One of the most popular marketing tools for small to medium businesses is email marketing. When done well, email can be a great way to connect with your customers and grow your business. However, one downside of this type of email blast marketing is that there’s always a good chance your emails will be blocked by spam filters.
If you’re new at email marketing, or even if you’re an old hand at it, you’ll need to know a bit about spam filters. First, there are no set rules that all spam filters use. You may notice that some filter nearly all spam, but others filter only the most obvious spam messages. And, often users are permitted to add their own rules that either allow or block messages from specific senders or with specific words.
1. Take a look at your content
Because some email scammers include hidden HTML or other coding that the recipient won’t see in an email, many filters are now set up to scan the code of an email as well. You should use a reputable email marketing service provider like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Make your email message eye catching but informative. The most successful emails tend to provide useful information like how the product or service can be used, updates from the company, and even industry-related articles.
2. Know the common spam trigger words
Many email providers scan the subject line of emails for potential spam words. If your email message contains any of these words, it’s likely that your recipient will never see your message. You already know to avoid words like “enhancement” and you’d never refer a body part, but did you know that using a $ or a ! in the subject line may trigger a spam filter? Read more about common trigger words here.
3. Audit your subscriber lists
In order to maximize the percentage of users who open your emails, clean out your subscriber list on a regular basis. Take a look for email addresses that have been deleted, or users who no longer work at the business. By auditing your subscriber list, you raise the chance that your emails will be opened and read by more recipients.
You should also look into the email addresses themselves. If you are sending an email to a general account i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org, you may not be actually reaching a real person, but an account that automates tasks instead. Try to send your email to individuals instead of general accounts.
4. Test before you send
Testing your email before sending it out to your audience will help in ensuring that your email makes it through spam filters. The best way to test is to look for a spam testing solution. These solutions allow you to theoretically send the email to a number of different services and clients, before presenting you with a report on whether your email managed to get through to the main services.
You can test the email itself in different browsers. While many browsers will allow you to view most emails, they will often render them slightly differently e.g., text will be bigger, or content may not expand to fit screen size. If the content looks weird to the viewer, there is a high chance that it will not be read and may be flagged as spam instead.
5. Ensure you follow established verification procedures
There are verification procedures that those who send bulk emails must pass. These various procedures essentially let the different email services know that you, as the sender, are a legitimate business and not a spammer.
Many of the bigger email service providers have set guidelines on their websites for bulk senders, so try looking on the Internet for the different guidelines. Some of the more general requirements include:
- The email be sent from the same IP and email address.
- The same name, address and information is in the From: header of every bulk email you send.
- Ensuring that the DNS (Domain Name System) records and address you use points to your company and are correct.
Of course, this can take time and some knowledge of how the Internet and email works, so one option is to work with an email expert who can help you set up your server or third-party platform so that emails from you will be verified. If you’re looking for a way to make your email marketing efforts more successful, or to ensure that they make it through spam filters, please contact us today to see how we can help.