Catch Up with Yahoo and Gmail

Last year, Yahoo decided to close inactive email accounts and allowed the email addresses to be registered by new users. On the other side of the pond, Gmail implemented new changes that allowed its users’ personal, business, promotional, and spam emails to automatically get delivered in specific inboxes. What this means for email marketers is that you have to catch up with the changes if you don’t want to get lumped in with spammers.

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Why You Need to Catch Up

In the case of Yahoo, there is a chance that the email address of inactive users in your list were deleted and given to other people, who probably won’t appreciate inheriting your newsletter along with the address. These people might flag your mails as spam. If this happens enough times, you may find yourself in trouble with ISPs.

In Gmail’s case, the new settings may result in a lot of your mails going directly to the spam inbox or the promotions inbox, which are rarely (if ever) opened by users. This will result in your open rate decreasing significantly, which can also be harmful for your bottomline because you could be losing out on sales from people who could have bought things if the emails only appeared on their inbox.

What to Do

Basically, what you need to do is clean up your list. If you haven’t been doing this regularly, the Yahoo and Gmail shakeups should be your wake-up call. List pruning should be done regularly as it will help you keep your metrics up, while also helping you avoid problems with ISPs and Email Service providers. Here are a few things you can do:

1. Purge Email Unresponsive Email Addresses – if you have a lot of emails in your list that are unresponsive, chances are they belong to inactive email accounts or ones that are really not interested and are just blocking your mails. First, get the ones that have made purchases in the past or have been performing before they went AWOL. Send them a personal reengagement email, asking if they’re still interested. If there’s still no response, purge them. If there is a response, walk them through the process on how they can reallow your newsletter in their inbox. The other unresponsive emails should be purged.

2. Segment Your List and Send Out Reengagement Emails – sort through your list and weed out the ones that have Yahoo and Gmail addresses. Then fire off an email explaining the situation to them, then ask them to verify their contact information and opt-in again if they are still interested. Provide instructions on how they can ensure that the newsletters appear on their inbox (e.g. if it’s going directly to the spam inbox, tick the box beside it and click the “Unmark as Spam” button.)

3. Lastly, Revisit Your Emails to Ensure That They Are Not Spammy – sometimes email newsletters get flagged as spam simply because they look spammy. So you might want to review your emails and see if they contain all the red flags such as irrelevant subject line, spammy keywords like “Free Offer” or some of the NSFW keywords. Take an objective look at your mail and see if maybe it does look spammy. Spruce it up, and enjoy a reinvigorated email campaign.

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