Chris Lang

Source: SEOSignalsLab

Pick His Brain!

I’d like to introduce one of our members, Chris Lang, for our next ‘Pick His Brain’ session and I want to thank him for the participation.

Chris Lang is the most sought after and one of the most high profile email deliverability experts in the world.

He is an expert at breaking down complex delivery issues and getting to the root of the problem.

His Gmail delivery skills are second to none.

Some of his clients include large affiliate platforms including DigitalKickstart. He is responsible for ensuring millions of emails are delivered every month and that’s his passion.

He has rescued million of dollars in lost profits for A-list clients and getting his clients’ emails to the inbox month after month.

If you have any questions on email deliverability and the technology behind email marketing, please feel free to pick his brain. You can also visit his site.

https://bettercallchrislang.com/

Here are the rules.

1) I’ll let the thread go on until he asks me to stop. Theoretically, this thread can continue until the FaceBook stock value goes to zero.

2) Please, no snarky remarks. I will not tolerate any intentional negativity. We are here to learn from each other’s successes and strategies.

3) Please do not PM him and bother him. If you have a private question, ask for his permission on this thread when appropriate.

Please subscribe to our new Twitter account for the latest updates.

https://twitter.com/SEOSignalsLab
#PickHisBrain

 

Table of Contents

What email marketing services have the highest deliverability rate? Who do you recommend?

Two comments down I published my views based on 6 yrs of working with modern ESPs. ESPs should be selected for features.

They all have bad IPs, Good IPs and Great IPs. It is up to you to earn your place on the best IPs.

The days of ESPs having one large IP range and one ESP having better delivery than another is pretty much over.

Gmail becoming roughly 70% of list on average the last few years changed all that drastically.

On an eccomerce site how quickly should I send abandoned cart emails and how many of them.

Active Campaign VS AWeber Email Delivery

“There is No difference” was my response in a nutshell from a Facebook Group thread.

Below is my comment in its entirety.

This is a left over farce from almost a decade ago, that one ESP has better delivery than another.

Every ESP has 1000s to multiple 1000s of IP addresses they send email out via.

RELATED:  Pick His Brain! with Holly Starks

It’s up to you to EARN a place on the best IPs. AWeber and ActiveCampaign both have Great IPs, Good IPs and Bad IPs.

So does every self respecting ESP.

If you have poor delivery at your ESP then you did something to deserve it there.

DKIM, SPF and OH wait, now the latest magic bullet, DMARC, are not going to get you better delivery, just because you added them to your Domain.

They are just tools, the magic bullet days are long gone.

Your ESP should be selected by features, great support among them- Not the fallacy that delivery is better somewhere else.

“Mom and Pop shops… and shared IPs?…” on ESPs cause poor delivery on platforms with shared IPs was one contributor’s response.

What? You think the 1000s of IPs AWeber has, or the many 1000s at Mailchimp, are all one range that everyone else is on?

Then the postmasters just throw up their hands and say: “Oh well, our deliverability sucks…”

Again a misconception from long ago. No ESP in these days of Gmail dominance just sends all the mail out, over ALL the IPs as one range.

Then lets the cards fall where they may.

Just like Gmail uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to determine the placement of your email when it arrives at the Primary tab,

Promotions tab and at times Spam-

ESPs use Artificial Intelligence now to make the decision what email goes out where and on what IP addresses and from who, today.

It is up to you NOT to get your email sent out on Poor to Bad IPs.

What tool / software do you recommend for a reliable list serve and anyone in particular to set it up and implement it?

Honestly running your own email server is a mistake IMO.

The ESPs out there like Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, Ontraport and Maropost are so far evolved over the front end mailers like say MailWhiz you are better off using one of them.

Automations, tagging of subscribers as to interest and buyers, being able to set non engagement date ranges that affect the big 4 as I call Gmail, MS, Yahoo and AOL?

ESPs have matured highly over the last 5 years.

Even if you do install a stand alone mailing software on your server, you still need to lease real IPs, not the default IP on a server.

And you are going to need to hire someone like me to manage the delivery and measure it.

You will need someone with sys admin capabilities to configure rDNS and the like.

Or you are going to have to connect via SMTP to an SMTP platform like SendGrid or my SMTP platform #Send13.

I would bet your goal above is to have dedicated IPs.

But every major platform can supply them.

But it is only effective if you have a list of about 30K that is highly engaged and then you have to mail that list 3 times a week minimum to keep the IP warmed up.

(1) What do you think about amazon ses to send email? (2) Do you have any tricks/tips about warmup an IP?

SES can be tricky, to get your bounces and spam complaints your front end mailing software has to be able to accept the SES feedback loop.

To warm up an IP you have to have a list of at least 30K that is highly engaged.

Otherwise you are better off on pool IPs.

Take a look at my article on how pool IPs really work today above.

What’s the secret to getting all your promotional mail delivered to the Primary tab in Gmail?

