Thunder Mailer – Mass Emailing Software http://www.thundermailer.com Mass Emailing Software Tue, 27 Dec 2016 14:53:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.5 Why you should use Email Templates from ThemeForest http://www.thundermailer.com/why-you-should-use-email-templates-from-themeforest/ Tue, 27 Dec 2016 14:53:01 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=701 If you use emails to promote and market your products (or services), you already know how important it is to project a professional image. There are many crucial factors in this process, such as your headline, message and, of course, your offer.

However, there’s another aspect of email you shouldn’t overlook – using the right email template. One of your best choices in this area is email templates put out by ThemeForest, a company that’s well known for its WordPress themes.

The Value of Email Templates

Technically, you don’t need to make or find a special template to send your emails. All you have to do is type in your message and send it using your favorite email software or email service. This is because almost all email service has its own built-in templates. You just have to choose a template to use. However, that being said, you should really think about finding ways to differentiate yourself from the competition!

Most email is sent using the generic template of the email service or one provided by an autoresponder service. There’s nothing wrong with these, but there’s nothing outstanding about them either. Email marketing is so competitive, that you really need to think of ways to stand apart from the crowd.

The average recipient is not going to consciously notice an email template. He or she is, hopefully, going to focus on the message, not on the way the message is laid out. However, presentation makes a huge difference when it comes to impact. This is true whether we’re talking about a web page or an email. An attractive, interesting and professional looking template can make a subtle but important difference in the way someone reacts to an email.

Features of ThemeForest Templates

Theme Forest, known primarily for its popular WordPress themes, also offers a wide selection of email templates. Let’s look at some benefits of choosing one of their templates.

  • Wide selection

    You can browse through many pages of email templates. This allows you to zero in on the one that will work best for your purposes.

  • Responsive design

    Many ThemeForest templates are responsive, so you can be sure that your users can view your emails properly even if they are using their mobile phones or tablets. This is an important consideration, as more people are now using mobile devices than computers to read and send emails.

  • Support and updates

    When you purchase a template from Envato Market (the company behind ThemeForest), you get access to future updates as well as support. Regular support is for 6 months but you can extend this to 12 months for a small extra fee.

  • Drag & Drop editor

    One of the biggest benefits of ThemeForest templates is the convenient editor that you have access to. This makes it easy to move text, blocks and images from one place to another. You do not have to touch the underlying code when you are customizing the email template.

  • Unlimited colors

    You can customize your emails by using many different colors.

  • MailChimp compatible

    You can export your emails to MailChimp if you use this autoresponder. Many templates are also compatible with StampReady.

These are some of the benefits of using ThemeForest email templates. They are also reasonably priced, mostly around $20 only.

Best ThemeForest Email Templates

Let’s look at a few email templates which I personally like. I have used some of them in my email campaigns and thus I know they are really good templates which work well.

  • Border – Responsive Email + StampReady Builder

    Responsive email template

    This is a great email template if you use StampReady, a service that provides many helpful tools for sending out email newsletters. Aside from being StampReady compatible, this template is responsive and also compatible with MailChimp, Outlook and most other popular email applications. This template is ideal if you’re looking for a modern, professional looking way to send out newsletters.

  • Foody

    Foody email template

    This is a great template if you have a restaurant or other food related business. It’s an elegant, minimalistic template that suggests the quality and purity of the food you are selling. This template is responsive and compatible with StampReady and MailChimp.

  • Anokhi

    Professional email template

    This template lets you create high-resolution emails for any kind of business or professional purpose. It’s appropriate for e-commerce sites, marketing and PR agencies, tech companies and many more. The design is clean and contemporary. Compatible with MailChimp, StampReady and Campaign Monitor.

  • Smart Business

    StampReady builder preview

    As the name suggests, this template is great for presenting a professional image for any type of business purpose. It can be used for newsletters, providing customers services or updating customers about your latest offers. It’s a responsive template compatible with MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and StampReady.

  • Eminor

    Eminor email template

    This versatile and responsive email template works with MailBuilds, a system for building a variety of your own templates. It’s also compatible with MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and Freshmail. All in all, there are 53 unique modules, so you’ll never run out of choices for creating the look you want.

These are just a few of the email templates you can choose from on ThemeForest. Check them out if you want to see more!

Getting the most out of ThemeForest Email Templates

ThemeForest email templates can help you take your email marketing to the next level. Using a professional template can instantly upgrade your messages from ordinary to something different and special.

In order to get the most out of these templates, you should make sure you choose the one that fits best with your business and your audience. Think about what kind of image and style you want to project with your messages. Is it casual, formal, contemporary or artistic? There are themes to fit every purpose. Naturally, you also have to focus on perfecting other aspects of email marketing, such as providing good content and choosing your topics well. But ThemeForest can definitely help you make a stronger impact with your messages.

For details, I urge you to check out ThemeForest email templates.

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4 Tips to Get Subscribers to Open Your Emails http://www.thundermailer.com/4-tips-to-get-subscribers-to-open-your-emails/ Tue, 08 Mar 2016 06:26:03 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=692 When you are doing email marketing you have to pay close attention to several sets of numbers. These include open rates, click through rates and conversions. Yet in an important way, your open rate is the most important of all.

This is the first step towards getting the results you want. Before you can even worry about click throughs, you have to make sure that your subscribers are actually bothering to open your emails. Let’s look at some tips to help you accomplish this.

Consistently deliver value. If you have an email list, your subscribers are going to recognize your name. They then have to decide if the message is worth opening. This will depend on several factors, including the subject line.

