Email Marketing: 5 Tips for Avoiding Spam Filters

If one of your tasks includes sending e-mail to unknown people’s listings, this article will give you five helpful hints so that your messages are not considered SPAM.

As representatives of an email marketing company in Colombia, every day we receive emails and calls about business owners who are facing the well-known challenge of going through spam filters. Since there are generic rules to increase the chances that a mail arrives in the inbox, I decided to write this article as a fundamental guide to improve the performance of your next campaigns:

Email Marketing 5 Tips for Avoiding Spam FiltersWrite a specific subject line and, if possible, personalize it.

The subject line is the first point of contact between your message and your reader, take advantage of this short attention span to generate curiosity and make use of the customization features of your email marketing platform. A headline like: “ Fabio, we have 4 products just for you / YOUR COMPANY ” may be more attractive than the generic: “ Meet our promotions this month “. Although, custom content in the subject line does not guarantee that your mail is not discarded by your reader, the chances of your mail going unnoticed are reduced dramatically. I invite you to take the test and share your results in the comments section of this article.

Avoid using terms that make the reader think that it is really spam

Email client providers work hard to identify common practices and terms used by spammers to improve their filters;  Therefore , terms such as “auction”, “promotion”, “Win, …”, “Contest”  increase the chances that an ESP (Email Service Provider) considers your message as spam. Try to make cautious use of these terms unless it is 100% indispensable. I start from the fact that the lists of emails that you have are part of a group of people who know your company and / or services.

Avoid complexity in your email marketing pieces

Whenever possible, stay away from unconventional sources, or use more than one type. Remember that this is not a brochure, it is a valuable piece of communication between your brand and your customers. In most cases, trying to create complex HTML delays campaigns and results in compatibility issues with certain devices (cell phones, tablets) and mail clients (hotmail, gmail). Concentrate on the content, a nice design that is worthless for the reader is nothing more than a waste of time.

Do not abuse the use of images

Many spam filters assume that a message with many images may contain malicious content. In many cases, images do not add value to communication when it comes to email marketing. If you are going to include them make sure not to exceed in weight or amount, test in a scenario A vs. B to compare if a mail that contains only text performs better than one with images.

Do not abuse the number of links

A common practice is adding multiple links in one piece of email marketing. If you are trying to convince your reader to do some kind of action the best strategy is to add up to 3 “Calls to Action” with different text but pointing to the same destination. Adding numerous links to different destinations not only hinders the achievement of a specific goal (if it is a sale) but also activates spam filter alarms that can classify your mail as possible spam.

It is necessary to clarify that even following these recommendations your emails can result in the spam folder. So in addition to sticking to these “good practices” I recommend to make sure that:

  • Your mailing lists are own or legitimately acquired.
  • Your shipments are made from an email marketing platform with certified servers.
  • Its content is relevant and distributed with appropriate frequency

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