In 2017 we used to be able to write our way out of the Promo tab.

https://www.send13.com/email-delivery/how-to-avoid-the-gmail-promotions-tab/

That does not work like it used to, and about 05-21 Gmail just steepened the Gmail promo tab algo.

http://Whitelist.Guru my free whitelisting app is the #1 first line of attack on Promo tab placement.

About to update that this weekend but it is a stable release at this time as well.

I do want to say if you have a commercial list that you mail, via and ESP, link tracking is important.

Especially for say MS Office Outlook installs and AOL now, that do not display images by default.

So at any ESP, where your engaged list segment is judged and tracked by Opens and OR Clicks.

You want that link tracking so you do not remove non engagers just because their email client or webmail did not record an open.

Can google read JavaScript?

Yes and they are IMO the only MBP (mail box provider) that allow certain JSON and script applications.

Almost any other MBP will block the email or not display it.

Not sure what you want to do with JS script in the email body.

But there are some uses that can be done there.

If you want to run script in Gmail, look at Google Developers API for Gmail and there is some very interesting things in there!

Where do i start learning email marketing? Any resources you can recommend?

Depends on your goals.

1st I would sign up for all the newsletters in your niche and get them all in a Gmail account.

I keep business divided from commercial email.

Look at what you like, mimic them.

But 1st get a landing page up on your site, choose a good simple ESP.

Ontraport might be right for you. I say Ontraport because they have a great group on Facebook where both the CEO and support answers your questions.

RELATED:  Pick His Brain! with Patrick Stox

But email marketing is more about a great landing page / squeeze page to opt into to begin with.

You have to offer benefits of doing so and probably an opt in incentive. PDF report is the oldest game in the book.

As far as mailing the list, pretty simple, just tell them what you got, and link to content once a week.

Writing a subject line that is unique and gets opened is going to be key.

Again your own niche and Inbox can provide some great examples and you can riff off what you like and enjoy to get started.

I have been making my living mailing via AWeber since 1999.

But it was 6 yrs ago I got out of marketing and went 100% delivery agency.

With that said there is nothing wrong with simpler ESPs like Mailchimp and Aweber.

You can start with these platforms for like $20 a month to get started.

What do you think email validation services at time of submission? Any suggestions on your part. I personally block throwaway email accounts because they don’t want to stay as a long term. Subscriber.

My partner and I own Klean13

You can take a look at the data we return here.

No card, no huge email backend marketing series, just come scrub your 100 worst emails and see what we do…
https://landing.klean13.com/improve-email-delivery/

Suggestion in keeping your email list active and engaged?

Well you have to mail once a week minimum. This is important to bounce out Inbox Full and poor quality Gmail accounts.

Also you need to know your list very well, and what time of day is best and day of week is best.

Or course relevant news / content is always key.

I was a tech blogger in 2008. I got up at 3 am to catch breaking news in Europe and get my email to the content out by 9 am EST.

But my list then knew they were going to get breaking news.

Hence I enjoyed great delivery and high opens.

Double opt-in vs single opt-in. Yes, I know the EU with GDPR requires double opt-in but outside of this, what do you recommend?

Depends on your niche.

I got list bombed twice by competitors (scumbags) so I stick to double opt in at AWeber.

But almost no major marketer will use Dbl Opt in, since 40% of leads never go to the Inbox and complete the process.

Today it is about the phone. I feel people are less apt to go to their email app and complete dbl opt in now more than ever.

Or you can just use Klean13 to scrub the list every 30 days of new leads.

I do that for one client and we have super high delivery.

What do you think of email account warmup services like Mailwarm and Lemlist?

Not a fan. Gmail knows robots when they see them. If you are running a less than 100% whitehat list?

Then sure! But if you have a real list, of good leads, not even great but Good?

You should not need these less than whitehat services.

Believe you me, back in my Digg days I pulled every trick in the book starting with Mechanical Turk to get front page.

But with Gmail dominating at least 60% of list these days? I don’t mess with stuff I did when I was younger

In your experience, which is the best day and time to send promotional emails?

It depends on the list.

Some guys swear by after lunch EST time US. Some love early AM by 9 AM EST like me.

It depends on where your subscribers are at.

Also days of the week. I hate Monday, hate Friday after Noon EST and hate Saturday.

But Sunday after US people return from church at 1 EST can be good. Testing will tell.

Does using third party outreach tools like Mailshake, ninja outreach, Buzzstream, and Lemlist hurt email deliverability and do any of those tools stand out as the best?

Yes the do hurt delivery, if you are using your prime from address domain for outreach.

You always want to use a from address Domain that you don’t care about in outreach emails. And links in an outreach / cold email as well.

Mailshake is just about best of breed from what I can see.

I am using Klaviyo and every time I face problem of deliveribility of emails.

Because they send emails to Promotion section which is very bad.

Gmail Promos tab is all on you. And they just changed the algo in late May. Promos tab is about content.

