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The Crusaders... John Reilly, Saul Klein, Mike Barnett

Top 15 things you can do to improve the odds of eMail Delivery

By, Mike Barnett, CRS, e-PRO, GRI
VP Technology, InternetCrusade®
Feb 22, 2003

#1: Constantly strive to improve the odds of delivery of your eMail communications by joining a list serv similar to eMailPLUStalk.

…Remember: Any change made by ISPs and other eMail carriers can immediately decrease the odds of delivery. To join, send an eMail to or use this link

#2: Don't Rely on Your ISP for your eMail. To help guarantee the delivery of eMail, use your ISP only for connectivity (access to the Internet, for which they also seem to have issues with from time to time ;-). …A proven solution to increase your odds of delivery is to take your ISP out of the loop totally and to maintain your own Internet Virtual Post Office with a seasoned eMail host and then only rely on your ISP for connectivity. To do this, you need your own Domain. This gives you the option to always being on the quest for the fastest connection at the lowest price. You want a seasoned eMail host because their IP addresses are not seen as 'new' to the eMail carriers and hosts.

…Also, please note that the typical storage space offered by most ISPs (5-7MB) is not sufficient to handle the current flow of most business professional's eMail.

#3: If you want to send to groups of eMail addresses, use current "server-side" technologies: list servs, eMail Action Plans and eMail Drip systems.

…Also, make sure to test the headers from all the servers of prospective eMail hosts (or other online lead generation companies) and make sure you test all their servers and review the headers of eMail sent from their servers to make sure they are set up properly and pass the current SPAM scanning tests.

…Also ask what rules your eMail host currently have in place for blocking eMail and how will you be notified if the rules change or if a message arrives that triggers their system.

#4. If you are sending eMail from your computer or eMail appliance, which is called "client side", make sure to send in groups of less than 25, (which is now considered the limit on the number of eMail messages that can be sent at any one time with many ISPs). Usually, the only limitations using server-side technologies are the amount of usage you pay for and the amount of eMail they can send per hour.

#5: In all eMail broadcasts (whether you are sending client-side or server-side), put in place "triple opt-out/opt-in systems" like:

….First 'opt-out' (which also is an 'opt-in') where the subscriber gives you an address to put them on one of your lists.

….Second 'opt-out' (which is an 'opt-in' as well) where you send the subscriber a message confirming that they want the information you are about to send and they have to confirm ('opt-in').

….Third 'opt-out' (which is an 'opt-out'), whereby each message you send should easily allow the recipient to 'opt-out' (and you respect their requests).

#6: Restrict (or better yet stop) sending messages in HTML

…While the majority of people are using eMail clients which can read HTML eMail, the fact remains that their ISPs (and/or others handling their eMail) are blocking HTML, as HTML often carries other harmful payloads.

…ISPs definitely know that a percentage of HTML eMail is good eMail, but they also have proven to themselves that 99.99% of SPAM is in HTML. This might be one of the hardest sending habits for us to change.

#7: If RTF is used (Rich Text Format), do not use background colors other than white (especially flesh tones).

…Think about the eMail we get now with all those different stationery, colors and graphics... and when you try to reply to their message, if your font color isn't set similar to the way the sender's was, you can't see your own reply.

(I won't be missing those messages ;-)

#8: Use Arial and/or Times New Roman fonts.

#9: Avoid using fonts that are too large or too small… For instance, I use no smaller that 8pt and no larger that 20pt in my communications and primarily 10-14 for most communications.

#10: Refrain from using the words "Click Here" or "Free"… ….(boy is this one hard to do ;-)

#11: WHENEVER POSSIBLE REFRAIN FROM USING A LOT OF WORDS IN A ROW IN ALL UPPER CASE ….(I won't be missing those messages either ;-)

#12: Eliminate any large amounts of white (open) space in the messages as that is triggering SPAM filters as well.

#13: Don't use over 40 spaces in your subject area. (I will explain in a later post)

#14: Zip or create PDF for every attachment

#15: is #1: Constantly strive to improve the odds of delivery of your eMail communications by joining a list serv like eMailPLUStalk. Remember: Any change made by ISPs and other eMail carriers can immediately decrease the odds of delivery. To join, send an eMail to or use this link

Why do you want to make these changes in your business practice?

…To help "Increase the Odds" that your customers will receive your eMail.

If eMail delivery is important to you, (and I suggest it should be as eMail is fast becoming the preferred method of communication), I recommend you make the suggested changes in your settings, as well as any others you can think of, that will help to increase the odds.

What is the solution?

Take control of your eMail communications…

For more information…,

…if you haven't read this article, visit or use this link or send a message to

…and/or, if you haven't received our eMail Products auto responder, use this link or send a message to

... and/or, if you aren't on eMailPLUStalk, a list serv dedicated to those who also agree that eMail delivery is very important and they want to master eMail, send an eMail to with Subscribe in the subject and we will get you on the list.

…and/or visit our new web site

See you online … (hope you get this message ;-)

Thank you,

Mike Barnett
VP Technology, InternetCrusade

Copyright © 2003 REEPco., Inc. All Rights Reserved

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