How To Keep Your Marketing Emails Out Of The Spam Folder
Email is the grandfather of digital communication. And these days, it often seems like the last resort for the worst kind of marketing schemes. But it doesn’t have to be. As the most common and robust messaging platform in the world, email is still a great way to reach customers new and old for many reasons. You just have to make sure it gets to them, first.
Spam Is Bad
No one likes spam emails, but not everyone knows that they are actually illegal according to certain descriptions. Specifically, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 makes certain spam emails fineable for up to $11,000 per offense (that’s per email!). These fineable offenses include:
- Using deceptive headers, “From” names, “Reply-To” addresses, or subject lines.
- Not providing an unsubscribe link.
- Failing to include your physical mailing address.
Some of these offenses are more harmful or malicious than others, but as anyone with an active email address can verify, it’s still perfectly easy to create legal spam. Spam filters are designed to detect these messages and keep them out of your inbox. Unfortunately, sometimes they work too well and hide useful and important emails (like yours!).
Do’s And Don’ts To Avoid The Spam Filter
Every spam filter is different, and they are always changing to meet the evolving needs of email users. With that said, there are a few basic best practices that will help you avoid 99% of spam filters in common email carriers.
Do: Use A Double Opt-In For Your Lists
“Double opt-in” is a list registration tactic used by many email service providers like MailChimp. List sign-up requires the following five steps to ensure that your readers are actually interested in the emails you are sending out:
- Sign-up Form
- Sign-up “Thank You” Page
- Opt-In Confirmation Email
- Confirmation “Thank You” Page
- Final “Welcome” Email
Don’t: Email Inactive or Old Lists
Emailing inactive or old lists are an easy way to get reported by an ISP or email carrier. This can cause you to be blacklisted and even fined. Make sure that your lists are up to date.
Do: Make Unsubscription Easy
Unwanted emails are frustrating to say the least. When your readers can’t figure out how to unsubscribe, that only encourages them to report you. Make your unsubscribe button prominent in every email and don’t require more than one or two steps.
Don’t: Write “Spammy” Subject Lines and Content
A common feature of almost all spam filters is to recognize “spammy” content like “Click Here Now” or “Don’t Miss This,” overuse of exclamation marks, caps lock, multi-colored fonts, subjects lines about money, etc. Speak to your readers like an adult, and they will respond in kind.
Do: Use A Designer To Make Your Emails Professional
Expectations for corporate emails are getting higher every day. Hire a designer to align your email content with your brand identity, and your readers can trust that it actually came from you.
Don’t: Use Sloppy HTML
Email scammers often use sloppy emails to conceal links, phish for information, and bypass filters by using images instead of text. If your email looks like a sloppy Word Doc to HTML conversion, there’s a good chance it will be flagged by most spam filters.