What kind of messages you send out on a regular basis will have a lot to do with your open rate. If subscribers know they can count on getting an informative or entertaining message from you, they will look forward to your emails. If you are in this category, the subject line is secondary as people are interested in what you have to say. It takes time and steady effort to build this type of relationship with email list.

On the other hand, if your readers find most of your messages are boring or overly commercial, they probably won’t be too enthusiastic about opening them. If this goes on for too long they may even unsubscribe. That’s why you want to build the reputation of someone who sends out messages that are worth reading!

Email open and clickthrough rates

  1. Pay Attention to the Subject and From Fields

    When someone sees a message, they make a split second decision on whether to open or delete it. As I mentioned, ideally you want to be on the subscriber’s “always open” list. At the same time, you have to realize that many readers decide on whether or not to open an email on a case by case basis. That’s why the subject line is so crucial.

    The subject field is extremely important, as it informs the reader what your message is about. You should make it both relevant and compelling, and avoid using hype or overly promotional language. Both readers and spam filters are on the alert for signs that an email is spam or nothing but a sales pitch.

    The “from” field is also worth considering. You can choose whether to use your name, company name or an impersonal email address such as info@mydomain.com. It’s best to have an identity that people can recognize. Having both your name and the name of the newsletter or website in the from field makes it easier for people to recognize you.

  2. Focus on Solving Problems

    Your readers need a compelling reason to open your messages. If they know that you send them information that they can really use, they will be far more inclined to open them than if you do nothing but send them a bunch of affiliate links.

    Your email list can be a great resource for earning commissions and selling products, but you have to also make sure that your subscribers are getting something out of the arrangement. You should always be researching what your audience needs and wants. You can then provide them with relevant content in your emails. When you do this, you should make it obvious in the subject line.

  3. Be Sociable and Entertaining

    While you want to be helpful and informative, you also want to deliver the information in a way that’s appealing. Don’t be afraid to insert your own personality into your emails. You can also use humor to get your message across.

    Some of the most successful email marketers talk to their subscribers like they are old friends. They often include personal and amusing anecdotes. These don’t even have to be directly related to the main topic of the list or newsletter. You don’t want to ramble on for too long, but if you reveal a little about yourself it makes you more accessible to your audience.

    For example, if you just got back from vacation you could write a few sentences revealing an interesting or funny incident that occurred while you were away. You can then lead into your main subject. This doesn’t take up much space, but it makes the message more sociable.

  4. Email Consistently But Not Too Often

    You have to strike a balance when it comes to reaching out to your list. If you only email them rarely, they will forget all about you. When people don’t recognize the sender’s name, they are less likely to open the message. So it’s important to stick to a regular schedule.

    On the other hand, if you are sending out messages day and night, your subscribers will quickly get tire of this. Emailing too often can cause people to remove themselves from your list.

    What is the perfect balance? There’s no single right answer, but you have to use your common sense. It also depends on how much information and content you really have to provide. Some successful marketers do well even though they email their list every day. More than this, however, is not recommended. Once a week should be the minimum. Several times per week is fine as well.

Focus on Getting People to Open Your Emails

Improving your open rate involves many factors. You want to get your subscribers to the point where they are glad to read your messages. You can do this by using effective subject lines and by consistently delivering valuable content.

Although we can separate metrics like open rate and click throughs, they aren’t completely separate. If people begin to open your messages because they find they are worth reading, it’s also likely that they will be interested enough to check out your offers as well.

You have to face the fact that not everyone is going to read every single message that you send out. On the other hand, there are many steps you can take to increase the percentage of people who do take the trouble to open your emails.

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Tips to Design an Effective Email http://www.thundermailer.com/tips-to-design-an-effective-email/ Fri, 28 Nov 2014 07:26:30 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=681 No matter how many changes occur with technology and the internet, email remains one of the fundamental aspects of modern day marketing. Even with the rise of social media, smartphones and other devices and platforms, there is still no substitute for connecting with your audience in the one-to-one manner that email makes possible.

Email is the most personal way to connect with your audience without having to use someone else’s site – e.g Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. When you have an email list, you have a reliable way to get in touch with people regardless of your website’s search engine ranking.

From time to time, we hear the announcement that “email marketing is dead”. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you need evidence of this, simply count the number of emails you receive on a daily basis. Add to this the number of websites that use opt-in forms to capture email addresses. This is true from the world’s largest companies to brand new startups. If email marketing wasn’t profitable, do you really think so much effort would be put into it?

Yet it’s also true that email marketing is more competitive than ever. This makes it more important than ever to make sure that you’re doing it in the right way. The most essential aspect of email marketing is the message itself – everything from the words and images you use to the layout. Let’s look at some of the main principles you should keep in mind when designing email.

Email design

  • Using an email template

    You might be wondering if an email template is something you need at all. There is no one correct answer to this question. Templates can be very useful for email newsletters. Good templates can provide you with branding and a professional image. You can use an attractive template that matches your industry. This tells your audience right away who you are and what you’re all about.

    On the other hand, some email marketers do very well with a more minimalistic approach. They prefer that their readers see their messages as personal, more like letters from a friend. In this case, a fancy template could be counterproductive. It all depends on your purpose and your style of communication.

    If you do decide to use a template, you should choose it carefully. You could even get one custom designed. It’s best to have an unique template that your readers can associate with you, rather than using a more generic one that might be used by many different marketers.

  • Define your purpose and have a strong call to action

    When designing an email, you should always have a specific purpose in mind. With any email, you may have one or more goals. These might include promoting a certain product, sending traffic to your website or simply providing valuable content to build your brand.

