Jul 25 2013

Five Tips for Avoiding the Spam Filter

AnnexCore

After spending hours and hours writing the copy and designing the template for your e-mail marketing campaign, you may think you are safe from the dreaded Spam filter. After all, only the crooks and scammers get caught in Spam, right? Well… not necessarily. Spam filters range in effectiveness, with some being so finicky that legitimate e-mails never get delivered. A low deliverability rate leads to a low click-through rate, which leads to a lower ROI. It is in your best interest, then, to do everything you can to avoid the Spam filter, and using these five tips is a good place to start.

1. Reign in your excitement

Marketing e-mails, while extremely important, are not known for inciting flames of uninhibited excitement in people. And yet there are still e-mail marketing campaigns that continue to abuse the already far-too-prevalent exclamation mark, though chances are good the e-mail’s author is not as excited about the message’s content as the level of punctuation would indicate. Way, way, way back in the early days of e-mail marketing, some thought that exclamation marks or capital letters were great ways to stand out in an inbox. Unfortunately for them, people caught on and e-mails that used these types of tactics began to get chucked into the Spam. Now even including one exclamation mark can be enough for the Spam filter to tag your e-mail, so play it safe and avoid exciting punctuation.

2.Know the trigger words

‘Act fast!’ ‘This is a limited time offer!’ ‘Absolutely no obligations!’ If any part of your e-mail could double as ad-copy for a used car lot, you’re in trouble. Spam filters mainly capture e-mails that are blatant advertisements, or possibly scams. And, unfortunately, many of those e-mails use trigger words like the ones above. Even if you are genuinely trying to tell your subscribers about a limited time offer, find another way to word that. For example, you can try being more specific, and say that the offer is only good up to three weeks after the e-mail was sent. This conveys the same information, while helping you avoid getting picked up by a Spam filter that thinks you are trying to scam someone.

3. Go easy with the keywords

While on the topic of what words you should and should not include in an e-mail, try to avoid using too many keywords. Some are perfectly fine, but if you begin stuffing your newsletters and marketing e-mails with them, the Spam filters are going to take notice. Like with the trigger words, keyword stuffing is used by less scrupulous marketers, and the last thing you want is for your e-mails to be grouped with them. When writing your copy include keywords whenever it sounds natural, but try not to overdo it.

4. Edit your copy multiple times

One of the quickest ways to have your e-mails thrown straight into Spam filter is to send out messages with grammatical and spelling errors. It’s an easy issue to avoid, but editing and re-editing e-mail copy can get a bit tedious. That’s why it’s always best to write everything out over a couple of days, so you can edit with fresh eyes. It may seem like a lot of work, but consistent editing will increase deliverability rates.

5. Keep things simple

Your e-mails should not be 2,000 word essays on the state of your company – both newsletters and marketing messages need to be concise and to the point. If you send these long, drawn out messages, and the recipient hasn’t whitelisted your e-mail, the Spam filter will probably flag your message. Long marketing messages don’t have as high of a click-through rate anyway, so keeping things short and simple is really in the best interest of your message’s deliverability and actionability.

Spam filters can be a real pain, and nothing you can do will allow you to avoid each and every one. However, steering as clear as you can from the tactics used by less-legitimate marketers is a good start. Something as simple as an exclamation point can, after all, put you in the same group as the businesses trying to sell knock-off purses over the internet. Pay special attention to your writing, and try to identify any part of your message that could be seen as a gimmick. You may not be able to avoid every Spam filter, but if you put in enough work, your deliverability, and ROI, will improve.

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