E-mail spam filter

So you have decided to use email marketing campaign to communicate with your prospects, sounds fairly simple. What needs to be done? Create an email newsletter – check; Killer promotion offer – check; Email database – check. But like many marketers you forget the most important tick mark.

Checkout – How to avoid the spam filters and get into the inbox.

Watch your words :-

Certain words like free, cheap, sex, win etc send alarm bells ringing for spam filters and will ensure your email is directed to the spam folder. You’d think that a nice bright red colour or graphical content will grab more eyeballs to your email – think again as it gets directed into the spam folder. Also avoidable are excessive use of symbols, images and capital letters.

Don’t buy your way in :-

Using purchased lists to boost your database will most definitely label you a spammer. Purchased lists are mostly filled with inactive email addresses that could bounce or spam traps which are lethal to your “sender reputation”. Sending an email to those who are not interested will ruin your chances as a marketer.

What’s in a name? :-

If the subscriber cannot recognize the address in the ‘from field’ he will push the ‘this is spam’ button alerting the email provider. Ensure that the ‘from address field’ is the same as your company or brand name and avoid making incessant changes to the email address. Some trustworthy names are contact@, support@ etc. In fact, it’s even better to use personal email addresses instead of generic ones.

The importance of a ‘subject’ :-

A unique subject line not only guarantees the email gets in the inbox but also adds an intrigue value to the reader (avoid gimmicks here). Ensure that there is a relation between your subject line and email content as this authenticates your credibility as a sender. Keep subject lines short so it reads well on mobile phones.

Domain Verification and Authentication :-

Authentication ensures ISP’s can trust your email to be original and not forged by a spammer. Popular authentication mechanisms are DKIM, Domain Keys, Sender ID and SPF. Most popular ESPs will provide authentication settings to allow you to authenticate.

‘Add me’ and Unsubscribe at ease :-

Ask your subscribes to add your email address to their address books. This ensures that the email clients deliver your future emails to their inbox directly. Also, ensure that your unsubscribe link is distinctly in sight and easy to locate. Also ensure that no communication is sent as soon as someone puts an unsubscribe request to avoid being flagged as spam.

Double opt-in method :-

To ensure your database stays clean always use the double opt-in method to gain the subscriber’s permission to receive emails – a guarantee they definitely want to receive your communication. This method also helps if the subscriber has erroneously mistyped their email address or typed someone else’s email address in jest.

Content is King :-

You may have sneaked past the spam filters and into the subscribers inbox but if the content of the newsletter is not relevant to the subscribers needs then you’re in trouble. Conduct a survey asking consumers on whether they want just information or promotions/coupons as well. Don’t irritate subscribers by sending them emails for what they have not asked for.

Are you blacklisted? :-

Are most of your emails being marked as spam? Are you randomly sending emails without a plan or understanding spam filters? Is a major chunk of your email getting bounced or lying unopened? Your IP address could then be blacklisted and you need to contact your ISP and request for a new IP address.

Are you attached? :-

People don’t trust attachments today. Instead of inflating the size of the email redirect the recipient to download the information from your site. Moreover an attachment can alert the spam filters to get your emails blocked.

BCC :-

It’s a different thing to bcc a forward to your friends, but using the bcc field for your newsletter is a strict no-no. It activates the spam filters which could land your email in the dreaded junk folder. It’s best if you could personalise your email to each individual client.

Be uniform :-

Try and keep the look and feel of the email similar to that of your website and stick to the same template in every email thereafter so that there is brand recognition. Also be consistent in sending out your newsletter – sending very frequently per month could irritate the subscriber; send a newsletter infrequently, and you could be forgotten.

Get tested :-

Create accounts with different email clients (e.g. Gmail, Yahoo etc) and send your newsletter to these addresses to test if your email reaches the inbox or spam folder. You know you have work to do if you find it in the spam folder. There are certain free software and websites where you can check the likelihood of your email being sent to spam folder.

Email marketing service provider :-

If you can afford hiring an email marketing service then it will help you concentrate on boosting sales of your product/ service. Most good EMS providers maintain good relationships with ISP’s and have an anti blocking team who ensure your emails reach the inbox of the recipient.

Get educated :-

Knowledge is power; technology keeps getting upgraded every day. Ensure that you are updated with the latest information of email marketing so that you are one step ahead from spam filters, email blocking and getting blacklisted.