Avoid spam filters with 5 easy steps

If your business is spending valuable time putting together email marketing campaigns, it’s important to know that your message is (literally) getting through. If it’s not, your customer’s spam filter might be to blame.
Spam filters evaluate mail based on a range of criteria: the reputation of the sender’s domain name, the subject line, the ratio of images to text and more. These filters are great at protecting us from malicious or unwanted communications, but they also trap a good number of well-intentioned campaigns.
Here are a few basic measures you can put in place to ensure your next email campaign lands in your customer’s inbox, instead of their junk mail folder.

1. Don’t spam

This might seem obvious, but it’s amazing how many companies don’t bother to obtain permission before adding customers to their database. It can be tempting to upload every email address you’ve ever come across in your life. But try to restrain yourself, because sending unsolicited emails is the easiest way to end up in the bad books. Growing your list organically (and responsibly) will ensure maximum deliverability, and will also prevent unnecessary damage to your brand’s reputation.

2. Let people unsubscribe

Ensure you have an easy, accessible unsubscribe link displayed in every campaign you send. If people have to spend too much time (or jump through too many hoops) trying to take themselves off the list, they’re more likely to just mark your email as spam instead. And if people do click the unsubscribe button make sure you remove them from your database.

3. Pay attention to your content

It’s important to think carefully about your subject lines and body content. Spam filters are designed to pick up on overly sales-y language, so a subject line that screams ‘PRICE REDUCED TODAY ONLY!!!!’ is probably going to land you in the bin. Familiarise yourself with blacklisted terms and avoid using them in your emails.

4. Use a reliable email service provider

Before accepting your email, your customer’s mail server will evaluate your email service provider based on the reputation of your IP and domains. Ensure you are using a professional, reputable email provider. Even so, be careful of sending to too many addresses in one go: some mail servers will mark this as spam. Set up distribution lists or use a customised email marketing platform that also allows you to track opens and conversions.

5. Send well-designed emails

Make sure your email template is cleanly set out and visually appealing. Don’t rely too heavily on images, as some email service providers don’t populate these automatically. Include a plain text version (if you’re using an email marketing platform this should be a given) and when you link, ensure you use descriptive text rather than long URLs.

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