    The call to action is usually a link. This may be to a sales page or your website’s home page. If you are mainly trying to build your brand, your call to action may be simply to send people to your website or Facebook page. Whatever your purpose, make sure the call to action is highly visible. If it’s a text link, it should be in bold or in a different color from the rest of the text. Of course, you can also have clickable buttons or images.

    As a rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to include the call to action at least twice in an email. It should definitely be at the end of the message. It’s also good to have it near the beginning as well, for people who don’t want to bother to read the whole message!

  • Make sure your design and layout are reader friendly

    When someone opens your email, he or she will make a split second judgement about whether or not to read it. This will depend largely on the layout. This includes the design or template, the font and the way the text is aligned. You should also be careful not to have long paragraphs without a break! White space always makes a page easier to read. Numbered or bulleted lists are useful for making information easy to digest.

    Images can also enhance the look of your emails. At the same time, you should use some restraint when choosing images or other elements. These can be good to break up the text, but you don’t want the page to be so crowded that it’s distracting.

    You should always look over your emails with an objective eye. Ask yourself if you would want to read your message if someone else had sent it to you.

  • Keep your message short and concise

    People today have very short attention spans. Long messages are likely to be ignored. This relates to some of our other tips, such as using images and white space. But it also means that you should communicate your message in a way that’s direct and with as little fluff or filler as possible. A simple formula to use is to have an introduction, a middle or body that contains the main part of your message and a conclusion.

    If you feel like you have a lot to say, consider breaking up the message into several emails. One of the great things about email is that it gives you complete control over the communication process. You can send out messages on any schedule you choose. You don’t have to feel like you have to tell the reader everything in one email. It’s better to make each message short and to the point.

Make Each Email Count

Every email you send out represents an opportunity to engage with your audience. With each email, there is also the danger of alienating your readers and causing them to unsubscribe.

The way people respond to emails has to do with not only the actual message but also the way that it’s presented. You may have to test several approaches to find out what your readers respond to. You can’t please everyone, but if you take the time to plan your email marketing approach you can build a growing and targeted readership. This requires you to pay attention to every aspect of the emails you send out.

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Benefits of Email Hosting http://www.thundermailer.com/benefits-of-email-hosting/ Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:51:04 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=674 Email marketing remains one of the most reliable ways to stay in touch with your audience. When you want to send out large numbers of emails, however, it’s important to consider what kind of email service you use. There are many reasons to consider using dedicated email hosting rather than free email for your campaigns. Let’s take a look at what email hosting is and some of the advantages it offers.

What is Email Hosting?

Email hosting

Email hosting is a service that provides email servers to clients. The email addresses you acquire through these services are associated with domains you own. There are several types of email hosting.

  • Web Hosting Email

    When you get web hosting, you will have access to the email hosting provided by the web host. The advantage of this is that you won’t have to pay any additional fees. You can usually get many, if not unlimited, email addresses associated with each domain you own. Web hosts, however, only provide limited email services and security. To get more robust email services, you will have to work with a dedicated email host.

  • Free Email Hosting

    There are also free email hosting services you can find on the web. The main disadvantage of these is that they are usually ad supported. This makes it difficult for you to brand yourself if you have a business. Free email hosting is also limited in the services and security it provides.

  • Professional or Dedicated Email Hosting

    These are services that specialize in email and offer a variety of features and services that are hard to find elsewhere. These services provide unparalleled storage, security and business features that make them a valuable tool for any business that uses email marketing. The main drawback to using these services is that they do charge a fee. Many, however, are quite reasonable considering the features they offer.

Main Advantages of Email Hosting

Not everyone needs dedicated email hosting. The average person who only sends email for social purposes doesn’t need to pay extra for this type of service. However, if you use email marketing for your business, it can provide some key advantages. Let’s discuss in more detail below.

  1. Ample Space

    With free email, your storage space is usually going to be rather limited. Professional email hosting services provide you with large mailboxes that allow you to store as many emails as you want. The cost will depend on how much space you need.

  2. Security

    Security is a priority when you are doing business online. You want to make sure your emails are protected, especially if they contain confidential information such as customers’ personal data.

  3. Spam Protection

    Free email services are often not very effective at preventing spam. Premium email hosting services can provide you with additional protection against annoying spam. They can also weed out potentially dangerous emails that contain viruses or malware.

  4. Customization and Professional Image

    Sending email from a free email address such as Gmail or Yahoo does not convey a very professional image. Free email, even those provided by web hosts, often contains ads and banners that distract your recipients from your messages. Using an email host gives you the ability to customize your email and send out ad-free messages, with very good deliverability rates!

Now let’s look at a few examples of email hosting worth considering.

  • Office 365 Small Business

    This is a service run by Microsoft with monthly fees starting at $4. This gives you many features, such as being able to check your email online and syncing your email with IMAP and POP3. For $5 per month you have access to Sharepoint with Office Web Apps that allows you to work on projects with other team members who are using this application. For $7 per month, you get the Full version of Office for either PC or Mac.

    Check out Microsoft’s page for the details.

  • Rackspace

    This is a popular email service used by more than 3 million customers. With prices starting at just $2 per month, you gain access to a wide array of features, including 25GB mailboxes, the ability to send and receive 50MB attachments, email addresses customized with your domain name, custom email filtering and daily backups.

    Rackspace offers a variety of plans to suit the needs of small, medium and larger businesses. For details, check out their page at http://www.rackspace.com/email-hosting/webmail/

  • Google Apps

    Although Gmail by itself is limited in many ways, if you upgrade to Google Apps, you can use your own domain for email along with several other key benefits. This is a good email solution if you already use Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar or Google Sites.

