Your Feedback On The Email Delivery Issue? - Online and Info Product Marketing

Your Feedback On The Email Delivery Issue?





Let me hear your tips on email delivery or your thoughts on what I said. Just click comments.


  • Ty Cohen says:

    Hey Marlon, great topic!

    Email is something that all of us marketers are having issues with, which gives us even more of a reason to actively engage in social networking more. Like yourself and others, I've found twitter to be a useful tool, but the #1 thing that I've found to be the most useful in terms of making $ is to simply target social networks / tools that are specifically geared towared your niche, for example one of my niches as you know is music, so works wonders for me.

    In a recent convo w/ Jermaine Griggs, he mentioned

    having a 100% delivery rate, but at $3k a month it may or may not be for everyone, depends on how much your list is worth and what the increase can be $$$ wise.

    I'll be trying it next week and will post results soon.

    Follow me on Twitter at

    Ty Cohen

    [Hi Ty, not sure HOW he's measuring 100% deliverability. A LOT of the issues are related to content filters, not the delivery of the service.]

  • Martin Kizlink says:

    Hi Marlon,

    Thanks for all the great content as


    Have been subscribed to your Ezine

    since you first started way back in

    1995 I think but missed many copies

    through these email issues unfortunately.

    I agree with Henry Zeng and have am now

    again following you on Twitter so I dont

    miss anything again.

    Many thanks

    Martin Kizlink

    [Hey Martin, you bring up a good point about Twitter. I need to tell more of my customers about it. Thanks for reminding me!]

  • Lee McIntyre says:

    Hi Marlon

    Thanks for the very informative article. This is something I'm personally wrestling with and I appreciate your insights.

    I don't currently monitor my opens and this is something I need to address. I do always pay close attention to my clicks which vary wildly.

    There are so many variables (e.g subject line, day of week, time of sening, link placement, etc ) at play though that I find it hard to draw meaningful comparisons against a control, though I can certainly develop a 'gut' feel about what leads to increases/decreases in my clicks.

    A newsletter reader recently informed me that he stopped getting my Aweber emails in Feb to his ISP email. He tried to sign up for my list again and didn't even get the confirmation email. When he signed up with his gmail address he received it fine. I'm not sure what the heck the issue is but I intend to speak with Aweber.

    This is an issue I'm only just starting to consider, and I appreciate you taking the time to share this valuable information.


    Lee McIntyre

    [Lee, I hope everyone subscribes to your email list. You really have a wonderful approach to email marketing. Marlon]

  • Roger Haeske says:


    Thanks for your feedback on why you use the names in the subject lines.

    Personally the subject line is too important for me to use it for that purpose. If you really wanted to you could have all of their signup information right at the top of the email included automatically. I think you could make that pretty automatic. Check with Aweber on what code you need to have to do this.

    And I'm all with you on the time it takes to do things. Four Hour Workweek and such. I enjoyed your recent post about that. I know that is my big sticking point to increased success. I need to outsource more.

    The split test are a little bit time consuming. But only because you have to create more subject lines and send out 2, 3 or 4 emails compared to one. And then you have to wait for the results at least a few hours or better 24 hours to get the final results.

    Then you pick the best one and mail that out. So potentially you could be sending 5 emails instead of one. And then there's the fun of monitoring the results. I just have fun with this stuff so I don't mind doing a split test every now and then.

    I'm going to do a mailing shortly. One will be with the first name and one without in the subject line. I'll post the percentages of clickthrough later.

    Now keep in mind I rarely put the first name in the subject line. But I believe that if you constantly do this it will decrease open and clickthrough rates. However for me, since I never use it I might initially get better results.

    So I'll do at least one test and then if it bumps response in my situation. I'll test it again to the same list. I'll do up to three tests.

    But there's no way, I'll use that tactic constantly for the previous reasons I mentioned.

