The marketing landscape has gone through some pretty drastic changes in the last few years. Trends change almost faster than what we can keep up with, but something that has remained constant is the importance of email marketing in marketing strategies.
Businesses big and small still maintain that sending sales emails is an integral part of their outbound marketing strategies.
Yet, they are also under constant pressure to avoid having their emails sent into spam folders by spam filters. The process of identifying emails from spammers is far from being perfect and, as a result, your legitimate emails can get flagged as spam. If this happens, your subscribers will probably never see your emails.
To help you avoid this, we’ve compiled a list of dos and don’ts of email marketing. This guide will help you avoid making some mistakes and falling into spam traps and filters.
A good starting point is using an email address with either your personal name or your brand name so that your recipients can easily recognize you.
To prevent being flagged by spam filters, you shouldn’t change your “from” field name frequently, and you should avoid “from” field names like noreply@yourbusiness.
Email Service Providers
You should always work with reliable Email Service Providers (ESPs). Disreputable ESPs should be avoided at all costs, because their addresses will be blocked by the more reputable ESPs’ spam filters.
Testing your emails before sending them to your subscribers is always a good idea. There are many tools that will test your email’s quality. They simulate spam filters and test your emails’ ability to get past them.
If you send a large number of emails to inactive addresses, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will identify your emails as a spam trap. ISPs take many factors into consideration when determining a sender’s reputation, and bounce rate is one of them.
If you have a bad reputation, that will affect your deliverability. This is why you should delete bouncing addresses from your email list.
Creating an email list can take a lot of work, so a quick alternative is to buy an email list. If you buy one, you are saving yourself quite a lot of time.
There are a lot of companies that will let you buy an email list for marketing, it just takes some research.
Just like hard bouncers might get your address qualified as spam, dormant subscribers can also work against your domain’s reputation and, therefore, damage your deliverability.
You can either try launching a re-engagement campaign or unsubscribing users that don’t open or read your emails.
One of the most important aspects of the anti-spam regulations is that you should always provide the user with the option of unsubscribing to your email list.
You should provide an easy way of doing this and never email them again (unless they re-subscribe). If you insist on sending those emails, they will probably mark your address as spam, which will hurt your reputation.
Most people will either read or mark an email as spam sorely based on the subject line. You should take care of having good, non-suspicious subject lines in order to avoid being marked as spam, which will, once again, damage your reputation and affect your deliverability rates.
A good practice regarding subject lines is to avoid using upper case.
Email etiquette (or just general Internet etiquette) sees the use of upper case as shouting at people, which most consider very disrespectful.
It has been shown that most users prefer all lowercase in the subject line, and that they will mark your email as spam if they come across a subject line all in uppercase.
You should also avoid using many exclamation points. A witty subject line will draw the user’s eye much more effectively than several “!!!!!!!”. In general, question marks are much more effective than exclamation points.
Spam Trigger Words
Spam trigger words should be avoided at all costs.
Several words, like “free” and “cash”, have been flagged because of their frequent use in spam mail. Spam filters will pick up your emails and blacklist your address if you use many of these words.
Users will also perceive your address and brand as dishonest, and will also qualify your emails as spam, which will affect your deliverability and credibility in general.
You should also be careful with the contents of your email, as your copy will also be closely studied.
A good policy to avoid the body of your email being detected as spam is to keep things as simple as possible.
This is why you should avoid using different fonts and colors, as people consider that to be quite spammy.
Something that alerts spam filters is also having all of your copy in the form of an image. While we know that an image is worth a thousand words, many ESPs don’t recognize copy included in an image and will send your email straight into the spam folder.
Avoid embedding rich media content in your emails, as most people will not allow such content to play in their emails.
If they are there but they don’t work properly, that will make your clients view your campaign as messy and unprofessional.
If you want your subscribers to see your media content, simply include a link to it in your copy. That will keep your email looking clean and professional, and it will draw traffic towards your webpage.
Another thing to avoid is including attached files to your emails. This will put all spam filters into alert, as well as making the size of the email bigger, which will affect loading time.
Once again, if you need to get that content to your subscribers, simply provide a link to it, and load the document on your own website.
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do to avoid your sales emails being qualified as spam. You just need to be careful!
Chrissy Ryland - I'm a freelance writer and blogger from Northern California. I grew up loving all things entertainment and travel and now I am blessed with a career that lets me write about both of those topics along with many others. For inquiries about a story you think I might want to cover, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org