Checking Your email List Quality

When you think you’re doing everything right but what you were told before has hidden painful consequences.

In this video we look at the results of a recent test and how you could be killing your sender reputation by doing what you thought was ‘right’.


Run time: 8:33

Hey, Kevin Polley here with a quick training video for you that will show you why some of the time the forms that you’ve got out there are doing more harm you list building efforts than you will believe.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that based on the tests that I’ve done, if you’re doing this kind of thing, and you don’t make a couple of simple changes, and do a couple of simple things at least once a week, you could be killing your delivery rates totally.

Now, what you’re looking at here is the results of tests that I did at the beginning of July. Some of my clients were coming to me and saying “Kev, we’re getting lots of signups, the money we’re spending on the advertising is working great. The opt in forms’ working great. We’re getting all of the signups but we’re not getting the open rates. We’re not getting the click through rates, we’re not making any money, what is it that we’re doing wrong?

So I asked them a very, very simple question. When was the last time you looked at your list?

Now think about that for a while.

It is a fundamental part of a professional email marketers job to look at the list every now and again and see what is happening.

What you’re seeing are the results of a test. Now let me just show you what it was that I was testing.

This isn’t the exact form that I was using. But it is something really, really similar. So What you see on the screen now is a simple landing page or opt-in page with a place to enter your email address and the button to say Sign me up.

So what you’re expecting to happen is for your prospects to come to your landing page, put an email address in, then they’re going to hit the sign up button. And you’re going to get these people on to your list.

Now… Look at this. The Name field. Do those look like real names to you?

The email addresses are real email addresses. As you can see here within the #V2 software that I’ve got. I’ve been checking every email address and they are live, active valid email addresses, but what’s with the name?

So Where did those numbers come from?

Well, this is the result of the tests that I did. I had a page which was a landing page. This is something that I bought up some time ago. And I’ll show you that page now. In fact, this was back in 2016 when I first noticed the problem and the things that I done to actually combat this industry wide problem actually increased the signups that I was getting by 17% and make some money.

What was the backstory?

The main story was, and this is the important part, I noticed that Infusionsoft had been listed in Spamhaus which meant the Infusionsoft customers who were sending emails was a pretty futile exercise because none of the emails were being delivered because Spamhaus had decided that Infusionsoft were spammers.

Now, they’re not spammers. But the problem was there was something called subscription bombing that was going on.

What subscription bombing is, is there are bots out there and also some people that are putting in other people’s email addresses.  Back then it was government email addresses, they were put into a signup forms by automated means. And the email address owners were getting thousands of signup emails per hour, because this was a bot that was going around looking for forms, filling in the email address, filling in whatever it got.

And Bob’s your uncle, you suddenly send an email if you’re a legitimate marketer. That is, you know, using best practice, you’re going to send double opt in.

Now, I know that email marketers in the make money online niche have been told, just ask for the email address. But that was the problem.

With this sort of subscription bombing, people were getting the welcome email.  “Would you like to sign up to my list” type mail.  They were getting thousands of them a day, and they could not work! And … this is still going on :O

How did I find out? Well, there’s the email address, there’s the button… And somewhere around here, if I click on that, and I show you the Element Properties, It’s a form field. Okay.

This is, as I say, just a hidden form fill now. But it is a place to capture a first name.

If you’re a real person, you’re just going to put your email address in and hit ‘Sign me up’. If you’re a bot, you’re going to fill in all of the form fields that you can get.

What do you get?  You get these different numbers that are also generated, simply because the form field is there to be filled in, that are tied to an email address.

So what’s happening is, all of these real people with real email addresses, they could potentially be getting your email, which they don’t want, they never really signed up for. And they’re going to be marking it as spam.

Man, it’s going to hurt your delivery rates.  It’s going to hurt you later on when you try to send more emails. And if you’re using one of the monthly autoresponder services, like aWeber, for example, all of your emails, which you think are good emails, because it’d be a list building, they’re actually useless, because the real people didn’t put them in there and bots did.

The only way you’re going to find this out is if you actually spend some time once a week to go and look at the results of the work that you’ve done. And check your list. Check the email addresses, check the name.

You might just be wanting a first name, I can’t tell you how many of my clients that I look at their list, where the first name is Fred Smith, or Dr. Marion Smith, or whatever, you should clean this up.

