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Guidelines for Reducing Bounces

Last time I talked about how important it is to remove bounced addresses from
your contact lists. This helps reduce your amount of bounced messages. You can
reduce the number of bounces by following some simple guidelines before you
send your newsletter.

1. Include "Subscription Management" links in your emails and
encourage your subscribers to update their information if it ever changes. This
allows subscribers to opt-out of receiving your messages at any time. This link
is actually required by the United States CAN-SPAM act of 2003.

2. Use a service that removes messages that bounce multiple times.

3. If you have a contact number, call subscribers who repeatedly bounce. Just
make sure that you let them know who you are and why you're calling. And keep
phone calls to a minimum; if you can't easily get a hold of someone, don't go
out of your way. They may not wish to be contacted.

4. Remove any abuse@ or postmaster@ addresses.  These addresses can sneak
onto your list if your opt-in process is weak. You can prevent this by using a
strong double opt-in process for your contact list.

5. Consider using an email change of address service. This will help if your
subscribers are changing their addresses but forget to provide you with their
updated information.

Next time I'll take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of the double opt-in
process.

About the Author: Ryan Allis

Ryan Allis is the CEO and co-founder of iContact, a leading on-demand email marketing service. As CEO, he's managed iContact from its start in July 2003 to its current size with more than 90 employees and 25,000 customers worldwide. In [...]