    Google Apps allows you to integrate all of these services. You can use an existing domain name or purchase a new one to use with Google Apps. The basic Google Apps for Business plan costs $5 per month. For additional features and security, you can get value added to the plan for $10 per month. For details, see
    http://www.google.com/enterprise/apps/business/pricing.html

  • Zoho

    Zoho email hosting is a service where you can get up to 5GB storage for free if you use their Lite version. This allows you to use one domain and up to 5 users. If you want something a little more flexible, you can get their Standard plan for $2.50 per month and get 10GB storage and multiple domain hosting.

    Zoho also has several other plans, including Premium, which gives you 25GB storage and 250GB docs storage for $10 per month. For details, see: http://www.zoho.com/mail/

Zoho mail

Email hosting can help your business grow

There are many email hosting services. The above are just a few of the most popular ones. Having an email service that’s feature rich, secure and easy to customize can help you run email campaigns that are more efficient and that get you better results.

These services are even useful for everyday personal emails, as they help you filter out spam and give you confidence that your messages are secure.

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Everything You Need to Know About Bluehost http://www.thundermailer.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-bluehost/ Sat, 06 Sep 2014 18:13:54 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=663 If you are looking for a good web hosting company, you have probably heard of Bluehost. They are a popular and quickly growing web hosting company that is used by more than 2 million websites around the world. They offer many attractive features and very reasonable pricing. Before you choose a web host, however, you should carefully consider the company and whether it fits with your own plans. In this article, we’ll be taking a close look at Bluehost to help you decide if it’s right for you.

Bluehost Shared Web Hosting

Most websites use shared hosting, which is the cheapest option and satisfactory for most people and small businesses. We’ll be briefly looking at some of Bluehost’s other plans later on, but most of our focus will be on their shared hosting. While some web hosts split their shared hosting into several different plans, Bluehost focuses on providing a single plan with a wide variety of features.

Visit them at Bluehost.com

Here are some of the benefits that come with their shared hosting plan.

  • Unlimited Email Accounts, Websites, Storage and Domains

    As mentioned, many web hosts have multiple plans to choose from at different price points. This can get confusing especially for new users. Since Bluehost offers virtually unlimited resources with their single plan, this saves you from having to compare plans. Having unlimited domains and websites is useful if you want to build multiple blogs or websites for either personal or business reasons.

  • Free Domain Name

    When you sign up for web hosting with Bluehost, you get a free domain name registration. This is worth anything from $10 to $15 a year.

  • Site Builder With Templates

    This allows anyone to easily build a website without the need for technical skills. Templates let you create a customized website quickly.

  • Comprehensive Support

    Bluehost offers 24/7 support by phone, live chat or through email. There is also a large knowledge base where you can find answers to many common questions.

  • Automated Backups

    This is an important feature that safeguards your data and websites in case of a system crash. If necessary, you can restore all of your data with just one click of your mouse. Backups are performed daily, weekly and monthly.

  • Bonuses

    Bluehost offers $200 in free offers when you sign up. This includes free advertising credits for Google and Facebook. By using these free advertising credits, you can start advertising with the respective websites and get traffic instantly.

  • Money Back Guarantee

    Bluehost offers a 30 money back guarantee on all of its hosting plans. Beyond this point, you can still cancel at any time and receive a prorated refund, as there are no contracts involved!

Pricing For Bluehost

Many people are attracted to Bluehost because of its low prices. Considering the features it provides with its basic shared hosting plan, it’s a little surprising that they charge less than so many competitors.

The regular pricing for Bluehost shared hosting is $7.99 per month. The company, however, runs frequent specials. Right now, for example, you can get hosting for as low as $3.95 per month when you sign up through partnering sites such as ThunderMailer.com! $3.95 per month is the lowest price possible from them! You won’t be able to find a better price elsewhere.

As with most web hosts, you can get a better deal by signing up for longer periods of time (e.g. 2 or 3 years rather than 1 year). Keep in mind that no matter how long you sign up for, you’re never locked in and can always cancel at any time.

Other Web Hosting Plans

Bluehost

Bluehost offers a variety of web hosting plans in addition to shared hosting. While shared hosting is perfectly adequate for most personal and even business sites, there are some cases where you may want access to more resources. Let’s take a look at some of the other hosting plans you can get from the same company.

  • Pro Plan

    This is a more advanced version of the basic shared hosting plan. While the basic plan has more than enough resources for the average website owner, the Pro plan adds certain capabilities, such as 5x extra server performance, a dedicated IP and an SSL certificate. This plan costs $18,95 per month and is especially great for high traffic sites.

  • WordPress Hosting

    This is a relatively new offering by Bluehost, which has always been known as a WordPress-friendly host. Now, however, you can get a plan that’s optimized for WordPress, which means faster running sites, greater security and specialized WordPress support.

    This hosting plan is available for only $12.49 the first month and renews at $24.99 per month. If you have one or more WordPress sites and want to keep them as secure and well optimized as possible, this is a really good option!

  • Reseller Hosting

    If you want to get into the business of selling web hosting to clients, this is the plan for you. Many people who do things like web design like to offer their clients web hosting as part of the package. Bluehost offers several reseller plans. The most popular one costs $49.95 per month and offers 250 GB disk space and unlimited accounts.

  • VPS Hosting

    VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting offers greater power and flexibility than shared hosting at a lower price than dedicated servers. You can choose among several VPS hosting plans. Their most popular one, which is $29.99 for the first month and $59.99 after that, offers 2 CPU cores, 4GB available RAM, 2 IPs and 2TB bandwidth. This is a good choice for larger websites and online businesses that need additional storage and security.