If you’re using a first name tag, it’s going to look really ugly when you send an email to “Dear [first_name]” or “Hi [first_name]” … expecting it to go “Hi Fred” And it’s going to “Hi, Fred Smith“.

It doesn’t look professional.

Spend some time after you’ve spent the time to build your list to improve the quality of your list. And If you see things like this, then you need to do something else.

And the answer is in this post, which is on .  Search for “capcha”.

It didn’t hinder the signups at all. In fact, the perceived extra element of having to sign-up to say you’re real, increased signups by 17%.

So ask yourself, after all of the effort that you’ve put into creating a form, do you really want to have useless emails (that have potentially been added by bots or an automated means), when with a little bit of extra time, you could improve your list quality by removing obvious bad email addresses?

And spending a bit of time maybe getting your outsourcer to separate people giving you their full name, into the separate first name and last name fields.

I hope this helps you.  I hope this training has been useful. I’ll See you in the next video. Thanks for watching.

Taking Control of Your Email Marketing

As you have discovered email marketing is not just about building a list, writing awesome copy with an amazing call to action and then pressing the send button  (hopefully, you’ve also learned that paying the monthly autoresponder companies is not always going to give you the results you expect).

The simple truth is: you need to be responsible for your email reputation because other peoples actions can (and do) hurt your ability to get your emails delivered which makes it harder for you to profit.

Think about this for a moment:

“When was the last time an email from American Airlines or British Airways ended up in your spam bin?”
(If you’ve not booked a flight … what about your bank or other high profile company?)

What is the secret to these big companies ability to get emails delivered to your inbox?

Simple Answer: They use their own software, on their own servers and they only send emails you want or expect to receive.

And … it’s nowhere near as expensive as you might think!

Here’s a question I got asked a lot last year:

Can I use a WordPress autoresponder plugin for my email marketing?

Simple Answer: NO – here’s why and there a quite a few reasons why I think you may as well burn your cash if you think using a WP plugin is the answer.

  1. The WP database was not developed for use as an autoresponder.
  2. Having your content and your autoresponder list on the same server means something has to give as you get more successful – if you’re getting 1000’s of visitors a day and sending out 1000’s of emails a day, one or the other must slow down – it’s simple logic if you think about it.
  3. Just because marketers tell you that you can send emails using a third-party emailing service doesn’t mean:
    a) You are building up your own email sending reputation – which you should be trying to do
    b) You are not using the WP database and your server resources (see 2 above)
    c) Every other Tom, Dick & Henrietta are also using the same cheap third-party emailing services these marketers recommended and many of them have spam issues as well
    d) The third-party emailing services can and do ban you if you don’t have and use good, solid email marketing practices
    e) You can’t beat dedicated autoresponder software that has been developed for over 10 years to do intelligent, automated email marketing – Think about this analogy for a moment:  Where an autoresponder is the engine of your business and if WP was a bus taking visitors on a tour of your business,  wouldn’t you be better having a purpose-built sports car to drive your business while your visitors looked about?

What autoresponder software should I use?

Simple Answer: arpReach – I know … I’m biased. I own the company.  But I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t recommend my own software.  It’s constantly being updated and improved.  It does everything you need from an autoresponder … and more.
And it puts you in control of building your email marketing reputation with Gmail, Outlook and every other email company who are fed up with and are penalizing users of the monthly autoresponder services and spammers.  You need to make a change …

Isn’t installing and setting up dedicated autoresponder software and doing all the technical stuff difficult?

Simple Answer: Yes … BUT – my company will do it all for you 😉

Reputation is Key But Your Template Matters

Your monthly autoresponder service might be quick and simple to use but are they actually the cause of your delivery problems?

and when your autoresponder service is causing you problems, simple to fix template and formatting issues become critical.

In this video:

  • Exposed!  The proof that using some monthly autoresponder services is nothing but a recipe for your emails ending up in the spam bin or just not being delivered  .. ever
  • Discover where to look and check if your email sending service is OK, blacklisted, grey-listed and what the difference is.
  • Find out why not acting on spam complaints immediately could be the kiss of death for your email marketing and what you need to do to take control if you want to be profitable.
  • See how 2 easy to fix and avoid message formatting and template errors can make the difference between your message getting through the spam filters or not.
  • Why your choice of hosting company is major factor in having happy customers and reducing your support requests.

Run time: 16:38


Free Has A Cost!

