If email and Internet service providers seem very focused on protecting their subscribers from spam, it’s for a reason.
Spammers send out billions of pieces of spam each day. If all of these landed in people’s inboxes, they would end up with 10 pieces of spam for every useful email they got. It would render their email accounts unusable and they would stop using email together. Email providers wouldn’t have a business anymore.
Internet service providers hate spam because it raises their costs for no reason. Incapsula, the Internet security company, reports that spambots and other such undesirables make up about a third of all Internet traffic. Internet service providers, then, can cut down on their costs simply by finding a way to recognize and exclude such traffic.
If your business invests in email marketing (as it should) the war against spam should concern you – you could very easily have your lovingly designed marketing emails land in people’s spam folders most of the time. While your marketing emails should take human and consumer psychology into account to be appealing, they should also pack a bit of spam filter psychology. Keep the following pointers in mind when you put your email marketing campaigns together. You’ll be sure to stay out of the spam folders.
Stay away from doing the things that spammers tend to do…
One of the ways in which spam filters identify undesirable emails is by studying their content for telltale signs.
- Don’t include any links to domains or email IDs that look strange. Look at any spam message – they are likely to have email links that look like firstname.lastname@example.org. If they have links to websites, they look like surf-daddy-126.net/equatecorr/epKg7tifgy9a/. In other words, they look obscure and nothing like what a respectable service would use. The email ID that you send your messages from and the email links in your messages should be respectable-looking. They should be attached to your domain rather than a free email service – email@example.com or the like. If you need to attach a link to a webpage, make sure that it looks respectable too.
- Spammers don’t tend to host the images on their emails on good, credible image hosting services. The use no-name services. If you do the same, you will be suspect.
- Use both images and text in reasonable proportions.
In fact, sign up to a credible email service or web hosting provider…
Gmail, Yahoo! and all the other email providers look at the IP address that your email service provider uses. A poor quality email service provider is likely to have customers who send out spam. These providers are marked as spammy. Sign up to a well-regarded service, and you’ll never have this problem. Often, the best email marketing services work in partnership with Gmail and all the other major email services to have their customers’ emails whitelisted.
Get your email marketing practices audited and certified…
Postmaster services like Return Path audit businesses who sign up with them for legitimate email marketing practices. When you get audited and certified, you can be sure that the major email providers won’t direct you to a spam folder.
Remember that you are not in 2001 anymore…
Back then, spammers could try to fool spam filter algorithms with all kinds of curious tricks. They would include subject lines like M@X1M1ZE R3TURN5 – hoping that the nonsensical characters would throw the filters. Or else, they would use misleading terms like Re: to make you believe that their email was a reply to something you asked them first.
Even certain words – Free, Bonus and Win, for instance, and the use of exclamation points and all capitals can help the filters catch you out.
These old tricks simply don’t work anymore. In fact, they are guaranteed to deliver you to the spam folder.
While email service providers are a great way to get your marketing emails through, they will only work if you have a good email list. If you tend to buy your email lists instead of working to get them, even the best email service providers can’t help you.