One of the largest concerns that marketers and brands have when it comes to email marketing is avoiding the spam filter. But even if you think you’re doing everything right, you start noticing an increasing bounce rate, along with lowering click-through rates. At Site Impact, we’ve always worked hard to study how to avoid landing in the dreaded spam email box, and today we’re going to discuss some of the most foolproof methods.
Before you even send a campaign, you can take worthwhile steps to avoid having your emails flagged as spam, and you should. Many of the steps involved in this aspect also keep your brand in compliance with various regulations, so they serve more than one purpose.
● Use a double opt-in method to ensure the people receiving emails from you really want to.
● Establish a “preference center” where subscribers can choose how often they want to receive emails, as well as easily unsubscribe.
● Authenticate your email address to prove your reliability as a source.
● Use a real-time verification tool to catch typos and bad email addresses when subscribers enter them.
● Set up a routine for removing people who have requested to unsubscribe as well as those who have not engaged with your emails within a set period of time, and stick to that routine.
● Encourage subscribers to whitelist your sender email address.
Other than reputation, one of the biggest things that will alert spam-seeking algorithms to flag your emails is in your content. It can seem sometimes like a moving target; after all, spammers are trying just as hard to avoid landing out of sight of consumers. But a few basic priorities will do the lion’s share of work as well as optimizing your content for recipients.
● Make sure your body content is no less than 500 characters.
● Avoid spam trigger words both in subject lines and body content; there are many lists available, updated on a constant basis.
● Ensure your content is clear and concise, providing the most valuable information up front.
● Edit content for typos, spelling and grammar to maintain a professional appearance, which will prevent recipients from flagging your emails.
● Include a valid address at the end of your emails; if necessary, use a PO box.
● Where possible, limit the number of links in your emails to one or two.
In addition to setting yourself up for success and making sure your content is strong and clean, there are a few steps you can take on an ongoing basis as your campaigns continue to ensure that your reputation with the email platforms remains strong and that you are landing in the inbox and not the spam filter. Most of these are administrative type tasks, but they are fortunately not time consuming or difficult to undertake.
● Keep an eye on your metrics, especially opens, click-through rates, and lead-to-conversion ratios.
● Continue list segmentation and research over time to make sure you’re sending emails that are as relevant as possible to the right people.
● Develop a “sunset” policy, where after a certain number of attempts to get an unengaged subscriber to re-engage, you quietly remove them from your list.
● Avoid design elements or flashy bells and whistles that don’t meaningfully add to your message.
● Maintain consistent, highly recognizable branding so that your recipients recognize your emails.
Of course, there are errors that you can make even outside of these steps that can land you in recipients’ spam filters, and there is a chance that you might not catch a problem quickly enough to prevent your subscribers from labeling you and bringing down your reputation with the email platforms. But by taking these steps, you can minimize the risk of outside factors taking you out of the inbox and landing you away from customers’ eyes. Contact Site Impact to find out how we can help you run the most spam-proof email marketing campaign possible.