Do you use services such as Aweber or Mail Chimp to send out email newsletters or other mailings to your mailing list? If you do, there is one key thing you need to do – be sure to make the email address your mailings are from is different from your personal email or other email addresses. Essentially, it should be unique.
Why Should You Use a Specific Email Address?
So why should you use a specific, separate email address for your mailing list subscribers?
No matter how good your newsletter or regular mailing is, I can guarantee you that I have it automatically filtered into its own label in Gmail. I try to keep my email inbox as clean as possible, so when I am checking my emails on my Droid, I only get notifications for the most important ones hitting my inbox. Things like newsletters are what I consider less priority items, so when I’m really busy or on vacation, I tend to save them for later (unless your newsletter is the type to only blast affiliate links, then I probably rarely read them at all).
What does this mean? If your personal email address is the same one that you send your newsletters with, then chances are if you email me directly, it’s going into your newsletter’s filter instead. I have missed several direct emails that ended up bundled in the midst of a folder’s worth of newsletters, which are sometimes hard to distinguish from the mailings thanks to the “personalization” options mailing list services offer.
So what if, after awhile, someone marks your newsletter / mailing list as spam because they forgot why they had subscribed to you, possibly because they just did it to get a freebie or because after they did, they got bombed by a bunch of “buy this” “buy that” emails (which, as you can imagine, is a mailing list no no). But whatever the reason, if they mark your mailer as spam, chances are any emails from that address will go to spam as well.
What Could Your Recipients Be Missing?
So if you are sending out newsletters and mailers with the same email address as everything else you send out, what could your recipients be missing out on?
1. Personal Emails
If you send an email directly to someone, and you find yourself waiting for an unusually long amount of time for a response, your emails may be getting lured away from your recipients’ inbox via filters.
2. Contact Form Submissions
A lot of website contact forms will be emailed to the site owner from the email address entered into the form. These could also get filtered if the person you are trying to reach has subscribed to and created a filter for your mailing list.
3. Confirmation Emails
If your website has both a mailing list and sends out confirmation emails (such as a social network or forum asking for users to confirm their email address), these could be getting lost in the shuffle, meaning your network is losing potential members.
4. Blog Comment Notifications
If someone comments on your blog and signs up for email notification of replies, and these come from your mailing list email address, they may be missing out on updates that would lead them back to your blog.
5. Sales Receipts / Shipment Confirmations
I have subscribed to a few retail sites’ newsletters, and later purchased from them. I would then wait and wait for the sales receipt or shipping confirmation, only to realize that they were being filtered into the store’s newsletter folder.
One reason that most filter newsletters based on the email address is that the mailers never have any common elements in the subject line. So if you must use the same email address for all of your communications, maybe add a tag to the newsletter that can be filtered solely apart from other emails, such as [YOUR SITE NEWS].
Your Mailing List Email Address Usage
Do you use the same email for your mailing list and other communications? Or, as mailing list recipients, have you lost emails due to filtering of newsletters? Please share your thoughts below.
Good point. It isn't hard to setup two email accounts in outlook or with a phone. Great way to keep personal communication apart from priority "2" emails. I don't get enough replies from church people who subscribe to my weekly sunday school lessons, so I probably wont have to switch to this strategy for a while.
Interesting point, Kristi - I must admit I've never thought about this one before. The practical problem I forsee is having to check 2 email accounts instead of one, and knowing myself, I'll never get to it. However, I do like your idea about adding a tag to the subject line; sounds like a perfect solution to me. Thanks! Ana Hoffman
Maybe I should have added my email strategy. I have several email addresses for my domain (webmaster@ for general inquiries, kristi@ for my newsletter) and I forward them all to my main Gmail account. This way, when I reply to any of them, it comes from my personal email, so even if they have done some kind of filtering on my newsletter or comment reply emails or anything else, I know I can still reach them directly and not have to check multiple accounts.