  • Dedicated Hosting

    Having your own dedicated server provides you with the greatest degree of flexibility, performance and security. This is a good option for anyone who wants to have the maximum amount of control over their server settings. Plans start at $74.99 for the first month and $149.99 per month after that.

    Consider a dedicate server if your website is big and has very high traffic.

How Does Bluehost Compare to Other Web Hosts?

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of choices when it comes to web hosting. Quality, experience and reliability in this industry varies quite a bit. There are several things you should know about Bluehost.

  • Experience

    Bluehost has been operating since 2003, making it one of the longer running web hosting companies around. They have been steadily improving and expanding their offerings over the years.

  • Runs Its Own Data Center

    Many web hosts outsource technology, but Bluehost has its own private data center. This helps the company maintain a stable and secure setup for the millions of websites it serves.

  • Customer Friendly

    Bluehost designs its services to be equally accessible to beginners and advanced website builders. From the simplicity of its shared hosting plan to its convenient site building tool, this is a company that many people use to build their first website. Their in-house customer support is also very knowledgeable, so it’s always easy to get help if you need it.

    Tips:
    Use their live chat for quick and on-the-spot help from support.

  • Scalability

    While Bluehost’s shared hosting is perfectly suitable for newbies, it also offers resources that allow you to scale up your website or business. For example, you can start with the shared hosting plan and upgrade to the Pro plan, WordPress hosting or VPS hosting as your site grows. This way you can stick with the same web host as your business expands, which is always simpler.

Notes:
ThunderMailer.com was hosted on iPage before we moved to Bluehost. Check our previous blog post on why we moved from iPage to Bluehost.

Why Bluehost is Good?

There are many reasons why Bluehost is so popular and continues to grow all the time. It’s combination of low prices, great customer service and user friendly features make it an excellent choice for website owners at all levels, from personal bloggers to large scale commercial sites.

The shared hoirsting plan is among the most reasonable and comprehensive you can find anywhere. Yet Bluehost also offers plenty of more advanced and specialized alternatives. This makes it a great choice for individuals and businesses of all kinds, no matter what type of website you plan to build.

For more about Bluehost web hosting, see http://www.bluehost.com

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How to avoid email spam filters http://www.thundermailer.com/how-to-avoid-email-spam-filters/ Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:51:05 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=653 Let’s face it. You can’t avoid spam filters and you most probably won’t achieve 100% deliverability rate for your emails. Thanks to some hard working spam filters, it was found that an average of 10 – 20% (in some cases, even higher) of your emails or 1 in 6 emails do not end up in inboxes. Instead, they may turn up in the spam folders or even simply being trashed. Even if your emails were permission-based.

However, this does not mean that you can’t do anything about it. You can and here’s how.

What are spam filters?

First, let’s understand what spam emails are and how spam filters function.

According to Wikipedia, spam is defined as unsolicited or junk emails. Basically, it is an email that you receive from someone you did not know. Spamming involves the act of using electronic messaging systems like the Internet to send these unsolicited messages, usually in bulk, and usually to promote something.

It is not a spam if the email is from someone you know or a newsletter that you had signed up for. But sometimes the line gets blurred like when a friend’s computer is hacked by spammers and his email contacts (including yours) are being sent promotional emails. Or if someone uses your email to sign up for newsletter without your knowledge.

Spam filters, like the name suggests, are software which detect these unsolicited emails and prevent them from being delivered into the recipients’ inboxes. They are automated and are programed to filter out emails that meet certain criteria e.g. money matters, sales pitches and the use of images. If your email scores highly in this checklist, chances are it will end up in the spam folder or even go missing.

What you should avoid

Because of the increase of spam emails, mail servers’ spam filters have been configured to be on the lookout for spam or anything that looks like spam. Mail servers will accept and deliver spam-free emails but if they detected a spam email, they will refuse to deliver the email and issue a rejection notice or they may just simply ignore it. That’s how your email vanishes!

Here are some common mistakes that email marketers should avoid.

  1. Don’t buy or rent email lists

    Buying or renting emails are a form of unsolicited email.

    Firstly, you do not know where these emails came from or whether the owners are aware that their email addresses are being sold to online marketers. The emails could even be dead or inactive, which not only waste your money but will also damage your reputation!

    Secondly, even if the email owners agree to receive email communications in general, they did not agree or shown any indication that they want your emails. They might decide to delete your emails or unsubscribe or mark your email as a spam, which again, is not going to help your reputation!

    In short, do not buy email lists.

  2. Spammy email subject

    The email subject line is important because of 2 reasons:

    • Spam filters focus a lot on how the subject line is written to determine if the email is spam or not.
    • A well-worded subject line can persuade your recipients to open the email and hence, a higher email open rate.

    Our advice is to avoid spammy and suspicious words like “buy”, “money making”, “free”, “online marketing”, “click here”, “call now”, “apply now”, “order today”, “no obligation” and “This isn’t spam”. Instead, make the subject relevant to what you are promoting or a summary of your newsletter. This will also encourage your recipients to click and read your emails.

  3. Impersonal emails

    Filters look for impersonal emails which look as if you don’t know your recipients. So personalized your emails as much as possible. Try not to address your recipients by their email address. Instead, use the recipients’ first or last names. Not only will you make your emails more personal, you will also be able to “prove” to the spam filters that your emails are solicited.

  4. Spam triggering words in the content

    Getting the green light from spam filters for your subject line doesn’t mean that you can write anything in your message. Spam filters do search email contents for spam indications. Even if it doesn’t, you still want to deliver an informative message to your recipients. Therefore, do avoid spam trigger words here too.

