When it comes to email marketing, every expert in the field will tell you to only add people that actually express interest in your content to your lists. An opt-in newsletter is the best approach and having a subscription confirmed is even better. But after doing your best to make sure you only reach people with a genuine interest in what you are emailing them, you are still not entirely protected from the damaging “spammer” label.

A new ┬áreport by Return Path shows that email deliverability rates have dropped about 5% in the second half of 2011, reaching a 76.5% rate, after keeping steady at over 80% for years. While ISPs have done their best to keep their customers spam-clear, their improved email security is not the only cause for the drop. It is actually consumers themselves, who are unclear on opt-out policies and end up damaging email marketers’ and brands’ reputations. (more…)