Frequently Asked Questions

Create and Send Your Own Great Looking eBlasts

We put you in the drivers seat and let you create and send your own great looking eBlasts in-house. Once we design a template for each need, you can easily add your own content, select your recipients and schedule delivery in your own time. Of course, we can do all this for you too, but here's a look at the control you have:

To go directly to the category you want, click on one of these links:

Create and send your own great looking eBlasts
Subscriber management
Colorful, graphic reports you can easily understand
eBlast Bounce Terminology
Permission based marketing
Getting your eBlast delivered

Complete Sender Control— You can use your own "From name" and eBlast address, so the eBlast always looks like it comes from you. You can also select your own subject and which eBlast address any replies should be forwarded to. We take all the messy work out of the equation by processing any bounces and unsubscribes for them automatically. [Click here to view]

Send now or schedule for later— Once you're happy with the eBlast, you can send yourself a test version, send it immediately or schedule it for delivery at another time. This way you can build your campaigns in advance and schedule them for delivery tomorrow, next month or any time in between. [Click here to view]

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Subscriber management

Managing your own subscribers is no longer a headache. Adding and removing subscribers takes seconds and we handle all the nasty stuff like bounces and unsubscribe requests for them automatically.

List management made easy— We've designed the interface to help you get the most common things done fast. Adding a new subscriber, removing an old one and seeing new subscribers are only a click away. [Click here to view]

Simple import and export— Our importing tool walks you through the process of importing an existing list from almost any source. We automatically remove duplicates for you and even remember who unsubscribed and bounced — removing any risk of annoying your own subscribers [Click here to view]

Subscribe and unsubscribe— A great way of capturing new subscribers is through a subscribe form. With Dean Mitchell Design's CreateSend, this is as easy as copying and pasting some code into your website. You can even customize any landing pages so the entire subscribe process stays on their own website. [Click here to view]

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Colorful graphic reports you can easily understand

Our simple reports make it easy for you to check out the numbers that matter. See who opened your eBlast, who clicked a link and so much more. Our reports are updated in real time so you will always know the latest.

Simple campaign snapshots— All the important stats like how many recipients opened, how many clicked a link and how many unsubscribed are all viewable from our simple campaign snapshot. We've designed our reports so even those new to eBlast marketing can evaluate the results of their campaigns. [Click here to view]

Who are my most interested subscribers?— Our Opens Over Time report makes it so easy for you to see who opened their eBlast and when. You can even check out how many times each recipient opened it to find out who your most interested subscribers are. You can even drill down to a minute-by-minute account of who checked out their eBlast. [Click here to view]

Who clicked on a link?— Our Link Activity Report makes it easy to see which links in your eBlast were most popular, as well as which recipients clicked them. This makes it so easy for you to identify what your recipients are interested in, as well as the opportunity to follow up on more qualified leads. [Click here to view]

Right down to the nitty gritty— Our recipient activity report lets you get down to some serious detail on your campaign. Easily see who opened, who clicked, who bounced and who unsubscribed.

You can even search for a specific subscriber to see exactly what they did with the eBlast. [Click here to view]

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eBlast Bounce Terminology

What do the different types of hard and soft bounces mean?

A soft bounce is an email message that gets as far as the recipient's mail server (it recognizes the address) but is bounced back undelivered before it gets to the intended recipient. A soft bounce might occur because the recipient's mailbox is full, the server is down or swamped with messages, the message is too large or the user has abandoned the mailbox. We will attempt to deliver the email regularly for a few days. If it is still undelivered, it becomes a soft bounce.

A hard bounce is an email message that has been returned to the sender and is permanently undeliverable. Causes include invalid addresses (domain name doesn't exist, typos, changed address, etc.) or the email recipient's mail server has blocked your server. Servers will also interpret bounces differently, meaning a soft bounce on one server may be classified as a hard bounce on another.

We automatically move subscribers that hard bounce into a "Bounced Subscribers" category, so they don't receive future campaigns.

The different types of hard and soft bounces
Here's a full rundown of each of the types of bounces you might see in your Bounce Activity Report.

General Bounce (GB)
The email server could not deliver your email message, but the bounce message was unclear as to what kind of bounce it was. We treat these as soft bounces. Example: "Subject: Undeliverable mail"

Soft Bounce - General (SB)
The email server is temporarily unable to deliver your message to the recipient email address. Example: "Connection timed out."

Soft Bounce - Dns Failure (SBDF) The email server is temporarily unable to deliver your message to the recipient email address because of a DNS problem. Example: "Host is unreachable"

Soft Bounce - Mailbox Full (SBMF)
The email server is temporarily unable to deliver your message to the recipient email address because the recipient's email box is full. Example: "Mailbox over quota"

Soft Bounce - Message Size Too Large (SBMS)
The email server could not deliver your message to the recipient because the message size is too large. Example: "Exceeded maximum inbound message size"

What do the different types of hard and soft bounces mean?

Transient Bounce (TB)
The email server temporarily can not deliver your message, but it is still trying. Example: "Warning: message still undelivered after 4 hours. We will keep trying until message is 2 days old"

Mail Block - Attachment Detected (MBAD)
Indicates that the recipient's email server is blocking your email because it contains an attachment. Example: "552 Disapproved attachment"

Mail Block - Relay Denied (MBRD)
Indicates that the recipient's email server is blocking email from our email server. Example: "551 relaying denied"

Non Bounce (NB)
We determined that the message was not a bounce. This could be a recipient reply, or maybe a bounce format that we didn't recognize.

