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Important notice for our customers – COVID-19

Category: Marketing
Written by Ken Quigley
April 27 2020

The conclusion of AMA April
On April 30th Keystroke will be concluding our AMA month of training (register HERE), and the final session will be focusing on “deliverability” and Inbox optimization. While Billy Clark will be covering tileribbon 350x337pxmany facets of deliverability issues, and how to improve your inbox placement, there are two other factors relating to deliverability that cannot be ignored – and those are email verification and consent.

Proactive vs Reactive list maintenance
The truth is very few businesses have a proactive plan for distribution list maintenance. Most users either react to customer update notifications, or to the bounces they get through the normal course of emarketing. Unfortunately, both of these approaches are "reactive" and technically unreliable. For instance, senders often won’t see bounces that are suppressed by the Email Service Providers (ESP’s), especially after the recipient has opted out.

Why is list hygiene so important?

Well, the pain of a badly maintained list is not simply diminishing returns on your emarketing efforts. No, poor list hygiene can lead to mail server blacklisting, high junk filtering from a poor sender reputation, and even account suspension/cancellation from your ESP. For example, in cases where an AMA user consistently has a bounce rate in excess of 5%, Swiftpage will first warn you to "clean up your Act!, and if you don't take steps to do so, they can suspend or cancel your Marketing Automation account outright, with all the money you’ve paid for the service forfeit – which could be in the thousands.

No, traditional "spray and pray" emarketing is not the solution...

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The Opt-in Manager is now drastically reduced in price for the summer
bubbleThis is why Keystroke developed the Opt-in Manager, an add-on application that scrubs your distribution lists in two ways while providing an easy means to manage ongoing maintenance. So convinced of the importance of good list hygiene, we're lowering the price of the Opt-in Manager from $199.95 per year to $10/month (billed annually) for the rest of the summer. As business across the world slowly begin to re-open, we know many are anxious to start emarketing again, and we don't want cost to be a deterant to good list hygiene.  This pricing will remain in effect from now until the end of August 2020.

To learn more about the Opt-in Manager, please click HERE to watch a product demo.

The List Scrubbing Process
The first step in any list scrubbing initiative should always be email validity. Invalid emails generate no income, and, as we discussed above, carry some high risks, so we recommend first verifying your email list with Opt-in Manager's built-in BriteVerify.com integration. BriteVerify is one of the leading email authentication services in the world, and this time-saving integration not only confirms the status of all the email addresses in your database, but updates each of the contact records accordingly. The cost for the BriteVerify side of this service is approximately a penny a contact (which is paid directly to them), but the our integration is free and connects directly with their API to provide simple and seamless updates.

The second step in your list scrubbing efforts should be to harvest consent from your audience in a clear nonintrusive manner, and there is no more effective tool than the Opt-in Manager to achieve this. The Opt-in Manager allows users to send a personalized email inviting the recipients to provide or deny you permission to market to them. The link in the email brings them to a simple page like the one below, that can be customized with your own wording, button labels, and logo.

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In total, it might take users 2-minutes to complete the merge-mail process, and recipients no more than a few seconds to respond. After these consents are harvested, the Opt-in Manager then automatically updates your Act! content records to reflect these responses, which could be in the hundreds or thousands. Now compare this approach to more conventional passive methods like webforms, surveys, or call campaigns where the responses are gathered in much smaller numbers and then manually recorded one at a time in Act!. For those looking to update large numbers of contact records, these conventional methods are simply time prohibitive.

By first validating your list, and then efficiently segmenting your database into those consenting to receive your emails, your marketing groups are primed for higher returns. With the Opt-in Manager, this 2-step process can easily & quickly be repeated month after month for optimum results.

Windows Or Web?
The Opt-in Manager has two versions, the original that works with Act! for Windows, and our latest API version that works with hosted databases. The Windows version is suitable for users with locally installed versions of Act!, and the API version is perfect for connecting to hosted databases through the Act! WebAPI. Whichever way you choose, the Opt-in Manager is a proactive way to scrub and maintain your list with a minimum amount of effort and maximum affect, and will ensure you hit the inboxes you're aiming for with little risk to your email reputation.

The Opt-in Manager is a subscription service for only $10/month (billed annually) and only one is needed per account. For those looking to bundle Opt-in Manager with enhanced mail merge functionality, webforms, workflow automation, and improved Act!/Outlook integration, MailManager4act includes all these features in one for only $20/month (billed annually).

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Yes, it works in both Act! for Windows or Web

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Delivering fruitful CRM solutions since 1994, Keystroke is the #1 Act! Reseller in the World and Master Act! Distributor for Canada.

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