    Further read:
    http://www.thundermailer.com/tips-for-creating-email-marketing-content-that-works/

  5. USING ALL CAPS!

    Using all caps is akin to shouting in email etiquette. You wouldn’t like someone shouting at you in real life so don’t do that to others in an email, especially if they are potential customers. Even though you very much like to get your recipients’ attention but shouting will only put them off. And not to mention, draw attention from spam filters.

  6. Large attachments

    While some attachments are safe like .jpg and .pdf files, try not to send them together with your email especially if they are large in file size. Of course, definitely not executable attachments like .exe files. Not only are they going to use up more resources, they may trigger spam filters or virus scanners. Instead, add call-to-action in your emails and link them to a landing page where the product details or downloads are located.

Email spam filters

What you should do

  1. Permission marketing

    Even if your customers gave you their email addresses, it doesn’t mean that they had agreed to sign-up for your newsletters. You should inform them about your marketing programs and seek their permission in writing like in a sign-up form or opt-in link via email. You can provide some promotions to persuade them to sign up, for example coupon codes or free downloads.

    You can even request to have your email address added into their contacts. This is called white list (as opposed to blacklist). Being white listed is like telling spam filters that you are a friend and not spam.

  2. Add text message

    Provide alt text message if you are drafting a HTML email or an email with images. Spam filters do not read images and thus, the lack of text may indicate that you are trying to “trick” the spam filter. Hence, your emails will have a higher chance of being blocked.

    Moreover, by default, majority email clients block images unless the owners choose to have the images displayed (which many of them don’t). Adding text will allow these readers to see a part of your email and hopefully, be tempted to read further.

  3. Maintain A Clean List

    Clean up and update your email lists constantly. Remove all those bounced, unsubscribed and invalid emails. Repeatedly sending emails to these addresses will only irritate these owners and they will mark you as spammer and this will eventually get your IP blacklisted.

  4. Send By Batches

    Sending a large quantity of emails at one shot will trigger spam filters to think that you are spamming or even a virus. What you should do is slow down and send your emails to your recipients in batches. Therefore, it is important to plan your marketing campaigns so that all your recipients will get the email by the time your promotion starts.

  5. Test Your Emails

    Last but not least, do test your emails by sending them to the email clients that most or all your recipients use. You should at least test read them on Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail and Outlook email client. This will ensure that the email will reach your recipients successfully and they can read them properly – your email will appear right and that no part was truncated or links missing.

As an Internet marketer, you have spent a lot of time drafting and designing emails and transforming them into impressively designed newsletters or announcements. But all these efforts will be lost if your emails do not reach their intended recipients. Spamming laws are getting stricter and even though you are a legitimate online marketer, you might still get caught.

Fortunately, as we have discussed above, there are many things that you can do to reduce the chances of being targeted by spam filters. Put these actions into practice and watch your ROI rises.

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Important terms Email Marketers should know http://www.thundermailer.com/important-terms-email-marketers-should-know/ Thu, 14 Aug 2014 16:24:38 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=648 If you’re going to do email marketing, it’s important to be as well informed as possible about the industry. This includes familiarizing yourself with some of the terminology that relates to the topic. Depending on your approach, you may not be directly involved with every aspect of email and the technology surrounding it but it’s still good to know the terms.

The more knowledgeable you are, the easier it is to make changes, acquire helpful tools and to avoid mistakes. So let’s look at some of the basic and more arcane terms that have to do with email marketing. This is not meant to be a comprehensive glossary, but a summary of some of the more useful terms that you should know about.

  • Autoresponder

    A program that automatically replies to emails with pre-written messages. Used widely in email marketing to send out messages and promotions, and also by individuals who use these services in a way similar to a telephone answering machine. The term is also used to describe companies that provide this service, such as AWeber, GetResponse, and MailChimp.

  • Blacklist

    A list of email senders (identified by IP addresses, email addresses and etc) that are blocked from the email services because they are known to send spam.

  • Bounced Emails

    Messages that are returned to the sender. This can happen because an email address is not valid, because messages have been blocked by the receiver or because the mailbox is full.

  • Client

    The computer and program that requests information or a service from another program, called the server. Email is typically sent from numerous clients to one central server. Most internet clients use either POP or IMAP protocols.

  • Contact Form

    A form that is created for the purpose of acquiring prospects’ email addresses. Such a form can be placed on your website or on some social media pages, such as Facebook pages. You can customize what details to request on a form, such as first name only, full name, phone number and other info.

  • DKIM

    Stands for DomainKeys Identified Mail. This is security system developed by Yahoo! that verifies the identity of senders through a system of encrypted keys embedded in the messages. This is a method for ensuring than an email message is actually from where it claims to be from, as opposed to a malicious message from a hacker or other type of scammer.

  • Email Forwarding

    A service that allows you to forward email from one address to another. This allows you to connect different email addresses without having to look up each one separately to check your email.

  • Email Throttling

    A practice used by some ISPs to limit the amount of email accepted by a specific sender over a certain time period. When this is occurring, the sender will get a message telling them that the user’s mailbox is full or something similar and to send the message at a later time.

  • Feedback Loops

    A process used by ISPs to forward email messages reported as spam.

  • Header

    The information that documents the path taken by an email message to reach its destination. These information is typically hidden by default in email clients. You can anyway click to view them.

  • Inbox

    The folder where email is held until it is read by the receiver.

  • IP Address

    The online address associated with any device connected to the internet. There are static IP addresses that do not change as well as dynamic ones that change each time an email message is sent.

  • IMAP

    Stands for Internet Message Access Protocol. After POP, IMAP is the most commonly used protocol for sending and receiving email messages.

