Protecting Your Brand Against Threats

Your brand has a reputation and beware, because criminals want to ruin it through email. Yes, unfortunately, there are a lot of bad people sending email out there. We like to classify them into three categories: spammers, phishers (or scammers) and spoofers.

You’re already familiar with spammers, they send you unsolicited email. Phishers try to get you to divulge your personal information. Lastly, Spoofers impersonate your brand and send email as you to your customers in hopes of phishing, scamming or worse, bringing your business to its knees. Yikes! Sounds like a security nightmare, and it is.

When your email is spoofed, your reputation gets tarnished among ESPs, which means sending even legitimate email will be hard. This can be worse than having your company’s servers hacked.

Don’t fret because there are things you can do to prevent these types of security breaches from happening to your brand and they’re incredibly easy to set up.

In our upcoming webinar on February 7th, Bulletproof Your Email in 2017, join SparkPost CISO Steven Murray and ValiMail’s CEO and co-founder, Alex Garcia-Tobar, as they talk about the importance of email authentication, how impersonation attacks can slip through conventional defenses, and how to protect your brand against various security threats in 2017.

So, in this upcoming webinar we’ll review:

  • Different types of security threats we’re seeing
  • How this impacts your brand’s reputation
  • How to combat these criminals and protect your email and your brand

You won’t want to miss this! Register today for the Bulletproof Your Email in 2017 Webinar on February 7, 2017 at 10am PT/1pm ET.

Bonus: Be one of the first 500 people to sign-up and have a virtual coffee on us!

In the meantime, you can keep yourself busy with Steve’s blog on Debunking the Myths of Moving Your Email to the Cloud or Alex’s post on Three DKIM Challenges You Might Not Know About. See you soon!

~ Tracy

Email Marketing News Digest

In this edition of email marketing news, we’re looking at the issues of conversions and ROI when it comes to email and social. Email emerges as a clear winner,which brings us to the issue of data security. With the world’s biggest brands relying on DMARC  email authentication, you’re soon going to be out of luck if you’re trying to get into the inbox without DMARC. Now guess what that’s going to do to your conversion rates… But never fear, we’ve featured a how-to guide to contacting ISPs!

Email Still Rocks! Social, Surprisingly, Stinks!

Analytics guru, Avinash Kaushik, has thrown his hat into the rink with this one. As expected of a digital marketing evangelist for Google, he shares some stats to back up his bold statement that email far outperforms social when it comes to conversions, by nearly 40 times. Here’s the graphical proof.

customer acquisition growth

But wait… it’s not game over with social, and that’s because social excels at entertainment and building relationships. It’s just not the platform you turn to when you research or want to make a purchase.

Contacting an ISP that doesn’t have a postmaster page

Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and AOL all have different rules when it comes to accepting or rejecting your mail, which is why your deliverability is not the same across the major inbox providers. Adaptive Delivery® can solve deliverability issues by automating and auto-tuning outbound email delivery parameters and traffic shaping in real-time, but if you’re not a customer, here’s a guide to the kind of information to provide when you contact your local ISP. Hint: Include the sending IP address in all correspondence!

Do Millennials Believe in Data Security?

Data Privacy Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean we can all forget about data security! While millennials most often engage in bad habits when it comes to data security, they are also the most informed on security risks. That calls to mind a statistic presented by the Online Trust Alliance where 89% of data breach incidents could be avoided with simple security best practices. Ironically, the IT and Finance departments tend to be the worst offenders, when they should have the most to worry about. The nonchalance of millennials when it comes to data security also coincides with the rise of people who work remotely and need to access work files there and then.

millennials-data-oops

 

 

Prominent Brands Cut Email Abuse by More than 50% with DMARC

In the world of email, DMARC comes to mind when thinking about data security. The good news is that both senders and receivers are seeing a significant reduction of malicious emails in inboxes with DMARC adoption. The bad? Senders without DMARC will find themselves increasingly locked out of the inbox. Here is what our customers have to say about DMARC:

“DMARC protects more than 85% of the people who receive email from Facebook. That level of adoption has significantly diminished the financial incentive for criminals to spoof our domains, so they’ve moved on to other targets. People can trust their inboxes more as a result. We’re proud to have been one of the first companies to deploy the DMARC specification at scale, and we’re excited to see so many others achieving great results.” – Michael Adkins, Production Engineer at Facebook

“DMARC was eye-opening for our security team at Twitter. We found massive amounts of abuse from both our domains and look alike domains we’d claimed. Using DMARC to protect these domains and stop forgeries is a core component of how we protect our users.” – Josh Aberant, Postmaster at Twitter

“As awareness of DMARC prompts more senders to make the protection of consumers and brands a priority, Return Path has seen a 130% increase in both clients and domains publishing valid DMARC records over the last twelve months alone, and that growth is only accelerating,” – Matt Blumberg, CEO of Return Path.

2014 State of Digital Marketing – An infographic

Backing up Avinash Kaushik’s statement on email is a survey of marketers who felt that email provides the clearest ROI among a variety of channels. 36% of marketers indicated that email provided a clear ROI, while only 12% felt social had a clear ROI.

Millennials may well learn a thing or two about data security by reading the How DMARC Is Saving Email eBook. And hey, if you aren’t a millennial, read it anyway! Find out why the world’s biggest online brands are turning to DMARC for email authentication.

