As the marketing community relies more and more on collecting contact information for communications, the entities that are responsible for monitoring abuse are more active than ever. Most of the time these entities will give you a warning of transgressions and the opportunity to amend practices before deny-listing (view article on prejudicial terms) the entity with strict actions. Once on a monitoring site, deny-list communications go directly to spam/junk boxes or even do not get delivered at all and are blocked prior to sorting of an inbox. When deny-listed, it can be extremely difficult to get back in good standings and can greatly hinder marketing departments.
Table of contents
Understanding Consent and Opt-Out options
|Opt-In Checkbox||A box at time of a subscription, offer, or order process that when checked consents that the user is allowed to be messaged.||With updated privacy and consent laws, having this box auto-checked is becoming less common. Several countries specifically outlaw it.|
|Double Opt-In||A process in which the communication type used to consent to messaging is sent a notice to confirm the status of consent.||This considerably lowers your list acquisition growth but has a higher opportunity of quality subscribers.|
|Active Messaging||Monitoring if messages sent are being open or acted on. Only message those who are engaged.||When contacts are not active for a certain period of time, they should be sent an opportunity to reactivate or reconfirm they are interested in messaging.|
|Self-Service Opt-Out||A location on your primary website where, at any point, a subscriber can find the location to remove themselves from a list.||Make this a form that a user can submit email, phone number, or address all in one location.|
|Email Opt-Out||Similar to “self-service opt-out” but directly part of the current message being sent.||This is often a requirement for all email services and is usually at the bottom of all emails in the footer.|
|Self-Service Opt-Down||A tool similar to the Self-Service Opt-Out, but instead of full removal from a list the subscriber can choose a less frequent cadence.||Frequency ideas = Important, Occasional, Standard|
|Offline Opt-Out||Ability to call, email, or leave notice for removal verbally or in hand-writing.||Train your customer service or marketing staff to directly remove users from the message source.|
|Reconfirm Opt-In||Process of re-engaging users that have at one point consented to messaging but have not been interactive in recent time.||Split your list to those who are active and in need of reconfirmation. It is a good idea to only engage those active in the last 90-180 days to comply with active spam rules.|
(try to avoid)
|Method of opt-in through a store visit, call center, paper form or snail-mail consent box.||Whenever considering these methods you must securely manage any of the source material upon receiving and post processing. Lock and key and shredding respectively|
Checking your Spam Status
- Do a spam test email:
- https://www.mail-tester.com/ to check for other issues
- Register on common postmasters
- Check your deny-list status
|Spam Corp||https://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml||Direct List|
|Passive Spam Block List||https://psbl.org/||Direct List|
|DNS Checker||https://dnschecker.org/ip-blacklist-checker.php||Group List|
I’m on a list, what now?
If you are in “deny-list” status, I’m afraid the damage is done. There is little to no recourse to amend your standing. Even those entities that offer a mitigation process are strict and slow-moving. Often the only recourse you have involves changing email providers, IP addresses or standard domains, which often means that the list needs to start from scratch or re-opt-in all participants.
If you are to find yourself on a list with a “warning” status, you should review the consent, messaging frequency, and opt-out process above. Over time, following these practices will bolster your account back to favorable standings. There are also further steps in list cleansing, lookback engagement time, and opt-in practices that can be addressed.