to do.

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550 Reasons Why Your Email Marketing Message Was Considered Spam

spamAlright, so the headline of this blog post isn’t exactly accurate. But there’s a reason for that.

It’s because that’s one example of the kind of misleading subject line many spammers use to get recipients to open their emails. (Did it get you to click through and read this blog post?)

And unfortunately, what the spammers are doing is making it harder for legitimate senders like you — businesses and organizations that have important information they want to share with customers — to get through to subscribers. Continue reading

Stop Making These Top 5 SEO Mistakes!

You want to be found on the web. The Google Webmasters want to help you achieve that goal.

That’s why the team behind the search engine offers tools and advice so you can make the most of your web presence.

One of those tools is a series of videos (posted to YouTube, natch) in which Matt Cutts, Google’s head of webspam, answers questions from users. In a great video posted earlier this week, Matt compiled some of the most common SEO mistakes he sees.

Whether you maintain your own website or have someone else do it for you, check out the video and then make sure you’re not doing any of these things. Continue reading

Accounting Firm Finds Email Marketing Doesn’t Have to Be Taxing

AccountantsDuring tax season, communicating with your accountant just happens naturally.

After all, everyone has questions about what forms to submit, what deductions they can claim, and what hours the office will be open and available to help.

But what happens when all the forms, receipts, and paperwork have been filed, and your refund has already been spent? Is there a place for an accounting firm in the off season? Continue reading

Be Gone, Writer’s Block! Here Are 7 Ways to Come Up with Great Content Ideas

IdeasAre you one of those people for whom a blank piece of paper is the most terrifying thing?

Do you freak out at the prospect of writing blog posts, posting to social media, or sending email campaigns to your customers?

If yes, then you should know you’re not alone. Even the most prolific of writers sometimes get that uneasy feeling when it comes to putting finger to keyboard. What am I going to write about now? (Been there, said that.)

One thing I like to do to avoid writer’s block is keep a running list of ideas at my desk, so I’m never at a loss when it comes time to write another blog post. The second I think of an idea, I write it down. That way, I won’t forget it later. (Sometimes, I’ll even write the first paragraph or two while it’s fresh in my mind.)

For a busy small-business person who needs to fill an email newsletter, blog, or social media profile on a regular basis, coming up with ideas can be daunting. But it doesn’t have to be.

Here are 7 ways to come up with content ideas. Continue reading

Do You Know Who Your Competitors Are?

SpyIf you’re anything like me, then you’re a fan of spy movies and TV shows.

After all, who doesn’t enjoy watching a James Bond or Sydney Bristow kick butt as they go after the bad guys and save the world?

Of course, before any of that action can take place, there’s a lot of research done to find out exactly who the bad guys are. That’s where a team of investigators and agents come in who don’t get to take part in the car chases or gunplay, but whose roles are just as important.

Business is not a game of good guys and bad guys, but the spying metaphor is still reasonably apt because you need to know who you’re up against before you can be a real competitor in your area or industry.

So with that in mind, here are 7 ways to figure out who you’re up against so you can “spy” on the right businesses and keep pace with your competitors. Continue reading