How DMARC Is Saving Email 

Weekly Email Marketing News Digest

In social media world, G+ now has the second most number of active users (343 million) after Facebook (693 million) demonstrating the power of product integration in driving adoption. Third place goes to YouTube at 300 million active users. Which brings us to the week old question. What about email marketing? What’s new in the email space?

Courting Trouble: Big Retailers Don’t Use DMARC

It’s been a year since the DMARC scheme was implemented and only three out of the top 100 American retailers are using it: Amazon, Apple and Netflix. The adoption rate is a problem as incidences of phishers capturing financial data using phony receipts is rising.

While some companies may have adopted some form of email authentication, they might not have applied it to all their outbound messages. A marketing message inviting people to a sale could be authenticated, but transactional and customer service emails may not.

The Anatomy of an Awful Marketing Email

How many of us have been guilty of sending out an awful marketing email? Show of hands? No one’s perfect and I’m sure plenty of marketers have made such mistakes in the early days of email marketing. HubSpot has put together a truly awful email that breaks all the rules of email design optimization.

email-marketing-bad-ex

  • Write a Generic Subject Line
  • Don’t Let Recipients Send a Reply Email
  • Use Unsophisticated Design
  • Don’t Check for Broken Dynamic Content
  • Write Disingenuously
  • Include Your Least Remarkable Content
  • Use Generic Images
  • Use Images That Don’t Display Correctly
  • Don’t Include a Call-to-Action
  • Don’t Permit Recipients to Unsubscribe

Though Multi-Channel Users, Consumers Still Prefer Email Marketing

We’ve said it again and again – marketing today is all about providing customers with a multi-channel experience. It’s about allowing the customer to interact with brands on their terms and their choice of channels. A study has shown that email is preferred by consumers (33%) over the website (24%) and Facebook (22%), when it comes to a choice of investing marketing dollars.

6 Email Marketing Myths

Any experienced marketer would know all the faux pas when it comes to email marketing… or do they? Here are 6 email marketing no-nos… that may just be untrue.

  • Myth 1: If you send a lot of emails, you’ll annoy your customers.
  • Myth 2: You shouldn’t send the same email twice.
  • Myth 3: Emails should be short and sweet.
  • Myth 4: You should always create fresh copy.
  • Myth 5: You need descriptive subject lines.
  • Myth 6: Companies should send email newsletters.

Email best practice: Evans Cycles shows value of collecting customer data in-store

Econsultancy’s David Moth highlights how Evans Cycles effectively uses email to engage the customer, after collecting that info at point of purchase, without being annoying.

  • Step 1: Prize draw for reviewing the sales process
  • Step 2: Prize draw for reviewing product purchased
  • Step 3: Welcome to the club email
  • Step 4: Offering a free service based on product purchase

Do you agree with these Dos and Don’ts for email optimization? Have you implemented DMARC? Tell us what you think! Or download the How DMARC Is Saving Email eBook for more DMARC insights!

How DMARC Is Saving Email

Email guru David Daniel’s recently published white paper on the differing impact of marketing efforts based on email technology used is exciting to all marketers for a number of reasons.

One of these reasons is that it provides a really in-depth look on the types of challenges marketers face when using an email service provider versus an enterprise email solution (or on-premise email solution).

top-challenges

Across the board, marketers experience fewer challenges with an enterprise email solution. Only on the question of creative content development did respondents report better results with outsourced solutions, and then by only a single percentage point margin.

What’s really eye popping is the huge gap in terms of the extent of the challenges facing marketers. While not much difference exists between knowledge for optimizing marketing and creative content development, the percentages demonstrate how much more value marketers are getting from an enterprise email solution versus an email service provider.

Percentage Gap In Challenges Experienced by Marketers Using An Email Service Provider

  • Lack of data security: +11%
  • Adequate staff to manage email: +10%
  • Adequate IT support: +10%
  • Analyzing campaign results: +9%
  • List turnover subscriber churn: +9%
  • Email deliverability: +7%
  • Automate campaigns: +5%
  • Lack of budget: +4%

So, we can see that the area where enterprise email solutions are really having the most impact is in terms of security, manpower deployment, analytics and the dread customer churn. That’s a lot of cumulative areas that could add up to improving your ROI and getting that lead to convert.

Another interesting point to note is the difference in the top three challenges experienced by marketers using different solutions.

Top 3 Challenges for marketers using email service providers:

  • Analyzing campaign results: 25%
  • Ability to automate campaigns: 24%
  • Adequate staff to manage email: 24%

Top 3 Challenges for marketers using enterprise email solutions:

  • Knowledge to optimize marketing: 21%
  • Ability to automate campaigns: 19%
  • Creative content development / analyze campaign results: 16%

While both parties identified analytics and automation, these were much bigger problems for marketers using email service providers. In contrast, it is possible to surmise from the results that marketers using enterprise email solutions were focusing more on challenges to deal with optimizing content and marketing as their technology was working more effectively for them in all other areas.

Do you agree with the results? How are enterprise email solutions working better for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section.

(This is the third part of a series on the Unlock the Potential of Email Marketing webinar, which presents findings from a survey of 400 email marketing professionals.

Part 1: Three Email Marketing Metrics You Need To Measure
Part 2: Three Reasons Why Email Marketers Turn To In-House Email Solutions)