Mail Block - General (MB)
Indicates that the recipient's email server is blocking email from our email server. Example: "550 Message REFUSED by peer"

Mail Block - Known Spammer (MBKS)
Indicates that the recipient's email server is blocking your email because it believes you are a spammer. Example: "REJECT Known SPAM source"

Mail Block - Spam Detected (MBSD)
Indicates that the recipient's email server is blocking your email because the message appears to have content that looks like spam. Example: "550 Possible spam detected"

Why do my clients need approval to send to a large number of subscribers?
We go to great lengths at Dean Mitchell Design to ensure we can offer clients a reliable service with great deliverability. An incredibly important part of this effort is ensuring CreateSend is never abused by spammers, and also to ensure the "good guys" are able to easily maintain an opted-in database in an easy, ethical manner.

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How the system works
To ensure all our senders have the correct permission to contact their subscribers, we have a manual approval process that all clients need to go through when they start sending to more than a few thousand subscribers at once. This is a tiered approval process, but you'll only ever need approval again if you import enough addresses to take you into the next tier. Usually this will be a significantly larger number.

To ensure we minimize any inconvenience to you, this approval process takes place when you import the subscribers and not when you are actually trying to send to that list. As soon as you import a large list that takes you past a few thousand subscribers, you'll be required to answer a simple question about the source of the list, which will be sent to our approvals team.

As soon as you complete this form it is sent to our approval team who will review the list, your explanation, your sending history, etc. and aim to get the import approved within 12 hours. If our approvals team has any further questions about the list, they will contact you. Approval processes are unfortunately a necessary evil, but we go to every length we can to ensure your account remains 100% spam-free.

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What happens when your import is approved?
As soon as our approvals team gives your list the green light, we'll send you an email confirming the list is good to go.

What happens if my import IS NOT approved?
If for some reason our approvals team feels your client's list doesn't comply with our permission policy, we will get in touch with you to discuss this further. This may involve you following this up with your client and ensuring any subscribers who don't comply are removed from the import.

On the rare occasion that the entire list doesn't comply (for example, it's a purchased list or has been scraped from the web), then we won't approve the import and none of the subscribers will be available in your client's account. At any rate, we'll be in touch with you before taking any significant action with your client's list.

Why we need to do this
It ensures your client's emails get delivered. Minimal spam complaints and low bounce rates help ensure we can offer all our customers good deliverability and goes a long way to ensuring our whitelisting status at many ISP's and our general sending reputation stays nice and clean.

What terms should I avoid in my email content to reduce the chances of it being marked as Spam?
Even when you're sending an email campaign to subscribers who opted-in, your email can still be flagged as spam by overzealous spam filters which seem to be getting more and more aggressive with their spam flagging analyses. Simply using the word "free" in an email message can often land you in the spam heap. Listed below are a number of simple tips and techniques you should consider when writing and designing your campaigns:

Minimize the use of these words and phrases in the subject line, message body, sender address, and reply-to address:

  • Use of the word Free (although "free" tends to have more leeway than most other trigger words), $$, XXX, sex or !!! (any excessive punctuation)
  • Subject contains "Double Your", "?", "For Only" or "Free Instant".
  • Email contains at least 70 percent blank lines
  • The from field appears to not contain a real name, ends in numbers or contains the word friend.
  • The reply to field is empty
  • The email claims not to be spam
  • The email contains excessive images without much text

Monitor new subscribers in your lists. Set suspicious "spamflag" addresses such as "abuse@" or "marketerspam@" as Inactive subscribers. Ultimately, the most important thing you can do is adhere to best practices for email marketing. Gain permission, compose relevant content, and deliver messages according to the customer's needs, wants, and preferences.

Can I personalize my emails with each subscriber's details
You sure can! You can personalize the subject line and content for each email you send. By adding any of the following tags to your subject or email content, we will dynamically change these values for every recipient when sending the campaign.

First Name - [firstname,fallback=any term you like]
Last Name - [lastname,fallback=any term you like]
Full Name - [fullname,fallback=any term you like]
Email Address - [email]

When personalizing a recipients name, you can provide a fallback value which is displayed if that field is empty for that recipient. If you would like nothing displayed when a recipient's name field is empty, simply leave the fallback value blank (e.g. [firstname,fallback=]).

What does it mean when I get spam complaints for my campaign?
Through a direct feedback loop with major ISP's like AOL and Hotmail, we can automatically detect if any of your recipients mark your email as junk.

What happens when I receive a spam complaint?
As soon as we receive a spam complaint we instantly change their status to 'Unsubscribed'. This means you will no longer be able to send any campaigns to that individual.

How does this affect my account?
We monitor the total number of spam complaints for your account. If the complaints exceed an unacceptable number (the industry average is around 1 in every 5,000 recipients - 0.05% of all recipients), we may be forced to cancel your account with us.

What can I do to reduce the chances of spam complaints?
There are a number of changes you can make to your campaign and list management practices to almost guarantee a reduction in spam complaints, including:

  • Make sure you have explicit permission from everyone in your list to contact them about the subject of your email.
  • Use double opt-in for all your subscriber lists. This provides proof that those making spam complaints are unwarranted. To change this, head into your list, click the "Update list details" link and change the format.
  • Set clear expectations when someone joins your list. Tell them what you'll be sending them and how often.
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