We all like something for nothing but there is no such thing as a free lunch

Lots of small business owners and marketers make this simple mistake while trying to make their lives simpler.

In this video:

  • Discover how the email industry changed the rules to protect themselves.
  • Find out why that change means at best you’re 20% less likely to get in to the inbox but at worst you’ll be totally blocked and what you need to do to avoid that pain.

Run time: 3:42

Do What You Say & Don’t Make Life Difficult

When you say it’s one thing but deliver something different spam filters complain … just like people

and if you try to be clever and hide things that people and spam filters expect, your emails won’t get delivered.

Following these 3 tips will improve your chance of getting your emails to the inbox by 24%.

In this video:

  • There are three types of email format, one will make life difficult, getting another wrong will hurt.  Only text is relatively safe but it’s boring to look at.  Discover how to send great looking emails that will not trigger spam filters.
  • We all want massive lists, right? And we don’t want our readers to unsubscribe, right?  It’s illegal to not have an unsubscribe facility but some ‘tricks’ marketers try will be really painful when the spam filter catches you.  Discover what not to do.
  • You hopefully know that having multiple streams of income increases your overall profits.  Well with email marketing, triggering one filter with one silly mistake can cause the spam filters to look for other little mistakes and multiply the chances of your emails being classed as spam.  See how ‘little things’ mount up and learn how to avoid them.

Run time: 5:20

Say Secure – Be Secure

The Hole In Your Security That Hurts Delivery

This ‘invisible’ issue is 39% of the reason your emails might not be delivered … and it’s easy to fix!

In this video:

  • Discover how something as safe and simple as a secure link can be the cause of your readers not getting the emails you send

Run Time: 3:46



The Ineffective Guarantee

Some Guarantees Have the Ability To Negatively Affect Your Chance Of Securing A Sale by 53%

There’s a right way and a wrong way and some guarantees are just to good to be true … even if they are

In this video:

  • Discover how offering a solid guarantee in the wrong way can actually harm sales
  • See how some monthly services make it almost impossible for you to offer an honest guarantee
  • Find out again why you need to test even the simplest of things before you blast your list

Run Time: 7:41


Not All Links Are Created Equal

When is a Link a Liability?

Answer: When it stops you earning income. Watch this to discover how to stop stealing from yourself.

In this Video:

  • Discover the simple mistake that stops many email marketers being as successful as they could be.  Making this mistake will reduce your chances of getting to the inbox by almost 60%.  If you want to get more views and more clicks, don’t make this mistake.

Run Time: 5:53


A Statement! or a Question?

Hey … Are You Telling Me or Asking Me?

Who would have thought that ‘dumb’ spam filters could be so clever and finicky … at the same time.  Even the wealthiest, smartest email marketers keep making this silly mistake.

In this video:

  • Discover the solution to one of the easiest to make mistakes that email marketers continue to do.  Not making this mistake could give you a 20% better chance of your email getting to the inbox.  20% more views means more clicks, more income!

Run time: 2:48


The Spam Filter Sniper Scope

You’re in the Cross Hairs The Moment You Press Send

Anything you say can and will be used against you … ruthlessly

In this video:

  • Discover the back bone of virtually every anti-spam filter
  • Two tips that will save you time in the long run
  • Why ’email-swipes’ can be the kiss of death to your email campaigns

Run Time: 7:46

Additional research:

Spam Classification

The Art and Science of How Spam Filters Work

How Gmail explain how to make their filters more aggressive

Spam Filter Software:

Below I’ve added a few links to commonly available anti-spam software that your readers may be using.  If you get and use one (or more) of these tools you can send yourself ‘test’ emails before the real broadcast to make sure your content (or your autoresponder service) are not causing your messages to trigger spam filters.

Mailwasher Pro – Has a free trial version. Works on mobiles, PC desktops (not Mac) and has a web interface.  Over 8 Million home and small business users

SpamTitan – The service I use in the videos.  Has free trial version.  Award winning SaaS service or private cloud.  Used by small and medium businesses worldwide as well as by MSP/ISP’s (inbound and outbound filtering capability)

SpamExperts –  You don’t get the fine-grained reporting of SpamTitan but it is a very effective cloud or on-premise solution.  Used by ISP’s, Telcos, MSP’s, Bluechips, MidMarket and an ever growing base of web-hosts.  Inbound and outbound filtering plus email archiving for compliance make it a market leading email security provider which is why we resell it via our hosting company.