Been on 3 straight hours of calls, back now.

https://www.send13.com/…/how-to-avoid-the-gmail…/

In 2016 and 2017 we used to be able to write our way out of Promos via the above article. In 2018 the algo changed

Also everybody, Klaviyo is tricky.

If you don’t mail highly engaged leads their algos will move you to poor IPs.

But none of my clients on Shopify would use anything else but.

Refer to the article I posted above about AWeber VS Active Campaign as to how ESPs handle your IP quality today.

So when doing outreach, links in email should be to a different domain than our main one. But can we use a redirect to the main domain?

No keep them 100% seperate.

Just get a cert and a landing page on the cold email domain.

Just clone a page and get a contact page up too.

I have a 6 months to 1 year old active list of 10,000 plus emails and it’s growing. I want to run a email marketing campaign. what will be the best service Or option to run email marketing campaign with 10,000 plus emails? 2nd, is it possible to have 100% delivery rate?

OK so the issue is Gmail. While you get delivery, that means the email was accepted, then Deliverability comes into play.

RELATED:  Pick His Brain! with Jessica Foster

Gmail may send you to the Primary tab, the Promotions tab or Updates if the user has it enabled.

For a list that has not been mailed in 6 months to a year? I suggest to give Send13 a kick of the tires.

https://landing.klean13.com/improve-email-delivery/

No card, no big email remarketing campaign, just sign up and scrub your 100 most risky emails for free to try out and see our data we return.

What is the future of email marketing according to you? What all are the major changes that you expect or/and wish to happen in email marketing?

Email is not going anywhere and I don’t think how we use it or the UI is going to change.

But it will become more secure and DMARC is going to mature with it.

Watch my predictions about authentication here:
https://www.facebook.com/IamChrisLang/posts/10222710330006205

With that said Microsoft tried to demand DMARC to Inbox.

And it broke so much that they pulled the update to MS 365 email back.

How does the email open rates work? What if email providers simply block tracking data?

They don’t because it is an image: 1px image.

However AOL and Outlook local installs don’t load images by default.

So you have to track clicks via the ESP to get correct engagement data.

Is there a study about how many people use email clients? I think I saw some providers, including Yahoo and Gmail, ask me to load images if I trust the sender. Do they load them now by default?

That is split testing. By default Gmail and Yahoo load images.

We consider Gmail to be an email client these days although it is webmail.

From experience I can say: Gmail is 65% +, Yahoo 10%, Microsoft 5% to 10%, AOL 5%, Apple 3%.

That leaves 10% at most scattered across ISPs, Cables, minor mailbox providers in the US.

Out side the US things may change say in Canada.

To encourage the sign up for a loyalty card is a contest a good irresistible offer or should he offer free product instead?

That sells a product that is used every day and runs out in 30 days

I would not wait till the 25 day. I would be nurturing confidence in the product starting day 1.

Follow up and be sure they received the product.

Be sure the product is to their liking, arrived in a timely manner.

Let them know a support desk / product support is available.

Ask for feedback and then from positive feedback ask for positive product reviews.

Pretty basic eCom stuff.

Then push the refill after you have made fans of your supportive email process

Is there an email automation tool/method that can be integrated in a site or mobile application to send personalized email reminders to users based on a pre-set behaviour (ex, a social media platform/app that sends notifications with custom CTA to remind users to fill specific section in their profiles).

Sounds like a custom programmer built tool to me.

And not that hard to create, just by looking for fields in your database that are empty.

Also I would want to API into your existing email / ESP platform and send alert emails from there.

Or connect to and SMTP service like https://Send13.com that my partner and I own.

IP quality will never add up to a great reputation sending from your own server

What advice will you give to a complete beginner in Email Marketing?

I am copy and pasting the response above to the same question Melky Roos.

It’s basically how I got started in 1999. Hope this helps:

Depends on your goals.

1st I would sign up for all the newsletters in your niche and get them all in a Gmail account.

I keep business divided from commercial email. Look at what you like, mimic them.

But 1st get a landing page up on your site, choose a good simple ESP.

Ontraport might be right for you. I say Ontraport because they have a great group on Facebook where both the CEO and support answers your questions.

But email marketing is more about a great landing page / squeeze page to opt into to begin with.

You have to offer benefits of doing so and probably an opt in incentive. PDF report is the oldest game in the book.

As far as mailing the list, pretty simple, just tell them what you got, and link to content once a week.

Writing a subject line that is unique and gets opened is going to be key.

Again your own niche and Inbox can provide some great examples and you can riff off what you like and enjoy to get started.

(1) Do you think using mostly the same email copy across multiple campaigns might be an issue? (each campaign contains 200-300 recipients) (2) How does the presence of (one) link and image and ASCII codes in the email affect deliverability? (3) I use G-suite + hunter.io for sending emails. In this case, I presume whether I get a good IP or not – this isn’t something I can control?

#1 Depends on if you are doing outreach email and pulling spam button clicks.

#2 Can’t answer that one.

#3 It is probably not Google’s IP but your from address instead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.