How to avoid your messages being marked as spam
Why does my message go to the spam folder? Let’s face it: email spam complaints are often a matter of opinion. Someone receives your email, decides it is unwanted, and clicks “report as spam”.
There is no foolproof system for avoiding spam reports completely. There are certain warning signs you can watch out for as you prepare your next email marketing campaign.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common mistakes that you will want to avoid:
Not Getting Permission
People are more likely to open email from people they know. They are more likely to delete, or mark as spam, email from people they do not know. It really is that simple.
Permission-based email marketing is the best strategy to developing long-lasting email marketing relationships. When you get permission, you are able to build a list of people who are interested in your business and are actually looking forward to hearing from you. They are more likely to open your email, less likely to mark it as spam, and will stay with you longer than contacts that are added without consent.
No doubt you’ve heard of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-Spam) and the Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL). Getting permission helps you steer clear of problems.
TrafficWave uses a double opt-in system to make sure your list has only those subscribers who have given their permission to be contacted.
Not Identifying Yourself
If people do not recognize that your emails are coming from you, they are still more likely to mark your emails as spam.
The solution? Use a familiar from name and from email address when you set up your email campaign. If you have an email address that includes your business’s website, choose that address over one from a personal or free email account.
Another easy step is to add your branding to the emails you send out. Include your logo in your message header and choose colors for your newsletter that represent your business.
Not Keeping Your Message Relevant
Simple, yet powerful … one of the most damaging things you can do is to send information your readers are not interested in. Even if they don’t report your message as spam, the likelihood of your message getting deleted goes WAY up when your content isn’t relevant to the reason they subscribed to your list.
Pay attention to what’s working with your audience. Look at your Open and Click rates to see which content is getting the highest number of clicks. Another way to make sure your content is relevant is to update your data collection and your signup forms to include options for people to choose when signing up for your list.
Not Keeping Promises
When someone signs up to your list, they do it with the expectation of receiving something of value. Let your subscribers know what they can expect from you and make sure that is what they are receiving from you. Let them know how often they can expect to hear from you, what type of information they will be receiving, and help them see why it is a good idea to sign up.
Create a custom landing page that they will see after they fill out your form that will remind them to confirm their subscription request and remind them of what they can expect.
Trying To Trick Spam Filters
Don’t try to “hide” content that is already known as being “spammy“. Changing the spelling of words, adding dots b.e.t.w.e.e.n letters, using all CAPS, sounding like a carnival barker, promising instant wealth, using too many exclamation points are all going to get your messages sent to the spam folder.
Overwhelming Your Readers
Selling your products or services is an important part of email marketing. We get it. You want to build your business. Be aware that if you are sending too much promotional material you could be driving some people away. You want to make sure you are not just building a list, but a relationship with potential customers.
You will want to find a balance in the type of content you send out. As a general standard, we recommend 80 percent helpful/informative content and 20 percent sales/promotion. Think about how your content can help solve a problem. Focus on solving the problem. They will be more receptive to doing business with you when they feel they can trust you.
Making Things Difficult
People like things to be simple. Include clear calls to action in your messages so that your readers know where to click, how to learn more, what to do next, etc..
Sometimes, they may mark a message as spam because they just want to stop receiving the information. Make it easy.
While it can be difficult to let go, if you have people who aren’t interested in receiving your emails, it’s better to give them the option to opt out than to try to keep them on your list.
As a TrafficWave customer, all of your email messages will automatically include an unsubscribe link in the footers of every email you send out. Also, make sure you check your inbox for the address you are using to send your email campaigns. Sometimes, people will reply to your email and ask to be taken off your list.
Keep your focus on the following tips to avoid spam issues
Keep your content relevant
Watch your content
Keep your promises
Keep things simple
- Keep your subject lines between 35 to 50 characters long. The longer your subject line, the more likely it will be flagged as spam.
- Don’t use ALL CAPITALIZED LETTERS in your subject line or body.
- Avoid sending messages that have only a single large image. Have a good balance of text and images. The more text you have regarding your images, the better.
- Make sure there are no spelling mistakes or HTML errors.
- Avoid using spammy type words such as ‘money’, ‘free’, ‘dollars’, ‘cash’, ‘limited time offer’, ‘medication’, or ‘pornography’.
- Avoid common spam tactics like using a dollar sign($) for the letter “s”.
- Limit the use of ‘click here’ links.
- Minimize the use of bold text, red font, exclamation points (!!!), questions marks (?) and symbols like $ € £ @
- Make sure your content is relevant to your offer and helps build rapport/credibility with your subscribers. Emails that are constantly off-topic and are nothing more than constant ads will impact deliverability and reception by your subscribers.
As an added measure, we highly recommend setting up email addresses with some of the common email service providers and either subscribing to your campaign or validating those addresses so you can proofread via email to see how they look and how they get routed.
For more tips on improving your email marketing deliverability, check out:
Most Common Spam Triggers Killing Your Deliverability
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If you still have questions, feel free to post them in the comments below.
May 25, 2017
I regularly check my spam folder too not to miss any “good” mail that sometimes lands in the spam folder… Emails from the TrafficWave autoresponders have a good deliverability in general so they rarely end up in my spam folder… I’m talking about my Yahoo e-mail account because Gmail is much more “friendly” with emails that come from various autoresponders… I sign up to quite many lists of various marketers and I often sign up with a Yahoo email address just to see how good the autoresponder used by that marketer is, meaning how many of the emails sent by a given autoresponder reach my Yahoo inbox and how many end up into my Yahoo spam folder… This is a way to check how good the deliverability of a given autoresponder is and helps me decide what autoresponder to choose.
May 25, 2017
Glad to hear you are experiencing good deliverability with your messages in our system!
May 24, 2017
This was a great Training email. Thank you.
I have been with you for years and still learn new things daily.
May 25, 2017
Glad we can be of service, Maree!
May 24, 2017
I rarely ‘mark as spam’ but I regularly mass ‘ignore’ emails
my open rate of emails received on my mailing list account is approximately 2% (yes I use multiple email addresses), and even on my ‘private’ address it is only about 70% – the rest are simply tagged as “mark as read” and many filed away in a different folder never to be seen again
May 24, 2017
When I’m really no longer interested, I’ll click the remove link. I hardly ever mark as spam, myself. Helps to know what our readers are doing.
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