Unfortunately, every industry has some shady businesses practices. And believe me, travel is no exception. And one permeates all industries it seems. Yes, email. Are you above board and ethical? Or do your clients simply delete your emails? Or are they even being delivered? Do you know?
Believe it or not, you could be a spammer without even knowing it. Here is some food for thought.
When you send an email to a client, it could be a promotional mailing; or it might be one related to an upcoming trip. The Internet is stupid (as we all know) and can’t tell the difference unless someone complains. And then, you run the risk of being blacklisted.
If you are doing any type of e-marketing (newsletters, promotions, etc.) you must periodically check your domains and servers to make sure they are not blacklisted.
While some domains will bounce your message, telling you that you ran afoul of their spam filters, most will not and will simply delete your message. Your client never gets your message; and worse, you never know your client didn’t receive it!
This is not horribly critical for a promotional piece, but if you are all of a sudden emailing a client about a last-minute change in flights, you need to be assured your mail goes through.
Here is a good tool I have been using. It will tell you where the block originates and if you follow the links and directions, you will have a clear path to getting on the right side of the Internet law!
Another concern is that even though you may be on the up and up, your Internet neighbor may not. For example, say that billybobtravel.com is perfectly in compliance and plays by the rules, and operates on an XYZHost server with an IP address of 126.96.36.199. Unless you have a dedicated server (and most people don’t) guess what happens when nameyourperversion.com comes along and shares space on the same server? Yes, you are now guilty by association; and getting that straightened out can be a major hassle and a time-consuming mess.
Another issue involves having people unsubscribe from your mailings. We all make it easy…right? But most email programs/readers have a feature that allows you to classify the email as SPAM and deletes it. Convenient, right? Sure, for the person receiving the email. But to you it black mark on your semi-permanent record. If enough people complain, you can get blacklisted, or your email service may simply refuse to send on your behalf. Now you are damaging their reputation! You can’t control what your clients do, and many see that as an easy way to unsubscribe, but in each mailing, I emphasize that we are a responsible mailer and honor all opt-out requests immediately. I ask them to use the provided link rather than report it as spam—and so far, it has worked well.
Are you a responsible e-mailer? Have you discovered any tips to make sure that your messages are delivered and read? Please leave a comment!