Dec 1, 2005

Sending Test Campaigns to Corporate Clients

We get emails a lot from agencies asking, "Hey, are you guys blacklisted right now? My tests aren’t getting through to my client."

9 times out of 10, it’s not a blacklist causing it.

It’s just that corporate email servers are pretty strict about a few things, and you’re especially susceptible when you’re gearing up for a campaign, and sending lots of tests to your client for approval. So we thought we’d post a few tips for creative users sending tests to corporate clients…


If you’ve got your client’s email all designed and coded, and the deadline is fast approaching, and you’re frantically sending her a bunch of tests and they’re just not getting through, try the following…

  1. Make sure the email isn’t "From:" the client, "To:" that same client (how many times have you gotten spam that looks like it came from yourself?). Spammers do that all the time, so it might help if you place your own name and email in the From: fields temporarily. Just don’t forget to switch it back on the final send!
  2. No matter what, you should ask your client if she has an @yahoo or @hotmail or @aol account (outside their corporate server). Send to all of them. Most clients are glad to know if the email works or not on other systems, and they’ll have loads of fun tweaking their content and testing deliverability (hey, it’s good to test, plus it’s billable time, right?). You should have lots of "outside" test accounts too, so that you can tell if it’s just the client’s server blocking you, or everyone.
  3. Space the emails out, if you’re sending to a whole group of people inside the company. Most corporate servers would look at your test campaign as spam, because it’s the same message, from the same source, getting sent to multiple people in the company, all at once—that kinda looks like a spam attack. Try to keep the test list small, or send to each person individually, with a little time in between. Sounds weird, but it’s helped us in the past.

Sure, sometimes it’s your content too, so it’s good to know how spam filters think.

But most of the time, it’s those few items we listed above that get you blocked by corporate filters.