    Take care,

    Roger Haeske

    The 41-Year-Old Teenager

    [Roger, I like your thoughts here. I'm not necessarily right on the way I do the subject line. But I think people just hit the complaint or spam button without opening the email. And if they don't see their name there, they're just that more likely to assume it's spam. And if they either hit the complaint button or the unsubscribe, no matter how great your subject lines are after that, they won't be read. Still, you bring up great points…and you're 100% right about split testing those subject lines. The issues for me is my ezine goes out on Sat. and people expect it at a certain time. I like to do my big promo for the week Tuesday morning because that gives people tues. wed. th on a 72 hour deadline. Fridays for me aren't very good promo days. If I split test a subject line on a Tuesday and then roll it out on a wed. or a th, I lose that. What might work is to send out a small split test sunday or monday evening and then roll with that on tueday morning.]

  • Henry Zeng says:

    Hi Marlon,

    Thanks for your reply. I'm just about to ask a program to pass people's names from the Squeeze page to the one-time offer page.

    Do you reveal some of the advanced tactics in the Promo dashboard (or in the interviews) just like what you talk in the email deliverability article?

    Since I'm fairy interested in advanced email marketing skills like the things you talk.

    And if one day you create a product on that topic I would be the first person to order 🙂

    Thank you


  • Hank Scott says:


    Just read your comments about email delivery rates, and as a fellow former Oklahoman I had to add my two cents worth.

    Our small private email list of double opt-in subscribers suddenly took a big hit in deliverability from our domain based software autoresponder since mid-July.

    The reason, I think, was because one of our subscribers forwarded our emails, and somebody who isn't on our subscriber list got hot about it and reported us for "spamming" (which we NEVER do).

    Long story short, I've just had to move our list to a paid autoresponder service (the one with your testimonial on their offer page), to get our emails delivered once again.

    They have told me "That's just impossible!", when I explain what happened, but as I replied, "Well, that's what happened just the same."

    Now here's my take on all this…

    All the trash emails that get thru to my inbox every day shows me that keeping all the real spam and viruses out is not what spam cops and ISPs are doing, when they block emails from legitimate emailers to their confirmed lists.

    No, it's something far worse.

    Neither can the ISPs complain that since it's their servers, they have the right to block or limit whatever emails they choose.

    That should be the customer's choice (who's really footing the bill for their servers, after all), not theirs!

    Preventing email from getting to those who truly want it is like living in an apartment building where the landlord decides to steal your mail and trash it, on the pretext that he "owns" the mailbox and not you…

    In short this is something worse than censorship, it's interfering in the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of the press!

    And I think it's time that stopped.

    But the only way it will stop is if enough people get together, say "Shoot no, we're not gonna take it any more!" and file a class action lawsuit against some of the biggest culprits.

    All that spam could well be another nation attacking our rights by encouraging prohibitive legislation.

    We already have and must comply with the CAN SPAM Act, as a result. And I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

    But also there are domestic enemies in our midst who would be delighted to see the freedom of information over the Internet come to a screeching halt, and they're working full time fast forward to do just that, through irresponsible, prohibitive, wholesale censorship and interference with legitimate email delivery.

    So why not stop all the moaning and complaining over this, and take some real action that will result in policing the would-be "spam" cops, by getting a favorable court ruling on this issue?

    The "spam" cops and ISPs have gone too far, and it's high time they were put in their proper place in the true pecking order of how things ought to be under this constitutional republic!

    [Hank, well sorry to hear you had that issue. To my knowledge I'm not having a REAL delivery problem. I didn't do a very good job of communicating that the issues for me is TRACKING. ISP's are selectively deliverying single opt in emails. Delivery Monitor uses seeds that are single opt in. Therefore you can't get sound metrics on your delivery rate. But yes, what happened to you is quite unfortunate. And ISP's do seem free to make their own rules without repercussions.]

  • Roger Haeske says:

    Hi Marlon,

    I know what you mean via the split tests. That held me back from doing them for a long time because I also mail to many different lists at once. Then I realized that I don't need to test all of my lists at once.

    Just split test one relatively large list and then mail your winning subject line to the rest of your lists and exclude the first list you sent to in that mailing. That way you get no repeat mailings.

    What I've also found is that my lists have very different responsiveness.

    A new list I just got via my JV venture mentioned previously is very unresponsive. It's totally screwing with my clickthrough rates.

    I was able to find this out by doing a split test mailing to that group only and seeing the relative lack of clickthrough even for the winning subject line out of the four tested.

