Most Common Spam Triggers Killing Your Deliverability
Deliverability is a huge factor in your email marketing success. Creating your messages, getting that killer call-to-action, making it all look nice … these things are great. But if your message doesn’t make it to the inbox, you are working against yourself and (worse) losing sales.
The first thing to understand is that the rules of the game are designed to be a bit cryptic and confusing. The major email providers are not focused on “how to let the good emails in”. Their focus is “how to keep the bad spammy emails out”. So it is up to you to make sure your messages are as clean and clear as they can be.
Remember: The goal for your email marketing MUST include deliverability. Here are a few tips to help you get the highest possible deliverability so that your messages get through to your prospects and customers:
- Don’t use “too many” images. There is no hard number on how many images is “too many” images but keep this in mind: Don’t load up extra images. Use only those images that help convey your message. If you need to load a catalog or list of images, we recommend putting those images in your web page and then include the link to that web page in your email.One of the most common mistakes we see is someone sending a big images where all the words are in the image. A lot of email services block images. So your reader gets a big blank screen with what looks like a broken image. Their gut instinct is going to be to mark your message as spam and complain to the service provider. Fair? Probably not. But it happens every day. Services like AOL make it almost TOO easy to complain and mark a message as spam.
Use only as many images as it takes to reinforce your message and make sure your message contains a good amount of real text. Don’t just add random words to increase your word count.
- Use “enough” words. Spam filters check the ratio of images to text and they don’t like it when your message has very little text with or without a lot of images. Think about your own experience. When I get an email that is basically a single link with a line or two of text, I just delete it. Your readers will do the same thing. And some of them will complain to their service provider. So add some real content. Remember: you are trying to improve communication with your readers.
- Typing in ALL CAPS. Sad to say, this is still happening. Typing your message, your subject line, or even full lines of text in your message in all caps not only makes you look unprofessional but triggers most every spam filter on the planet. Type like a professional adult; not a Jr High kid, or worse … an irate mother-in-law!
- Personalize your subject lines and messages. This may not impact the spam triggers as much as it will simply help your readers notice and open your message. A little bit of personalization goes a long way. BUT … be sure you do it properly. In TrafficWave’s system, personalization can be done by selecting or typing in the token. If you type it, you run the risk of sending out an email addressed to NAME or FNAME. This will hurt your deliverability as the spam filters will catch that stuff.
- Choose your words carefully. Did you know terms like “extra inches” can wreck your deliverability? You may mean “Lose extra inches” or “reduce extra inches” in a weight loss offer, but the spam filters will read that as something much more “inappropriate” and flag your message for the spam folder, at best.
The thing to keep in mind is that the rules aren’t necessarily fair. You may not actually be a spammer but if your message looks like spam and smells like spam, it will be treated like spam. Your email deliverability can suffer even if you are making innocent mistakes. So take a few moments to review your emails to make sure you are not making some of these common mistakes in your messages.
Brian Rooney, CEO