  • POP Server

    Stands for Post Office Protocol – The computer that stores email messages before you open them with your email program. You can think of it like a virtual post office box, which stores your physical mail until you pick it up. Some email systems use an IMAP protocol rather than POP.

  • Sender ID Framework

    A system of email authentication developed by Microsoft that verifies the identity of senders to prevent spam messages from getting through.

  • SMTP

    This stands for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. This is the protocol used by most email systems to send email. It works by sending the message from the mail client to the mail server.

  • Spam Filter

    A type of software that identifies suspected spam messages and prevents them from entering the recipient’s inbox. These messages are typically diverted to a spam folder.

  • Spam Folder

    Also known as a Bulk Mail Folder. This is the folder where junk or spam email, as identified by the spam filter, is sent.

  • Spoofing

    The use of a fake email address to trick recipients into opening an email. Spoofed emails often pretend to be from large companies such as banks, software companies or large online retailers e.g. Microsoft, Amazon, Google, etc.

  • Webmail

    A type of program that allows you to manage your email account from any device that’s connected to the internet, through a web browser. This is useful for checking or sending email when you don’t have your computer or other usual device with you.

  • Whitelist

    A list of email addresses deemed safe and trustworthy by the receiver. This allows messages from such senders to bypass the spam filter.

Email marketing terminology

The above are some of the more important terms associated with email and email marketing. You can find more detailed information on many of these terms from your web host or email provider. It’s good to stay as up to date as possible with the type of terminology and jargon pertaining to email marketing. This helps you better understand how to use the tactics, programs and tools that are available.

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Introducing Thunder Mailer 1.2 http://www.thundermailer.com/introducing-thunder-mailer-1-2/ Tue, 08 Jul 2014 17:52:05 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=639 Thunder Mailer is a leading software application for maintaining email lists and sending bulk emails. Both new and existing users will be glad to know that Thunder Mailer 1.2 has just been launched. This will be even more powerful than the previous versions and will correct a few bugs that some users might have experienced. Let’s look at some of the features and benefits of the new Thunder Mailer and how it can help you succeed with email marketing.

A brief introduction to Thunder Mailer

Since not everyone is familiar with our mass email software, let’s quickly go over some of its basic features. These, of course, will still be present in the new version. In some cases, though, the old features will have been upgraded or improved.

  1. Get started quickly

    The 3 Step Wizard gives you a quick guide on what you need to do to get started. This simplifies the tasks especially for new users who might get lost with most other email marketing software.

  2. Send unlimited emails

    Whereas with autoresonder services (such as GetResponse, Aweber, MailChimp and Constant Contact) you are limited in how many emails you can send (unless you sign up for a very expensive plan), with Thunder Mailer there are no limits on how many emails you can send, or how often (provided your SMTP servers allow them).

  3. Merge data into your emails

    Improve open rates by merging data such as names, email addresses and other fields into your emails (this feature has been enhanced in the new version, will talk about this below).

  4. One-time Purchase

    Thunder Mailer is software that you download and can then use forever. There are no monthly or annual charges to worry about.

These are just a few of the benefits that make Thunder Mailer a more convenient and reasonable alternative to autoresponders and other email related service. For a more detailed discussion on the features, you can read this page and check out some screenshots.

Now let’s look at some of the features of the new version.

What’s new in Thunder Mailer 1.2

There are some key additions and improvements that you can immediately notice in Thunder Mailer 1.2. These include:

  1. Email Templates

    Email templates

    With a choice of nicely designed email templates, you can create messages that match the nature of your business. This will help to make your messages more relevant and compelling. You can either use the templates as they are or, if you are comfortable with HTML, customize them however you like.

  2. Direct Send

    Direct send emails

    This features gives you the ability to send emails even if you’re not able to connect to your SMTP server (or you prefer not to for some reasons). The direct send option will allow you to send emails using a direct connection from your computer without depending on your email provider’s (or web host or ISP) SMTP mail server.

    Anyway, please note that you should only use this feature if you have an established domain on a dedicated IP addresses with good emailing reputation. This is because spam filters are very strict these days and will very likely block or reject emails that are sent from a dynamic IP address (or a dedicated IP address without an established domain).

  3. Data Merge and Preview in Browser

    Merge data to emails

    This is a feature that’s been enhanced in the new version. It was already possible to merge data from your mailing list by inserting column tags into your emails.

    Previously, though, you could only insert a limited number of tags and you could not preview the results before sending the emails.

    You will now be able to insert any columns you want to your mailing list and preview the results before sending. When you view the Preview in Browser window, you’ll be able to scroll through emails and check data such as names, email addresses, dates and any words you want to locate. This allows you to see what your message will look like so you can make any adjustments before actually sending it.

  4. CSV Import Options

    CSV import

    Thunder Mailer’s CSV import tool has been enhanced in the new version. Among the new features includes the ability to select the delimiters on your mailing lists.

New version, even more reasons to use Thunder Mailer

The above are only some of the new features and improvements that are present in Thunder Mailer 1.2. Many smaller enhancements, improvements and bug fixes have been incorporated under the hood.

Many savvy email marketers have discovered that Thunder Mailer is the most convenient and economical way to send bulk emails and to manage their lists. With the introduction of version 1.2, there are now more reasons than ever to use this innovative software. While current users will want to upgrade, this new version is a great way to start out if you’re not currently using the software.

This is also a good time to purchase Thunder Mailer, as we are currently offering a special coupon code that allows you to save money. The coupon code that is currently valid is: HAPPY20, and it lets you save 20% on Thunder Mailer. The software normally costs $69, but with the discount this is reduced to $55.20. Considering that this is a one-time fee with no recurring charges, it would be hard to find a better deal on any type of email program!