    My best list is probably 300 to 400% more responsive than my worst list. I'm thinking of just focusing on getting customers even if for a $7 product because they are the most valuable to have on your list.

    As for open rates, it doesn't matter if you use Adtrackz which I have or Aweber. Many people simply don't have images on in their emails. Gmail is automatically set to not open images and I think many other online email readers are the same.

    Without seeing the image you can't track the open rate. That is just way too inexact for me.


    Roger Haeske

    The 41-Year-Old Teenager

    [Good points on the split testing. I didn't think of that and will try it. Good idea Roger. I'd still rather be able to split test all lists at the same time…but it isn't a huge deal. Open rates may not be 100% accurate but they ain't bad for testing 1 subject line vs. another since they both fight for opens on equal ground. As long as the same yardstick is used for both, it doesn't matter if 100% of the opens don't get tracked.

    I like that you are testing individual lists. I need to do this. If you found your most responsive lists, you're right. You could segment them out and focus on your subject lines to optimize their response. I like that idea. I need someone on staff who is tedious enough to do this. I tend to be big picture and not good with details. Right now we're understaffed. I really don't have anyone with that level of knowledge and attention to detail with time. But I'll try my hand at it. I just tend to make mistakes and overlook details.]

    SUBJECT LINES: The reason I put the name in subject line is NOT for readership. It's to decrease complaints and unsubscribes. If you have someone's name, they KNOW they opted in and you aren't just a random piece of email. THAT is why I do it. Not for readership. I believe people are less likely to check spam or complain if they see their name their because they know they gave it to someone. Now, I haven't split tested it so I could be wrong. I try not to work a lot and there are only so many hours in a day for my small staff. If you split test this and look at your unsubs and complaints and find out the name makes no different, lemme know. But I'd doubt that will happen based on the common sense of it.

  • Roger Haeske says:

    Hi Marlon,

    Thanks for sharing what you're doing with your email and on getting it delivered. I appreciate your openness on this.

    Let me give you some feedback that might help you and your readers.

    You said this: "Change 5: I noticed a very low click rate sending people to my

    blog to read what I'd normally put in an email."

    I can tell you right now why you had a low clickthrough rate. Did you consider your subject line? Here it is below in quotes.

    "Roger Check out my latest blog post"

    What would make me want to check out your blog post because of that subject line? There's no benefit or no appeal except that it's coming from you.

    You've got to make the subject line as enticing as possible. I'm sure you know that. But you didn't use that knowledge for that particular email.

    Then on to another issue. A pet peeve of mine. Why in this day and age are you still constantly putting my first name in the subject line? A strength overused can turn into a weakness.

    I bet you that lessens your open and or clickthrough rate. I suggest you do a split test on your clickthrough rates via Aweber with the first name and without it. To me it's just plain annoying. You know who feels exactly the same on this, Matt Furey? He won't even read emails that constantly have his first name in the email.

    Almost everyone these days knows that you aren't speaking to them directly. Especially in the Internet Marketing Field.

    So what you end up doing is wasting precious subject line space. Space that should be focused on making the best subject line possible by inserting the most enticing words or ideas early on.

    I did a JV with a partner who also had to have the person's first name in ever email. I'm quite sure that lowered the clickthrough rate. I had some really kick ass subject lines but the partner altered them by inserting the person's first name.

    What if that person's name is really long? They're never going to see the meat of your subject line.

    You've got to hook them on about your first 35 characters of the subject line. Long subject lines can work very well, but you simply have to have something at the beginning of the subject line that will capture attention.

    That way even if they can't see the whole subject line, they'll want to open the email to read the whole thing.

    Email subject lines are my area of expertise because over the past couple of years I've sent out emails that only have a subject line and a link to visit my blog.

    So it's the subject line that generates the clickthroughs. This forces me to make sure they're as good as I can make them, because nothing else will make them click. And yes sending emails this way produces a much higher clickthrough rate than by sending the whole story in the email itself. I've even had comments from Aweber customer support people at how incredibly high my clickthrough rates are.

    I'm always tracking the open and clickthrough rate. But by doing it like this I can know exactly how successful a subject line is whereas most marketers have no clue.


