Good Email Address Format Is A Key to Great Mailing List

I help clients set up their website to work with their mailing list. Lead generation is a very important function of a business website, however I’ve had several clients who come to me with gi-normous mailing lists. One list was 10,000 names. They thought their email blasts and e-newsletters were being delivered to 10,000 individuals until they upgraded to one of the top-notch contact services (like Constant Contact or Mail Chimp). Then, they were surprised when chunks of their list were being rejected. They were stuck between the bad news that they had an under-performing mailing list and that they couldn’t send out a new email blast until their list was cleaned up.

This why these contact companies are top-notch… they have scanning tools in place to check out email addresses so you’ll know if they are formatted correctly and if they are still live and viable.

I’ve heard the complaint that these services are expensive for people with big lists. Yes, many contact services charge by how many contacts you have in your database.  What if that 10,000 name list was really only 1000 good addresses? Would this reduce your current costs or perhaps make starting a contact list more affordable? For sure!

There’s one thing you can do right now.  It’s the first step toward cleaning up your contacts. If you can download your list as an Excel file or in CSV format you can look through the email column for poorly formatted email addresses.

  1. Look for addresses missing the “@” symbol. Without the “@” emails won’t be going anywhere.
  2. Look for addresses missing the “dot” in dot-com, dot-edu, dot-org, etc. Again, without the dot emails won’t be going anywhere.
  3. Look for addresses that have spaces in ANY part of them. A space is simply not good email address format. If you try to send to addresses with a space, your emails won’t be going anywhere.

What should you do when you find a poorly formatted email address? If it’s an obvious error you can add the dot or the “@”. I suspect this will make you squirm, however I recommend deleting contacts all together when the email address is bad. If you can’t email them then they shouldn’t be in an e-mailing database!

If you have a big list and want to maintain as may good addresses as possible, I use professionals who can quickly scan for errors and prop up the quality of the list. It’s worth it! You may end up with a shorter email list, but they will be legit addresses that can receive your newsletters.

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For Security Update to WordPress 4.7.2

I’ve heard from several clients who’ve been hacked at the beginning of 2017.  These hacking attempts run the gambit — from the installation of malware to the total take down of a website. Who’s behind the hacking– who knows!

There are numerous openings for hacking but one of the top ways to protecting hacking of your WordPress website is to keep the WordPress software updated. If you have GoDaddy WordPress hosting they are doing this update for you so you can relax. If you’re hosting your WordPress site on ordinary GoDaddy hosting or another hosting service, it will need to be updated. If you aren’t sure how to do this give me a call and Design to Spec can set up your site for updates.

Still not sure if your WordPress software is up to date? Log in to your dashboard. The word DASHBOARD is at the top of the page. Find the AT A GLANCE box which by default is in the top left corner of the dashboard page. At the bottom of this box it will tell you which version of WordPress software is in use. The most current is 4.7.2.

If you’d like to know more about WordPress hacking visit Sucuri’s blog (

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Technology Goes Everywhere – Is Your Website Ready?

Every once in a while there’s a great example of how fast technology has moved and in what direction it has moved. So I have to share.

The other night I was working late and watching a re-run of an episode of Friends. Joey had made it big on a soap opera and had moved into his own apartment. When he was giving his friends a tour of his new place he proudly showed them the phone on the wall in the bathroom. In the late 90’s the joke was that he had a phone hanging next to the toilet and it was also a luxury. Today the humor is in how antiquated the phone on the wall appear compared to digital phones. Who has a land line anymore? Not only has the design aesthetics changed, but the very core of how we use a phone has rapidly evolved. A phone is no longer a phone as it’s now our computer, camera, and whatever apps you’ve put into service.

We no longer aspire to hang a phone in a bathroom. There’s nothing stationery about our phones! Our smart phones FOLLOW us everywhere.

Our handheld devices include a phone and a host of technology. We’re using these devices not only to watch but to PRODUCE content everywhere… Think Kim Kardashian… of course she did a video shoot in the bathroom putting on makeup!

When was the last time you or a professional looked at your business website to review the technology in play? Is it as clunky as a 90’s wall phone? Or does it perform and attract business from potential clients and customers who use handheld devices— everywhere? Isn’t it time to find out? Design to Spec is offering a free website review to help bring your business into 2017. Contact us before March 1st!

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The Top 5 Reasons Mobile Friendly Websites Really Generate More Leads

design-to-spec-mobile-friendlyDesign to Spec wants you know why converting to mobile friendly websites is a must because it’s a significant step toward greater lead generation. Mobile ready websites (ie Responsive Websites) can draw more quality visitors to your website and convert visitors into more leads.  It all boils down to 5 simple facts Read more ›

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Yes, It’s time to Update Mailing Lists. Do It Before Sending Email News


It’s time to get the word out. The holiday season means special offers for events, products, and an opportunity to announce what will be important in the New Year. Update the members on your mailing list with email news. Update your email list with new names you’ve collected in 2015 Read more ›

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