Order Now
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A sneak peak at Thunder Mailer 1.2 http://www.thundermailer.com/a-sneak-peak-at-thunder-mailer-1-2/ Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:14:16 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=598 There is going to be an update on the popular bulk email software Thunder Mailer soon and we are all so excited about it. We have added some new features, enhanced a few existing features and fixed lots of small bugs.

This is the first major update since Thunder Mailer was launched and we have included many of your suggestions. We had always wanted Thunder Mailer to be as useful as possible to our users and thus, have incorporated ways to improve this software earlier on.

New features and major enhancements

While we won’t be able to tell you all the new features, enhancements and changes that have been made, we can share with you some of the cool stuff that was included in the latest version. Here’s a few of the features that you can look forward to in version 1.2.

  • Email templates

    Email templates

    Being able to get your recipients to open your email is one thing, getting them to stay long enough to read the email is another. One way to encourage your readers to read your email is to have a captivating email layout.

    Thunder Mailer 1.2 now comes with amazing email templates to help you create eye-catching professional emails. Since the email templates are in HTML, if you know HTML scripting, you can even customize the layout yourself.

  • Data merge

    Data merge

    We have enhanced the data merge feature. You can now preview and insert any columns you have in your mailing list. You can then preview your email message without actually sending them.

  • Preview in Browser

    Preview in Browser

    In the current version, you are able to personalize your emails by merging data from your mailing list. You do this simply by inserting column tags into your email. However, you will not be able to view these data prior to the email being actually delivered. Instead, a tag like %_CURRENTDATESHORT_% will be shown in its place.

    In version 1.2, you have the option to view the actual data merged using the “Preview in Browser” window. This window allows you to scroll through the emails that would be mailed out, including the actual names, emails, random words, date and even merged data in specified columns.

  • CVS import options

    CVS import options

    The CVS import tool is enhanced. Among others, you can now select what are your delimiters, that are present in your CVS mailing list.

  • Direct Send

    Direct send

    Thunder Mailer 1.2 now includes a Direct Send mode. In times when you are unable to connect to your SMTP server or if you do not want to use one, you can choose to send via this new direct send option. Your emails will be sent via a direct connection from your computer to your recipients’ incoming email servers, without relying on any external SMTP mail server of your web host, ISP or email provider.

    However, it’s advisable to only use this option if you have an established domain (with an excellent reputation) on a static IP address, and updated MX and rDNS records. If you fall short of these, then the vast majority email servers will not accept your emails and will mark them as spam.

Let us inform you when 1.2 is released

For those who would like to be updated when version 1.2 is released, you can do so by entering your name and email address below. Once the new version is launched, you will receive an email (sent via Thunder Mailer of course) informing you. Your personal data will not be used for any other purposes.

Enter your name and email



 
Existing users can download the updated version and update for free.

Speaking of free updates, you may want to consider purchasing the software now if you haven’t already done so. That’s because you can get Thunder Mailer at its current one-off price of $68. It’s better to buy now than later… as there might just be a price increase when version 1.2 is released.

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Why you should avoid SMTP Email Address Validation http://www.thundermailer.com/why-you-should-avoid-smtp-email-address-validation/ Sun, 22 Jun 2014 16:20:46 +0000 http://www.thundermailer.com/?p=592 If you have a large number of email addresses in your database, you may be tempted to do SMTP validation to ensure that the email addresses are valid, before you mass email to them. There are, however, a few reasons why doing this is not a good idea.

In the past, mail servers would automatically validate email addresses. This was accomplished through the use of a simple SMTP command VRFY. This command would find out from the receiving mail server whether an email address was valid or not. This command, however, became abused by spammers on a large scale. For this reason, you will hardly ever see this command in use today.

Since the VRFY command is no longer an option, people have sought out an alternative way to verify email addresses. The way this method works is that a simulated connection to a mail server is created to mimic the sending of an actual message. This lets you know whether or not the email address is working. This method is commonly known as “SMTP email address validation”.

Email address

SMTP email address validation can be performed using a variety of applications and shareware programs. Why should you avoid doing this?

  • You Could End Up on a Blacklist

    Doing this on a regular basis is likely to get you blacklisted sooner or later, especially your IP address. Internet service providers often share blacklists with each other, so you could find yourself on multiple blacklists. Onece you get on such a list, it’s difficult to get off them, regardless of how good your intentions are.

  • You Can Get Into Trouble With Your Own ISP

    Even worse than getting blacklisted is getting blocked or terminated by your own ISP. While most customers don’t read the fine print of their ISP, the terms usually prohibit using an SMTP validator application. The reason for this is that such applications are usually associated with spamming. As with blacklists, it can be a long and arduous process to convince your ISP that you aren’t doing anything wrong once they’ve identified what they consider to be problem behavior.

  • It’s Not Always Reliable

    Aside from the trouble you can get into, SMTP address validation is far from perfect. If, for example, someone is using a hosting platform such as Google Apps, they can easily set it up to forward email addresses that are not recognized as valid. Any mail server that uses a “catch all” function for inbound messages will cause address validation to be unreliable. This is an issue not only with Google Apps, but with many popular email hosting platforms. Thus, verifying email this way is not only dangerous, it’s not always accurate.

There, we have shared a few main reasons why it’s best to avoid email address validation through SMTP servers. It’s often inaccurate and, more importantly, it can get you labeled as a spammer!

Furthermore, email address validation like this is most likely prohibited by your ISP and will be looked upon with suspicion by other ISPs as well. The problems that this can cause outweigh any advantages.

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