    Because you can't rely on the open rate. That's too inexact and changing. But if the only major factor affecting clickthrough rates is the subject line, then you can learn which ones are really pulling.

    And there's a huge difference between emails that make money and emails that have a high clickthrough rate.

    Don't be fooled at thinking you have a great subject line just because you're making a lot of money on a particular email. You might indeed make a lot more money if that subject line pulled even better.

    I've noticed that any time my subject line has something to do with a sale or special the clickthrough rate is quite a bit lower. Sure I can make money because that targets the people who already want to buy.

    So I send out multiple emails. Ones that appear to be a sale and others that are content but that eventually get people interested in the sale.

    Hope you and your readers find this information useful.


    Roger Haeske

    The 41-Year-Old Teenager

    [Hey Roger, I'm right on board with you. On open rates, I'm testing using

    AdtrackZ Gold which will track opens with a 1 pixel gif. And I'm measuring that

    vs. Aweber. So far there isn't any big discrepancy.

    I agree on the subject line. I'll continue testing. The issue on split testing subject

    lines in Aweber is that you then can't broadcast to all your lists. You can only run

    a split test in a specific list. I don't have all my people on any 1 list. So this is

    a bit inconvenient for split testing. What I have is years of history of subject

    lines, open rates, click rates and sales rates (via Hypertracker). So I have a

    pretty good base of data to go on. But I'm learning every day.]

  • Henry Zeng says:

    Hi Marlon,

    I also noticed my email open rate has dropped since a few weeks ago.

    I was little worried and I thought I should take more efforts to test some of the best effective subject lines.

    But later I found my click-through rates were just fine for the mailings (and some even performed better than before)

    So I suppose the Aweber supervisor was telling you the truth 🙂

    And hey Marlon, I'm now very interested in your Promo dashboard. Do you actually reveal some advanced email marketing tactics for veteran list owners?



    [Henry, yeah, that open rate thing and also Delivery Monitor tracking is up in the air. We'll see how it plays out. I hope I didn't say or imply the supervisor wasn't telling me the truth. I'm just not sure this was the CAUSE of the drop the software reported in my email delivery. I personally think my email rep with Brightmail took a hit when I accidentally promote a blacklisted domain. This will "heal" as they see I don't continually do this.

    There are advanced things in Promo Dash. Do you pass people's names from the Squeeze page to the thank you page? We show you how to do that using Aweber's variable pass through thing. And 1 line of code. You can also then merge their name into landing pages from outbound emails. We show how to do tricked out power point backgrounds. Most people don't know how to do that. We show where to get trick mp3 players. I think there's a pix of that on the site. We have a good section on video. I'd be surprised if you didn't find something that more than justified the price.]

  • Nan says:

    I'm one of the ones you prefers to read your messages in an email and not have to take the extra time/effort to access the blog.

    [Nan, I'm with you on that one. I like email too. With these new filter rules, we'll see how it all plays out. I may have to do more posts on my blog, although it isn't my first choice.]

  • Hey Marlon,

    I would assume if you are having email deliverability issues that you need to first check to make sure you are not on any black lists (

    …and you need to have your email reputation ( looked at.

    …you need to have some "seed emails" setup so you can verify that the more popular email services (AOL, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) are all receiving your emails. Habeas can do this or a cheaper solution (but not as good) is AWeber's Delivery Monitor (

    …I would also verify that your DNS is setup correctly (

    Hope that helps…

    Take Care,


    [Brett, Delivery Monitor HAS seeds. THAT was my point. If they are single opt in, then Brightmail is only sporadically delivering the email. Most seeds are sporadic. The other point is I don't KNOW if my email delivery IS good or not because Delivery Monitor seeds are single and not double opt in. So the point of the email is you do NOT know your delivery at this point. But you have an idea from your clicks and open rate. Delivery Monitor has built in blacklist checking. So I'm NOT on any blacklists plus I check Beracuda or however it is spelled. I think people here who are new to this will find value in your comments. Of course, my DNS is set up correctly. The point here is that Brightmail and other services are now only sporadically delivering single opt in emails. So if you use ANY email delivery monitor service, it is probably NOT accurate since they ALL use single opt in seeds to my knowledge.]

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