Both the bloggers and the other email marketers send their emails via professional email marketing services. So what’s so specific to bloggers?
Well, some blogs send emails… “New blog post” email notifications. Or “Your comment on the post X has a new reply.”
No third party service to help your email deliverability. You’re on your own.
And you don’t want your email notifications to land in spam folders. Discovering at the end of the day that your domain name was blacklisted – the worst case scenario – would be scary.
Such blacklisting will affect also the deliverability of the emails sent via your email marketing service. So you really can’t like it. Let’s fix the issues till it’s not too late …
1. Sending Spam to Blog Commenters
People comment on your blog. Some of them are interested in being notified if a reply to their comment is posted. Others aren’t interested.
How do you solve the need of the commenters who are interested in reading the replies?
Some blog owners don’t care. Very bad.
Others have installed various plugins to help the commenters and solve this issue. Excellent. But… at least one plugin – a very much used one – has a problem …
The module ReplyMe of the CommentLuv Premium plugin is improperly designed. It allows the blog owners to take a bad decision: setting the plugin to send email notifications related to replies to comments while not having the opt-in checkbox enabled. That’s the default option.
Some blog owners took the good decision and enabled the opt-in checkbox that commenters have to tick if they want to get notified when replies to their comments are posted.
Other bloggers didn’t enable that opt-in option. Part of them think that sending such unsolicited email notifications isn’t spam. Others didn’t even consider this topic and kept the default option unchanged. I disagree with the first bloggers and I think that this is spam.
Who’s right? Surprise … It doesn’t matter who is right. Because …
If you send such unsolicited emails, the recipients (not you!) have the full control of their Report Spam button. If they have the same opinion like mine and they aren’t your friends, they may click that button.
On top of this issue, the spam filters or the email service providers will never ask you whether the spam report is incorrect or not.
It’s like having a car crash and dying. After you die, it doesn’t matter who was right. You’ll still be dead. Your main goal shouldn’t be to be right but to survive.
Side Note: Spam Filters Logic Is Different From Yours
Most probably you’re saying that in case 998 recipients out of 1000 say your practice is right and your message isn’t spam, then you’re right.
Well, the logic of the spam filters is different. The acceptable spam complaint rate is 0.1%. One spam complaint per 1,000 emails.
It doesn’t matter whether you agree or not with the logic of the spam filters. It’s not you the one who takes the decisions regarding the deliverability of your emails.
2. Not Changing Another Bad Default Plugin Setting
So hopefully you’ll soon have an opt-in checkbox that will allow commenters to decide whether they want to receive the email notifications or not.
But have you seen the default option of that checkbox? The third setting from the picture above… The checkbox is ticked by default. And that’s not the only plugin that has such a default setting.
What if the commenters don’t see that checkbox that you ticked on their behalf? Not everyone notices or reads each and every little thing that you have on your page.
You’ll say that this time is the commenters’ fault. Maybe. But… does it matter that you’re right if you get the same bad result?
If the commenters don’t want to subscribe and don’t see your checkbox, then they won’t uncheck it. When your email lands in their Inbox, they may say, “I never subscribed to this thing.” And the Spam button is close to their hand.
3. Not Cancelling Old Email Subscriptions
Picture this: John searches for a certain topic, finds one of your blog posts on Google, and pays a visit to your blog. The he submits a comment and subscribes to get notified by email when someone posts a new reply.
After a long period of time – let’s say one year – someone posts a comment on that blog post and John is notified.
Will John remember you, that blog post and his subscription? Hard to know for sure, but my guess is that John may not remember anything. A quick “This is spam” may follow.
You cannot like it, can you?
While one single random spam report may not affect your email deliverability, there’s another real danger around the corner…
What if John stopped using that email address and his email service provider transformed it into a spam trap? You’re in trouble!
Bonus: Your Hosting Company May Not Be That Good
Even if you don’t make any mistakes, sometimes your emails may be routed to spam folders. Here are both the proof and the reason:
Gmail: “We’ve found that lots of messages from gator4090.hostgator.com are spam.”
Bam! It’s not you, it’s your host. Bad neighborhood. Cheap hosting comes together with such bonuses. Everyone likes cheap hosting – including the noobs and the spammers.
Don’t say, “Nothing bad has happened so far. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Maybe it didn’t happen, but there’s no guarantee that the things will stay unchanged. And on the other hand, don’t be so sure that it hasn’t already happened. I got and still get many replies to comments in my spam folder. Some of them are routed to the spam folder due to the language used in them. Others are routed due to more serious issues – like the ones described in this article.
So don’t gamble with things you don’t control. You really have nothing to lose if you let your commenters have full control over their subscriptions and then clean the list of subscribers from time to time.
To your blogging success!
P.S. I made the mistake no.3. Which one are you making? Btw, do you know any other blogging issues that may affect the deliverability of emails?